usu football

The marching band performs in Maverik Stadium before a USU football game in 2016. The Mountain West Conference announced its football schedule on Thursday.

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It's fair to say the Aggies will quickly find out if they are legitimate Mountain West title contenders.

The Mountain West released its football schedule Thursday afternoon, and Utah State found out it will open its season on the road against perennial conference contender Boise State. The Broncos will host the Aggies on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Boise State has won four straight games against Utah State and leads the all-time series 19-5.

USU's home opener will take place the following week against San Diego State. This will be the Aggies' eighth season in the Mountain West.

Utah State will also host Fresno State (Nov. 14), New Mexico (Nov. 28) and Air Force (Dec. 5). The Aggies' other road contests are against Nevada (Nov. 7), Wyoming (Nov. 21) and Colorado State (Nov. 28).

The Aggies are squaring off against the same Mountain West foes they were originally supposed to face prior to the league's initial decision on Aug. 10 to postpone football in the fall due to COVID-19. The MW reversed course last Thursday by announcing it would play an eight-game schedule.

The starting times for all of the Aggie games have yet to be announced, nor has ticket information for all games at Maverik Stadium, although that is forthcoming. A limited number of fans will be allowed at home contests, although those figures have yet to be determined.

As previously announced, the Mountain West championship game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19. It will pit the two teams with the highest conference winning percentage and will be contested in the home stadium of the squad with the top winning percentage.

"We are excited to get our student-athletes back on the football field this fall," said MW commissioner Craig Thompson in a press release. "The shift away from a two-division format was necessary to optimize the schedule and allow for maximum flexibility given the various constraints which had to be considered. Inasmuch as the season begins with an uneven number of conference games, and the possibility exists additional games may be lost to COVID-19 challenges, the procedures for determining the participants in and location for the MW Football Championship Game were adapted to accommodate a range of outcomes in as equitable a fashion as possible."

All 12 programs in the Mountain West will play eight league opponents, with the exception of Boise State, Air Force and San Diego State. The Falcons are slated to play five Mountain West teams, plus Navy and Army, while the Broncos will replace one of their MW rivals with BYU. The Aztecs have yet to finalize their opponent for Dec. 12.

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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