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SALT LAKE CITY — In local sports, Utah State along with BYU and Utah will be playing postseason bowl games this year; BYU looks to ready Riley Nelson for the start against Hawaii, and the Aggies end their winning streak in the Spectrum.
Dick Harmon wrote an article about Nelson, “First, Riley Nelson was doubtful, out for four weeks, give or take. Then, in a 'clarified' update on his injury last week, trainer Kevin Morris said the BYU quarterback didn't have broken ribs, but his lung had lost a lot of air and had to be pumped back up after a first-quarter hit in a win over Idaho 20 days ago,” wrote Harmon.
He went on to say, “Then Nelson showed up at practice last week and started running around. Then he began throwing the ball. Then he ran plays. Then doctors cleared him to fly to Hawaii, lifting a restriction due to pressurization of the airplane cabin and its effect on his condition.”
“Then, on Tuesday, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said medical experts 'cleared' Nelson to play against Hawaii on Saturday and that if Nelson 'felt' OK on game day, he would be on the field leading the Cougars against the Warriors.”
Harmon mentioned that Mendenhall was joking when he said if he felt OK. Nelson is expected to start on Saturday in BYU's last season game.
University of Utah
Mike Sorenson wrote about the five Utah players who were named to all-Pac-12 team.
Sorenson wrote, “Offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom was named first team offensive lineman while nose guard Star Lotulelei and defensive end Derrick Shelby were named first-team defensive linemen. Shelby was one of four players named to both the all-Pac-12 first team and all-academic team.”
Running back John White IV and John Cullen were named to the second team.
Kraig Williams wrote about the Aggies first loss on the Spectrum since 2009 when Utah State fell to Saint Mary’s at home.
“The Aggies saw their 33-game home winning streak, the third longest streak in the nation, come to an end at the hands of a convincing 67-54 beating from Denver,” wrote Williams.
"You look at the streak that was broken tonight. You look at 12 straight postseasons. You look at the number of games we've won at home. Those were pretty good things," said Utah State basketball coach Stew Morrill. "This is reality. This is what most people deal with. You're not good every year. It just doesn't work that way.”
In football the Aggies have accepted the invitation to play in The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Williams wrote about the Utah State bowl game.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for our program," USU head coach Gary Andersen said in accepting the school's first bowl-game invitation in 14 years. "It is a fantastic reward for all of the hard work and dedication that these kids have put in, from all the offseason workouts, to watching film to the practice field. I am so happy for them."
Williams stated, “Utah State's last bowl appearance was also in Boise in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl against Cincinnati. The Aggies are 1-5 all-time in bowls, with their sole victory coming in a 42-33 triumph in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl over Ball State.”
With a win in their next game the Aggies can pick up their first seven-win season since 1979, and they still have the opportunity to pick up eight wins with the bowl game.