Is Utah State A Must-Win Game For BYU?
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – They’re no longer BYU’s “little brother,” so it’s imperative that the Cougars beat the Utah State Aggies when the two teams meet on Nov. 2.
That’s KSL’s Unrivaled host Scott Mitchell’s take.
Lately, the nearly century-old series has belonged to Utah State as the Aggies have taken the last two meetings, by a 40-24 score in 2017 and a 45-20 score in 2018.
In the long scope, BYU has the advantage in the series. Prior to the loss in 2017, the Cougars won 30 of the previous 35 meetings, including a run of 10 straight from 1983 to 1992. It was around that time that BYU faithful began to refer to the Aggies pejoratively as their “little brothers.”
However, in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world, the Cougars have since come back to earth.
Mitchell Says Aggies Are Top Game For BYU
To Mitchell, the Utah State game is BYU’s most important win on the 2019 schedule.
“Here’s the thing, if BYU loses to Utah, people are going to go ‘yeah, it’s OK.’ They can’t lose to Utah State,” said Mitchell. “They have been and so this year is going to be so critical, and so in my mind…the game against Utah State, the fact that it’s going to be on national television, the fact that they’ve lost the last couple, they can’t go below Utah State in the perception of the strength of their program.”
— BYU FOOTBALL (@BYUfootball) May 9, 2019
It’s a bold statement by Mitchell, especially considering the gauntlet that BYU has to run through in the early part of the Cougars’ schedule, which includes Utah, Tennessee, USC and Washington.
Kirry Calls Utah Game Most Important
Mitchell’s co-host Alex Kirry, disagreed with Mitchell’s take, calling it “cute.”
He did give a little ground, though.
“I think that most BYU fans will kinda get where that reasoning is coming from,” said Kirry. “But there is no way that Utah State and Boise State (Mitchell also mentioned the Broncos as the second-most important opponent for BYU in 2019) are more important than Utah.”
— USU Football (@USUFootball) May 16, 2019
To Kirry, nothing should be more important to the BYU football program than finally beating the Utes, who are currently riding an eight-game winning streak in the rivalry game.
Kirry also found it interesting that Utah hasn’t played the Aggies since 2015 and does not have a future matchup scheduled, implying that Utah State may be a stronger opponent than Mitchell and the Utes may feel.
The game between BYU and Utah State will kick off on Nov. 2 and be broadcast on an ESPN network. The exact time and station will be announced at a later date.
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