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Aggies say bowl eligibility hasn't been a distraction
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Oh, that magic number. Six wins.

For teams that have become bowl-eligible, the possibilities start becoming enticing. Where might the Utah State football team be playing in a month? Who might they be squaring off against?

It's something to think about, B.J. Larsen said. But for the Aggies, that kind of day-dreaming has no place on the field.

"You obviously think about it a little bit," he said. "But I guess it comes down to control the things you can control. We can control this win at the end of the week."

Colorado State is firmly in mind for Utah State this week, and not even bowl possibilities can edge Saturday's game out of their heads.

While thinking about going to Las Vegas, San Diego, or a number of other places has its attraction, the Aggies say their main goal has never been to get to a third straight bowl game. Utah State still hopes to be in the Mountain West Championship game, and the team must win this weekend to make sure that hope stays alive.

"We've got one goal, and that's to win this league," defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said. "That's been our goal since the beginning of the year."

Utah State will need some help for that to happen this week. Boise State visits San Diego State this week, and if the Aztecs can upset the Broncos, the Aggies will be in the Mountain Division lead as long as they handle the Rams. This week is likely the best chance Boise State has of being upset — the Broncos wrap the season with New Mexico, which is 1-5 against conference opponents.

So any future travel, bowl souvenirs and primetime games are well out of mind for now, the Aggies say. They also recognize if they stay focused on winning, there could be more spoils still at the end of the year.

"I think everyone just sees it as motivation," Tyler Larsen said. "We still want to get to a big bowl. We still want to compete for a conference championship. We're still in the running, so we don't let it faze us. Six wins is great, but eight wins would be even better."

- Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon

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