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Utah State football: Aggies announce 2010 non-conference football schedule

LOGAN — Utah State University's 2010 non-conference football schedule was announced today by USU Director of Athletics Scott Barnes.

The foundation of Barnes' scheduling plan is to play a minimum of six home games each year and establish a more balanced approach. The 2010 schedule will include six home games with two non-conference games and four Western Athletic Conference games at Romney Stadium.

"It is extremely difficult to establish momentum, build consistency in our program and grow your fan base when playing the kind of schedule we have. Last year is a good example of what we will strive to avoid in future years," Barnes said in reference to the 2009 ledger which had five home games, including the first two and four of the first five on the road.

In the past 13 seasons, the Aggies have played six home games only twice, in 1998 and 2008, although six were scheduled in 2005, but the season-opener vs. Nicholls State was cancelled due to Hurricane Katrina. In USU's 116 seasons of football, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate a total of only six times: 1952, 1978, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2008.

"We're extremely excited about having six home games," USU football head coach Gary Andersen said. "That's great for our team, for the university, for our fans and for the community. It perfectly fits Mr. Barnes' master plan for a balanced schedule."

USU's 2010 non-conference schedule consists of a trip to Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 4, where the Aggies last traveled to in 2007. Utah State will also host Idaho State on Saturday, Sept. 11, facing the Bengals for the first time since 2002. On Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, USU will play at San Diego State, starting a home-and-home series. The Aggies last faced the Aztecs in 1975. USU will conclude its non-conference action by hosting BYU on Friday, Oct. 1.

"With at least four non-conference opportunities, we want to create a schedule that is both exciting for our fans and has better balance," Barnes said.

USU's 2010 schedule will also have the progressing WAC foes, with that complete schedule expected to be released by the conference office in March. The Aggies will have home games against Fresno State, Hawai'i, Idaho and New Mexico State while traveling to Boise State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada and San Jose State.