USU Football Prepares For Trip To Nebraska On Sept. 6

 

 
 

Aug. 31, 2003

LOGAN, Utah -

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Game #2 at Nebraska Sat., Sept. 6, 10:30 a.m. Memorial Stadium (45,017) Lincoln, Neb.

Radio: 610 AM (Logan) 94.5 FM (Logan) 860 AM (Salt Lake City) 98.3 FM (Salt Lake City) 106.3 FM (Ogden/SLC) 104.7 FM (Utah County/SLC) 102.3 FM (Bear Lake) 105.5 FM (Randolph) www.UtahStateAggies.com

TV: Fox Sports (National)

USU 1-888-U-STATE-1 Tickets: (435) 797-0305 www.UtahStateAggies.com

USU SID: Mike Strauss (435) 797-1361 NU SID: Chris Anderson (402) 472-2263

Utah State (0-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) Aug. 28 at Utah L 20-40 Sept. 6 at Nebraska (RV*) 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13 at Arizona State 8 p.m. Sept. 27 LA.-MONROE* 6 p.m. Oct. 4 at New Mexico 6 p.m. Oct. 11 WYOMING 6 p.m. Oct. 18 at North Texas* 2 p.m. Oct. 25 ARKANSAS ST.* 1 p.m. Nov. 1 MID. TENN.* 1 p.m. Nov. 6 at New Mexico St.* 6 p.m. Nov. 15 TROY STATE* 1 p.m. Nov. 22 at Idaho* 3 p.m. (all times are Mountain) * - preseason poll

Nebraska (1-0, 1-0 Big XII) Aug. 30 OKLA. STATE W 17-7 Sept. 6 UTAH STATE Sept. 13 PENN STATE Sept. 25 at So. Mississippi Oct. 4 TROY STATE Oct. 11 at Missouri Oct. 18 TEXAS A&M Oct. 25 IOWA STATE Nov. 1 at Texas Nov. 15 KANSAS STATE Nov. 28 at Colorado

Media Information

Weekly Press Conferences Mon., Sept. 1 - 11:30 a.m. at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Mon., Sept. 8 - 11:30 a.m. at Coppermill Restaurant

Sun Belt Conference Teleconference Call Mondays - 10:25-10:35 (MDT) Utah State

Sun Belt Conference Video Feeds Wednesdays - 1 p.m. (MDT) Satellite AMC 1,Transponder C-17, Downlink 4040 mhz, Audio 6.2-6.8 Trouble # (225) 336-2268 or 2269

Interviews All Utah State player and coach interview requests should be made through Mike Strauss at least one day in advance. Player interviews should be completed no later than Wednesday on game week. Coach Dennehy is usually available weekdays between 10 a.m. and noon mountain time.

USU On The Air * Game Broadcasts Play-by-Play - Al Lewis Analyst - Craig Hislop 610 AM (Logan) 94.5 FM (Logan) 860 AM (Salt Lake City) 98.3 FM (Salt Lake City) 106.3 FM (Ogden/SLC) 104.7 FM (Utah County/SLC) 102.3 FM (Bear Lake) 105.5 FM (Randolph) www.UtahStateAggies.com * Mick Dennehy Radio Show Thursdays, 6 p.m. (610 KVNU) * Aggie Weekly Radio Show Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. (610 KVNU)

USU On The Web www.UtahStateAggies.com

Athletic Media Relations Director: Mike Strauss (football contact) W: (435) 797-1361 H: (435) 755-0597 Cell: (435) 770-3131 Fax: (435) 797-2615 e-mail: mike.strauss@usu.edu Associate: Doug Hoffman W: (435) 797-3714 Assistant: Todd Johnson W: (435) 797-2066

2003 Sun Belt Conference

Team Conference Overall *N.M. State 0-0 0-0 Arkansas St. 0-0 0-1 Idaho 0-0 0-1 UL-Lafayette 0-0 0-1 UL-Monroe 0-0 0-1 Mid. Tenn. 0-0 0-1 North Texas 0-0 0-1 Utah State 0-0 0-1

* at Texas on Sunday, Aug. 30

This Week In The Sun Belt Utah State at Nebraska Mid Tenn. at Georgia Tenn-Martin at Arkansas State E. Washington at Idaho Baylor at North Texas La. Tech at UL-Lafayette S.F. Austin at UL-Monroe W. New Mexico at N.M. State

Media Relations Staff Judy Wilson (football) (504) 299-9066 (ext. 15) Rob Broussard (504) 299-9066 (ext. 18) Web Site: SunBeltSports.org

Sun Belt Weekly Media Teleconference Each Monday - Call USU SID (435-797-1361) for number to participate.

The head coach and a featured player will be available each week.

Time (MDT) Coach and player from each school 9:30-9:35 Sun Belt Announcements 9:35-9:45 Arkansas State 9:45-9:55 UL Lafayette 9:55-10:05 UL Monroe 10:05-10:15 North Texas 10:15-10:25 Middle Tennessee 10:25-10:35 Utah State 10:35-10:45 New Mexico State 10:45-10:55 Idaho 10:55 Commissioner (when available)

QUICKLY -- Utah State (0-1) will play its second of three straight road games to open the season when the Aggies travel to Lincoln, Neb. to meet Nebraska (1-0) on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 10:30 a.m. MDT in a game broadcast nationally on Fox Sports... No cartoons Saturday as the 11:30 a.m. LOCAL kickoff time is the earliest known start time in USU history... Saturday's game will mark the fourth straight road game for USU, which closed 2002 with two straight away from home... USU will be playing its third straight game on artificial turf dating back to last year and the Aggies are 1-6 on the fake stuff in the Mick Dennehy era... USU will then play four straight games on natural grass... USU has started the season 0-1 for the sixth straight year and is 2-3 in its second game in the last five seasons.

ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on the Aggie Radio Network with Al "Cornucopia of Football Knowledge" Lewis calling the play-by-play and Craig "Cornball" Hislop providing analysis. Saturday's game will be televised nationally on Fox Sports with Joel Meyers calling the play-by-play, Dave Lapham serving as analyst and Jim Knox reporting from the sidelines.

NATIONAL TV A RARITY FOR USU -- Utah State will make its first national television appearance in football since the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, when the Aggies fell to Cincinnati 35-19 on Dec. 29 that year. It is believed that the last time USU had a regular season game on national television was 1981 when the Aggies played at Brigham Young, losing 32-26 on Oct. 2 that season.

USU TRAVEL PLANS -- Utah State will have a light workout at Memorial Stadium at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday. Coach Dennehy will address the media before the practice. The first part of the practice will be open to the media. USU athletic media relations director Mike Strauss (Cell: 435-770-3131) and associate director Doug Hoffman (Cell: 435-770-604) will be on hand to assist you in your coverage of the Aggies. USU will be staying at the Omaha Marriott at (402) 399-9000.

LAST TIME OUT -- Missed opportunities cost the Aggies in a 40-20 loss to open the season at Utah. Utah State penetrated the Utes' 35-yard line four times in the first half and came away with just three points. The Aggies also had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown called back in the first quarter due to a block in the back behind the play. Despite the mistakes, USU trailed just 14-3 at halftime and after Utah scored a touchdown midway through the third period, USU showed some life with a safety and a Travis Cox touchdown run to pull within 21-12. However, the Utes scored the game's next 13 points and led 34-12 with less than five minutes remaining to seal the game. USU quarterback Travis Cox made his starting debut and responded by hitting 19-of-41 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for another. Chris Stallworth pulled in five balls for 113 yards and a 50-yard touchdown, while David Fiefia rushed nine times for 54 yards. Defensively, Robert Watts was credited with 16 tackles, while Derrek Shank posted 12 stops. The Aggie offense produced 357 yards, but the Utes ran up 382 yards while controlling the ball for 36:33.

UP NEXT -- Utah State will complete its season-opening three-game road trip with a contest at preseason 22nd-ranked Arizona State on Sept. 13. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. MDT. USU will then have a bye before hosting its home and conference opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Sept. 27.

DID YOU KNOW? -- While driving through Nebraska this summer, I learned that the state is the home of Arbor Day (it is on their signs when you enter the state).

COACH Mick Dennehy - In his fourth year at Utah State is Mick Dennehy (Montana, 1973), who was hired on Dec. 3, 1999. He compiled a 39-12 record (76.5 percent) in four years at Montana. His five wins in his first year at Utah State tied for the best mark by a first-year Aggie coach since Phil Krueger won seven games in 1973 (Dennehy is the seventh coach since then). In 2001 he guided the Aggies in their first independent schedule since 1977. The Aggies played four top-25 teams and five bowl teams in 2001. Realizing the improvement USU was making on and off the field, Dennehy was rewarded with a two-year contract extension on Nov. 30, 2001 which will keep him in Logan through 2005. In 2002, Dennehy's team faced four bowl teams en route to a 4-7 mark. Dennehy played safety at Montana in 1971 and 1972. Prior to assuming the head coaching role at Montana, he served as the school's offensive coordinator for five seasons, producing one of the nation's top offenses. In Dennehy's nine years overall at Montana, the Grizzlies ranked in the top four in the country in passing offense every year and in the top five in scoring and total offense in five of his last seven seasons. Before going to Montana, Dennehy revived the program at Western Montana, which had dropped football in 1987. In three years he improved the team from a 1-6 record to a 5-3 mark.

Year School Overall Pct. Conf. Pct. Notes 1988 West. Montana 1-6 .143 1-5/5th .167 Revived Program 1989 West. Montana 4-4 .500 2-4/4th .333 1990 West. Montana 5-3 .625 3-3/3rd .500 1996 Montana 14-1 .933 8-0/1st 1.00 Nat'l Runners-up 1997 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/2nd .750 0-1 in playoffs 1998 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/1st .750 Big Sky Champ. 1999 Montana 9-3 .750 7-1/1st .875 Big Sky Champ. 2000 Utah State 5-6 .455 4-1/2nd .800 1 win from bowl 2001 Utah State 4-7 .364 N/A N/A Played 4 top 25 2002 Utah State 4-7 .364 N/A N/A 4 '01 bowl opp. 2003 Utah State 0-1 .000 0-0 .000 1st yr. in Sun Belt Western Montana (3 yrs.) 10-13 .435 6-12 .333 Revived Program Montana (4 years) 39-12 .765 27-5 .844 Four playoffs Utah State (4th year) 13-21 .382 4-1 .800 50th career win Totals (11th year) 62-46 .574 37-18 .673 3-4 in playoffs

USU UNDER DENNEHY * In his first three years at USU, the Aggies recorded the school's all-time attendance average record (21,784 in 2001) and two others in the top five (third in 2002 and fifth in 2000). * USU produced four of the top 10 all-time total offense games in school history in his first three years, including a school-record tying 684 yards against Weber State. * USU also produced three of the top five passing games in school history in Dennehy's first three years. * USU produced two Associated Press third-team All-Americans in his first three years as all-purpose runner Emmett White earned the honor in 2000 and wide receiver Kevin Curtis was named in 2001. The last time USU had an AP All-America selection was 1988 when Kendal Smith also earned third team honors. * USU has had two NCAA individual statistical champions in his tenure as White led the country in all-purpose yardage in 2000 (238.9) and Curtis led the nation in receptions in 2001 (9.1 per game). Previously USU's last national statistical leader was Louie Giammona, who led the country in all-purpose yardage (185.9) in 1975. * The football team's grade-point average has improved steadily. * Coached his 100th career game against Iowa in 2002. * 60th career victory was against New Mexico in 2002. * Entering his fourth season at USU, marking the longest tenure by an Aggie coach since Chuck Shelton coached from 1986-91 (Charlie Weatherbie and John L. Smith each coached three seasons and Dave Arslanian two). * Inducted into Butte, Mont. Athletic Hall of Fame in summer of 2003.

DID YOU KNOW? -- After ending last season with two straight road games, USU is playing its first three games this season away from home. The five straight games away from Logan are the most since finishing 1982 with four straight road games and then opening the 1983 season with a road contest.

THE USU-NEBRASKA SERIES -- Nebraska has dominated the series owning a 7-0 record since the first meeting in 1966. Each of the previous seven games have been played in Lincoln and in each of the first seven meetings the Huskers were ranked in the AP poll (1966 - 4th, 1971 - 1st, 1979 - 8th, 1987 - 2nd, 1988 - 2nd, 1991 - 14th, and 2002 - 9th). NU has outscored USU 327-93, including a 44-13 win at Lincoln a year ago.

USU-NEBRASKA LAST YEAR -- Ninth-ranked Nebraska scored on six of its first eight possessions of the game and led 37-7 at halftime en route to a 44-13 victory. The game was the 250th consecutive sellout for the Huskers and was played in front of a Memorial Stadium record crowd of 78,176 (the third largest crowd in history to witness a USU game). After Jose Fuentes hit Kevin Curtis on a 26-yard touchdown pass to bring the Aggies within 17-7 in the first quarter, NU scored the next 27 points in the game to lead 44-7 after three periods. Former Aggie quarterback Jose Fuentes became USU's career passing yardage and passing attempts leader in the game.

USU VS. THE BIG XII -- Utah State owns a 9-38-1 record all-time against current members of the Big XII Conference. The Aggies' most common league opponent has been Colorado and USU is 6-11-1 against the Buffaloes all-time. USU owns a winning record against one conference team with a 3-2 mark against Kansas State. USU's last win against a Big XII team was a 28-16 win against Kansas State in 1992. This year's meeting with Nebraska will mark the sixth time USU has played a Big XII team in the last eight years. Here is a look at the most recent meetings against the league:

1996 - L 17-31 at Oklahoma State 1996 - L 20-58 at Texas Tech 1998 - L 6-25 at Colorado 1999 - L 0-40 at Kansas State 2000 - L 16-38 at Texas Tech 2002 - L 13-44 at Nebraska

USU-NU NOTE-ABLE -- Four of the six largest crowds to ever see Utah State play, have been in Lincoln (the third through sixth largest crowds) as the only crowds larger than Lincoln that USU has played in front of have been at LSU in 2001 (87,756) and at Georgia in 1999 (86,117)... Nebraska has two players on its roster from the state of Utah in NT Ryon Bingham (Alta HS) and LB Stewart Bradley (Highland HS)... USU WR Jerome Eason had two catches last year and both came against Nebraska (18 and nine yards)... USU Outland Trophy candidate Trevor Hutton made his first collegiate start at Nebraska last year. He has started 11 consecutive games... NG Ryan DeQuillettes made his only collegiate start at Lincoln last year... LB Robert Watts led the team with nine tackles against NU last year, while FS Derrek Shank was second with eight stops... Nebraska is USU's most played opponent that the Aggies have never beaten as the Aggies are 0-7 against NU (0-4 vs. both Missouri and Southern California).

QUARTERBACK DEBUTS -- Last Thursday against Utah, USU junior Travis Cox made his first career start. He entered this season having completed nine-of-16 attempts for 23 yards in his first two years at USU. The last time he started a game was at Mountain Crest High School in 1999, where he was a first-team all-state selection. When he finished his high school career, he was ranked fifth in Utah high school history with 5,190 passing yards. His dad, Dan was his high school coach, played running back at USU and is the current president of USU's booster group, The Big Blue Club. Here is a look at USU quarterback debuts in the last 10 years.

Player, Class Opponent, Year (game #) A-C-I, Yds. Result Travis Cox, Jr. Utah, 2003 (#1) 41-19-1, 280 L 20-40 Jose Fuentes, So. at Arizona State, 2000 (game #3) 38-17-3, 240 L 20-44 Jeff Crosbie, Fr. at Boise State, 1998 (game #8) 46-18-3, 233 L 16-30 Logan Galli, Fr. IDAHO, 1998 (game #7) 11-4-0, 8 L 14-26 Riley Jensen, Sr. UTAH, 1998 (game #1) 25-11-1, 99 L 12-20 Matt Sauk, Jr. at Okla. State, 1996 (game #4) 34-22-2, 390 L 17-31 Patrick Mullins, Jr. at Arkansas State, 1995 (game #1) 56-30-2, 315 L 17-21 Aaron Flowers, Fr. UNLV, 1994 (game #4) 13-7-0, 53 L 21-23 Matt Wells, So. UTAH, 1994 (game #1) 33-14-2, 190 L 17-32

OTHER FIRST STARTS -- In addition to QB Travis Cox, six other Aggies made their first career starts last week against Utah, including OT Elliott Tupea, WR Barry Tolli, WR Raymond Hicks, DT Michael Gates, LB Nate Fredrick, and CB Marvin Clark. Cox threw for 280 yards, the most by a new Aggie starter since 1996, while Tolli caught one pass for 40 yards, Hicks had two catches for 26 yards, Gates recorded six tackles, Fredrick seven, and Clark had three and a PBU.

OFFENSIVE NOTES -- USU's 20 points against Utah were its most in a season-opener since beating Utah 21-14 to open the 1997 season... USU produced 357 yards of total offense against a defense that was tops in the Mountain West Conference a year ago... The Aggies out-gained Utah through three quarters (240 to 229 yards), but trailed 21-12... The post-Kevin Curtis era (WR with the St. Louis Rams) featured nine different players recording catches in the opener... All three of USU's scoring drives against Utah were at least 54 yards... After converting six of 12 third-down conversions through three quarters, USU was 0 of three as well as 0 of one on fourth-down in the fourth quarter against Utah... QB Travis Cox recorded the first rushing touchdown by an Aggie quarterback since Jeff Crosbie rushed for a score against BYU in 2001... TB David Fiefia's 54 rushing yards on just nine carries marked the second-best day of his career (116 yards vs. Fresno State as a sophomore)... John Mackey Award candidate TE Chris Cooley did not catch a pass until midway through the third quarter before finishing with four catches for 26 yards.

DEFENSIVE NOTES -- USU recorded two interceptions, both in the first quarter, to record multiple interceptions in a game for the first time since the third game of 2002 when USU had four against Idaho State... After allowing Utah two touchdowns on five first half possessions, the Aggies surrendered five scores on six drives in the second half... However, Utah's second-half scoring drives averaged only 38 yards... LB Robert Watts recorded 16 tackles against Utah, matching Jesse Busta's 16 stops against Middle Tennessee last year as the most tackles by an Aggie in the last 17 games... CB Mark Estelle recorded his second career interception, while freshman Terrance Washington had his first against Utah... USU allowed only two plays of 20 yards or more (a 20-yard run and a 30-yard pass).

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- USU recorded its first safety since 1998 when an errant Utah snap on a punt went out of the endzone... New USU PK Justin Hamblin hit his only field goal attempt (21 yards)... New P Ben Chaet drilled a 60-yarder on his first punt and later added a 54-yarder... Each of the four Aggies that returned a kickoff had a return of at least 20 yards.

STARTER NOTE-ABLE -- Here is a quick look at USU's projected starters: Offense LT Donald Penn -- Last year became second freshman to start on offensive line since 1996... Played right tackle in 2002 and is at left tackle this year. LG Greg Vandermade -- Started last year's opener at Utah and then came off the bench the rest of the year. OC Aric Galliano -- Started all 11 games last year despite breaking his regular snapping hand and switching to snapping left handed in the eighth game of the year. RG Trevor Hutton -- Outland Trophy candidate and preseason all-Sun Belt Conference selection. First collegiate start came against Nebraska in second game of 2002. RT Elliott Tupea -- Newcomer who participated in spring drills. One of only two offensive lineman on two-deep without previous USU experience (Victor Eti is the other). TE Patrick McNutt -- Played at tight end and on special teams last year, but did not record any statistics. TE/FB Chris Cooley -- Mackey Award candidate after coming on strong in junior season (22 catches in last four games). Preseason all-Sun Belt Conference selection... Has had at least two receptions in eight straight games. WR Chris Stallworth -- Started at least six games in each of his first three seasons. Recorded career-high 113 yards on five receptions vs. Utah last week. WR Barry Tolli -- Former minor league baseball player caught a 40-yard pass in his first major college game against Utah... Made his first start as well. WR Raymond Hicks -- Started his debut against Utah and responded with two receptions for 26 yards as well as returning a kickoff 23 yards. WR Jerome Eason -- Only statistics last year were two receptions at Nebraska (18 and nine yards). Had two catches vs. Utah last week for 20 yards. QB Travis Cox -- Made starting debut against Utah. Entered the year nine of 16 pass attempts for 23 yards in two years as a backup. Threw for 280 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for a touchdown against the Utes. TB David Fiefia -- Has played wide receiver and tailback in his USU career. Rushed for 29 yards last year. Led USU with 54 rushing yards on nine carries against Utah.

Defense LT Justin Jackson -- Started last season and recorded 30 tackles and tied for team lead with 8.5 tackles for loss. Made three tackles, including one for loss vs. Utah NG Ronald Tupea -- His 19 consecutive starts are tops on the team. Had 29 tackles in 2002 and was the team's lineman of the year. Two of his four tackles vs. Utah were for loss. RT Michael Gates -- Starting the first two games in place of the injured John Chick. Saw limited time in 2002 (three tackles), but has been impressive in spring and fall drills... Led the Aggie linemen with six tackles against Utah. STUD Nate Putnam -- Returns to the field after missing last year with a shoulder injury. Was a first-team all-Big West selection in 2000... Was credited with eight tackles against Utah, including one for loss. MAC Robert Watts -- Second-leading tackler on the team last year and top returnee with 85 stops... Led USU with 16 tackles against Utah in the opener... Had team-best nine stops vs. Nebraska last season. SAM Rodney Wilson -- One of only two Aggie defenders with three letters earned at USU... Third-year starter... Had eight tackles against Utah. WILL Nate Fredrick -- Made first collegiate start against Utah... Was in on seven tackles against the Utes. LC Jerome Dennis -- Earned team's most inspirational award in 2002. Ranked seventh in the NCAA in kickoff return average (27.7). Returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown vs. BYU last year. SS Mike Rosencrans -- Started two games in nickel back situations a year ago. Had three tackles for loss last season... Made five tackles against Utah. FS Derrek Shank -- A three-year letterwinner, who has started 21 games in his first three years. Was third on the team with 65 tackles last season... Was second on the team with 12 tackles against Utah while recording a PBU. RC Marvin Clark -- Redshirted last year after transferring... First career action for USU came at Utah and he responded with three tackles and one PBU.

Special Teams P Ben Chaet -- Replaces four-year letterwinner Steve Mullins. Has not punted since high school in 2000 (redshirted in 2001 and did not see action a year ago). Can also place kick... Had 60 and 54-yard punts vs. Utah. PK Justin Hamblin -- First-year kicker... Converted his only field goal attempt (21 yards) vs. Utah, while making his only PAT as well... First kickoff of the season was a touchback.

USU NOTE-ABLE -- After just one week, USU has been the most productive offense in the Sun Belt Conference, leading the league in total offense, passing offense and scoring offense... Nationally, CB Mark Estlle and S Terrance Washington rank fifth in the country in interceptions with one each, while QB Travis Cox is 16th in total offense, P Ben Chaet is 20th in punting and Chris Stallworth is 21st in receiving yards... USU is 1-2 in known games played on Sept. 6 all-time... USU is 10-6 in day games in the Mick Dennehy era... Four of USU's five non-conference opponents opened their season with victories (Arizona State did not play) as Utah defeated the Aggies, Nebraska beat Oklahoma State, New Mexico beat Southwest Texas and Wyoming defeated Montana State.

SEASON NOTE-ABLE

SCHEDULE NOTE-ABLE -- Due to scheduling conflicts, USU will not meet Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Lafayette and instead will count the Troy State game as a league game as mandated by the Sun Belt Conference office... USU will open its season with three straight road games for the first time since 1991... USU's home opener on Sept. 27 is the latest home opener since playing its first home game of 1991 on Sept. 28... USU's home opener is its conference opener, which marks the first time the Aggies will open the home portion of its schedule with a league game since that same 1991 season... Four of USU's 2003 opponents played in bowl games in 2002 (Nebraska, Arizona State, New Mexico and North Texas)... USU will play seven games that count as conference games, its most league games since playing an identical seven in 1991... USU will open its season with the nation's 13th most played rivalry meeting Utah in the opener for the third straight year and 10th time in the last 15 years... USU will play five home games for the fourth straight year (played six in 1998)... USU's seven road games are its most since 1991 (seven).

OPPONENTS IN THE POLLS -- Utah State will meet five opponents this year that were ranked or receiving votes in the preseason AP and USA Today/ESPN polls. Arizona State is ranked 22nd by the AP and 23rd by USA Today entering the year. Other Aggie opponents receiving votes include Nebraska (27th/32nd), New Mexico (--/48th), Utah (--/51st) and North Texas (--/56th).

USU VS. #26-117 -- While Utah State is 0-5 vs. ranked teams in the first three years of the Mick Dennehy era, the Aggies are 13-16 against non-ranked teams in that time span.

BIG THREE GONE -- USU lost its top passer (Jose Fuentes), top receiver (Kevin Curtis) and top rusher (James Samuel) for the first time since 1991 when three seniors led USU in those categories. That year Ron Lopez led in passing, Rod Moore led in receiving and Roger Grant led in rushing. The Aggies went 5-6 in 1992 after those individual losses. Last year Fuentes produced the best passing season in school history with 3,268 yards, while Curtis had the fourth best receiving season (1,258 yards) and Samuel rushed for 633 of the Aggies' 929 yards.

USU TRAVEL IN DENNEHY ERA -- USU will make more trips this year than in the recent past with seven road games, but with regional contests at Utah, Arizona State, New Mexico, New Mexico State and Idaho, the Aggies will not travel as many miles as they have gone the last two years as an independent.

Year Games Miles Avg./G Notes 2000 6 9,204 1,534 Last year in Big West Conference 2001 6 15,408 2,568 Played road games in four different time zones 2002 6 15,706 2,618 Five trips to central time zone 2003 7 12,606 1,800 Five of seven trips are in this region

A FULL DOZEN -- This season USU will play 12 regular season games for the first time in school history. USU has played 12 games, including bowl games, in just two seasons (1993 and 1997). USU was 7-5 in 1993 and 6-6 in 1997.

2003 Stat Rankings

Team Avg. SBC NCAA Total Offense 357.0 1 50 Rushing Offense 77.0 5 81 Passing Offense 280.0 1 25 Scoring Offense 20.0 1 57

Total Defense 382.0 4 63 Rushing Defense 202.0 5 80 Passing Defense 180.0 3 38 Scoring Defense 40.0 6 85

Kickoff Returns 17.9 3 65 Punt Returns 17.0 2 67 Net Punting 2 51 TO Margin 0.0 3 42

Individual Avg. SBC NCAA P Ben Chaet Punting 43.5 1 20 TE Chris Cooley Receptions 4.0 5 99 QB Travis Cox Total Offense 286.0 1 16 Pass Eff. 106.9 1 62 Scoring 6.0 1 73 Pts. Responsible 8.0 1 RET Jerome Dennis Kickoff Returns 17.7 4 50 CB Mark Estelle Interceptions 1.0 2 5 TB David Fiefia Rushing 54.0 6 95 All-Purpose 91.0 8 Receptions 2.0 9 PK Justin Hamblin Field Goals 1.0 2 29 Scoring 4.0 9 WR Chris Stallworth Rec. Yards 113.0 1 21 Receptions 5.0 2 66 All-Purpose 113.0 2 88 Pts Responsible 6.0 2 Scoring 6.0 3 86 S Terrance Washington Interceptions 1.0 2 5 LB Matt Wiser Kickoff Returns 14.0 7 60

* * * * *

USU Opponents In The Polls

AP USA/ESPN Opponent (Pre) (Pre) Arizona State 22 23 Nebraska 27 32 New Mexico -- 48 Utah -- 51 North Texas -- 56

Utah State Depth Chart (as of August 30, 2003)

Offense

Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. LT 72 Donald Penn 6-5 302 So. 1L 65 Brenen Burningham 6-7 305 Jr. 2L

LG 77 Greg Vandermade 6-3 289 Sr. 1L 61 Victor Eti 6-2 324 Jr. JC

OC 59 Aric Galliano 6-3 297 Sr. 1L 77 Greg Vandermade 6-3 289 Sr. 1L 52 David Rawlins 6-0 275 So. SQ

RG 63 Trevor Hutton 6-2 308 Sr. 1L 74 Grant Calverley 6-4 296 Sr. 1L 76 Malik Cin 6-4 299 So. RS

RT 78 Elliott Tupea 6-2 313 Jr. TR 65 Brenen Burningham 6-7 305 Jr. 2L 74 Grant Calverley 6-4 296 Sr. 1L

TE 86 Patrick McNutt 6-5 255 So. 1L 87 Jason Stephens 6-4 220 Fr. RS 45 Nick George 6-2 242 So. 1L

TE/FB 89 Chris Cooley 6-4 252 Sr. 3L 47 Trent Nate 5-9 222 Jr. JC

WR 10 Chris Stallworth 6-3 214 Sr. 3L (X) 5 Raymond Hicks 5-10 184 Jr. JC

WR 80 Jason Thomas 6-3 208 So. 1L (Y) 18 Tony Pennyman 5-10 180 Fr. HS

WR 81 Kenny Coleman 5-10 175 Sr. SQ (H) 82 Joel Higginson 6-0 187 Jr. SQ

WR 19 Jerome Eason 6-3 213 So. 1L (Z) 3 Barry Tolli 6-1 195 Jr. JC

QB 4 Travis Cox 6-2 211 Jr. 2L 12 Matt Crivello 6-1 191 Jr. RS 16 Bryan Black 6-2 183 Fr. RS or 17 Leon Jackson III 6-2 185 Fr. HS

TB 39 David Fiefia 5-8 200 Sr. 3L 7 Richard Watson 5-9 208 So. 1L 34 Travis Davis 5-7 170 Fr. HS

KEY: 1L = one varsity letter, HS= High School experience, JC=Junior College, RS= Redshirt, SQ=Squad (did not letter), TR=Transfer

Duplicate Numbers 4 QB Travis Cox 4 SS Joe Lindsay 10 WR Chris Stallworth 10 FS Vaughn Mansfield

Defense

Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. LT 41 Justin Jackson 6-3 267 Sr. 1L 96 Tim Jessop 6-4 232 Fr. RS

NG 92 Ronald Tupea 6-2 293 Jr. 2L 75 Ryan DeQuillettes 6-3 278 So. 1L 66 Brent Pollock 6-2 312 Jr. JC

RT 90 Michael Gates 6-4 245 So. 1L 99 Jarom Fano 6-0 257 So. RS

STUD 91 Nate Putnam 6-7 239 Jr. 2L 43 Ryan Taylor 6-4 220 So. 1L or 42 Kelly Poppinga 6-2 237 Fr. HS

MAC 30 Robert Watts 6-3 224 Jr. 2L 51 Matt Wiser 6-0 224 So. 1L

SAM 49 Rodney Wilson 6-2 215 Sr. 3L 46 Jared Johnstun 6-2 231 So. 1L

WILL 40 Nate Fredrick 6-3 230 So. 1L 48 Jake Stewart 6-4 221 So. 1L

LC 20 Jerome Dennis 6-1 192 Jr. 2L 2 Mark Estelle 5-9 175 Sr. 2L

SS 21 Mike Rosencrans 6-0 203 Sr. 1L 4 Joe Lindsay 5-11 177 Fr. RS or 36 Ross Luna 5-10 195 Jr. 2L

FS 1 Derrek Shank 5-11 194 Sr. 3L 9 Terrance Washington 5-11 197 Fr. RS

RC 6 Marvin Clark 5-10 187 Jr. RS 23 Reggie Willson 5-10 186 So. 1L or 29 Cornelius Lamb 6-3 185 So. 1L

Special Teams ecial Te Pos. No. Player Ht. Wt. Yr. Exp. P 15 Ben Chaet 6-0 193 So. SQ 13 Justin Hamblin 5-11 148 Fr. TR

PK 13 Justin Hamblin 5-11 148 Fr. TR 15 Ben Chaet 6-0 193 So. SQ

LS 51 Matt Wiser 6-0 224 So. 1L 58 Jaison Carriger 6-3 226 So. 1L

SS 92 Ronald Tupea 6-2 293 Jr. 2L 45 Nick George 6-2 242 So. 1L

H 39 David Fiefia 5-8 200 Sr. 3L 9 Terrance Washington 5-11 197 Fr. RS

PR 39 David Fiefia 5-8 200 Sr. 3L 5 Raymond Hicks 5-10 184 Jr. JC 81 Kenny Coleman 5-10 175 Sr. SQ

KOR 20 Jerome Dennis 6-1 192 Jr. 2L 39 David Fiefia 5-8 200 Sr. 3L 23 Reggie Willson 5-10 186 So. 1L 5 Raymond Hicks 5-10 184 Jr. JC

 

 

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