We look forward to the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete against Alabama, as well as the opportunity for our fans to enjoy one of the best game day experiences in all of college football. —Utah State athletic director John Hartwell
Utah State is headed back to SEC country in a few years.
The school announced Wednesday that the Aggies will play at Alabama on Sept. 3, 2022, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The news was first reported by college football insider Brett McMurphy.
Alabama will pay Utah State $1,910,000 to play the game, the third-largest dollar amount ever paid to a visiting football team, according to McMurphy and Utah State.
“We look forward to the opportunity for our student-athletes to compete against Alabama, as well as the opportunity for our fans to enjoy one of the best game day experiences in all of college football,” Utah State athletic director John Hartwell said in a press release.
Utah State played twice in SEC country earlier this decade, at Tennessee in 2014 and at Auburn in 2012.
The Crimson Tide are the defending national champions and have won five national titles since 2009. Alabama, coached by Nick Saban, defeated Georgia 26-23 in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship game and finished the year 13-1.
Utah State, meanwhile, is coming off a 6-7 season that ended with a loss to New Mexico State in the Arizona Bowl. The Aggies beat BYU and went 4-4 in Mountain West Conference play to reach the postseason for the sixth time in seven years.
This will be the third meeting between Alabama and Utah State, with the previous two meetings also being played in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Crimson Tide beat the Aggies 48-17 in 2004, then 35-3 in 2005.
Since 2010, the Aggies have played 11 road games at Power 5 schools, including five games against Pac-12 opponents in Utah (2013, 2015), USC (2013, 2016) and Washington (2015). In that span, USU has also played at the Big Ten's Wisconsin twice (2012, 2017), the ACC's Wake Forest (2017) and the Big 12's Oklahoma (2010).
This year, the Aggies travel to open the season for the second straight year in Big Ten territory, at Michigan State. In 2017, USU opened the year at Wisconsin.