LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Utah State will play its final game of the 2022 season Tuesday against Memphis in the First Responder Bowl at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
It will be the final game of Aggies leading rusher Calvin Tyler Jr., and it will be in his home state.
“This means a lot,” Tyler Jr. said. “It’s like a Cinderella story for me, like everything comes to an end in Texas in front of my family. They never got to see me play. Most of them never got to see me play in college, so it’s a blessing, man, and I’m excited for this opportunity.”
But playing at home has its drawbacks, too. Tyler had to find tickets for all of his family and friends.
“My teammates will probably get mad at me a little bit, but I got like over 40 tickets,” he said. “Honestly, I was grinding. I was hitting all my teammates up, like going up to them and making sure they sent them. I got over 40 tickets so there’s going to be a lot of family there.”
And he hopes to give them a show. Tyler has had an outstanding season for Utah State, rushing for 1,047 yards and seven touchdowns. He says he feels reenergized since the end of the season.
“I’m refreshed,” Tyler said. “At practice yesterday I felt great. A lot of guys feel great, you can see, we were moving around really fast, we were playing with urgency. We were a little winded but that comes with the first day back but you could see how fresh we are. My body is back fresh and I’m ready for this game.”
Last year, Tyler got to play against his former team, Oregon State, in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. This year, he gets to play in his home state, about 285 miles from his home town of Beaumont. And Tyler wants to end his college career with his second straight bowl game victory.
“I want to go out with a bang,” Tyler said. “I want my teammates to remember me like how I was all season, somebody who is going to be ready to play, regardless of what game it is or whenever it is. A bowl game is another opportunity to play, so I’m going to take full advantage of it. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, nothing like that.
“I’m excited. We want to win, so like last year, we want to end on a good note. That’s how you want to be remembered. Coming out like over .500, that’s a blessing so, definitely I’m excited for the challenge and I’m ready to get to work.”
Utah State and Memphis will kick off at 1:15 p.m. MT Tuesday in Dallas.