Smith: Utah State-Nevada Was Already A Pretty Good Rivalry

Tempers flared following Utah State's win against Nevada last weekend

The DA Show
March 08, 2019 - 12:15 pm

Utah State beat then-No. 12 Nevada, 81-76, this past Saturday to win its first game against a ranked team since 2007. Unfortunately, tempers flared afterward, prompting the Mountain West Conference to investigate what actually transpired.

It seems Utah State coach Craig Smith still doesn’t know.

“I wasn’t around,” Smith said on The DA Show. “We got done with the game, went through the handshake line – obviously it was an incredible win. Nevada is really, really good. They have a great program, well-coached – I could go on and on and on. That was an exhilarating game.”

Utah State fans stormed the court after the win, as Smith conducted interviews. Nevada players and coaches, however, complained that Utah State fans touched them as they left the court.

“I missed all that stuff,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, the Mountain West came out with a statement. Obviously we did as well. It’s unfortunate for a multitude of reasons, but it overshadows just an incredible performance by our players and by our program to win at least a share of our first-ever Mountain West championship.”

Smith was asked if this incident adds to the rivalry.

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Smith, who is in his first season with the Aggies (25-6). “It’s ironic because Nevada is used to being in the WAC, as did we. My understanding just from the history of it is it was already a pretty good rivalry. Whenever you have teams at the top competing with each other, there’s always going to be a little more juice. But I would think the rivalry thing is more of a fan thing. We try to approach every game the same. They all count the same. If we would have had any more slip-ups, odds are we wouldn’t be conference champions. So I think that’s more of a fan thing. We’re going to approach every game the same.”