FBSchedules.com “Must Visit Game of the Week” – in conjunction with StadiumJourney.com.
BYU at Utah State – Friday, Oct. 4, 2013; 6pm MT, Romney Stadium, Logan, UT
For fans outside of the state of Utah, this may seem like a boring non-conference matchup between two teams who are unranked and looking to get a win. For those inside the state of Utah and those who understand the history of the rivalry, this is second in importance only to BYU-Utah in the Beehive State.
For Utah State, the game rates right up with playing Utah for bragging rights in state. While BYU-Utah State is not the Holy War (as BYU-Utah is known), it is an intense game for both sides. To find the value of the rivalry, all one needs to do is take a look at the website for Utah State athletics and their ticket availability. Fans are only allowed access to the BYU ticket through either a season ticket or a package involving other games this season besides Boise State. Otherwise, the only single seats available to the 25,713-seat Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium are standing room only.
Why the first Friday night in October? It allows for LDS church’s conference which occurs on that weekend. Utah State and BYU have matched up 22 times on this Friday night, with the Cougars holding an 18-4 record going into the 2013 version.
Overall, BYU holds a 45-34-3 advantage versus the Aggies, with a 37-22 advantage in the 59 matchups since the Wagon Wheel Trophy was introduced 1948. The trophy also has a history of being stolen back by the losing team, showing the intensity of the rivalry between these two programs in the state of Utah. Also, after the 2013 season, this will be the only Utah team BYU plays for at least the next two years, as the Holy War will not be played in 2014 and 2015.
Going into this weekend’s games, BYU ranks 21st nationally in total offense, averaging 492 yards a game, while Utah State ranks 22nd nationally in total defense, giving up 315 yards a game. On the other side of the ball, Utah State ranks 24th in total offense, averaging 491 yards a game, while BYU ranks 23rd in total defense, giving up 320 yards a game. This statistically should lead to an interesting matchup in Logan on Friday night.
BYU-Utah State, while not the Holy War, is a great game, and one of the best matchups to see live for the week of October 5th.
Patrick Johnson is a Special Correspondent with StadiumJourney.com.