Dec. 25, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calilf. -
Utah State football celebrated Christmas in sunny San Diego with another full day in preparation for the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against 24th-ranked Northern Illinois, which will be played on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. (MT) and televised live on ESPN.
Utah State celebrated Christmas with a family breakfast that also included a visit from Santa Claus. At the end of breakfast, Saint Nicholas entered the room and handed out Aggie Blue Santa hats with both the Poinsettia Bowl and Utah State logos on it to all the kids.
"I've always been with my family during Christmas, so it's definitely different and a little bit weird, but my teammates made it enjoyable for us," said senior offensive tackle Eric Schultz.
Utah State then did its normal day before the game activities with morning meetings, followed by a 40-minute walk-thru on the San Diego State campus practice fields.
Following practice the team spent the afternoon at the world famous San Diego Zoo, where senior cornerback Quinton Byrd, senior offensive center Tyler Larsen, junior safety Brian Suite, Schultz and head coach Matt Wells all had the opportunity to feed the Galapagos Tortoises, which is the largest living species of tortoise and 13th-heaviest living reptile, reaching weights of over 880 pounds and lengths of over 5.9 feet. With life spans in the wild of over 100 years, it is one of the longest-lived vertebrates.
"Feeding the Galapagos Tortoises is something I've never done before," said Byrd. "It's pretty crazy. I've never been this close to wildlife animals, so it's pretty amazing."
The team spent a total of three hours at the San Diego Zoo visiting the various attractions, before gathering for dinner and watching a movie together as a team.
Utah State (8-5, 7-1 MW) will conclude its 2013 season in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against No. 24 Northern Illinois (12-1, 8-0) on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. USU is 1-0 all-time against the Huskies.
For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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