BYU, Utah State face off Friday with Old Wagon Wheel up for grabs

Sep 30, 2021, 7:03 PM

Kalani Sitake, BYU’s head football coach, gives a thumbs-up during BYU football media day at the ...

Kalani Sitake, BYU’s head football coach, gives a thumbs-up during BYU football media day at the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

LOGAN, Utah — The BYU football team returns to action this evening with the annual in-state rivalry game against the Utah State Aggies at Maverik Stadium. With a victory, the Cougars will not only continue to move up the national rankings, but BYU will also maintain possession of the Old Wagon Wheel.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. All of Friday evening’s action can be heard on KSL NewsRadio 1160 AM or 102.7 FM

The Old Wagon Wheel

According to BYU media relations, the Old Wagon Wheel became part of the in-state rivalry in 1948. It is awarded to the winner of the game. 

The Cougars have claimed the Old Wagon Wheel in six of the last nine games the two teams have played. BYU claimed a 42-14 win over the Aggies on Nov. 2, 2019. The two teams didn’t play last year because of the pandemic. 

And while claiming the Old Wagon Wheel would be nice for the Cougars, BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said, during last Monday’s media availability that’s not what matters.

“We have the Wagon Wheel,” Sitake said in his press conference. “That Wagon Wheel is heavy. We are just going to go out and play the game. I want my guys to be more focused on playing the game, rather than what trophy we could get after.”

On the field

As for the game itself, the Aggies are coming off a 27-3 loss to Boise State last Saturday. The Broncos will be in Provo next weekend to play BYU.

The Cougars are coming off a 35-27 win over South Florida. It was a game BYU had led 28-6 at halftime, but the defense couldn’t seem to get off the field in the second half.

“I think a lot of guys were disappointed after the game,” Sitake said of his defense during Monday’s press conference. “They wanted better results. After watching the film, I’m actually pretty excited, even though there were a lot of mistakes made. The effort and the energy was there.”

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BYU, Utah State face off Friday with Old Wagon Wheel up for grabs