LOGAN, Utah — After being postponed indefinitely last month, Utah State University's 2020 football season will take place after all.
The Mountain West Conference announced Thursday night that football games will start Oct. 24 with each team expected to play eight regular season games ("subject to approval from state, county and local officials"). The MWC championship game is scheduled for Dec. 19. A full schedule has not yet been released.
Schools in the conference will determine in-person fan attendance capacity based on city, county and state health ordinances and with consultation of government officials. USU has not announced plans yet, but Cache County is currently under the "yellow" or low level of COVID-19 restriction, at which level the state says outdoor events should have 6,000 people or fewer.
"We are excited that our team has the opportunity to compete and play this fall," USU Head Coach Gary Andersen said Friday in a statement. "There is much work to do and lost time to make up, so we are already hard at work preparing to put the best product out on the field."
"I am thrilled for Aggie Nation that football is returning this fall. It is great for the University, our students, alums, fans, the people of Cache Valley, etc. I am most excited for our student-athletes and coaches, who have been through so much, to now have a season to play," USU athletics director John Hartwell added. "We know there are still challenges ahead over the next month of practice and the following two months of games, but we will navigate those and look forward to seeing our Aggie Football team on the field competing for a Mountain West Championship."
The conference added that it is partnering with Quest Diagnostics for "frequent testing with rapid results." All football student-athletes, coaches, trainers and anyone else who will be on the field will be required to take the test three times per week.
The change may also allow for a previously scheduled out-of-conference game between BYU (independent) and Boise State (MWC) to be played, according to Sports Illustrated, and Air Force (MWC) will be allowed to play against Army (independent) and Navy (American Athletic Conference).
"Other than that, it would be all conference games," MWC commissioner Craig Thompson said.
Utah State men's and women's basketball are scheduled to start their seasons Nov. 25.