In the third of four out of conference games this season, USC faces the Aggies of Utah State University. So here’s some basics to know about this week’s opponent:
Utah State University is a public research university located in Logan, Utah that was founded in 1888. Today it has a total student population of around 28,000. US News and World Report ranks the university as #190 in the nation.
In athletics, USU is a newly-minted member of the Mountain West Conference after spending the previous eight seasons in the WAC. They had spent the latter half of the 20th century trying to join their main rivals, BYU and Utah, in the WAC but were continuously denied until 2005 by which point both rivals had moved to the MWC. The Aggies now have joined the MWC themselves while both BYU and Utah have left the conference.
USU colors are “Aggie Blue,” ”Pewter Gray” and “Fighting White.” Their mascot, “Big Blue,” used to be an actual white bull that was painted blue. Since 1987 however, “Big Blue” appears as a costumed mascot whose identity is closely guarded. The school boasts that of the six Big Blues that have appeared since 1989, four have gone on to become professional mascots. They play in Romney Stadium, named after E.L. “Dick” Romney, the school’s all-time winningest
Utah State’s home games are played at Romney Stadium. E.L. “Dick” Romney, a cousin of the failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s father. was Utah State’s all-time winningest football coach and former athletics director. The stadium, which was dedicated in 1969, is named in his honor.
The Aggies have a post-season record of 2-6. Two of those appearances came under former head coach Gary Anderson who is now the head coach at Wisconsin. Under Anderson in 2011, Utah State posted their first winning season since 1997 though they lost in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In 2012, the Aggies won the conference, saw their first ever 11-win season and won their first bowl game in 19 years.
Now under head coach Matt Wells, the Aggies have started the season brightly with a hard fought loss to rival Utah in the opening game and two blow outs of Airforce and Weber State.