Is it a rivalry?

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It’s four hours before kick-off, and fans are lining up for a chance at one of the best seats in the stadium. Students have come dressed in blue ready to help cheer their team to victory. However, this is not the scene outside of LaVell Edwards Stadium.  This is the scene in Logan as Utah State fans prepare for their game against UNLV at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.

The Aggie faithful have had plenty to cheer about, as Utah State is 4-1 and a missed field goal away from being undefeated. However, even with a 31-16 win over BYU two years ago and a 27-20 win in overtime against Utah this year, USU still finds itself on the outside looking in on the state college football rivalry.

“I grew up with an Aggie perspective,” senior quarterback Riley Nelson said. “It was a rivalry for Utah State. Then I come down here and find out it wasn’t a rivalry for BYU.”

Aggie fans get excited every year for a chance to prove they belong in the same conversation as BYU and Utah.

“Everyone’s talking about how you got tickets and how you’re getting down to ‘that school in Provo,'” Jessie Wengert, a health education and promotion major from USU, said. “Everyone is so excited for this game because this football season has been awesome and we have a winning record.”

Much of USU’s student body has gone to extremes to come to Provo and make this a rivalry.

“People have given up grocery money to buy tickets,” Wengert said. “Students have been planning a university car pool for weeks. We’re that excited.”

Even as USU has become more competitive, the University of Utah has remained the rivalry game BYU fans focus on. For years the reasoning was that USU couldn’t keep up with BYU and Utah in football. Now as the Cougars have moved on to independence and the Utes have moved on to the PAC-12 conference, the Aggies once again seem to be left behind.

BYU and Utah State have often had very close games when competing on the basketball court. However, the Cougars have a decided advantage on the football field, winning 11 of the last 12 games against the Aggies. The Cougars also enjoy a 16-game winning streak against the Aggies in Provo. BYU and Utah’s rivalry has been much closer, often coming down to the final play of the game.

“Utah State hasn’t been as good of a contender in the past like Utah has,” Blake Vanderstek, a senior majoring in construction management at BYU, said. “However, if the Aggies continue to play well and compete more consistently with BYU then a better rivalry could be sparked.”

Even though the Utah State faithful won’t be spending their time lined up outside LaVell Edwards Stadium this week they will be here in Provo cheering on their Aggies, hoping for a victory to further their cause: promoting a rivalry between BYU and USU.

“It will be a close game, as both teams compare statistically in almost every category,” Kevin Pickett, a Utah State student, said. “I say quarterback Chuckie Keeton’s big game, big environment, big pressure experience will be the deciding factor in this game. Aggies on top in a close one.”

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