When Utah State and Utah meet Saturday night in Logan, you can bet the game will be nothing like the first meeting between the two schools 106 years ago.
The first Utah-Utah State game was played Nov. 25, 1892, before most schools in the country began playing on a regular basis. Only two rivalries in the West have been going longer than the Utes-Aggies and only 12 longer in the entire country.After the initial game in 1892, won by the Aggies 12-0, the two schools didn't meet again for eight years for some reason but have met nearly every year since.
Two accounts of that first game are contained in a history of athletics by University of Utah professor Walter A. Kerr. It's interesting to note the style of the reporters and what they covered in the football game.
Here's an excerpt from the Salt Lake Tribune:
"No finer exhibition of the manly sport was ever witnessed in this part of the country. The day was beautiful, but the ground was poor. Jennings, leading off by a magnificent run, was only prevented from making a touchdown after carrying the ball about twenty five yards by Sanborn, who brought Jennings to the ground. When it seemed nothing would prevent his making a touchdown, Sanborn appeared on the scene and with the speed of an antelope, made for Jennings. A wild yell went up from the crowd, Sanborn! Sanborn! And catching the inspiration, he made a brilliant dash and Jennings sprawled on the ground and a wild hurrah went up."
The Logan Hearld Journal had a little different take on the game.
"The University team wore brown pants, white jumpers, red stockings and a smile of confidence. The home team wore clothing to protect them from the weather. In other words they dressed as each man pleased . . . The war waxed warm. Back and forth the two teams surged and the excitement grew apace. Blood flowed and splashed and hearts fluttered . . . Finally the game ended and the score was announced with many cheers for the victorious students of the Agricultural college."
The Herald story concluded with this editorial comment - "After the game there was some kicking by the Salt Lakers, but that was to be expected."
PLAYING AROUND: Utah State quarterback Riley Jensen has been around. He played two years at Snow College around an LDS mission to France and played briefly at BYU before transferring to Utah State last year.
While he's very confident in his abilities, he also isn't afraid to poke a little fun at himself.
"Hopefully we can win with the only 5-foot-10, 29-year-old quarterback in Division I football," he said.
Actually Jensen doesn't turn 25 until January and he's really closer to 6-foot tall, although the USU roster lists him at 6-foot-1.
NAME GAME: Even with a change in coaches, the Utah State still keeps coming up with some of the strangest names in college football.
As if Guerschom Demosthenes, Waqa Damuni and Fareed Rashada weren't good enough, the Aggies have added the following players to this year's roster: Adebolah Jimoh, Ky Oday, Walter Zdravkovic and our favorite, Lovinggood Washington.
GAME NOTES: Saturday night's game in Romney Stadium is expected to be a sellout. The last two games with Utah were the second and third all-time largest crowds in USU history (31,287 in 1994 and 30,257 in 1996) . . . This is the Aggies' 101st season of collegiate football as well as Dave Arslanian's 101st game as a collegiate head coach . . . This marks the third straight year the Aggies have opened with Utah and the fourth time in the past five years . . . Redshirt freshman Adam Colbert has moved up to No. 2 on the depth chart at wide receiver. True freshman Tony Walker is No. 2 at left cornerback behind BYU transfer Greg White . . . Ten players who started last year's Utah game are back, while just four, OG Ken Watts, DT Walter Fiefia, FS Johndale Carty and CB Craig Miller, started two years ago . . . Both the Aggies and Utes are healthy going into the contest.