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Logan • Utah State offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey scoffed at the notion that Friday's game, his last in Romney Stadium, could be emotional for him.
"I haven't really cared too much about, 'oh this is my last game here,' or "I'll never get to go to Hawaii again,'" he said. "I just show up, hopefully we win the game and I leave."
Apparently Whimpey isn't a fan of too much fanfare or recognition, but if there is ever a class that should go out with a lot of hoopla, this is it.
A win against San Jose State would not only give the Aggies just their fifth undefeated home season in the 47 year history of Romney Stadium, but also tie the 1960, 1961 and 2013 teams for the second-most wins in school history. The record for school wins was set in 2012 with 11.
With 35 wins, this Aggies' senior class of 20 players already has ensured it is the winningest class in school history.
There is a chance the contest won't be the final in Romney Stadium if the Aggies emerge as the divisional winner and host the MWC Championship on Dec. 6, but it's a class that deserves special recognition whether they want it or not, now or in the future.
"The veteran leadership that this team has is arguably some of the best in the history of Utah State," USU coach Matt Wells said. "How do I say that? Look at the number of wins, bottom line. It's all about winning. We're in the hardest league we've ever been in and we're still winning. It's the culture that's created and reinforced by those guys."
Wells credited the previous class for setting the tone for what has happened this season as the Aggies have battled through injuries to be successful. In turn, Utah State's seniors hope they've raised the bar a bit more for the players that follow them.
"Every group of guys you kick out of there, you want to say that the program is better now than it was when they walked in the door," linebacker Zach Vigil said. "I can say pretty certainly that the program is better now than it was when I walked in the door. This group of guys that was here since I've been here have done a tremendous job of building the program into what it is today."
The players' willingness to work so hard perhaps is tied to their background. Many of them, including Vigil, defensive end B.J. Larsen, and punter Jaron Bentrude were walk-ons.
"Sometimes when you have to work a little bit harder for something and you're not given something, or maybe you're a late developer in the case of some of these kids, things mean something to you a little bit more," Wells said. "Those kids, they'll bleed Aggie blue and maybe play a little harder for you in some instances."
True to their nature, this group says the hard work isn't over yet. They still hold out hope of reaching the MWC title game.
Pehaps then Whimpey and the other tough guys would let themselves cry.
"I want nothing more for this senior class than to play in the Mountain West Championship," Whimpey said. "Obviously we allowed that control to slip out of our hands. I think we've left a pretty positive and a strong legacy with the cards that we have been dealt, and hopefully we can add to that in the next three or four weeks."
Twitter: @lyawodraska Sa
San Jose State at Utah State
O Kickoff: • Friday, 7:30 p.m. MDT
TV • ESPN2
Radio • 610 KVNU.com
Records • Utah State (8-3, 5-1), San Jose St. (3-7, 2-4)
Series history • San Jose St. leads 20-15-1
Last meeting • USU won, 40-12, Sept. 27, 2013
About the Aggies • A win would give the Aggies just their fifth undefeated home season in the 47-year history of Romney Stadium…19 seniors will be honored before the game for Senior Night…The Aggies have won the last five meetings between the teams…The Aggies set their school record of 13 sacks in a single game against the Spartans on Oct. 13, 2012, in a 49-27 win.
About the Spartans • Have led the nation for six weeks giving up just 127.2 passing yards a game…The Spartans have held five teams to fewer than 300 yards of offense this year…The Spartans did not attempt a punt in their 13-0 loss to Hawaii…Running back Tyler Ervin had 305 all-purpose yards against CSU…Quarterback Joe Gray is doubtful for the game due to injury. Senior Blake Jurich would get his fourth start if Gray can't play…Ron Caragher is 9-13 in his two seasons with the Spartans.