Tom Smart, Deseret News

How does the old saying go? “We’ll always have Logan?”

Gary Andersen was among 2012’s most successful coaches in college football, and in the process resurrected Utah State Aggie football. On Tuesday, Andersen accepted a job to fill the head coaching vacancy at the University of Wisconsin. In so doing, he follows in the footsteps of several USU coaches who made a stop in Logan before heading off to greener pastures elsewhere.

In January of 2009, Gary Andersen took the job over from Brent Guy, a coach who severely struggled to post wins of any kind for the Aggies. Previously, Andersen had been the defensive coordinator for the University of Utah, most notably during their 2009 Sugar Bowl victory over the University of Alabama.

Gary Andersen brought joy to Aggie fans everywhere because he won games – a lot of them. From Hawaii to Alabama, Gary patrolled the sidelines with an intense ferocity and ushered USU onto the path of football prominence. Here’s a look back to his 10 most impressive games as the Aggie head coach.

10 2010 LA Tech
Terrance Armstard, The News-Star, AP

Editor's note: Gary Andersen’s first WAC win, the Aggies fought off old habits and held strong against a very competitive foe. A short time later, Andersen collapsed from work-related stress and was forced to wear a neck brace for a while.

LOGAN — Utah State has had double-digit leads late in the game before — just last week, for example — and still managed to end up on the wrong side of the scoreboard when the clock hit zeroes.

So, with a 23-7 lead and 15 minutes of football left to be played Saturday against Louisiana Tech, USU coach Gary Andersen wasn't about to celebrate.

That mood didn't come until the Aggies had nearly squandered that lead following a flood of injuries to key defensive players.

Read the full story here.

9 2011 Auburn
Associated Press

Editor’s note: The win that should have been, this game put Utah State on the college football map and turned a lot of heads across the country, even if it was a loss. Taking a defending national champion to the wire was a feat in and of itself.

AUBURN, Ala. — We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to make this important public service announcement: There are actually three major college football teams in Utah, not two.

Sometimes it just takes a little (or possibly a gigantic) reminder.

Locked into a conference teetering on the brink, lodged in the northern reaches of the state, beset by small budget issues, Utah State has been overshadowed the past year – OK, the past three decades -- by Utah and BYU.

Read the full story here.

8 2011 Wyoming
Associated Press

Editor’s note: A regional rival that hadn’t played USU in ages, this was Gary’s first FBS rout at the Aggie helm. Michael Smith and Robert Turbin ran all over the Cowboys. For Aggie fans, it was refreshing to finally be delivering blowouts rather than receiving them.

LOGAN — Weeks of frustration and heartache were exorcised out on the field in a cathartic 63-19 Utah State victory over Wyoming on Saturday night at Romney Stadium.

The victory was the Aggies' first win over Wyoming since 1978, breaking a streak of 10 consecutive losses to their border foes.

The theme of the week was "break the curse" on the Utah State campus after the Aggies had suffered heartbreaking, hard-luck losses to Auburn, BYU and Colorado State earlier this season.

Read the full story here.

7 2011 Nevada
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Editor’s note: It had been 14 years since USU was even bowl eligible. The thought that a team that four years previous had won a mere two games could go bowling in third year of Andersen’s tenure brought exuberant joy to Aggie fans. This is the game that qualified the Aggies for their first Potato Bowl, and they did it with defense.

LOGAN — For the first time since 1997, Utah State could be going bowling.

The Aggies held off Nevada 21-17 Saturday on senior day in Romney Stadium in front of 15,784 Aggie fans to clinch their sixth win of the season — and with it, bowl eligibility.

"This is the perfect way to go out," said senior linebacker Bobby Wagner about playing his last game at home. "It's a great win for this program. We are going bowling. I'm excited."

Read the full story here.

6 2012 SJSU
Associated Press

Editor’s note: This was the first WAC game of 2012 for USU, and it set the tone for every other game save LA Tech. The Aggies jumped out early and never stopped. A forced fumble on SJSU’s last-gasp comeback attempt sealed the win and served notice that USU was a force to be reckoned with.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a game chock full of glowing offensive numbers, Utah State couldn't be stopped.

And the Aggies' defense did its part, too, as nine players combined forces to pile up a school-record 13 sacks as USU steamed past San Jose State 49-27 in the two teams' Western Athletic Conference opener Saturday at Spartan Stadium.

Nine Aggies combined for a school-record 13 sacks, senior running back Kerwynn Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton had four total touchdowns — three passing, one rushing — in leading Utah State to its largest margin of victory on the road since a 34-7 victory at North Texas in 1999.

Read the full story here.

5 2011 Hawai'i
Associated Press

Editor’s note: Down by 21 at halftime, it looked like the season was about over for Utah State. Worse, Chuckie Keeton had taken a neck injury and been carried off the field on a stretcher. So, obviously, Adam Kennedy, Robert Turbin and the Aggies scored the final 21 points of the game, scoring the winning touchdown with 14 seconds remaining. The first in a five-game win streak, this was the definitive turnaround game for the 2011 season.

HONOLULU — Robert Turbin scored on a 1-yard run with 14 seconds left to complete a second-half rally that gave Utah State a 35-31 win over Hawaii on Saturday night.

The Aggies (3-5, 1-2 WAC) trailed by 21 points at halftime, but scored the final 21 points to turn back the Warriors (5-4, 3-2).

Utah State totaled 433 yards of offense, with 280 coming in the second half. Turbin, who has scored at least one rushing touchdown in his last 13 games, finished with 96 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns.

Read the full story here.

4 2012 Utah
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Editor’s note: Against his old club and on national television, Gary Andersen’s team pulled no punches. A special teams score and great defense, particularly in overtime, allowed the Aggies to hold off a furious comeback. Chuckie Keeton’s celebration of the win was priceless.

LOGAN — Utah State renewed its rivalry with Utah in a big way Friday night at Romney Stadium. The Aggies defeated the Utes 27-20 in overtime — ending a 12-game skid in a long-running series fresh off a two-year hiatus.

"It's a huge victory for Utah State," said USU coach Gary Andersen, who considered it a group effort. "...It's a huge win for the program and it's something we've had our eyes set on for a long, long time."

Indeed. It was USU's first win over Utah since a 21-14 decision in 1997, which also marked the last time the Aggies opened a season 2-0.

Read the full story here.

3 2010 BYU
Ravell Call, Deseret News

Editor’s note: This is the game that Chuckie Keeton attended when considering Utah State as a place to play. It was their first win against BYU in 17 years, and it was on national television no less. Gary Andersen went undefeated at home against in-state teams.

LOGAN — In the end, Utah State partied like it was 1993.

The Aggies ended 17 years of football frustration Friday night, snapping a 10-game losing streak to BYU with a dominating 31-16 victory over the Cougars at Romney Stadium.

It marked USU's first win in the series since a 58-56 triumph in October 1993 — and Aggie fans rushed the field to celebrate.

"A tremendous victory for us. It was something we have been looking for, obviously, for a long time," said USU coach Gary Andersen. "Against a quality team, in a packed house, on ESPN, I guess we can call it a rivalry now, huh? We finally got a victory."

Read the full story here.

2 2012 La Tech
Associated Press

Editor’s note: USU football had waited 76 years for an outright championship, nearly as long between championships as the Boston Red Sox had to wait before 2004. Not only did this game put them on the fast track to that accomplishment, but it also was their first win on the road against a ranked opponent.

RUSTON, La. — Utah State's defense leads the WAC in rush defense, and Louisiana Tech decided to run on fourth-and-three from the 18-yard line in overtime.

USU linebacker Jake Doughty made his game-high 18th tackle on Bulldogs' running back Ray Holley, and the Aggies rushed the field following the 48-41 overtime win over No. 20 Louisiana Tech (9-2, 4-1 WAC).

The victory secures at least a share of the WAC title, USU's first WAC football title ever and first conference title since winning the Big West in 1997.

Read the full story here.

1 2012 Potato Bowl
Tom Smart, Deseret News

Editor’s note: This was the second win in USU’s bowl history. Though it was competitive through three quarters, the Aggies turned it into a route with stiff defense and the legs of Kerwynn Williams. In the fourth quarter, the Aggies held Toledo to three points in two red-zone tries, Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and Joe Hill tacked on a fourth. The best win in USU football history.

BOISE — For the Utah State Aggies, their second time at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was the charm.

A magical season — one that saw the Aggies break new ground by earning a BCS ranking for the first time, winning their first outright conference championship since the 1930s and winning the most games in school history — finished with a ending worthy of the record-setting campaign.

On the strength of an explosive fourth quarter the Aggies rolled Toledo 41-15 to win the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday and achieve a school-record 11th victory.

Read the full story here.