Utah State football announced some intriguing date changes to its 2014 schedule on Tuesday, including its first-ever Sunday game and a change that will move back its only bye week of the season.
The Aggies will open the season on Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. MT against Tennessee at Neyland Stadium, which the school said will be "the first known time in program history" when the team has played on Sunday.
USU 2014 football schedule
Sun., Aug. 31 » at Tennessee
Sat., Sept. 6 » Idaho State
Sat., Sept. 13 » Wake Forest
Sat., Sept. 20 » at Arkansas State
Fri., Oct. 3 » at BYU
Sat., Oct. 11 » Air Force
Sat., Oct. 18 » at Colorado State
Sat., Oct. 25 » UNLV
Sat., Nov. 1 » at Hawaii
Sat., Nov. 8 » at Wyoming
Sat., Nov. 15 » New Mexico
Sat., Nov. 22 » San Jose State
Sat., Nov. 29 » at Boise State
Sat., Dec. 6 » Mountain West Championship
The game will be televised on SEC Network, and has the added plus of being on Sunday East Coast primetime, theoretically standing on its own among college football games.
The reason for the change? Something Utahns and Tennesseans apparently have in common: A love of fireworks.
Knoxville hosts an annual holiday known as "Boomsday" on Labor Day weekend, when the city lights up a pyrotechnics display from a local bridge. According to Tennessee’s news release on the schedule, the Volunteers are hoping fans will come for Boomsday and stay for football on the next night.
Tennessee has played six games on Sunday, and is 3-2-1 in those games.
The other change could have more of a long-term impact on Utah State’s season: The Aggies will play Arkansas State a week earlier than originally planned, on Saturday, Sept. 20. That means Utah State will move its only bye of its 13-game schedule to the next weekend.
The payoff for the Aggies is that instead of finishing with 10 straight regular season games, now they finish with nine. The bye now sets up the team’s Friday game at BYU nicely with a break into one of the premier match-ups of the year. It could also make a difference in the team’s health down the stretch as they hope to be in good position for the Mountain West Championship game once again and wrap the regular season at Boise State.
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