Burying bad Aggie football memories in Rushton, La.
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:11
It has been said there are two certainties in life: death and taxes.
I think football can be added to that list.
Though they have suffered through one of the worst stretches of any college football program ever, Aggie fans had reason to celebrate Saturday.
It was a visible sign of Utah State’s time of mediocrity passing away from the college football world.
When Aggie linebacker Jake Doughty plugged the hole and tackled Louisiana Tech’s Ray Holley on fourth and short in the final play of overtime Saturday, he helped Utah State to its first-ever road victory of a Top-25 team.
And with it slammed the lid closed on the casket of USU’s sub-par streak in the most important sport on a college campus.
Doughty’s tackle sealed the win for Utah State’s only football championship in the Western Athletic Conference — likely the final football championship to be awarded in the conference in today’s world of realignment.
It was also the final opportunity for the Aggies to achieve dominance in the WAC, as USU will shortly leave its post as the football life support for the dying conference.
It was appropriate the Aggies won on the defensive side of the ball, the part of the game head coach Gary Andersen is known to prioritize most, the part of the game Utah State founded its wins on this season and the part of the game in which USU is among the nation’s best in several categories.
It was even more appropriate the ending tackle was made by Doughty, a former walk-on who symbolizes a rise from the depths to achieve greatness.
I wasn’t gathered among the masses of students in the Spectrum to watch the game. Instead, I was in Pocatello, Idaho, for my great-grandfather’s funeral the day before. He lived in poverty for much of his life and could easily have related to the game’s underdog subplots.