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It’s fair to say the month of September will be a big challenge for the Utah State football program.

The Mountain West released its schedule for the 2021 season on Friday, and the Aggies will square off against traditional conference title contenders Air Force and Boise State in September. USU opens its season on the road against Pac-12 Conference program Washington State on Sept. 4.

It will be a demanding five-week stretch to begin the season for the Aggies before they take their bye week following an Oct. 1 home game against BYU. The two rivals will play on their traditional first Friday of October date, and this will be Utah State’s only non-Saturday game during the regular season.

Utah State’s home opener at Maverik Stadium is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 11 against FCS program North Dakota. The Aggies’ fourth and final non-conference contest will be contested on the road against New Mexico State on Nov. 6.

In Mountain West play, the Aggies will welcome Boise State (Sept. 25), Colorado State (Oct. 23), Hawaii (Oct. 30) and Wyoming (Nov. 20) to Merlin Olsen Field.

USU’s Mountain West road schedule starts at Air Force (Sept. 18), and continues against UNLV (Oct. 16), reigning conference champion San Jose State (Nov. 13) and New Mexico (Nov. 27). The Aggies beat the Lobos at Maverik Stadium for their only win last fall.

The Aggies will play back-to-back home games against BSU and BYU, and against CSU and Hawaii. Three of USU’s final four contests will be on the road.

The Mountain West title game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 4. and will be contested at the home venue of the highest-ranked team of the two divisional champions.

Utah State’s spring camp will begin on Monday, March 15, with the first of 13 practices. Two scrimmages will be held — on Saturday, March 27 and Saturday, April 17. All practices and scrimmages will take place at Maverik Stadium and will be open to the public.

USU’s other practices are scheduled for March 17, 19, 23, 25 and 30, and April 1, 5, 7, 9, 13 and 15.

CHASE NELSON

Former Logan High and USU player Chase Nelson was recently awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $10,000.

Nelson is the fourth Aggie to receive to award since 2000, joining track & field athletes Maurice Jenkins (2001-02), Tylee Skinner (2017-18) and Kashley Carter (2018-19).

“Receiving this scholarship has been exciting,” Nelson said in a press release. “I am grateful for the financial aid it will provide as I move toward my career goals, and I am honored to receive it on behalf of the NCAA due to my efforts as a student-athlete.”

The NCAA awards up to 126 postgraduate scholarships on a yearly basis. This scholarships are given to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically, and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

Nelson aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon, like his father Keith, and has interviewed at the University of Utah and VCU for medical school, according to the press release.

In 26 career games for the Aggies, Nelson recorded 23 tackles, including 16 as a sophomore in 2018. Nelson, who was selected as the program’s Scout Team co-Defensive MVP in 2017, was a difference maker on special teams for the Aggies. He also saw limited time as a safety.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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