LOGAN, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah State football team is headed back to a bowl game.
The 6-6 Aggies accepted an invitation to the First Responder Bowl December 27th against Memphis (6-6) in Dallas, Texas AT 1:15 MT.
This will be the first appearance in the First Responder Bowl for both teams.
Utah State and Memphis will be meeting for the eighth time in series history, and for the first time since 1977, as the Tigers have won each of the last two meetings. The first game played between the two teams was in 1965.
This will be Utah State’s second meeting against a current American Athletic Conference team in a bowl game as it lost to Cincinnati 35-19 in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, in Boise, Idaho. The Bearcats were a member of Conference USA at the time, while USU played in the Big West Conference.
Utah State is playing in its 10th bowl game in the last 12 years after playing in six bowl games in its first 119 years. This will be USU’s second-straight bowl game under current head coach Blake Anderson as USU posted a 24-13 win against Oregon State in the 2021 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl after winning its first-ever Mountain West championship.
All-time, this will be Utah State’s 16th bowl appearance in program history as it played in the 1946 Raisin Bowl, the 1947 Grape Bowl, the 1960 Sun Bowl, the 1961 Gotham Bowl, the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, the 2018 New Mexico Bowl, the 2019 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl and the 2021 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
The Aggies are 6-9 in their previous 15 bowl games as they played in five-straight bowl games from 2011-15 and won three-straight bowls from 2012-14, both of which are school records.
Anderson, who is from Hubbard, Texas, will be coaching in his eighth bowl game in nine seasons as a head coach and will be facing Memphis for the first time overall.
Memphis is 6-6 on the season and tied for eighth in the American Athletic Conference with a 3-5 record. The Tigers enter the bowl game after losing their season finale at SMU, 34-31.
This will be Memphis’ 13th bowl game. The Tigers were scheduled to play in the Hawaii Bowl last year, but that game was canceled due to COVID-19. Overall, the Tigers have earned a bowl game in each of their last nine seasons and have a 4-8 bowl record.
Utah State is 6-6 on the season and tied for second place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 5-3 league record. USU concluded its regular season with a 42-23 loss at Boise State.
Utah State Football Bowl History (6-9)
1946 Raisin Bowl vs. San Jose State – L, 20-0 (Fresno, California)
1947 Grape Bowl vs. Pacific – L, 35-21 (Lodi, California)
1960 Sun Bowl vs. New Mexico State – L, 20-13 (El Paso, Texas)
1961 Gotham Bowl vs. Baylor – L, 24-9 (Upper Manhattan, New York)
1993 Las Vegas Bowl vs. Ball State – W, 42-33 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
1997 Humanitarian Bowl vs. Cincinnati – L, 35-19 (Boise, Idaho)
2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Ohio – L, 24-23 (Boise, Idaho)
2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Toledo – W, 41-15 (Boise, Idaho)
2013 SDCCU Poinsettia Bowl vs. No. 24 Northern Illinois – W, 21-14 (San Diego, California)
2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl vs. UTEP – W, 21-6 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Akron – L, 23-21 (Boise, Idaho)
2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl vs. New Mexico State – L, 26-20, OT (Tucson, Arizona)
2018 New Mexico Bowl vs. North Texas – W, 52-13 (Albuquerque, New Mexico)
2019 Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl vs. Kent State – L, 51-41 (Frisco, Texas)
2021 Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl vs. Oregon State – W, 24-13 (Inglewood, California)
Utah State vs. American Athletic Conference (4-7-0)
UCF – 1-0 (Last Meeting, 2001)
Cincinnati – 0-1 (Last Meeting, 1997)
Houston – 0-1 (Last Meeting, 1981)
Memphis – 3-4 (Last Meeting, 1977)
South Florida – 0-1 (Last Meeting, 2001)
(Have not played: East Carolina, Navy, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa)
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl History
Jan. 1, 2013 – Oklahoma State (Big 12) 58, Purdue (Big Ten) 14
Jan. 1, 2014 – North Texas (Conference USA) 36, UNLV (Mountain West) 14
Dec. 26, 2014 – Louisiana Tech (Conference USA) 35, Illinois (Big Ten) 18
Dec. 26, 2015 – Washington (Pac-12) 44, Southern Miss (Conference USA) 31
Dec. 27, 2016 – Army (Independent) 38, North Texas (Conference USA) 31
Dec. 26, 2017 – Utah (Pac-12) 30, West Virginia (Big 12) 14
Dec. 26, 2018 – Canceled – Boston College (ACC) vs. Boise State (Mountain West)
Dec. 30, 2019 – Western Michigan (Mid-American) 23, Western Kentucky (Conference USA) 20
Dec. 26, 2020 – Louisiana (Sun Belt) 31, UTSA (Conference USA) 24
Dec. 28, 2021 – Air Force (Mountain West) 31, Louisville (ACC) 28