A funny thing about big wins like Friday's is the aftermath of it all. We spend so much time building up to a game or event and let all this excitement build underneath thoughts and dreams of, "What if we pull this off?!" In some cases, your team loses. Opportunity missed, heart broken, and nothing left but to wonder what could have been. That's what we've been far too familiar with prior to the last few years as Utah State football fans.
But then there's those times where the team pulls it off. And in the case of last night, it turned out to be an overall epic gameday experience from start to finish. The Aggies pulled off the upset, and in the case of almost all of us, it was the biggest win for USU we've ever been a part of.
What's funny is the trip home from that. Those amazing moments happen, and the excitement and memory of them remain, but life as we knew it before, still goes on. The thrill of the Utah game still lingered, but Saturday went on with a lazy day on the couch watching college football just as it would have regardless of Friday's outcome.
In the wake of the big win, and really the progress of Utah State football as a whole, there's plenty more that can be said about it all. So let's talk about all the things that have sunk in over the last day, or just didn't have room to be included in Friday's postgame. And there's a lot of it, so this will be a two-part piece.
LET'S TALK ABOUT ROMNEY
Romney Stadium was as off the hook as it's ever been Friday. Nothing about that wasn't an epic atmosphere. We might not have the capacity as most other stadiums, but I really do not believe it to be possible for a student section to rock harder than it did on that final defensive stand in overtime. The closest thing to that level of rowdy that I've ever experience at Utah State was Stavon Williams. Ya! I went there. That's the noise level Romney reached Friday.
Even outside of that grand finale, the student section was off the hook for most of that game. First downs got everyone yelling, the noise before snaps on defense was fantastic, and above all else, it was just a hell of a time!!
Was it perfect? Not quite. People's voices got burned out in the second half and the volume wasn't quite there for tackles for little to no gain. There were also some overzealous freshman who need a little lesson in gameday behavior 101, but I think there are enough leaders in that crowd these days that the message will get across. And sure, I probably have ridiculously high standards, but that's why I ever did crazy stuff like this, or this.
Was it still the best Romney Stadium has ever been? I'll give that a solid "HELL YEAH!!"
Still some room to go up from here, especially since this is still an up-and-coming program. Really hope Friday's atmosphere becomes more of a trend rather than a peak.
LET'S TALK ABOUT MESSAGE BOARDS
Curiosity couldn't keep me from browsing around the message boards of the two main in-state rivals to see what was being said from their ends about Friday night. The results of that browsing reaffirmed the difference between U of U fans and BYU fans. It has me hoping like hell the Utes pound the hell out of the Cougars again this year, and for USU to go into their house and don't let them pull off any miracle bullshit this time around.
Utefans.net consisted mostly of congratulations to Utah State, props for the play of Chuckie Keeton and USU's defense, tons of recognition for the Aggies growing into a legitimate football program, a ton of credit to the USU coaching staff, and a just a tiny bit of legitimate gripe about the offensive pass interference call and defensive no call on the last play. Overall though, I can't even say myself that I usually handle losses that well, and certainly not to the level of offering that many Kudos. My opinion of Ute fans was high already, and that only improved it.
Cougarboard.com on the other hand... Well, it's still September, so the attitude out there is still that of the Cougars being favorites for the national championship. Plenty of talk was about how neither Utah or Utah State are good teams because their offenses both struggled against very good defenses. They say the Aggies are slow on defense and will no way be able to hang with the traditional speed demons that BYU puts out on the field. And since the Utes lost to USU, the Cougars got their next game pretty much won already, despite them getting blown out by 44 by the same team last year. Then there were the typical "dairy yewts" and "little sister" labels that they love to throw out. One guy even called USU's 2010 asswhipping over BYU a true upset, while Friday was just the obvious better team winning (which is backwards from the truth). The only real compliment to be found was of the HURD and how excellent they were as a student section. Outside of that, it was all the stuff that makes everyone hate BYU so badly.
Feel free to go look for yourselves if you want. Don't say I didn't warn you though.
LET'S TALK ABOUT BULLET POINTS
- Floyd Mayweather bet $100,000 on Utah State in the second half of Friday's game... Insane!
- Utah State has now won seven straight regular season games dating back to last season. Let that blow your mind real quick. #ThingsYouNeverThoughtYouWouldEverGetToSayAYearAgo
- The recognition for the chance at a free play on USU's 4th quarter scoring drive was masterful. One Utah defender jumped offsides, which Tyler Larsen recognized and snapped the ball immediately. Matt Austin took off at the snap of the ball too, with Chuckie on the same page as both of them too, hitting Austin in stride for a 23-yard gain. That is phenomenal discipline by all three of them to make that happen.
- Cannot fault Ute fans for being upset about the offensive PI call on Jake Murphy in overtime. It was borderline at best, and ballsy call by the official. If Murphy uses a swim move there rather than pushing off with two arms, he still probably gets just as open but without a penalty. Tough way for things to end with that factored in.
- This whole "knock out the in-state rival's starting quarterback who we know sucks" trend needs to stop. Granted Jake Heaps didn't leave for any reason other than being shitty from last year's game at BYU, but if he stays in the game, USU wins that by 15+. Jordan Wynn couldn't do anything against the Utah State defense Friday, but Jon Hays gave an instant spark and was a threat for the rest of the game. Weird how that works sometimes, but I guess it worked ok for us when Adam Kennedy had to come in last year.
- Aaaand the Aggies have officially landed in the "also receiving votes" for the AP top 25
ALRIGHT!!! That's all for today. Had to reflect, had to give props, had to talk shit, had to shoot off bullets. Watch out for part two of this on Monday. It's gonna get a lot more reflective and emotional about the bigger picture of Utah State football.