Wow. What a game Friday night in Romney Stadium.
As most expected, Utah State lost to the No. 8-ranked Cougars. That really wasn’t much of a surprise.
The real surprise came in the way the Aggies — and their fans — reacted in the fourth quarter.
With 15 minutes left to play, BYU was winning the game 34-0. The final outcome was not in doubt. And, if recent history is any indicator, there would be minimal effort and minimal support over the final quarter of play.
Yet, something unusual happened. The Aggies fought back and the majority of their fans stuck around to watch it.
Sure, the Aggies still lost and moral victories are still losses. But, if you are an Aggie fan you have to be pleased with much of what you saw last night well after the game’s final outcome had been pretty much determined.
With BYU playing it’s starters the entire game, the Aggies counter punched the Cougars for the better part of three quarters. And while it would be a huge stretch to say Bronco Mendenhall was worried about losing the game, that he had his starters in fighting to score a few fourth-quarter points and trying to stop the Aggies tells you a little something.
Perhaps the best thing that happened to the Aggies Friday night, though, was having a crowd of 23,000 fans — even if several thousand of those we Cougar faithful — on its feet, loud, into the game and caring.
Yes, an Aggie crowd, faced with certain defeat in the final minutes of a game, cared. They screamed, they yelled, they encouraged and they thanked the team after the game was over.
Why thank a team after a 34-14 defeat? Effort.
Three weeks earlier, Utah State was pounded 58-10 by Utah. In that game the Aggies gave up early. As a unit, the fight faded almost as soon as the Utes went ahead.
Against BYU, however, the fight never disappeared. The effort was constant and the crowd recognized it.
So, while moral victories are certainly still losses, Aggie fans should be thrilled to see fight in this 1-4 team.
Fight and passion is something that has been lacking in Logan over the past few years. And, if nothing else, the fight shown Friday night shows there is, indeed, some progress being made.