Aggie Football Team To Host Southern Utah
Sept. 3, 2000
Sept. 3, 2000
Game #2 vs. Southern Utah Sat., Sept. 9, 7:05 p.m. (MST) Romney Stadium (30,257) Logan, Utah Radio: KVNU (610 AM), Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), SLC Internet: www.utahstateaggies.com TV: TBA USU Tickets: 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305
USU SID: Mike Strauss (435) 797-1361 SUU SID: Neil Gardner (435) 586-7753
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2000 Utah State (0-1, 0-0) Sept. 2 at Texas Tech L 16-38 Sept. 9 SO. UTAH 7:05 Sept. 23 at Arizona State 8:00 Sept. 30 UTAH 3:05 Oct. 6 (Fri) at Brigham Young 7:05 Oct. 14 at North Texas* 1:35 Oct. 21 IDAHO* 3:05 Oct. 28 ARKANSAS ST.* 3:05 Nov. 4 at N.M. State* 6:00 Nov. 11 at Boise State* 1:05 Nov. 18 IDAHO STATE 3:05 (All times are Mountain)
2000 So. Utah (1-0, 0-0) Sept. 2 FORT LEWIS W 54-16 Sept. 9 at Utah State Sept. 16 at San Jose State Sept. 23 at Hampton Sept. 30 CAL POLY Oct. 14 at UC Davis Oct. 21 at Idaho State Oct. 28 ST. MARY'S Nov. 4 ROCKY MOUNTAIN Nov. 11 MOREHEAD STATE Nov. 18 at Northern Arizona
QUICKLY -- Utah State will host its home opener when the Aggies face Southern Utah Sept. 9 at 7:05 p.m... The day is designated as Aggie Family Day... Aggie Fest, which will feature vendors, bands, and numerous activities will begin at 5 p.m. in the west parking lot of Romney Stadium. The event is free... Utah State will be playing the first of three instate games this year with its first ever meeting against Southern Utah... Utah State will be looking to avoid an 0-2 start, something that has occurred just once in the last four years (USU opened the 1998 season 0-3)... Utah State will be playing a team with a winning record at game time for the 20th time in its last 25 games... USU is 3-1 in its last four home openers... USU has lost two straight home games dating back to last year.
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on the Aggie Radio Network with Al "Thunder" Lewis handling the play-by-play chores and Chris "Lightening" Tunis providing analysis. The games are carried on KVNU (610 AM) and KVFX (94.5 FM) in Logan and KWLW (700 AM) in Salt Lake City as well as through USU's web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
MEDIA SERVICES -- All Utah State player and coach interview requests should be made through the Athletic Media Relations Office by calling Mike Strauss at (435) 797-1361. Interviews should be completed by Wednesday each week. Information about Utah State football can be obtained in several ways, including the internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com), Fax-on-Demand, e-mail, fax, or simply by calling us. Information will be updated as quickly as possible on all of the systems each week. See the left column on page two for information on USU's weekly press conferences.
LAST TIME OUT -- Emmett White rushed for a career-high 143 yards in his first collegiate start at running back and Jeff Crosbie connected on two touchdown passes, but it wasn't enough as the Aggies opened the year with a 38-16 loss at Texas Tech (39th in the AP poll) on Saturday. Texas Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the second quarter before USU responded with a 43-yard Brad Bohn field goal and a 23-yard scoring pass from Crosbie to Aaron Jones to make it 21-9. Tech then scored two straight touchdowns before Joe Solosabal scored on a five-yard reception the first time he ever touched the ball for the Aggies. On the night, USU passed for 153 yards and rushed for 147 yards in its balanced attack. The Aggie defense limited Texas Tech to just 77 rushing yards, but the Red Raiders struck for 505 passing yards on 37-of-57 attempts. The 99 degree temperature at kickoff was the second warmest known kickoff temperature in USU history (103 at Arizona State in 1983).
UP NEXT -- Utah State will have its only bye week of the season before traveling to Arizona State on Sept. 23.
DID YOU KNOW? -- USU head coach Mick Dennehy will be looking for the 50th win of his head coaching career this week. Dennehy enters the Southern Utah game with a 49-26 slate in his eighth year of coaching (10-13 at Western Montana, 39-12 at Montana and 0-1 at Utah State).
COACH MICK DENNEHY -- In his first year at Utah State is Mick Dennehy (Montana, 1973), who was hired on Dec. 3, 1999. He compiled a 39-12 record in four years at Montana and his 76.5 winning percentage is the best at the school for coaches with more than two years. 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. 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 3-1 (2nd in I-AA) 1997 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/2nd .750 0-1 in playoffs 1998 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/1st .750 0-1 in playoffs 1999 Montana 9-3 .750 7-1/1st 1.00 0-1 in playoffs 2000 Utah State 0-1 .000 0-0 .000 24th head coach Western Montana (3 yrs.) 10-13 .435 6-12 .333 Revived Program Montana (4 yrs.) 39-12 .765 27-5 .844 Four playoffs Utah State (1st yr.) 0-1 .000 0-0 .000 Division I debut Totals (8th year) 49-26 .653 33-17 .660 3-4 in playoffs
THE USU-SUU SERIES -- Utah State and Southern Utah have never met on the football field. The Aggies will be meeting Utah for the 100th time this season and BYU for the 73rd time. USU has also faced Weber State 11 times and will meet the Wildcats again next year. In its first 102 years of football, Utah State has also played against instate teams like Brigham Young College, the Crimsons, Granite High School, the Logan All Stars, the Ogden Athletic Club, Ogden High School, the Ogden Mutes, Salt Lake High School and the Utah Field Artillery, but has never played Southern Utah until this week. Mick Dennehy is no stranger to Southern Utah having coached against the Thunderbirds twice while at Montana. Montana beat SUU 44-13 in 1996 and lost 45-35 in 1998.
USU-SUU CONNECTIONS -- Utah State's Nate Larsen redshirted at Southern Utah in 1994 before going on a mission. SUU's marketing director Tony Jewkes worked in the USU marketing department before leaving for Cedar City.
IN THE POLLS -- Here is a look at where USU's 2000 opponents have been ranked in the Associated Press polls this year:
Opponent Pre 8-27 9-3 Texas Tech 43 39 43 Arizona State 47 46 41 Utah 33 31 41 Brigham Young 41 N/A 43
NATIONAL RANKINGS -- After just one week in the season several USU players are among the national leaders in several statistical categories. RB Emmett White is 12th in rushing, 19th in all-purpose yardage and 30th in punt returns, WR Aaron Jones is fifth in receptions and 34th in receiving yards, CB Tony Walker is third in interceptions, and PK Brad Bohn is 17th in field goals.
DID YOU KNOW? -- Utah State is playing three instate schools in the same season for the first time since 1982 (beat Weber State and BYU and lost to Utah).
TRYING TO AVOID THE SLOW START -- Since Phil Krueger started his USU coaching career in 1973 by posting a 1-1 record through two games, USU coaches have gotten off to slow starts in Logan. Bruce Snyder started 0-6, Chris Pella 0-3, Chuck Shelton 0-3, Charlie Weatherbie 0-3, John L. Smith 0-5 and Dave Arslanian 0-3 before gaining their first wins as Aggie mentors.
A SPLIT WOULD BEAT A PAIR -- USU has opened a season 2-0 or 0-2 13 times in the last 17 years. Last year after the Aggies dropped their opener at Georgia they evened their record with a 51-17 win against Stephen F. Austin to record the first 1-1 season start since 1993.
BIG CROWD EXPECTED -- Utah State expects to draw a good sized crowd for the home opener against Southern Utah. The largest non-Utah or BYU crowd was back in 1993 when USU drew 23,095 against Baylor in the first night game at Romney Stadium. Here is a look at the largest home crowds for non-Utah and BYU games in the last five seasons: 1995 -- 20, 909 vs. Boise State 1996 -- 20,120 vs. Cal State Northridge 1997 -- 22,097 vs. Colorado State 1998 -- 14,498 vs. Sam Houston State 1999 -- 18,147 vs. Arkansas State
WHO PLAYED IN THE OPENER -- Utah State played 54 of the 60 players that travelled to Texas Tech on Saturday. Included in that group were 12 freshmen, including eight true freshmen as well as a total of 16 players that were not in Logan last year. Thirteen players made their first USU starts (five on offense and eight on defense).
WHO ARE THESE GUYS? -- Utah State had six different players with receptions against Texas Tech. Here is a look at those six players: Aaron Jones (did not play in last two games last year), David Fiefia (was not in school last fall), Emmett White (fourth and fifth career receptions), Casey Poppinga (redshirted last year), Steve Mullins (punter last year), Joe Solosabal (linebacker last year).
WHITE MAKES MOST OF START -- In his first two seasons at Utah State, Emmett White rushed 25 times for 108 yards combined. In his first collegiate start at running back against Texas Tech on Saturday (he started the season finale at wide receiver last year), the junior carried 20 times for 143 yards. Here is a look at how other USU backs have done in their starting debuts since 1992: Yards, Player, Opponent, Year 157, Abu Wilson vs. New Mexico State, 1992 37, James Dye vs. Southwestern Louisiana, 1993 44, Profail Grier vs. Louisiana State, 1993 71, Kendrick Huey vs. New Mexico State, 1993 166, Demario Brown vs. Boise State, 1996 142, Melvin Blue vs. Idaho State, 1997 34, John Roberts vs. Colorado, 1998 143, EMMETT WHITE vs. TEXAS TECH, 2000
OFFENSIVE NOTES -- Utah State put together 99-yard and 73-yard scoring drives against Texas Tech... USU's first two drives against Texas Tech netted 87 total yards on 13 plays... USU's first four passes went to four different receivers... WR Aaron Jones recorded eight of USU's 16 receptions against Texas Tech... QB Jeff Crosbie threw two touchdown passes against Texas Tech after throwing two touchdown passes in the previous seven games combined... Crosbie now has 20 career touchdown passes to tie for ninth on the USU career list with Bob Gagliano... RB Emmett White had five runs of 10 or more yards, including two rushes for 20-plus yards on Saturday... White produced four of USU's eight plays from scrimmage that went at least 15 yards (three rushes and one reception)... FB Joe Solosabal scored a touchdown the first time he touched the ball as an Aggie with a five-yard reception against Texas Tech... USU's 16 points against Texas Tech were its most in an opener since 1997 (beat Utah 21-14).
DEFENSIVE NOTES -- USU's defense limited Texas Tech to just 77 yards rushing and limited North Texas to just 47 rushing yards in last year's finale... After one week, USU leads the Big West and ranks 28th in the nation in rushing defense... USU did allow the Red Raiders 505 passing yards, the most since BYU threw for 619 in 1993... While Texas Tech reached the Red Zone (inside USU's 20-yard line) seven times, the Red Raiders scored just three times.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- PK Brad Bohn has made three of his last four field goal attempts from 40 or more yards... P Steve Mullins averaged 46.7 yards on his three first half punts and 29.7 on his three second half boots against Texas Tech... USU's average starting field position against Texas Tech was its own 22 yard line, while Tech started at its own 36, including an average field position start of its own 45-yard line in the second half.
USU NOTE-ABLE -- PK Brad Bohn, LB Blake Eagal and OT Jeff Long served as captains for the Texas Tech game (game captains will be selected each week)... USU is 1-2 in known games on Sept. 9 in its history... The Southern Utah game will be USU's only home night game (the other four games start at 3:05 p.m.).
DID YOU KNOW? -- The Big West Conference schedule will include just five games and USU has won four league games in six of the seven years the Big West has had just six teams (1978, 79, 80, 81, 96 and 97).
INDEPENDENCE DAY -- While this is the final year of the Big West Conference it is also the final year of Utah State's 22-year streak of playing in a conference as the Aggies will be an independent in 2000. It will not be the first time Utah State has not been affiliated with a conference in football as the Aggies were independent for a 16-year stretch from 1962-77 after a 23-year affiliation with with the Mountain States/Skyline Conference from 1938-61. In addition, USU was not a member of a conference from 1892-1937. Here is a closer look at USU's history since joining a conference in 1938:
Conf. Years Conference Seasons Record Champ Bowls 1938-1961 Mntn. States/Skyline 23 101-113 3 4 1962-1977 Independent 16 99-66 N/A 0 1978-pres. PCAA/Big West 22 103-139 5 2
MORE ON INDEPENDENTS -- In the year 2000, eight schools will play as independents. In 2001, Utah State will join Central Florida, Connecticut, Navy and Notre Dame as independents. Here is a look:
2000 Independents 2001 Affiliation Central Florida Independent Connecticut Independent (Big East in 2005) Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt Louisiana Tech Sun Belt Middle Tennessee State Sun Belt Navy Independent Notre Dame Independent
2000 Season Note-Able
* Utah State's 2000 schedule includes eight teams with winning records in 1999, as well as four schools, which went to bowl games (Arizona State, Brigham Young, Boise State and Utah)... The Aggies will meet teams from the Pac-10 (Arizona State), Big XII (Texas Tech) and Mountain West (Brigham Young and Utah) as well as Southern Utah and Idaho State in non-conference action... The 2000 opponents combined for a 68-57 (.544) record in 1999... USU will end its season with a non-conference game (Idaho State) for the first time since 1990 (Brigham Young)... No USU first-year head coach has had a winning record in his first season at Logan since Phil Krueger went 7-4 in 1973 (six coaches since then)... For just the first time since 1990, Utah State will play a game without former assistant coach Nate Kaczor on the sideline as he is now coaching at Nebraska-Kearney. Kaczor, who also played at USU in 1988 and 1989, was an assistant at Missouri Western in 1990 .* USU lost 1999 second-team all-Big West LB Tony Newson before the season to a shoulder injury that never healed properly. * SS Aminifu Johnson, a projected starter at strong safety, tore his ACL in practice before the season opener and is lost for the season. * WR Adam Colbert broke his hand in the final fall scrimmage. * P Steve Mullins is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award (national punter of the year). * LB Brent Passey is a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award (national defensive player of the year). * The 99 degree kickoff temperature at Texas Tech was the second hottest known kickoff temperature in USU history (103 at Arizona State in 1983).
MORE AT USU -- Here is a look at USU's athletic schedule this week: Mon., Sept. 4 -- SOCCER VS. IOWA, 11 a.m. Fri., Sept. 8 -- Volleyball at Montana State Tournament Fri., Sept. 8 -- Soccer at Kentucky, 5:30 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 -- FOOTBALL VS. SOUTHERN UTAH, 7:05 p.m. Sat., Sept. 9 -- Volleyball at Montana State Tournament Sat., Sept. 9 -- Golf at Wyoming Tournament Sun., Sept. 9 -- Soccer at Indiana, 11 a.m. Sun., Sept. 9 -- Golf at Wyoming Tournament
2000 Big West/NCAA Rankings
Team Big West (NCAA) Total Offense 4th (69th) Rushing Offense 3rd (44th) Passing Offense 3rd (72nd) Scoring Offense 4th (72nd) Total Defense 6th (101st) Rushing Defense 1st (28th) Passing Defense 6th (102nd) Scoring Defense 5th (87th) Kickoff Returns 4th (64th) Punt Returns 1st (34th) Net Punting 4th (57th) TO Margin 4th (76th)
Individual Big West (NCAA) BRAD BOHN Field Goals 1st (17th) JEFF CROSBIE Passing 3rd Total Offense 4th DAVID FIEFIA Receptions 8th Receiving Yards 9th AARON JONES Receptions 1st (5th) Receiving Yards 1st (34th) Scoring 3rd All-Purpose 7th STEVE MULLINS Punting 5th JOE SOLOSABAL Scoring 3rd TONY WALKER Interceptions 1st (3rd) All-Purpose 7th Kickoff Returns 8th EMMETT WHITE Rushing 1st (12th) Punt Returns 1st (30th) All-Purpose 2nd (19th) Total Offense 5th
2000 Big West Standings
School Conf. Overall Boise State 0-0 1-0 UTAH STATE 0-0 0-1 Arkansas State 0-0 0-1 Idaho 0-0 0-1 New Mexico State 0-0 0-1 North Texas 0-0 0-1
This Week North Texas at Texas Tech Northern Iowa at Boise State Montana at Idaho Southern Utah at Utah State Arkansas State at Oklahoma
Utah State Depth Chart
LT 79 Jim Newton (6-10, 294, So., 1L) 76 Eric Gwilliam (6-5, 257, Jr., JC)
LG 67 JESS SCHUCK (6-2, 305, Jr., 2L) 52 Ed Powell (6-3, 300, Jr., JC)
OC 53 JUNIOR PUTUTAU (6-1, 300 Sr., 2L) 63 Matt Jenkins (6-3, 306, Sr., 1L)
WR 9 AARON JONES (5-11, 180, Sr., 3L) (X) 80 Michael Brignac (6-2, 190, Fr., HS)
WR 3 KY ODAY (6-2, 183, Sr., 1L) (Z) 15 Chris Stallworth (6-3, 190, Fr., HS)
Hero 44 BRENT PASSEY (6-1, 227, Sr., 3L) 40 Justin Oswald (5-8, 206, Sr., 1L)
Mac 47 BLAKE EAGAL (6-2, 231, Sr., 3L) 21 Nathan Barber (6-2, 220, Jr., JC)
LC 10 Adebolah Jimoh (6-1, 185, So., 1L) 22 Malcom Moore (5-10, 175, Jr., JC)
RC 1 TONY WALKER (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L) 29 Shaun Healy (5-7, 167, Sr., 1L)
P 12 STEVE MULLINS (6-4, 226, So., 1L) 18 Brian Benza (6-2, 205, Sr., 1L)
PK 26 BRAD BOHN (5-7, 178, Sr., 3L) 87 Dane Kidman (5-10, 178, So., SQ)
H 7 Jeff Crosbie (6-5, 198, Jr., 2L)
1999 Starters in ALL CAPS
1L = one varsity letter, HS= High School experience, JC=Junior College, RS= Redshirt, SQ=Squad, TR=Transfer