Wade Denniston, USU Athletic Media Relations
Utah State senior quarterback Kent Myers.
LOGAN — Although the football rivalry between San Jose State and Utah State dates back 77 years and 37 games heading into Saturday’s contest in Northern California, the Spartans and Aggies really aren’t all that familiar with each other.
Due to the Mountain West’s scheduling quirks, San Jose State (1-3) hasn’t faced off against Utah State (1-2) since 2014, even though the series is tied for the sixth-longest in USU history.
“In the Mountain West, you can see guys in the Mountain Division each year and you can see them grow up and develop and get better,” USU head coach Matt Wells said. “But then you think about the other side of the league in the West Division.”
The Aggies have five players on their current roster who played against the Spartans as freshmen, but SJSU also has a new coach in Brent Brennan. The 44-year-old California native was hired away last December from the staff of former USU head coach Gary Andersen at Oregon State.
“After watching film the last couple of days, I think we’ve got a great challenge ahead of us,” Brennan said of the Aggies. “Our staff doesn’t know their staff, but they’ve got good players.
“I’m glad we’re at home. After being on the road for two weeks, I’m glad we’re at home to start the conference. But we’ve got a great challenge ahead of us.”
Saturday’s game at CEFCU Stadium is the MW opener for both teams, and after taking their non-conference lumps, both programs are certainly anxious to start off on the right foot. While the Aggies sandwiched a win over Big Sky Conference foe Idaho State with brutal road losses at Wisconsin and Wake Forest, the Spartans’ only win came against Cal Poly after opening the season with a respectable loss to No. 19 South Florida.
But the last two weeks were particularly rough for SJSU as the team was outscored by a combined margin of 110-16 during losses at Texas and Utah.
“I’m hoping that playing against those tougher teams — those so-called ‘big schools’ — will help our guys be battle-tested. They’ve gone against good people;…