The final score of 58-10 was bad. The offensive output of an astounding — and not in a good way — 116 total yards was eye-popping. And the 27 rushing yards on 25 carries was cringe-worthy.
But perhaps the most disappointing number coming out of Utah State’s tailkicking at the hands of Utah on Saturday was this: 19,061.
That’s the announced attendance for the Aggies’ home opener.
If not for the fans in red, there might not have been 10,000 fannies packed into Romney Stadium.
So, let’s repeat. It is the home opener. A beautiful night and a traditional rival is making a visit. Not only a traditional rival, but the No. 22 team in the country.
And, at best, 12,000 Aggies bothered themselves to attend the game.
From my vantage point in the press box there were large sections of unoccupied seats. It was undertandable when Aggie fans began walking out of the stadium midway through the third quarter. But the gigantic chunks of game-time emptiness spoke loudly. You have to wonder if new athletic director Scott Barnes heard it and what he plans to do to take care of it.
Clearly, there is a problem in Logan. In fact, there likely is more than one problem at the root of USU’s football woes.
Coach Brent Guy, who made his way to post-game interviews in the gleaming new conference room inside a fancy new football lockerroom and training complex, is one of the nicest guys in the business. By all accounts he is honorable, hard working and is doing many things correctly at Utah State.
What’s not doing correctly is preparing his team to play — six wins in more than three seasons attests to that fairly well. And now, it would seem, he is losing the trust and confidence of his team.
Otis Nelson, a senior who has fought for the Aggies beside Guy since he arrived in Logan, could hardly contain the disgust he felt after the game. Without naming anyone, Nelson said many on the team had quit playing early in the game. He said the Aggies quit playing as a team soon after the Utes had taken the lead.
If the team members have given up on themselves, is it any wonder the fans have also done so?