LOGAN, Utah -
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Football Game Notes vs. Wisconsin
UW Football Game Notes vs. Utah State
GAME THREE INFORMATION
UTAH STATE at #22 WISCONSIN
Date: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MT)
Location: Madison, Wis.
Stadium: Camp Randall Stadium (82,500)
Series: Utah State leads, 1-0
TV: Big Ten Network
Matt Devlin (Play-by-Play)
Glen Mason (Analyst)
Jay Wilson (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
Utah State received one vote in this week's Associated Press top 25 poll to rank tied for 41st in the country along with North Carolina. Overall, it is the first time Utah State has received votes in the AP poll since the beginning of the 1966 season. The last time USU was nationally ranked was during the 1978 season when it was 18th in the United Press International Poll (UPI) after starting that year with five straight wins.
Wisconsin received 44 votes in this week's Associated Press top 25 poll to rank 32nd in the country. All-time, USU is 6-24 against teams receiving votes in the AP top 25. The last time USU played a team receiving votes in the AP top 25 was on Oct. 30, 2010 at Nevada (L, 56-42) and the last time USU defeated a team receiving votes in the AP top 25 was on Aug. 30, 1997 at Utah (21-17). UW is also ranked 22nd this week in the coaches' poll.
Utah State is 2-0 to start a season for the first time since 1997 when it won at Utah, 21-14, and defeated Idaho State at home, 41-7. The last time USU started a season 3-0 was 1978 when that Aggie team won its first five games of the season.
Utah State will be looking for its eighth-straight regular season win dating back to 2011 and that seven-game regular season winning streak ranks tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation along with Baylor. LSU has the longest active regular season winning streak at 14, followed by Georgia (12), Louisiana Tech (8), TCU (8), Virginia Tech (8), USU and Baylor. USU ended the 2011 regular season with wins at Hawai`i (35-31), against San Jose State (34-33), at Idaho (49-42 2OT), to Nevada (21-17) and at New Mexico State (24-21).
Utah State has won each of its last three road games dating back to the 2011 season (24-21 at New Mexico State; 49-42 2OT at Idaho; 35-31 at Hawai`i) and is 5-14 (.263) in road games under head coach Gary Andersen.
Utah State has been very competitive in games against BCS schools under current head coach Gary Andersen. In 2009, USU lost at Texas A&M, 38-30. In 2010, USU lost at then 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. And in 2012, USU defeated Utah, 27-20, in overtime.
Utah State has 55 players in its program from the state of Utah, while the Badgers have 53 players on its roster from the Badger state.
Utah State is 4-8 in September under Andersen and 3-4 all-time in games played on Sept. 15.
UTAH STATE TRAVELS TO BIG TEN COUNTRY FOR FIRST ROAD GAME OF THE SEASON
Utah State (2-0, 0-0 WAC) travels to Big Ten country this week as it plays at Wisconsin (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) in its first road game of the year on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network (Dish Ch. 439; DirecTV Ch. 610; Comcast HD Ch. 754) with Matt Devlin (play-by-play), Glen Mason (analyst) and Jay Wilson (reporter) on the call. Live audio of the game will be available at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's gameday coverage.
UTAH STATE TO PLAY FOUR OF NEXT FIVE GAMES ON THE ROAD
After opening the season with consecutive home games for just the third time since the 1954 season, and for the first time under current head coach Gary Andersen, Utah State will now have four of its next five games on the road as it plays at Wisconsin (Sept. 15), at Colorado State (Sept. 22), at BYU (Oct. 5), and at San Jose State (Oct. 13). USU's only home game during that stretch will be against UNLV (Sept. 29). The last time Utah State had a stretch where it played four of five games on the road was during the 2009 season, Andersen's first year at USU, when the Aggies began that year by playing four of its first five games away from home.
UTAH STATE TO PLAY BACK-TO-BACK BCS SCHOOLS
Utah State will be playing back-to-back BCS schools for the first time since the 2003 season when it lost at No. 23 Nebraska (31-7) and lost at No. 16 Arizona State (26-16). Last week, USU defeated Utah (27-20 OT) at home and plays at Wisconsin this weekend.
LOOKING INSIDE UTAH STATE'S 2012 SCHEDULE
Utah State's 2012 schedule features four teams who played in bowl games a year ago as Utah played in the Sun Bowl (W, 30-27 vs. Georgia Tech); Wisconsin played in the Rose Bowl (L, 45-38 vs. Oregon); BYU played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Tulsa); and Louisiana Tech played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (L, 31-24 vs. TCU).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 2-0 on the year after posting a season-opening 34-3 home win against Southern Utah, followed by a 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah. Offensively, USU is lead by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 44-of-57 passing for 520 yards (260.0 ypg) with four touchdowns and one interception. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team in rushing with 158 yards on 32 carries (79.0 ypg) with one touchdown, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin has seven catches for 147 yards (73.5 ypg) and one touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu leads the team with 15 tackles (4-solo, 11-assist), including 2.5 for loss with one sack. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil also has a team-leading 15 tackles (1-solo, 14-assist) with 0.5 for loss, as does senior safety McKade Brady (3-solo, 12-assist) and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell (1-solo, 14-assist). As a team, Utah State is averaging 30.5 points and 474.5 yards of total offense (260.0-passing, 214.5-rushing) and allowing just 11.5 points and 267.0 yards of total offense (191.0-passing, 76.0-rushing).
UTAH STATE RECORDS FIRST WIN AGAINST BCS SCHOOL SINCE 1993
With its 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah on Sept. 7, Utah State recorded its first victory against a BCS school since Oct. 17, 1992 when it defeated Kansas State at home, 28-16. It was also USU's first win against a current Pac-12 school, other than Utah, since Sept. 25, 1965 when it won at Arizona State, 13-0, when the Sun Devils were a member of the WAC.
ROMNEY STADIUM SOLDOUT FOR UTAH GAME
Utah State's home game against Utah was its first sellout (25,513) since Oct. 4, 2002 against BYU (30,341). The official capacity of the stadium in 2002 was 30,257 and was lowered to 25,513 prior to the 2006 season.
UTAH STATE HAS WON ITS LAST FOUR HOME GAMES
Utah State has won each of its last four home games, which is its longest home winning streak since winning five-straight home games during the 1990 season. Overall, USU is 12-7 at home under Andersen, which includes a 7-1 non-conference record and a 5-0 mark against in-state opponents.
AGGIES SNAP LOSING STREAK TO UTES
With its 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah on Sept. 7, Utah State snapped a 12-game losing streak to its in-state rival, including six-straight losses at home. The last time USU defeated Utah prior to the 2012 season was on Aug. 30, 1997 in Salt Lake City (21-14) and the last time it had beaten the Utes at home was on Aug. 31, 1996 (20-17).
UTAH STATE RECORDS FIRST BLOCKED PUNT SINCE 2002 SEASON
Utah State sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil's blocked punt against Utah was USU's first since Sept. 28, 2002 at Boise State. Vigil's punt was recovered in the end zone by junior safety Clayton Christensen for a touchdown. That Boise State game was also the last time USU scored a touchdown on a blocked punt. The last time USU scored a special teams touchdown was on Oct. 30, 2010 when Kerwynn Williams returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown at Nevada.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
With its 27-20 overtime win against Utah on Sept. 7, Utah State improved to 5-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last two as it won a double-overtime game at Idaho (49-42) in 2011. Under Andersen, USU is 2-1 in overtime games with wins against Utah (27-20 OT) and at Idaho (49-42 2OT), and a loss to Colorado State (35-34 2OT). All-time, USU is 3-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
FILIMOEATU NAMED HONORABLE MENTION NATIONAL LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK
Utah State's Bojay Filimoeatu was named an honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his performance against Utah. Filimoeatu was also named College Sports Madness' Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9. Filimoeatu, a 6-1, 258-pound linebacker from West Valley City, Utah (Granger HS/Mt. San Antonio JC) recorded a career-high 12 tackles, to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss, in Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah in a game that was televised nationally on ESPN2. Filimoeatu also had a sack and two quarterback hurries against the Utes. Georgia's Jarvis Jones was named the Performer of the Week at linebacker by College Football Performance Awards, and Filimoeatu joined Tristan Okpalaugo (Fresno State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Steve Greer (Virginia), James Morris (Iowa), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Chi Chi Ariguzo (Northwestern), Pat Hinkel (Miami, OH), Jamal Merrell (Rutgers), Dion Bailey (USC), DeAundre Brown (Tulsa) and Carols Mendoza (Arizona State) as honorable mention award winners.
KEETON NAMED WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah, snapping a 12-game losing streak to the Utes. In the game, Keeton completed 22-of-32 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the 22 completions and 32 attempts both tied previous career-highs. Keeton also carried the ball a career-high 17 times for a career-high 86 yards, including a 23-yard scramble in overtime to set up the winning touchdown. Overall, it is the second time in his career that Keeton has been named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week.
KEETON NAMED DAVEY O'BRIEN HONORABLE MENTION NATIONAL QUARTERBACK OF THE WEEK
Along with being named the WAC's Offensive Player of the week, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was also named an honorable mention Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week for his performance against Utah. Other quarterbacks to earn honorable mention honors along with Keeton include Matt Barkley (USC), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Collin Klein (Kansas State), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Aaron Murray (Georgia). Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning was named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week.
BENNETT NAMED WAC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior punter Tyler Bennett was named the WAC's Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah, snapping a 12-game losing streak to the Utes. In the game, Bennett punted a career-high nine times against Utah for an average of 45.3 yards per punt with a long of 59. Bennett also had four punts downed inside the 20-yardline which is also a career-high. Overall, it is Bennett's first career WAC Player of the Week honor and the last time USU had a WAC Special Teams Player of the Week was Kevin Robinson who won the award in 2007 as a kick returner.
AGGIES IN THE CLASSROOM
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Andersen's first three years as head coach. In 2011, USU had a WAC-leading 18 academic all-WAC honorees.
DID YOU KNOW?
Ten former Utah State football players are on NFL rosters for the 2012 season including Diondre Borel (Green Bay), Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), John Chick (Jacksonville), Tarren Lloyd (New York Jets), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Patrick Scales (Baltimore), Michael Smith (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle) and Bobby Wagner (Seattle).
RANKING UTAH STATE IN THE WAC
As of Sept. 9, Utah State ranks first in the WAC in pass efficiency (172.2), first in pass defense efficiency (96.7), first in scoring defense (11.5), first in net punting (40.4), second in rushing offense (214.5), second in total offense (474.5), second in rushing defense (76.0), second in punt returns (14.8), third in pass offense (260.0), third in pass defense (191.0), third in total defense (267.0), fourth in scoring offense (30.5), and fifth in kickoff returns (19.2). USU also ranks first in the WAC in first downs (22.0), first in opponent's third-down conversions (15.6), second in first downs allowed (15.5), and third in third-down conversion percentage (44.0).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC RANKINGS
As of Sept. 9, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks first in the WAC in pass efficiency (173.5), second in passing yards per game (260.0), second in total offense (304.5), and eighth in rushing (44.5). Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks second in the WAC in scoring (12.0) and seventh in rushing yards per game (58.0). Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks fourth in the WAC in rushing yards per game (79.0), eighth in all-purpose yards (86.5) and 10th in total offense (79.0). Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett ranks tied for fourth in the WAC in receptions per game (5.0). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks fourth in the WAC in receiving yards per game (73.5). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb leads the WAC in punt return average (9.0). Junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright ranks third in the WAC in kickoff return average (22.2). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks first in the WAC in punting (44.5). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for fifth in the WAC in tackles for loss (1.25), tied for sixth in sacks per game (0.5) and tied for 17th in tackles per game (7.5). Senior defensive end Connor Williams ranks tied for sixth in the WAC in sacks per game (0.5). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks tied for 17th in the WAC in tackles per game (7.5). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for 17th in the WAC in tackles per game (7.5). Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Nielsen ranks third in the WAC in sacks per game (1.0). Redshirt freshman linebacker La'Bradford Harold ranks tied for first in the WAC in interceptions per game (0.5). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks second in the WAC in passes defended per game (2.5). And senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks third in the WAC in passes defended per game (1.5) and tied for sixth in sacks per game (0.5).
UTAH STATE IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Sept. 9, Utah State ranks 13th in the nation in passing efficiency (172.2), 18th in scoring defense (11.5), 19th in total defense (267.0), 20th in rushing defense (76.0), 21st in passing efficiency defense (96.7), 25th in punt returns (14.8), 28th in net punting (40.4), 31st in rushing offense (214.5), 35th in total offense (474.5), and 38th in passing defense (191.0). Individually, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks 11th in the nation in passing efficiency (173.5), tied for 15th in passing (260.0) and 25th in total offense (304.5). Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks tied for 12th in the nation in scoring (12.0). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks 22nd in the nation in punting (44.5). And redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for 27th in the nation in sacks per game (1.0).
YOUNG AGGIES GAINING EXPERIENCE
Of the 66 players that saw action for Utah State in its season opener against Southern Utah, 26 were underclassmen including four true freshmen (K. Lee, L. Malohifo'ou, B. Natson, B. Warren), seven redshirt freshmen (K. Fackrell, T. Fisilau, L. Harold, D. Keller, J. Nielsen, T. Seefeldt, B. Swindall), and 15 sophomores (K. Andersen, J. Bentrude, C. Harrison, J. Haueter, J. Hill, J. Jenkins, E. Kamana-Matagi, C. Keeton, T. McMillian, N. Needham, R. Stewart, B. Suite, F. Sutera, A. Wheat, Jr., Kevin Whimpey). Furthermore, of the 66 players that Utah State played in its season opener against Southern Utah, 22 were playing in their first-ever Division I game, while 11 were playing in their first-ever collegiate game.
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Two games into the 2012 season, Utah State has had nine players make their first career starts at the Divison I level. Against Southern Utah, freshman placekicker Brock Warren; senior defensive lineman Havea Lasike; junior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey; junior linebacker Zach Vigil; sophomore safety Frankie Sutera; and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell all started for the first time. Against Utah, sophomore offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey, sophomore running back Joe Hill and sophomore safety Brian Suite all made their first career starts.
UTAH STATE RETURNS EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINE
Utah State returns a great deal of starting experience on the offensive line highlighted by first-team all-WAC junior center Tyler Larsen (6-4, 312), and senior offensive tackles Eric Schultz (6-4, 303) and Oscar Molina-Sanchez (6-5, 299) who have 69 combined starts between the three of them, including a combined 62 consecutive starts, as Larsen has made all of his 27 starts in a row, while Schultz has 21 straight starts and Molina-Sanchez had 14 consecutive starts in a row before missing the Utah game. Overall, Molina-Sanchez has 21 total starts.
UTAH STATE COACHING CHANGES FOR 2012
Utah State head coach Gary Andersen made some changes to his staff following the 2011 season as quarterbacks coach Matt Wells was promoted to offensive coordinator, replacing Dave Baldwin, and former UNLV head coach Mike Sanford was hired as an assistant head coach working with the running backs and tight ends. Changes on the defensive side of the ball include hiring former Hawai`i defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as USU's defensive coordinator, a position that was held by Andersen last season.
UTAH STATE PLAYS ANOTHER CLOSE GAME
After playing seven games in 2011 that were decided in the last minute of regulation or overtime, Utah State had another overtime finish in its last game against Utah, winning 27-20. During the last two years, USU is 5-3 in games decided in the final minute of regulation or overtime scoring the winning touchdown at Hawai`i (35-31) with 14 seconds to play; scoring the winning touchdown against San Jose State (34-33) with 47 second to play; defeating Idaho (49-42) in double overtime; and scoring the winning touchdown at New Mexico State (24-21) with 35 seconds to play. USU's losses at the end of games or in overtime were to Colorado State (35-34) in double overtime; at BYU (27-24) who scored the winning touchdown with 11 seconds to play, and to Ohio (24-23) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl who scored its winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining.
UTAH STATE PLAYED IN 10 GAMES IN 2011 DECIDED BY ONE SCORE
Utah State was in a nation-leading 10 games that were decided by one score in 2011 as it began the year losing to Auburn, 42-38. USU then lost to Colorado State, 35-34 in 2OT, lost at BYU, 27-24, and lost to Louisiana Tech, 24-17, before breaking through with a 35-31 win at Hawai`i, and following it up with a wild 34-33 win against San Jose State. USU then posted a 49-42 double overtime victory at Idaho, followed by its 21-17 win against Nevada and its 24-21 victory at New Mexico State. USU ended its season with a 24-23 loss to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Thus far in 2012, USU has had one of its two games decided by one score.
NOTABLES FROM THE UTAH GAME
Senior safety McKade Brady had a season-high 10 tackles in his last game against Utah, marking the fourth time in his career he has notched double-digit stops. During the 2011 season, Brady had a career-high 16 tackles at Idaho to go along with 13 stops at Hawai`i and 10 tackles against Nevada.
Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett caught a career-high eight passes for 47 yards against Utah, including a 4-yard touchdown reception which was the first of his career.
Junior linebacker Jake Doughty, sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell all recorded career-highs in tackles against Utah as Fackrell had 11 stops and two quarterback hurries, Vigil had 10 tackles to go along with a pass breakup, blocked punt and 0.5 tackles for loss, and Doughty had nine tackles.
Senior cornerback Will Davis recorded a career-high four pass breakups against Utah, including one on the final play of overtime in the end zone to preserve USU's win. Davis also had six tackles in the game.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Nielsen recorded the first two sacks of his career against Utah and finished the game with a career-high four tackles including one quarterback hurry. Nielsen entered the 2012 season as a walk-on before receiving a scholarship during fall camp.
Senior cornerback Terrence Alston recorded a career-high three pass breakups against Utah, to go along with two tackles and one quarterback hurry.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Travis Seefeldt recovered his first career fumble against Utah.
Kerwynn Williams HOLDS WAC'S CAREER KICK RETURN YARDS RECORD
Senior running back/kick returner Kerwynn Williams broke the WAC's career kick return yards record during the 2011 season and he enters the 2012 season with 3,349 career kick return yards. His career average of 25.3 yards per return ranks fourth all-time in school history. Williams currently ranks fifth all-time at Utah State with 3,565 career all-purpose yards and is 1,638 yards shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for fourth all-time with 5,203 career all-purpose yards.
THOMPSON SETS SCHOOL RECORDS IN KICKING IN 2011
Junior placekicker Josh Thompson set new Utah State single-season extra point records in 2011 with 57 makes in 58 attempts. Thompson also ranked fifth in school history in extra point percentage (.983). All-time, Thompson ranks fourth at USU in extra point percentage (.983), seventh in extra points made (59) and 10th in extra points attempted (60).
EIGHTH AND FINAL YEAR IN THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Utah State is entering its eighth and final year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference as it will officially join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. In its first seven years in the WAC, USU has posted an 18-37 (.327) mark. Prior to joining the WAC, Utah State was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04 and spent two years as a independent (2001-02). USU was also a member of the PCAA/Big West Conference (1978-2000), the Mountain States Conference/Skyline (1938-61), and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (1916-37).
WILLIAMS ONE OF THE FEW FROM CANADA
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
A LOOK AT WISCONSIN
Wisconsin is 1-1 on the season after defeating Northern Iowa (26-21) at home and losing at Oregon State (10-7). Offensively, UW is lead by junior quarterback Danny O'Brien who is 39-of-61 passing for 391 yards (195.5 ypg) with three touchdowns and one interception. Senior running back Montee Ball leads the team in rushing with 181 yards on 47 carries (90.5 ypg) with one touchdown, and junior wide receiver Jared Abbrederis has seven catches for 110 yards (55.0 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Mike Taylor leads the team with 21 tackles (7-solo, 14-assist), while junior linebacker Chris Borland has 15 tackles (8-solo, 7-assist). As a team, Wisconsin is averaging 16.5 points and 297.0 yards of total offense (195.5-passing, 101.5-rushing) and allowing 15.5 points and 330.0 yards of total offense (270.5-passing, 59.5-rushing). Overall, Wisconsin returns 11 starters (O-5, D-6) and 41 lettermen (O-21, D-20) from last year's team that went 11-3 overall, finished in a tie for first in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten Conference with a 6-2 mark, and lost to No. 6 Oregon, 45-38, in the 2012 Rose Bowl. Bret Bielema is 61-30 in his seventh year as the Badgers head coach.
AGGIES AND BADGERS
Utah State is 1-0 all-time against Wisconsin as it defeated the Badgers, 20-0, in Madison on Oct. 12, 1968.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS WISCONSIN
Rushing Yards: Frank Nunn (1968), 73
Passing Yards: John Pappas (1968), 220
Receiving Yards: Ken DeMartini (1968), 66
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH WISCONSIN
Utah State has two players on its 2012 roster who are from the state of Wisconsin in sophomore offensive lineman Josh Larmay (West De Pere/West De Pere HS) and freshman cornerback Marquan Ellison (Miwaukee/Bradley Tech HS).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE
Utah State is 1-12-0 (.077) all-time against current members of the Big Ten Conference with a 1-0 record against Wisconsin, an 0-8 record against Nebraska, a 0-2 record against Iowa, and 0-1 records against Illinois and Penn State. The last time USU played a team from the Big Ten Conference was on Sept. 6, 2003 when it lost at No. 23 Nebraska, 31-7, who was a member of the Big 12 Conference at that time.
UTAH STATE AGAINST BCS SCHOOLS
Utah State is 46-173-5 (.217) all-time against current BCS schools with almost half of those games (110) being played against Utah.
COACH ANDERSEN VERSUS THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE
Gary Andersen will be facing his first Big Ten opponent as Utah State head coach this weekend. As an assistant at Utah, Andersen helped the Utes to a 3-1 record against Big Ten schools, and as a player at Utah, the Utes went 0-1 versus the Big Ten Conference.
LAST MEETING AGAINST WISCONSIN
Senior quarterback John Pappas completed 16-of-33 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns to lead Utah State to a 20-0 win at Wisconsin on Oct. 12, 1968. Senior fullback Frank Nunn added 73 rushing yards on 17 carries for the Aggies, and senior wide receiver Ken DeMartini caught five passes for 66 yards with one touchdown. Utah State finished the game with 360 yards of total offense (220-passing, 140-rushing) and Wisconsin had 208 yards (140-passing, 68-rushing). USU also had 24 first downs in the game as compared to 16 for UW. Defensively, senior defensive tackle Ray Watrin led the Aggies with 11 tackles, while senior defensive back Chuck Detwiler had an interception. Wisconsin was led offensively by senior quarterback John Ryan who was 9-of-9 passing for 94 yards, while senior fullback Wayne Todd had 18 yards on seven carries. Junior wide receiver Melvin Reddick led UW with three catches for 39 yards. Sophomore defensive tackle Jim DeLisle had a game-high 14 tackles for the Badgers, while senior linebacker Ken Criter had 13 tackles.
AGGIE UNIFORM OPTIONS IN 2012
Utah State will have nine different jersey and pant combinations, manufactured by Nike, to go along with two different helmet options for a total of 18 different uniform combinations for the 2012 season. Along with its traditional blue and white uniforms, a new pewter grey uniform will be utilized this season. Two helmet options are also available including a new diamond pattern blue and black helmet with a black face mask, along with its traditional white helmet with a blue face mask. Home uniform options feature a traditional combination of blue jersey with blue or white pants, as well as an option of blue jersey and pewter pants. Road uniform combinations can be built around the newly-designed pewter jersey or the traditional white jersey. The road pewter jerseys can be combined with pewter, blue or white pants, while white jerseys can be worn with white, blue or pewter pants. Both helmet options will also be utilized with the various uniform combinations for both home and away games.
GAME ONE - Blue Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME TWO - Blue Jersey, Pewter Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME TWO RECAP
Kerwynn Williams' 1-yard run in overtime gave Utah State the lead and senior cornerback Will Davis' pass break-up in the end zone sealed Utah State's 27-20 win against Utah in front of a sold-out crowd as Friday's win was USU's first against Utah since 1997, as well as improving to 2-0 for the first time since that same year.
USU also won its seventh-straight regular-season game dating back to last year, while Utah leveled it record at 1-1. The Aggies' win snapped their 12-game losing skein to the Utes.
Utah State had 380 total yards, as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton tied his career-high for completions on 22-of-32 passing for 216 yards with two touchdowns, adding a career-high 86 yards rushing. Senior running back Williams had 17 carries for 95 yards and the game-winning score, as USU finished with 164 total yards on the ground. Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett had a career-high eight catches for 47 yards and his first career touchdown on a 4-yard toss from Keeton with 9:10 on the fourth-quarter clock.
Utah tied the game with 3:19 to go on a 24-yard pass from Jon Hays to Kenneth Scott. Hays came into the game in the second quarter after Utes' starting quarterback Jordan Wynn suffered a game-ending shoulder injury.
Hays ended the night 12-of-26 passing for 154 yards with one touchdown, while Wynn was 6-of-11 for 47 yards before getting hurt. Travis Wilson only had one pass attempt, a 28-yard scoring strike to Scott in the third quarter. John White rushed 27 times for 97 yards, while DeVonte Christopher had six catches for 56 yards and Scott ended with three receptions for 82 yards and two touchdowns.
The Aggie defense sacked Wynn three times, with redshirt-freshman defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen logging two and senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu posted one as part of his game and career-high 12 total tackles. Redshirt-freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell added 11 tackles, while senior safety McKade Brady and junior linebacker Zach Vigil posted 10 stops apiece. Davis, a senior cornerback, had a career-best four pass break-ups and senior Terrence Alston logged three.
Dave Fagergren and Trevor Reilly notched nine tackles each to lead the Utah defense, while Star Lotulelei and Joe Kruger posted one sack each.
The game went into overtime after Utah's Coleman Peterson missed a 52-yard field at the end of regulation.
The home team got the ball first and facing a third-and-nine, Keeton darted out of pressure and skirted 23 yards toward the end zone before getting pushed out at the one. Two players later, Williams darted around the right side to score the winning touchdown.
On Utah's overtime possession, Davis knocked away Utah's fourth-down pass from the 17-yardline on the game's final play.
The Aggies got on the board first as Vigil broke through the punt-blocking line, and junior safety Clayton Christensen recovered the kick in the end zone for a 7-0 USU lead with 7:59 on the first-quarter clock. USU wasn't done scoring in the first quarter, as Keeton hit sophomore running back Joe Hill with a 15-yard touchdown toss with three seconds left in the first frame, but the PAT missed.
Petersen booted a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, sending the teams into halftime with USU ahead, 13-3.
The Utes opened the second half scoring on Wilson's 28-yard scoring pass to Scott with 11:34 left in the third quarter. Petersen booted a 40-yard field goal with 4:22 to play in the third quarter to knot the score at 13-all.
At the 9:10 mark of the fourth quarter, Keeton hit Bartlett with the 4-yard TD toss for USU's 20-13 lead, setting up the final drama.
UTAH STATE RETURNS PLENTY OF TALENT IN 2012
Utah State returns 19 starters (O-8, D-6, S-5) and 44 lettermen (O-19, D-20, S-5) from last year's team that finished with a 7-6 record and tied for second-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 5-2 mark as it participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 24-23 vs. Ohio), its first bowl game since 1997. Highlighting Utah State's returners is junior center Tyler Larsen who earned first-team all-WAC honors a year ago. Along with Larsen, USU returns seven other starters on offense (WR-Matt Austin; WR-Chuck Jacobs; QB-Chuckie Keeton; QB-Adam Kennedy; LT-Oscar Molina-Sanchez; RT-Eric Schultz; RB/KR-Kerwynn Williams), six starters on defense (FS-McKade Brady; LB-Bojay Filimoeatu; DT-Al Lapuaho; CB-Nevin Lawson; LB-Tavaris McMillian; CB-Jumanne Robertson) and five special teams starters (P-Tyler Bennett; PK/H-Jaron Bentrude; KO-Jacob Haueter; LS-Nate Needham; PK-Josh Thompson).
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE IN 2012
Utah State lost five players who earned all-WAC honors in 2011 highlighted by senior running back Robert Turbin who was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year. Senior offensive lineman Philip Gapelu and senior linebacker Bobby Wagner both earned first-team all-WAC honors, while senior tight end Tarren Lloyd and senior defensive end Levi Koskan were both named to the second-team. Other offensive starters lost include guards Robert Hill and Funaki Asisi, wide receivers Stanley Morrison and Eric Moats, and running back Michael Smith. Other defensive starters lost include end Quinn Garner, linebacker Kyle Gallagher and safety Alfred Bowden.
UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE 2011 WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Junior running back Robert Turbin was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, marking the first time in its seven years in the league and just the second time in school history that USU has had an offensive player of the year in its league joining Kendall Smith (WR) who was the Big West Conference Offensive MVP in 1988. Turbin rushed for 1,517 yards and led the WAC in scoring with 23 touchdowns and 138 points in 2011. The junior finished his career as the school's all-time leader in scoring with 308 points and total touchdowns with 51.
WAGNER LEAVES UTAH STATE AS A THREE-TIME FIRST-TEAM ALL-WAC SELECTION
Linebacker Bobby Wagner earned first-team all-WAC honors each of his final three seasons at Utah State and is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection. Wagner ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
PRESEASON NATIONAL WATCH LISTS
The following is a list of current Utah State players who are listed among various watch lists for the National College Football Awards Association.
Davey O'Brien Award Chuckie Keeton (So., QB)
Doak Walker Award Kerwynn Williams (Sr., RB)
Lombardi Award Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Outland Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Rimington Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Ray Guy Award Tyler Bennett (Sr., P)
PRESEASON WAC POLLS
The Western Athletic Conference announced its preseason coaches and media polls on July 28 and Utah State was picked to finish second in 2012 by both the media and coaches.
Preseason Coaches' Poll
1. Louisiana Tech (6) 36
2. UTAH STATE (1) 31
3. San Jose State 24
4. New Mexico State 22
5. Idaho 17
6. Texas State 10
7. UTSA 7
Preseason Media Poll
1. Louisiana Tech (25) 193
2. UTAH STATE (3) 164
3. San Jose State 130
4. Idaho 102
5. New Mexico State 95
6. Texas State 57
7. UTSA 43
Along with playing in its first bowl game in over a decade during the 2011 season, Utah State's seven overall wins and five league victories were its most since 1993, while its second-place conference finish was its best since the 2000 team ended the year second in the Big West. Furthermore, those five league wins in 2011 were tied with five other teams (1953, 1960, 1990, 1991, 1993) for the most in school history, while its seven overall wins are tied for the 10th most all-time at USU. Utah State also won its final five games of the regular season in 2011, which is tied for the eighth-longest winning streak in school history and the longest since the 1993 squad won its final six games of the year. USU's three-win turnaround from four wins in 2010 to seven wins in 2011 was among the top 15 in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the year.
UTAH STATE WINS THREE TIMES IN 2011 DESPITE DOUBLE-DIGIT DEFICIT
Utah State was the cardiac kids of college football in 2011 fighting back from double-digit deficits three times for wins. Its first comeback was at Hawai`i as it trailed 28-7 at the half before winning 35-31. USU then trailed San Jose State at home, 33-21, before scoring the final 13 points. Also at home, USU trailed Nevada, 10-0, before posting a 21-17 win. Overall, USU has won six games in the last two years despite trailing by double digits.
UTAH STATE SETS NUMEROUS OFFENSIVE RECORDS IN 2011
Utah State had an outstanding season offensively in 2011 as it established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60). USU's 37 rushing touchdowns in 2011 were the second-most in school history trailing the 1961 team who still holds the school record at 39. USU also rushed for more than 3,000 yards for just the second time in school history in 2011 and recorded 2,000-plus yards in each of the last three years after a 34-year hiatus from 1975-2009.
TURNOVERS NOT ON UTAH STATE'S MENU IN 2011
During the 2011 season, Utah State threw just six interceptions which was tied for the seventh-fewest in the nation at the FBS level and its four picks on defense were tied for the third-fewest in the country. Overall, USU led the nation in fewest combined interceptions both thrown and caught with 10.
MORE ON UTAH STATE'S OFFENSE IN 2011
Utah State averaged 282.7 rushing yards per game in 2011 to rank second all-time in school history behind the 1960 team that averaged 312.0 rushing yards per game. USU also averaged 457.3 total yards of offense in 2011 to also rank second all-time in school history behind the 1996 team that averaged 468.5 yards of total offense per game. And finally, USU's 33.6 points per game average in 2011 tied the 1997 team for second all-time in school history behind the 1961 team that averaged 38.7 points per game.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE CONTINUED ITS IMPROVEMENT UNDER ANDERSEN IN 2011
Utah State's defense ended the 2011 season ranking first in the WAC and 50th in the nation in total defense (366.23 ypg), second in the WAC and 31st in the nation in rushing defense (127.70 ypg), second in the WAC and 53rd nationally in tackles for loss (5.92 pg), third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (125.58), and third in the WAC and 59th in the nation in sacks (1.92 pg). Overall, USU's 366.2 yards allowed on defense was its best since 1998 (319.9), while its 127.8 rushing yards allowed per game in 2011 was its fewest since 1998 (123.4).
USU SPECIAL TEAMS MUCH IMPROVED
Utah State's special teams ranked fourth in the WAC and 29th in the nation in 2011 in net punting (38.20 ypp), third in the WAC and 39th in the nation in kickoff returns (22.80 ypr), and seventh in the WAC and 67th in the nation in punt returns (7.81 ypr). As a team, Utah State's net punting average improved 49 spots in the nation from 2010, ranking No. 29 in 2011 with a 38.20 net average after ranking No. 78 in 2010 with a net average of 35.49.
THREE AGGIES SELECTED IN 2012 NFL DRAFT
Utah State had three players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft as linebacker Bobby Wagner was chosen in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, while running back Robert Turbin was chosen in the fourth round (106) by the Seattle Seahawks and fellow running back Michael Smith was picked in the seventh round (212) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
HEAD COACH Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen was named Utah State's 26th head coach on Dec. 4, 2008, and since that day Andersen and his staff have worked non-stop to create a culture of accountability and responsibility that would translate into success both on and off the field. And in 2011, Aggie fans saw that plan pay dividends as USU produced a 7-6 record (5-2 Western Athletic Conference) and participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the school's first bowl game since 1997.
In his first three years at Utah State, Andersen has compiled a 15-22 (.407) record including a 10-13 (.435) WAC mark as those 15 wins are the most by an Aggie coach in his first three years since John L. Smith went 16-18 (.471) from 1995-97. Furthermore, Andersen has coached 10 players who have earned first or second team all-WAC honors and six players who are currently on NFL rosters, including Michael Smith, Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner who were all selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. That trio of Aggies drafted in 2012 is the most selections in one year since five USU players were chosen in 1980. Wagner, who was drafted in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, becomes the highest drafted Aggie since Rulon Jones was the 42nd overall pick in the second round in 1980 by the Denver Broncos.
Along with playing in its first bowl game in over a decade during the 2011 season, Utah State's seven overall wins and five league victories were its most since 1993, while its second-place conference finish was its best since the 2000 team ended the year second in the Big West. Furthermore, those five league wins in 2011 were tied with five other teams (1953, 1960, 1990, 1991, 1993) for the most in school history, while its seven overall wins are tied for the 10th most all-time at Utah State.
Utah State also won its final five games of the regular season in 2011, which is tied for the eighth-longest winning streak in school history and the longest since the 1993 squad won its final six games of the year. USU's three-win turnaround from four wins in 2010 to seven wins in 2011 was among the top 15 in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the year.
During the 2011 season, Andersen's high-octane spread offense was statistically one of the best in the country as it led the WAC and ranked sixth in the nation in rushing offense (282.69 ypg). USU also ranked first in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (151.8), first in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in scoring offense (33.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 20th in the nation in total offense (457.31 ypg), and second in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.38 pg).
In 2011, Utah State also established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).
Highlighting Utah State's offense in 2011 was junior running back Robert Turbin who ended the season as the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year, USU's first in its six years in the league, and just its second such offensive award in school history. During the season, Turbin ranked first in the WAC and eighth in the nation in scoring (10.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 13th in the nation in rushing (116.69 ypg), and sixth in the WAC and 40th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (129.85 ypg). He ended the year setting single-season school records for rushing touchdowns (19), total touchdowns (23) and points scored (138), while his 1,517 rushing yards rank third all-time at USU for a single-season.
Turbin, who was drafted in the fourth round (106) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, ended his Aggie career ranking first in both total touchdowns (51) and points scored (308), while his 3,315 career rushing yards ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Andersen's defense was also formidable during the 2011 season as it ended the year ranking first in the WAC and 50th in the nation in total defense (366.23), second in the WAC and 31st in the nation in rushing defense (127.70 ypg), second in the WAC and 53rd nationally in tackles for loss (5.92 pg), third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (125.58), and third in the WAC and 59th in the nation in sacks (1.92 pg).
Utah State's top defensive player in 2011 was Wagner who earned first-team all-WAC honors after ranking first in the league and eighth nationally with 11.31 tackles per game. Wagner, who is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection, ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
Along with all of his Utah State accolades, Wagner also received some national exposure after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Senior Bowl, leading the North to a 23-13 win. Smith was also recognized for his performance in the Players Classic All-Star Game as he was named the North's Offensive MVP.
Other Aggies to earn first-team all-WAC honors under Andersen's tutelage include offensive linemen Philip Gapelu (2011) and Tyler Larsen (2011), while those who have been named to the league's second-team include defensive end Levi Koskan (2011), tight end Tarren Lloyd (2011), defensive back Curtis Marsh (2010) and Turbin (2009).
Along with all of Utah State's success on the field under Andersen, there has been just as much success in the classroom as 66 Aggies have earned academic all-WAC honors, while another 84 have graduated from the University. Furthermore, Utah State had 18 football players earn academic all-WAC honorees this past year to rank first in the conference.
Andersen came to Utah State after five seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Utah, where he helped guide the Utes to a 13-0 record in 2008. Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll after winning the BCS Sugar Bowl with a dominating 31-17 victory against Alabama.
In 2008, Andersen was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the top assistant coach in college football. He was also named a Rivals.com top 10 non-BCS recruiter in 2008 and tabbed as the No. 1 non-BCS recruiter by Rivals.com in 2005.
Overall, Andersen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah after coaching for the Utes from 1997-2002 before becoming the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003 and then returning to Utah in 2004. During his tenure at Utah, Andersen was a part of seven winning bowl teams, including two BCS Bowls as Utah went 12-0 in 2004 and won the Fiesta Bowl, along with its perfect record and Sugar Bowl win in 2008.
During his tenure at Utah, Andersen coached 14 first-team all-conference players (three in 2008), including two Mountain West Conference Defensive Players of the Year in John Frank (1999) and Eric Weddle (2005 and 2006), as well as a consensus All-American in Weddle in 2006. Andersen also coached 10 Ute players drafted in the NFL in Richard Seals, John Frank, Lauvale Sape, Sione Pouha, Jonathan Fanene, Eric Weddle, Paul Soliai, Sean Smith, Brice McCain and Paul Kruger, in addition to several other players who made NFL rosters as free agents.
Andersen's coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City HS (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams).
A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team junior college All-American honors in 1984 at Ricks College.
Andersen is married to the former Stacey Lambert, and they have three sons: Keegan (21) and twins Chasen and Hagen (17). Keegan is currently a sophomore tight end on Utah State's football team, while Chasen and Hagen are both seniors at Logan High School. Andersen's brother, Mark, is USU's director of football operations.