Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Fans and students get ready for BYU and Virginia to play Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. BYU hosts Utah State Friday night.

BYU and Utah State square off Friday night in the only in-state FBS matchup of the season. The Cougars will also retire former standout Jim McMahon's number at halftime, as he is inducted into the school's Hall of Fame. Here's a recap of everything leading up to kickoff that you may have missed:


For BYU, Utah State is 'featured in-state game'

Up until this year, the only thing that had the power to halt the BYU-Utah football rivalry was World War II.

Neither team fielded a football team from 1943-45 due to the worldwide conflict. Other than that three-year break, the Cougars and Utes met every year since 1922.

BYU players endured tougher-than-usual practices during bye week

BYU had its first bye of the season last week, but the practice sessions leading up to it may have indicated otherwise. According to both players and coaches, practice sessions were intense, physical, and very much different than what coach Bronco Mendenhall has administered in recent years.


BYU Cougars video: Jeff Call tells us what to expect as BYU prepares for Utah State

BYU prepares to face Utah State on Friday in Provo, and Deseret News BYU beat writer Jeff Call tells us what to expect. This week, Call discusses what the Cougars did over the bye week, USU's quarterback situation, the state of the rivalry with the Aggies and if BYU needs so-called style points on national TV.

Former walk-on Kyle Johnson has become BYU's 'most reliable' offensive lineman

Former BYU walk-on Kyle Johnson probably isnt the first offensive lineman that comes to mind when people think about the strides the Cougar O-line has made this season. But maybe he should be.

Doug Robinson: Making sense of retired jerseys and hall induction

So Jim McMahon will finally have his jersey retired and enter BYUs Hall of Fame on Friday night during halftime of the BYU-Utah State game.

McMahon is the greatest player BYU has ever put on a football field, period. Ty Detmer, Steve Young, Austin Collie, Eldon Fortie, etc., theyre vying for second best.

Honoring a legend: BYU star quarterback Jim McMahon provided Cougars with plenty of memories

It is regarded as the vintage moment of quarterback Jim McMahons BYU career.

In the 1980 Holiday Bowl better known as the Miracle Bowl McMahon rallied the Cougars from a 20-point deficit in the final four minutes, capped by a 41-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to Clay Brown as time expired to beat SMU, 46-45.

Deseret News Sports Report Podcast: Talking Cougars vs. Aggies, Utes heading to L.A. and Jazz Media Day

In episode No. 2 of the Deseret News Sports Report Podcast, writers Carter Williams and Brandon Judd discuss a plethora of topics, including the Utah Utes and BYU Cougars football teams, as Utah looks to rebound from a tough loss to Washington State last week and BYU looks to stay perfect against Utah State.


No. 18 BYU expecting 'difficult, volatile' game against Utah State

BYUs last two home games, against Houston and Virginia, turned out to be dogfights.

Will that trend continue Friday (8:15 p.m. MDT, ESPN) when the No. 18 Cougars host Utah State?

USU football: Chuckie Keeton likely out remainder of season following knee injury

It appears that Darell Garretson will start at quarterback for Utah State Friday night at BYU, as well as for the foreseeable future.

USU coach Matt Wells announced Wednesday night that Chuckie Keeton will likely miss the remainder of the 2014 season due to the knee injury the senior quarterback suffered late in the first half of USUs win over Wake Forest on Sept. 13.

Dick Harmon: Utah State-BYU games have been hard-fought battles

Its taken big plays, a little luck and a season-ending injury to Aggie star quarterback Chuckie Keeton last year for the Cougars to accumulate a three-game win streak over the Aggies. Those three BYU wins follow 2010, a 31-16 Utah State win in Logan. Mendenhall fired his defensive coordinator the next day.

Peavler: Is Utah State BYU's biggest rivalry matchup in 2014?

As BYU prepares to play Utah State on Friday, here's an interesting question to consider: With Utah off the schedule, is this game against the Aggies BYU's rivalry game this season?

Guest commentary: Cougar scoring blasts highlight season

The four-game Cougar football season has been unusually productive, with an emphasis on the unusual. In the first three games BYU outscored its opponents by a combined 78-0 before the Cougars were scored upon.


Vai's View: Jim McMahon not the greatest? You might want to reconsider

I was inundated with emails about my piece on Jim McMahons graduation, jersey retirement and induction into BYUs Hall of Fame from a few weeks ago. The response was overwhelmingly positive, but I expected some would maintain McMahon isnt worthy of recognition, even with his challenge of early stage dementia as he labored to earn his BYU degree.

The legacy of Jim McMahon at BYU: Ranking his 10 greatest games as a Cougar

There will be plenty of reasons for Cougar fans to cheer on Friday night. Not only does in-state rival Utah State come to town for a big game, but BYU will also be honoring one of the best signal callers in school history in Jim McMahon. Thirty-three years after he shattered NCAA passing and offense records, McMahon will finally have his number retired at LaVell Edwards Stadium. With such a special night right around the corner, it gives us just enough time to relive his remarkable Cougar career by ranking his best games at BYU.


Sports BLT: BYU players deliver pizza to ROC fans camping outside LaVell Edwards Stadium

Members of the ROC camped outside of LaVell Edwards Stadium had a special pizza delivery Thursday night. Members of BYU's football team handed out pizza to fans lined up to cheer them on as the players walked into the stadium for their walk-through in preparation for the Utah State game on Friday..