LOGAN, Utah -
UTAH STATE (0-0) vs. No. 9 WISCONSIN (0-0)
Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 7:05 p.m. (MT) Madison, Wis. Camp Randall Stadium (80,321)
GAME 1 INFORMATION
Play-by-Play: Adam Amin
Analyst: Dusty Dvoracek
Reporter: Molly McGrath
Comcast (Utah): Ch. 35/668HD
DISH: Ch. 140
DirecTV: Ch. 206
RADIO: AGGIE SPORTS NETWORK
Play-by-Play: Scott Garrard
Analyst: Kevin Whimpey
Online: 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
National: Sirius 135 / XM 196
SOCIAL MEDIA: #AGGIESALLTHEWAY
Live Stats: UtahState.Statbroadcast.com
AGGIE RADIO NETWORKS
Every Utah State football game can be heard live on the Aggie Radio Network. Scott Garrard serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU all-conference offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey (2012-14) will provide color analysis. Games can also be heard on the Internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com) by clicking on the `Listen Live' link, as well as on the TuneIn App.
Salt Lake City: KZNS (1280 AM/97.5 FM)
Logan: KBLU-LP (92.3 FM)
Preston, ID: KACH (1340 AM/105.5 FM)
Price: KRPX (95.3 FM)
Green River: KRPX (102.7 FM)
Moab: KRPX (100.3 FM)
Orangeville: KRPX (95.9 FM)
Utah State will open the 2017 season with a road game for the sixth time in the last nine seasons and 60th time in program history as it plays at No. 9 Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. (MT), in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPN. USU is 1-1 all-time against the Badgers, including a 16-14 loss in Madison during the 2012 season.
Utah State's coaching staff will be one of 336 staffs from all four NCAA divisions to wear American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) patches on their shirts during this weekend's game to bring awareness of and promote the association.
Utah State has won each of its last two season openers and has a 2-2 record in its first game of the year under head coach Matt Wells.
Senior QB Kent Myers will be making his 27th career start this weekend, which ranks sixth all-time in school history, and will be playing in his 29th career game, which ranks eighth all-time at USU among Aggie quarterbacks. Myers currently ranks among the top-10 quarterbacks in school history in six categories, and needs 159 yards of total offense and 13 completions to move into fifth and eighth place in school history in each category, respectively. Myers also ranks 25th all-time in school history, including third all-time among quarterbacks, with 1,115 rushing yards and needs just 30 rushing yards to move into 24th place.
Utah State has won 15 of its last 35 (.429) road games and is 8-18 (.308) in road games under Wells. USU has also won 11 of its last 18 games played during the month of September and is 1-2 all-time in games played on Sept. 1. Utah State is also 20-27-1 (.427) all-time in games played on Friday, including a 7-4 (.636) record under Wells.
Utah State has 38 players in its program from the Beehive State, while Wisconsin has 56 players on its roster from the Badger State.
UTAH STATE BEGINNING 120TH SEASON OF AGGIE FOOTBALL
Utah State begins its 120th season of football this week with a road game at No. 9 Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. (MT) in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPN (Comcast Ch. 35/668HD; DISH Ch. 140; DirecTV Ch. 206) with Adam Amin (play-by-play), Dusty Dvoracek (analyst) and Molly McGrath (reporter) on the call. Live audio of the game is available on www.UtahStateAggies.com. USU is 534-533-31 (.501) in its previous 119 seasons.
UTAH STATE STARTING SEASON ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Utah State will open the season with a road game for the sixth time in the last nine seasons and 60th time in program history as it plays at Wisconsin on Friday, Sept. 1, at 7 p.m. (MT), in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPN. In fact, USU plays three of its first four games on the road for the first time since 2013, when it had four of its first five games on the road.
VERSUS ASSOCIATED PRESS RANKED TEAMS
Utah State is 5-54 all-time against Associated Press ranked teams, but has won four of its last eight meetings against top-25 competition, including its 52-26 home win against No. 21 Boise State in 2015. In 2014, USU notched a 35-20 road win at No. 18 BYU as the Cougars are the highest ranked AP team the Aggies have ever defeated. In 2013, USU posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. In 2012, USU posted a 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech and in 1991 it defeated No. 25 Fresno State at home, 20-19.
Wisconsin will be the first top-10 team Utah State has faced since it lost at No. 9 Boise State on Dec. 4, 2010. In all, USU is 0-21 all-time against Associated Press top-10 teams.
Under head coach Matt Wells, Utah State is 3-4 versus Associated Press ranked teams. In the previous 115 seasons of Aggie Football, USU had just two wins against AP top-25 teams.
UTAH STATE VERSUS BCS OPPONENTS
Utah State is 46-177-5 (.213) all-time against current BCS schools and has been very competitive in games against BCS opponents during the last seven years. In 2009, USU lost at Texas A&M, 38-30. In 2010, USU lost at No. 7 Oklahoma, 31-24. In 2011, USU lost at defending national champion and No. 19 Auburn, 42-38, after leading for the majority of the game. In 2012, USU defeated Utah at home, 27-20 (OT), and lost at No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14. In 2013, USU lost at Utah, 30-26, and lost at USC, 17-14. In 2014, USU lost at Tennessee, 38-7, and defeated Wake Forest, 36-24. In 2015, USU lost at No. 24 Utah, 24-14, and lost at Washington, 31-17. And in 2016, USU lost at USC, 45-7.
UTAH STATE HAS NINE BOWL TEAMS ON ITS 2017 SCHEDULE
Utah State's 2017 schedule features nine teams who played in bowl games a year ago as Wisconsin played in the Cotton Bowl (W, 24-16 vs. Western Michigan); Wake Forest played in the Military Bowl (W, 34-26 vs. Temple); BYU played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Wyoming); Colorado State played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 61-50 vs. Idaho); Wyoming played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (L, 24-21 vs. BYU); Boise State played in the Cactus Bowl (L, 31-12 vs. Baylor); New Mexico played in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (W, 23-20 vs. UTSA); Hawai'i played in the Hawaii Bowl (W, 52-35 vs. Middle Tennessee); and Air Force played in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl (W, 45-21 vs. South Alabama).
Wisconsin, which is ranked ninth in the Associated Press preseason poll and 10th in the preseason Coaches' poll, returns 52 letterwinners and 15 starters (O-8, D-7) off last year's team that finished 11-3 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten, winning the West Division. UW then lost to No. 8 Penn State (38-31) in the Big Ten Championship game before defeating No. 12 Western Michigan (24-16) in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. Wisconsin, which finished the 2016 season ranked ninth nationally in both the AP and Coaches polls, returns 10 all-conference players from last season in senior LB Jack Cichy, senior S D'Cota Dixon, junior LB T.J. Edwards, senior DE Alec James, senior DE Chikwe Obasih, senior CB Derrick Tindal, junior OL Beau Benzschawel, junior OL Michael Deiter, senior TE Troy Fumagalli and senior WR Jazz Peavy. Fumagalli led the Badgers in receiving last year with 47 receptions for 580 yards (12.3 ypc), while Edwards had a team-best 89 tackles. Wisconsin is coached by Paul Chryst, who is 21-6 in two seasons as the Badgers' head coach and 40-25 in six seasons as a collegiate head coach.
AGGIES AND BADGERS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Wisconsin will be meeting for the third time this weekend, with the series tied at one win apiece. The first two games in the series were both played in Madison, with USU winning 20-0 on Oct. 12, 1968, while Wisconsin posted a come-from-behind 16-14 home win on Sept. 15, 2012.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH WISCONSIN
Former Utah State head football coach Gary Andersen (2009-12) spent two seasons as Wisconsin's head coach (2013-14). In his four years in Logan, Andersen posted a 26-24 record, including a school-best 11-2 mark in 2012 as the Aggies finished the season ranked 16th in the nation after posting just their second-ever bowl win. Andersen also led USU to a bowl game in 2011, its first in 14 seasons. In his two years in Madison, the Badgers posted a 19-7 record under Andersen.
Along with Andersen, six other coaches/staff members left Utah State to work with the Badgers, including defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, safeties coach Bill Busch, offensive line coach T.J. Woods, strength and conditioning coach Evan Simon, director of football operations Zach Nyborg, and assistant director of football operations Kite Afeaki.
AGGIES FROM THE BADGER STATE
Utah State does not have any players on its current roster who reside from Wisconsin. The last two USU players who called Wisconsin home were FS Marquan Ellison (Milwaukee/Bradley Tech HS), who played for USU from 2013-16 and SS Marwin Evans (Milwaukee/Oak Creek HS), who played for the Aggies in 2014-15. Evans is in his second season in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers.
Speaking of the Green Bay Packers, Utah State has three former players on the Packers' current roster in Evans, linebacker Kyler Fackrell and running back Devante Mays. Fackrell was selected in the third round (88th pick) of the 2016 NFL Draft, while Mays was taken in the seventh round (238th pick) of the 2017 NFL Draft. Evans was signed as a free agent by the Packers in 2016.
Ironically, only two former Wisconsin Badgers are currently on the Packers' roster.
UTAH STATE AGAINST THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE
Utah State is 1-13-0 (.071) all-time against current members of the Big Ten Conference with its only win coming at Wisconsin in 1968. Overall, USU is 0-8 all-time against Nebraska, 0-2 against Iowa, and 0-1 against both Illinois and Penn State. The last time Utah State played a Big Ten opponent was in 2012, when it lost at Wisconsin, 16-14. USU has never played Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue or Rutgers. However, USU is scheduled to open the 2018 season at Michigan State on Saturday, Sept. 1.
Utah State head coach Matt Wells will be facing both Wisconsin and a Big Ten opponent for the first time in this his fifth season as a collegiate head coach.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State head coach Matt Wells and Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst are two of the 21 current FBS head coaches who are the head coaches at their alma mater, joining John Bonamego (Central Michigan), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Sean Kugler (UTEP), Tim Lester (Western Michigan), Mike Neu (Ball State), Barry Odum (Missouri), Mark Richt (Miami), Nick Rolovich (Hawai'i), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georiga) and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State).
Of the 21 head coaches listed above who are currently at their alma mater, the Mountain West leads all conferences with five. The Big Ten ranks third on the list with three.
LAST MEETING VS. WISCONSIN
MADISON, Wis. - Utah State missed a 37-yard field goal with six seconds left as it lost at No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14, on Sept. 15, 2012, under then-head coach Gary Andersen.
Utah State had its seven-game regular-season win streak halted with the loss and had their three-game road game winning streak halted, in falling to 2-1 on the year. Wisconsin improved to 2-1 with the win, which also evened the all-time series between the Aggies and Badgers at 1-1 after USU's 20-0 win in 1968.
The Aggie defense limited Wisconsin to 234 total yards and the USU offense totalled 308 yards, with sophomore QB Chuckie Keeton completing 18-of-34 passes for 181 yards, while rushing for 75 yards on 15 carries, part of USU's 127 total yards on the ground.
Senior RB Kerwynn Williams had a career night receiving with six catches for 78 yards with one touchdown, all then-career-highs. Senior WR Chuck Jacobs matched Williams with a then-career-high six receptions for 41 yards. Fellow senior WR Cameron Webb added a then-career-best three receptions for 41 yards with 36 coming on an amazing catch down the sideline to set the Aggies up with a first-and-10 at the UW 15 on their last drive of the game.
Sophomore SS Brian Suite led the Aggie defense with a career-high 13 tackles, while senior FS McKade Brady added eight stops and sophomore LB Zach Vigil tallied seven stops, including two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.
Wisconsin was led by Montee Ball with 139 yards rushing on 37 carries and one touchdown. Danny O'Brien was 5-of-10 passing for 63 yards in the first half, before getting relieved by Joel Stave, who was 2-of-6 passing for 15 yards. Brian Wozniak led the Badgers with two catches for 24 yards. Kenzel Doe had one punt return for an 82-yard touchdown.
Mike Taylor led the Badger defense with a game-high 15 tackles.
Williams started his career receiving night with the Aggies' first score on a 39-yard catch-and-run to the end zone from Keeton for a 7-0 USU lead with 9:17 to go in the first quarter. Kyle French hit a 19-yard field goal to pull the Badgers within 7-3 at the 14:16 mark of the second quarter.
After the Aggie defense made repeated stops, with Vigil forcing his fumble that was recovered by junior LB Jake Doughty at the UW 33 with 2:17 left in the first half, Keeton drove the Aggies to the end zone and hit senior WR Matt Austin from 11 yards out with 29 seconds left for a 14-3 USU lead at intermission.
Doe's big punt return for a score came with 7:06 to play in the third quarter to pull Wisconsin within 14-10 and exactly four minutes later, Ball darted in from 17 yards out, but French's PAT was blocked by redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen, leaving the score 16-14 and the Aggies within the game-winning field goal attempt by senior PK Josh Thompson.
WHAT'S RETURNING IN 2017
Utah State returns 14 starters (O-6, D-8) and 38 letterwinners (O-16, D-20, S-2) from last year's team that went 3-9 and finished in sixth place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 1-7 record. Highlighting Utah State's returners in 2017 is senior quarterback Kent Myers, who earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2015. Utah State returns five other starters on offense in senior OT Preston Brooksby, senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr., junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver, junior OG KJ Uluave and junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen. USU also returns eight starters on defense in senior CB Wesley Bailey, senior CB Jalen Davis, senior LB Alex Huerta, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, senior DE Ian Togiai, junior BS Gaje Ferguson, junior LB Derek Larsen and junior FS Jontell Rocquemore, to go along with two specialists returning in senior LS Emmett Odegard and junior P Aaron Dalton.
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE FROM 2016
Utah State must replace six players who earned various all-Mountain West honors in 2016, including NG Travis Seefeldt, who earned second-team honors, and OL Austin Albrecht, DE Ricky Ali'ifua, TE Wyatt Houston, OL Jake Simonich and OC Austin Stephens, who were all named to the honorable mention team. Other offensive starters lost include OL Jude Hockel, WR Andrew Rodriquez and WR Rayshad Lewis, and other defensive starters lost include LB Brock Carmen, FS Devin Centers, DE Edmund Faimalo, CB Daniel Gray and LB Anthony Williams.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
Utah State is 6-5 all-time in overtime, winning three of its last four. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-2 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple-overtime games. USU's last overtime game was a 21-14 loss at Arkansas State on Sept. 20, 2014.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of Utah State's seven Mountain West losses in 2016, five were by a combined 29 points (5.8 ppg) as USU lost at home to Air Force by seven points (27-20), at No. 24 Boise State by 11 points (21-10), at Colorado State by seven points (31-24), to New Mexico by three points (24-21), and at Nevada by one point (38-37). Furthermore, USU surrendered three double-digit leads in the second half of the 2016 season at Colorado State (14 points), against New Mexico at home (15 points), and at Nevada (13 points), not to mention a seven-point second-quarter lead at home against Air Force.
UTAH STATE NOTABLES HEADING INTO 2017
When Utah State takes the field for the first time in 2017, it will return its top two rushers from last season in senior RB Tonnny Lindsey Jr. and senior QB Kent Myers. Lindsey led the Aggies in 2016 in rushing yards (763) and carries (148), while tying for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. Myers ranked second on the team in both rushing yards (449) and carries (116), and also tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. In fact, USU returns 86.1 percent of its rushing yards (1,673/2,046) from last season.
Utah State returns its top receiver from 2016 in junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver. Tarver led USU with 46 receptions for 602 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, his 602 receiving yards are the most by an Aggie underclassman since 2009, while his 46 receptions are tied for the most by a USU underclassman in school history. Tarver also had a pair of 100-yard receiving games as a sophomore, including a career-high nine receptions for a career-best 143 yards against Air Force as those 143 receiving yards rank as the third-most in school history by an Aggie underclassman and the most since 1994.
Furthermore, Utah State will also return its top quarterback from 2016 in senior Kent Myers. Myers started all 12 games for USU and was 211-of-361 (.584) passing for 2,389 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Myers, who was named the Offensive MVP of the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, also earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2015.
Defensively, Utah State returns 49.8 percent of its tackles (943/470) from last season, including two of its top five tacklers in senior BS Dallin Leavitt and senior LB Alex Huerta, who had 57 and 45 tackles, respectively.
Utah State's 18 seniors heading into the 2017 season are its fewest since it had 18 seniors during the 2014 season.
UTAH STATE COACHING CHANGES FOR 2017
Utah State's coaching staff had two changes during the offseason as fifth-year head coach Matt Wells hired David Yost as the offensive coordinator working with the quarterbacks, and Mark Tommerdahl as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Coaches who left the USU program following the 2016 season include assistant head coach/running backs/tight ends coach Mike Canales, who went to Tennessee, and linebackers coach David Kotulski, who went to Mercyhurst University.
UTAH STATE THE ONLY PROGRAM WITH NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS FOUR YEARS IN A ROW WITH SAME HEAD COACH
Utah State is the only FBS program to have a new offensive coordinator in each of the past four seasons under the same head coach. In 2014, Kevin McGiven was the offensive coordinator. In 2015, Josh Heupel was the offensive coordinator. In 2016, Jovon Bouknight and Luke Wells were co-offensive coordinators. And in 2017, David Yost is the offensive coordinator. Kansas has had a new offensive coordinator in each of the past five seasons under different head coaches and Pittsburgh has had new offensive coordinators in each of the last four seasons under different head coaches.
WELLS' 28 WINS FIFTH-MOST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State head coach Matt Wells' 28 wins rank fifth all-time in school history, while his 52.8 winning percentage (28-25) ranks seventh all-time with a minimum of 15 games coached.
MORE ON UTAH STATE'S HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is entering his fifth season in charge of the Aggie football program and is the longest tenured head coach since Mick Dennehy (2000-04) also spent five years at USU. In fact, Wells is tied with Dennehy and George P. Campbell (1902-06) as the sixth-longest tenured head coaches in 120 seasons of Utah State football.
Matt Wells coached in his third bowl game in 2015 to set the school record for most bowl games by a head coach. E. Lowell `Dick' Romney (1946, 1947), John Ralston (1960, 1961) and Gary Andersen (2011, 2012) all coached the Aggies in two bowl games, while Charlie Weatherbie (1993) and John L. Smith (1997) each coached one bowl game at USU.
Matt Wells, the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year, is one of just 21 coaches to lead his alma mater. He is also just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach, joining Chris Pella, who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has won 18 of its last 21 games when it has a 100-yard rusher and 22 of its last 24 contests when rushing at least 40 times in a game.
Utah State has won 35 of its last 36 games dating back to 2011 when scoring at least 30 points in a game. In fact, USU had won 35 straight games when scoring at least 30 points before losing at Nevada, 38-37, last season.
MYERS RANKS 25TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior QB Kent Myers has rushed for 1,115 yards on 257 carries (4.4 ypc) during his career and ranks 25th all-time in school history in career rushing yards, including third all-time among quarterbacks, trailing Chuckie Keeton (2011-15), who ranks 14th all-time with 1,415 yards and Diondre Borel (2007-10), who ranks 16th all-time with 1,398 rushing yards.
MYERS HAS 13 CAREER RUSHING TDS
Senior QB Kent Myers has 13 rushing touchdowns in his career, which are the most on the team among active players, including tying for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns in 2016. Overall, Myers is just four rushing touchdowns shy of entering the career top 10 in school history.
In his career, Myers has three games with multiple rushing touchdowns as he had a career-high three against San José State in 2014 and two against both Colorado State and Nevada in 2016.
HUNT RANKS 30TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt has rushed for 1,018 yards on 259 carries (3.9 ypc) to rank 30th all-time in school history in career rushing yards.
LINDSEY JR. CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS
Senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr. led Utah State in rushing in 2016 as he gained 763 yards on 148 carries (5.2 ypc) and tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. For his career, Lindsey, Jr. has carried the ball 160 times for 856 yards (5.3 ypc) with six touchdowns and is just 144 yards shy of becoming the 31st player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards. In his career, Lindsey has two 100-yard rushing games, which includes a career-high 168 yards at Nevada in 2016 on 21 carries, one of two career games where he has carried the ball 20-plus times.
With Lindsey returning for the 2017 season, it will mark the third-straight season that Utah State returns its leading rusher from the previous year as Devante Mays rushed for 966 yards in 2015 and LaJuan Hunt rushed for 540 yards in 2014.
MYERS FOURTH ALL-TIME IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers is 411-of-679 (.605) passing for 4,848 yards with 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his career, and that completion percentage ranks fourth all-time in school history behind Darell Garretson (.631), Chuckie Keeton (.629) and Keith Myers (.607).
Myers also ranks sixth all-time in school history in total offense (5,963 yards), tied for eighth all-time with 31 career touchdown passes, along with Ron Lopez (1990-91), and ninth all-time in career passing yards (4,848), career completions (411) and career pass attempts (679).
For his career, Myers has an interception percentage of just 0.021, which ranks first all-time in school history, with his 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 679 career attempts. Myers has thrown at least one touchdown in 16 of his last 21 games and multiple touchdowns six times in his career, which includes five games with three or more touchdown passes.
In his career, Myers has 16 touchdowns and six interceptions at home, and 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions on the road.
MYERS RANKS NINTH IN SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETIONS
Senior QB Kent Myers was 211-of-361 (.584) passing for 2,389 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions during the 2016 season, and those 211 completions rank ninth all-time in school history for a single season. Chuckie Keeton holds the single-season school record with 275 completions set in 2012.
Myers rushed for 449 yards on 116 carries (3.9 ypc) with six touchdowns in 2016 and finished the season with 2,838 yards of total offense to rank 10th all-time in school history for a single season. Keeton holds the single-season school record with 3,992 yards of total offense set in 2012.
DAVIS CLOSING IN ON 150 CAREER TACKLES
Senior CB Jalen Davis recorded 35 tackles during his junior season in 10 games started and now has 147 tackles in his career, which is the most on the team among active leaders. Davis also leads the team in the following career categories: sacks (4.0), tackles for loss (12.0), interceptions (6), pass breakups (21) and forced fumbles (3).
UTAH STATE RANKED 11TH NATIONALLY IN PASSING DEFENSE IN 2016
Utah State finished the 2016 season allowing 176.5 passing yards per game, which ranked third in the Mountain West and 11th nationally. USU also ranked third in the conference and 44th in the nation in total defense (379.8 ypg), third in the MW and 71st in the nation in passing efficiency defense (130.9), fifth in the MW and 73rd nationally in scoring defense (29.3 ppg), sixth in the MW and 91st in the nation in rushing defense (203.3 ypg), and eighth in the MW and 86th nationally in sacks per game (1.83).
AGGIES RANKED SEVENTH IN THE CONFERENCE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Offensively, Utah State ranked seventh in the Mountain West and 78th nationally in completion percentage (.576) during the 2016 season. USU also ranked eighth in the conference and 93rd in the nation in passing offense (205.8 ypg), ninth in the MW and 69th nationally in rushing offense (170.5 ypg), 10th in the MW and 85th in the nation in sacks allowed (2.33 pg), 10th in the conference in passing efficiency (115.8), 11th in the MW and 96th nationally in total offense (376.2 ypg), and 11th in the MW in scoring offense (23.9 ppg).
UTAH STATE RANKED 38TH NATIONALLY IN KICKOFF RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State allowed 19.47 yards per kickoff return during the 2016 season to rank third in the Mountain West and 38th nationally.
UTAH STATE RANKED 17TH NATIONALLY IN TURNOVERS LOST
With its 15 turnovers during the 2016 season (nine interceptions, six fumbles), Utah State ranked fourth in the Mountain West and 17th nationally in turnovers lost, not to mention being fifth in the conference and 23rd in the nation with its six fumbles lost, and sixth in the MW and 37th nationally with its nine thrown interceptions.
Utah State had 10 takeaways and 15 turnovers during the 2016 season and ranked ninth in the Mountain West in turnover margin (-0.42).
Utah State forced 10 turnovers during the 2016 season (seven interceptions, three fumbles) and has now forced 109 turnovers in its last 62 games, including at least one turnover in 48 of its last 62 games. USU has also recorded 53 interceptions in its last 49 games, including at least one pick in 26 of its last 49 games and multiple interceptions in 16 of its last 49 games. Overall, USU has forced three or more turnovers in 12 of its last 38 games.
Utah State forced multiple turnovers just twice during the 2016 season (3 vs. Arkansas State, 2 at BYU) and has only forced 14 turnovers in its last 19 games dating back to Oct. 16, 2015, after forcing a school-record-tying eight turnovers in its 52-26 home win against No. 21 Boise State.
Utah State scored three defensive touchdowns in 2015 to rank second in the Mountain West and 25th in the nation. Over its last 46 games, USU has scored 11 defensive touchdowns.
AGGIES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NCAA RANKINGS
Senior QB Kent Myers finished the 2016 season ranking second in the Mountain West and 58th in the nation in completions per game (17.6), fourth in the MW and 63rd nationally in total offense (236.5 ypg), fifth in the conference and 68th in the nation in passing (199.1 ypg), sixth in the MW and 72nd nationally in completion percentage (.584), eighth in the MW and 93rd nationally in passing efficiency (118.8), and eighth in the MW and 97th in the nation with 10 touchdown passes. Senior BS Dallin Leavitt ranked tied for seventh in the MW and tied for 69th nationally with three interceptions.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior BS Dallin Leavitt (5-10, 205) has a 385-pound flat bench press; senior CB Wesley Bailey (6-1, 200) has a 38-inch vertical jump, and junior DE Adewale Adeoye (6-3, 270) front squatted 455 pounds.
A FINAL LOOK AT UTAH STATE IN 2016
Utah State ended its 2016 season with a 3-9 record and finished sixth in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 1-7 record. Offensively, USU was led by junior QB Kent Myers, who was 211-of-361 (.584) passing for 2,389 yards (199.1 ypg) with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr. led the team in rushing with 763 yards on 148 carries (5.2 ypc / 63.6 ypg) with six touchdowns, while sophomore WR Ron'quavion Tarver had a team-best 46 receptions for 602 yards (13.1 ypr / 50.2 ypg) with three touchdowns. Defensively, redshirt senior LB Anthony Williams led the team with 96 tackles, which included 2.0 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, while senior LB Brock Carmen had 64 tackles, which included 3.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss. As a team, Utah State averaged 23.9 points and 376.2 yards of total offense (205.8 passing, 170.5 rushing), and allowed 29.3 points and 379.8 yards of total offense (203.3 rushing, 176.5 passing).
UTAH STATE STREAKS THAT ENDED IN 2016
Utah State had several streaks that ended during the 2016 season, including missing out on a bowl game for the first time since the 2010 campaign. From 2011 to 2015, USU played in a school-record five-straight bowl games, winning three. USU had also won at least six games in each of its previous five seasons, which was tied with the 1971-75 teams for the longest streak in school history. And finally, USU had won at least five conference games in each of its previous five seasons, which was a school record.
UTAH STATE BOWL HISTORY
Utah State has a 4-7 bowl record all-time as it lost to San José State, 20-0, in the 1946 Raisin Bowl (Fresno, Calif.); lost to Pacific, 35-21, in the 1947 Grape Bowl (Lodi, Calif.); lost to New Mexico State, 20-13, in the 1960 Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas); lost to Baylor, 24-9, in the 1961 Gotham Bowl (New York City); defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl II; lost to Cincinnati, 35-19, in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; defeated Toledo, 41-15, in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl; defeated UTEP, 21-6, in the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl; and lost to Akron, 23-21, in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
UTAH STATE ENTERING FIFTH SEASON IN MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is entering its fifth year as a member of the Mountain West and has been a Division I-A/Bowl Championship Series football playing school in each of its 119 seasons of competition. USU joined the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1938 until 1961. USU then played as a football independent from 1962-77 when the Aggies became members of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1978. The PCAA changed its name to the Big West Conference in 1988. Following the 2000 season, when the Big West no longer sponsored football, USU spent two years as an independent (2001-02) and two years in the Sun Belt Conference (2003-04), before joining the Western Athletic Conference for eight seasons from 2005-12.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is 146-175-8 (.456) all-time against current members of the Mountain West with a 38-25-4 record vs. Wyoming, a 33-38-2 record vs. Colorado State, a 15-7 record vs. UNLV, a 16-20-1 record vs. San José State, a 12-17-1 record vs. Fresno State, a 10-13 record vs. New Mexico, an 8-6 record vs. Hawai`i, a 6-18 record vs. Nevada, a 5-16 record vs. Boise State, a 2-3 record vs. Air Force, and a 1-12 record vs. San Diego State.
AGGIES WHO HAVE SERVED LDS CHURCH MISSIONS
Utah State has 30 players on its current roster who have served two-year LDS Church Missions: redshirt freshman DE Caden Andersen, junior OL Roman Andrus, senior OL Preston Brooksby, freshman WR Taylor Compton, freshman WR Preston Curtis, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata, freshman RB SJ Fehoko, junior OL Quin Ficklin, redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski, sophomore LB Mason Gajkowski, sophomore LB Braden Harris, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, senior OL Jarom Ioane, junior LB Derek Larsen, junior LB Ofa Latu, sophomore DE Logan Lee, redshirt freshman DL Connor Meyers, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley, freshman S Chase Nelson, junior QB DJ Nelson, sophomore S Chance Parker, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, freshman PK Michael Smith, redshirt freshman BS Zach Swenson, redshirt freshman DE Keith Tambe, redshirt freshman TE Tyler Thornock, sophomore NG Mohelika Uasike, junior OL KJ Uluave, junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen and sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman.
AGGIES WHO ARE MARRIED
Utah State has 10 players on its current roster who are married in junior LB Chase Christiansen, senior LB Alex Huerta, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, senior OL Jarom Ionae, junior LB Derek Larsen, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley, sophomore S Chance Parker, junior OL KJ Uluave and junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State rushed for 2,046 yards during the 2016 season, marking the eighth-straight year that USU has gained at least 2,000 yards on the ground. Prior to its current streak, USU went 33 years without rushing for 2,000 yards in a single season.
AGGIES CURRENTLY IN THE NFL AND CFL
Utah State currently has 22 players on NFL rosters and has had 11 players drafted into the NFL in the past seven years. Former Aggies currently in the NFL include OL Austin Albrecht (Tampa Bay), SS Maurice Alexander (Los Angeles), DE Ricky Ali'ifua (Kansas City), CB Will Davis (San Francisco), S Marwin Evans (Green Bay), LB Kyler Fackrell (Green Bay), CB Tay Glover-Wright (Philadelphia), CB Daniel Gray (Arizona), OG Tyler Larsen (Carolina), CB Nevin Lawson (Detroit), RB Devante Mays (Green Bay), NG David Moala (Arizona), OT Donald Penn (Oakland), LS Patrick Scales (Chicago), WR Hunter Sharp (Denver), OL Jake Simonich (Tennessee), TE D.J. Tialavea (Atlanta), RB Robert Turbin (Indianapolis), LB Nick Vigil (Cincinnati), LB Zach Vigil (Washington), LB Bobby Wagner (Seattle) and RB Kerwynn Williams (Arizona). USU also has four former Aggies currently in the Canadian Football League in CB Jarrett Bush (Calgary), DE John Chick (Hamilton), LB Chris Randle (Winnipeg) and DE Connor Williams (Ottawa).
CURRENT AGGIES WITH NFL TIES
Utah State has two players on its current roster with fathers who played in the NFL in senior WR Jaren Colsten-Green (Willie Green) and sophomore LB Mason Tobeck (Robbie Tobeck).
Willie Green (WR) spent eight seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions (1991-93), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1994), Carolina Panthers (1995-96) and Denver Broncos (1997-98).
Robbie Tobeck (OL) spent 14 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1993-99) and Seattle Seahawks (2000-06).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had nine players drafted by the Green Bay Packers organization all-time in guard Lionel Aldridge (4/54) in 1963, defensive tackle Doug Gosnell (8/194) in 1969, defensive back Bob Fuhriman (13/321) in 1975, quarterback Keith Myers (9/228) in 1978, wide receiver Ron Cassidy (8/193) in 1979, tight end John Thompson (9/235) in 1979, defensive back Ed Berry (7/183) in 1986, linebacker Kyler Fackrell (3/88) in 2016, and running back Devante Mays (7/238) in 2016. Those nine Utah State selections by the Packers are tied for the most by any NFL team, along with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.
HEAD COACH WELLS
Matt Wells has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program in his first four seasons as head coach, as USU is 28-25, including a 19-13 Mountain West record. USU also played in its fifth-straight bowl game in 2015.
In his four years as head coach, Wells has led Utah State to three wins against top 25 opponents, one more than USU had overall prior to his tenure.
During the 2015 season, Wells mentored 12 players who earned all-Mountain West honors, which were the third-most in the conference. Wells also coached Kyler Fackrell, who was named a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele.
Wells coached three players who participated in the 2016 NFL Combine in Fackrell, Hunter Sharp and Nick Vigil, while 10 players from the 2015 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Vigil (Cincinnati Bengals) and Fackrell (Green Bay Packers), who were both selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Wells led Utah State to 10 wins in 2014 to rank as the second-most in school history behind the 2012 team that finished with an 11-2 record, including its third-straight bowl win with a 21-6 victory against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
During the 2014 season, Wells mentored 15 players who earned 16 all-Mountain West honors, which were the most in the league and tied for the third-most in school history. Wells also coached two All-Americans as Zach Vigil was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, while Jalen Davis was named a True Freshman All-American by 247Sports. Vigil was also named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies went 9-5.
Wells led Utah State to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game after winning the Mountain Division with a 7-1 record in 2013. He also led USU to just its third-ever bowl victory as it posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
During his first year as USU's head coach, Wells mentored 14 Aggies who earned various all-Mountain West honors, including three All-Americans as Tyler Larsen was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, Nevin Lawson was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness, and Kyler Fackrell was named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News.
Wells coached a school-record four players who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine in Larsen, Lawson, Maurice Alexander and D.J. Tialavea, while 11 players from the 2013 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Alexander (Los Angeles Rams) and Lawson (Detroit Lions), who were both selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Overall, Wells is the second USU coach and fifth in school history to garner conference coach of the year honors along with Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991), John L. Smith (1997) and Gary Andersen (2012). Wells is also the fourth individual to earn MW Coach of the Year honors in his first season, along with BYU's Gary Crowton (2001), Utah's Urban Meyer (2003) and Air Force's Troy Calhoun (2007).
Wells is one of just 19 FBS coaches to lead his alma mater and is just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach, joining Chris Pella, who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
Prior to being named the head coach at his alma mater, Wells spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
During his six years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a USU program that played in five straight bowl games for the first time in school history, and won three-straight bowl games for the first time ever.
As offensive coordinator in 2012, Utah State concluded its most successful season in program history with a school-best 11-2 record. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936.
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