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USU safety wants shot at Devils

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LOGAN — Utah State safety Mike Rosencrans played football in the shadow of Sun Devil Stadium while playing junior college football at neighboring Glendale Community College.

Saturday, Rosencrans, who grew up in Kingman, Ariz., will get to play there for the first time ever.

"I've been waiting for this since I left. I knew we were going to play them," Rosencrans said. "It's been a dream to play in that stadium ever since I have been in high school. I'm glad it's finally here."

The Aggies (0-2) face a nationally ranked team for the second week in a row. Utah State lost to No. 23 Nebraska, 31-7, and face the No. 16 Sun Devils Saturday at 8 p.m. (MDT).

Rosencrans was a University of Arizona fan growing up, and after Arizona State failed to recruit him it only added to his distaste of the Sun Devils.

"I really don't like Arizona State. It will be fun to get on that field and show them what I am made of," he said. "They recruited me for a while but decided to go a different direction."

At Glendale Community College he was part of the 2001 National Championship team, and he has a couple of former teammates that play for Arizona State — Matt Mason and Chris McKenzie, both of whom play defense.

"It will be nice to go back and play against those guys finally," he said. "I've been keeping in contact with them. It will be interesting. It will be real interesting."

Rosencrans (6-foot-2, 203 pounds) played on Glendale's 2000 Junior College national championship team. He was named honorable mention all-conference selection the next year as a sophomore.

In his first season at Utah State he started two games (Boise State and BYU) and played in six others. He recorded 21 tackles, two pass break-ups and recovered a fumble.

His missed two games — Nebraska and Idaho State — due to injury.

"The game plan is to keep getting better and taking another step forward in being a solid defense," Rosencrans said of the game with Arizona State. "I think we definitely stepped up from last week. . . . Two Top 25 teams in two weeks will really test your will power and mental toughness. We're definitely looking forward to this game."

USU VS. THE PAC-10: Utah State is 5-30 all-time against teams from the Pac-10. Utah State beat Arizona and Arizona State twice and Washington State once. California is the only Pac-10 team the Aggies haven't faced.

USU VS. THE NATIONALLY RANKED: The Aggies are just 1-37 all-time in games played against teams in the Top 25. Their last win over a ranked team came in 1991 when they beat No. 25 Fresno State, 20-19.

ARIZONA NATIVES: Besides Rosencrans, three other Aggie players hail from Arizona: Cornelius Lamb (Phoenix), Ross Luna (Peoria) and Derrek Shank (Glendale).

BACK-TO-BACK: Utah State has played back-to-back games with ranked opponents three other times. In 1989 the Aggies lost to No. 13 USC, 66-10, and No. 20 Illinois, 41-2. In 1991 they lost to No. 14 Nebraska, 59-28, and No. 7 Oklahoma, 55-21, and in 2001 they lost to No. 6 Oregon, 38-21, and No. 18 BYU 54-34.

PUTTING UP POINTS: In 35 games under Mick Dennehy, the Aggies have failed to score in double digits just three times: Nebraska (7, 2003), Utah (3, 2002), and Iowa (7, 2002).

INJURY UPDATE: Tailback Richard Watson and wide receiver Jerome Eason, who both missed last week's game at Nebraska, will miss Saturday's game at Arizona State. John Chick, who has played this season due to injury, will most likely play in two weeks against Louisiana-Monroe.

Aggies vs. Sun Devils over the years

Saturday's meeting will be the 13th between the two teams. Here's a quick look at the series.

Year Site Winner Score

1948 Logan USU 22-17

1949 Tempe ASU 27-12

1950 Tempe ASU 28-0

1951 Logan ASU 33-27

1959 Tempe ASU 34-12

1962 Tempe ASU 34-15

1964 Tempe ASU 24-8

1965 Tempe USU 13-0

1979 Tempe ASU 28-14

1983 Tempe ASU 39-12

1985 Tempe ASU 42-10

2000 Tempe ASU 44-20

E-MAIL: jhinton@desnews.com