PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – After Thursday’s 91st meeting between BYU and Utah State, the battle for the Old Wagon Wheel, which dates all the way back to 1922, is going away for the foreseeable future.

Now the question is, will it return?

The Cougars host the Aggies Thursday night in Provo. But when BYU accepted an invite to the Big 12 Conference, they canceled the next four games of the series, so there is no rivalry game on the schedule anytime in the near future.

“It’s a great rivalry,” Utah State head coach Blake Anderson said. “I understand what’s going on. I think we all saw this potentially coming with their move to the Big 12. It may be the last time we get to face them ever, which is a lot considering it’s been played 91 times.”

“I love the in state games,” BYU head coach Kalani Sitake said. “We went up to Logan last year, and that was a cool environment. You can see how much the fans love it.

When BYU moves to the Big 12 starting in 2023, they will probably have just three or four non-conference games a year. Maybe Utah State will be one of them, but whoever wins the Old Wagon Wheel Thursday will be able to keep it for years to come.

“It’s sad,” said BYU wide receiver and Utah native Braydon Cosper. “Hopefully it doesn’t come to an end, but if it is the end, then I’m sure us and Utah State will give the fans a great showing.”

“I hate to see it go,” Anderson said. “I understand why it is. You like to think it will come back around at some point and we’ll be able to get it sorted out where this game comes back in the future. But for a while, this is going to be the last one. So I can’t think of a better time to play our best ball and get a win, go down there and find a way to beat these guys.”

The Wagon Wheel trophy was first introduced in 1948. BYU holds a 50-37-3 advantage over Utah State, including a 34-20 victory last year in Logan.

“Last year they came into our house and beat us,” Aggies safety Hunter Reynolds said. “This year, despite everything that has happened so far, our mentality is move on to the next game. We feel like at our best, we can hang with anybody.”

“Growing up in Utah, I’ve been surrounded by a lot of BYU fans,” added Utah State offensive lineman Chandler Dolphin. “I have a lot of good friends that play for BYU, and then obviously when you get here to Utah State, it’s a full blown rivalry here.”

The Aggies are reeling right now, having lost three in a row and are 1-3 on the season. But that doesn’t mean the Cougars are going to take them lightly.

“They’re a talented team,” Cosper said. “They won the Mountain West last year. I think it’s a great rivalry. They’re going to come with a lot of energy regardless of how they’ve performed. We respect them a lot.”

Utah State will have their hands full with BYU quarterback Jaren Hall, who may be coming off his best game as a Cougars when he completed 26 of 32 passes for 337 yards and 4 touchdowns against Wyoming.

“I would say he’s been somewhat flawless,” Anderson said. “He’s the total package. We didn’t see him a year ago, but we’re seeing him up close and personal this year. He’s playing at a very, very high level.”

BYU should get wide receiver Gunner Romney back this week. Romney has missed the first four games with an injury. But both teams have short weeks to prepare.

“With less days, you get a little less rest between games,” said BYU defensive end Tyler Batty. “With such a quick turnaround, you don’t have a lot of time to prepare for film study.”

“Utah State has to go through the same thing,” Sitake said. “So it’s not like an advantage for the other. But I’m actually excited for it. We get to play two games in less than a week. That’s awesome.”

With Notre Dame looming on October 8th, is there any chance BYU gets caught looking ahead to the Fighting Irish?

“No,” Sitake said. “We’re not going to do that. So, as long as our media stops talking about it, we’ll be fine.”

BYU and Utah State kick off at 6:00 p.m. Thursday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.