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Dr. Saturday

Bowl bet means new tattoo for Utah State’s head coach

Matt Hinton
Dr. Saturday

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How committed is Gary Andersen to Utah State? For one thing, he's reportedly snubbed interest from bigger jobs this month after leading the Aggies to their first winning season since 1996, opting instead to re-up with USU for more money and an extra year on his contract. Or you could just scope his new tattoo, the result of a preseason bet he made with his players if they somehow landed in a bowl game:

On Sunday afternoon, Andersen went through with a bet. On the back of his shoulder, Andersen now has a tattoo of the Utah State logo, along with a bowl message. He told his players before the season if the Aggies went bowling, this would be the result.

Andersen told The [Salt Lake] Tribune on Sunday that a man named Buzz was his artist.

"I have to keep my promise to the kids," Andersen said. "It's a little weird having a tattoo, but this is well worth it. I love it."

Sorry: No picture yet, so we don't know exactly how Buzz's handiwork turned out. But I hope he bothered to include some of Andersen's basic medical information, because this team almost killed him on a weekly basis.{YSP:MORE}

During their 2-5 start, the Aggies blew fourth quarter leads in all five losses, two of them coming via game-winning touchdowns by Auburn and BYU in the final minute. Another came in a double-overtime heartbreaker against Colorado State, courtesy of a failed two-point conversion on the final play.

During their 5-0 finish, on the other hand, the Aggies came from behind in the second half in all five wins. Against Hawaii, they rallied from a 31-14 deficit in the third quarter, putting the Warriors away on a game-winning touchdown in the final minute. Against San Jose State, they rallied from a 33-21 deficit in the fourth quarter, putting the Spartans away on a game-winning touchdown in the final minute. They beat Idaho in double overtime, held off Nevada by four and went back and forth with New Mexico State, finally putting the rival Aggies away on… any guesses? That's right, another game-winning touchdown in the final minute.

Altogether, Utah State has played eight games decided in the final 35 seconds of regulation or overtime, ultimately winning five of them. So the Aggies should feel right at home in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, née Humanitarian Bowl, host to five games that have come down to the last possession since 2004. Their opponent? Ohio, which survived to win four of seven games this season decided by a touchdown or less. Forget the potatoes: Just make sure there's a defibrillator.

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Matt Hinton is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.

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