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"We have a lot more confidence in the offense this year," Wilson said. "Now we just have to go out and execute it."
If they don’t, the Utes could find themselves in a heated battle just like last year. Defensive end Trevor Reilly, who admits he never gave much thought to the Aggies as a program until last year’s upset, doesn’t want his senior year starting with another loss.
Utah State at UtahKickoff » Thursday, 6 p.m.
TV » Fox Sports 1
Radio » 700 AM
Records » Season opener
Series history » Utah leads 77-29-4
Last meeting » Utah State 27, Utah 20, OT (Sept. 7, 2012)
About the Utes » Utah is 88-29-1 in home openers and 5-2 against USU in home openers. … Utah leads the series 77-29-4, which is the 12th longest series in NCAA FBS history. … Backup defensive end Jason Whittingham is expected to miss the game with a hand injury.
About the Aggies » Opener marks the first for Matt Wells as the Aggies’ coach. ... Quarterback Chuckie Keeton was the 2012 Utah Collegiate Male Athlete of the Year. … He is 381 for 581 passing for 4,573 yards in his career. … The Aggies are 7-2 in their last nine road games. … USU outscored its 2012 opponents 138-9 in the first quarter.
As a longtime member of Utah’s program, he has experience from both perspectives — being the underdog the Aggies are this week and being the favorite with a target on the chest.
He certainly knows which outcome he favors.
"It really stings," he said of last year’s loss when the Utes were expected to win. "It feels good to win those games, but it feels even worse to lose them. It’s a terrible, bad, bad feeling."
It’s a feeling that can make a player hold a grudge for a year, just waiting for a rematch.
Reporter Kyle Goon contributed to this story.
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