LOGAN, Utah -
UTAH STATE (1-1) vs. WAKE FOREST (2-0)
Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 1 p.m. (MT) Winston-Salem, N.C. BT&T Field (31,500)
GAME 3 INFORMATION
STREAMING: ACC Network Extra (ESPN3)
Play-by-Play: Bill Roth
Analyst: Christian Ponder
Internet: WatchESPN (ESPN3)
RADIO: AGGIE SPORTS NETWORK
Play-by-Play: Scott Garrard
Analyst: Kevin Whimpey
Online: 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
National: Sirius 83 / XM 83
SOCIAL MEDIA: #AGGIESALLTHEWAY
Live Stats: UtahState.Statbroadcast.com
AGGIE RADIO NETWORKS
Every Utah State football game can be heard live on the Aggie Radio Network. Scott Garrard serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU all-conference offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey (2012-14) will provide color analysis. Games can also be heard on the Internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com) by clicking on the `Listen Live' link, as well as on the TuneIn App.
Salt Lake City: KZNS (1280 AM/97.5 FM)
Logan: KBLU-LP (92.3 FM)
Cache Valley: KACH (1340 AM/105.5 FM)
Price: KRPX (95.3 FM)
Green River: KRPX (102.7 FM)
Moab: KRPX (100.3 FM)
Orangeville: KRPX (95.9 FM)
Utah State travels to ACC country to play at Wake Forest on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. (MT). It will be just the fifth-ever football game for the Aggies against an ACC opponent, which includes their 36-24 home win against the Demon Deacons in 2014. All-time, USU is 1-3 against current members of the ACC.
Utah State is 1-1 to start the season in each of the past five seasons. USU will be looking to improve to 2-1 for the fifth time in the past six years. Prior to its current run, the last time USU started a season at least 2-1 was 1997.
Utah State has won 15 of its last 36 (.417) road games and is 8-19 (.296) in road games under head coach Matt Wells. USU has won 12 of its last 20 games played during the month of September and is 5-4-1 all-time in games played on Sept. 16.
Utah State has three players on its current roster who played against Wake Forest in 2014 in senior CB Jalen Davis, senior RB LaJuan Hunt and senior DE Ian Togiai. Davis, who started that game, had two tackles, to go along with one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry, while Hunt had six carries for 10 yards. Togiai did not record any stats in the game.
Utah State has won 19 of its last 22 games when it has a 100-yard rusher and 23 of its last 25 contests when rushing at least 40 times in a game. USU accomplished both of those feats last weekend in its 51-13 home win against Idaho State as it rushed for 255 yards on 49 carries, while junior RB Eltoro Allen rushed for 103 yards on 19 attempts.
Utah State has now won 36 of its last 37 games dating back to 2011 when scoring at least 30 points. In fact, USU had won 35 straight games when scoring at least 30 points before losing at Nevada, 38-37, last season.
Through the first two games of the 2017 season, Utah State has outscored its opponents 27-0 in the first quarter and 48-16 in the first half.
UTAH STATE PLAYS AT WAKE FOREST SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Utah State (1-1) plays its second road game of the season this weekend as it travels to ACC country to face Wake Forest (2-0) on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 1 p.m. (MT). The game will be streamed live on the ACC Network Extra and is available to watch via ESPN3 with Bill Roth (play-by-play) and Christian Ponder (analyst) on the call. Live audio of the game is available on www.UtahStateAggies.com.
HURRICANE IRMA IMPACTING EIGHT AGGIES
Hurricane Irma may be 2,000 miles away from the state of Utah, but it is having a direct effect on eight Utah State football players who hail from the Sunshine State in senior WR Alex Byers (Riverview), senior WR Jaren Colston-Green (Tallahassee), senior RB LaJuan Hunt (Fort Lauderdale), junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver (Belle Glade), junior BS Aaron Wade (Lithia), sophomore WR Gerold Bright (Pensacola), freshman QB Henry Colombi (Hollywood) and freshman CB Zahodri Jackson (Sarasota).
UTAH STATE TIED FOR SECOND IN THE NATION IN FIRST-TIME STARTERS
During the first two weeks of the 2017 season, Utah State has had 16 first-time starters, which ranks tied for the second-most in the nation with Illinois and behind Baylor (18). USU had 12 players make their first career start two weeks ago at No. 9 Wisconsin in senior TE Damion Hobbs, junior OL Roman Andrus, junior OL Rob Castaneda, junior OL Quin Ficklin, redshirt junior OL Sean Taylor, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, junior NG Gasetoto Schuster, junior BS Aaron Wade, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata and redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan. USU then had four more players get their first career start last Thursday against Idaho State in junior DE Adewale Adeoye, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, sophomore LB Dalton Baker and redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram.
THIRTY-SIX AGGIES PLAY FIRST UTAH STATE GAME IN FIRST TWO WEEKS
Utah State has had 36 players play in their first-ever Aggie game during the first two weeks of the 2017 season. Twenty-four Aggies saw their first-ever action at No. 9 Wisconsin two weeks ago in redshirt junior OL Sean Taylor, junior RB Eltoro Allen, junior OL Roman Andrus, junior OL Rob Castaneda, junior LB Louy Compton, junior OL Quin Ficklin, junior CB Deante Fortenberry, junior LB Ofa Latu, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, sophomore DE Devon Anderson, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, sophomore S Chance Parker, redshirt freshman OL Demytrick Ali'ifua, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata, redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski, redshirt freshman CB Braxton Gunther, redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram, redshirt freshman LB Kevin Meitzenheimer, redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan, redshirt freshman LB David Woodward, freshman LB Maika Magalei, freshman WR Savon Scarver, freshman TE Carson Terrell and freshman DE Nami Tuitu'u. Twelve more Aggies played in their first-ever USU game last weekend in senior WR Connor McGuire, junior WR Aaren Vaughns, junior TE Emerson Woods, sophomore LB Mason Gajkowski, sophomore LB Braden Harris, sophomore P Zach Lee, sophomore PK Michael Smith, redshirt freshman WR Taylor Compton, redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love, redshirt freshman OL Viliamu McMoore, redshirt freshman DE Jake Pitcher and freshman PK Connor Coles.
DID YOU KNOW?
All five of Utah State's starting offensive linemen -- OC Quin Ficklin, RT Sean Taylor, LG Moroni Iniguez, RG Rob Castaneda, LT Roman Andrus -- played in their first career games at USU in the first two weeks of the season. In fact, Taylor is the only member of this group who was on the team last year, as he redshirted. This is the first time in school history that it has started five offensive linemen who had never played a game at USU, minus the Aggies' first-ever team in 1892. Furthermore, Andrus and Ficklin did not even play offensive line at their previous schools, as Andrus was a defensive end at Snow (Utah) JC and Ficklin was a fullback at BYU.
SCOUTING WAKE FOREST
Wake Forest is 2-0 on the season as it opened the year with a 51-7 home win against Presbyterian before winning at Boston College last weekend, 34-10. The Demon Decans are led by senior QB John Wolford, who is 24-of-34 passing for 258 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Wolford also leads the team in rushing as he has carried the ball 26 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns, while redshirt freshman WR Greg Dortch has a team-best 10 receptions for 111 yards and three touchdowns. Defensively, redshirt sophomore SS Jessie Bates III has a team-best 14 tackles, to go along with one interception and one forced fumble, and redshirt junior FS Cameron Glenn has 13 tackles, to go along with one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. As a team, Wake Forest is averaging 42.5 points and 398.0 yards of total offense per game (195.0 passing, 203.0 rushing) and allowing 18.5 points and 276.5 yards of offense (102.0 passing, 174.5 rushing). Wake Forest returns 14 starters (O-9, D-5) and 43 lettermen (O-21, D-17, S-5) from last year's team that went 7-6 and finished fourth in the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 3-5 mark. Wake Forest concluded its season with a 34-26 win against Temp.e in the Military Bowl. The Demon Deacons are coached by Dave Clawson, who has a 15-24 record in four seasons as Wake Forest's head coach and a 105-104 mark in 18 years as a collegiate head coach.
AGGIES AND DEMON DEACONS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Wake Forest will be meeting for the second time in series history as USU won the first meeting between the two teams in Logan during the 2014 season, 36-24.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH WAKE FOREST
Former Utah State head coach Chuck Mills (1967-72) was also the head coach at Wake Forest (1973-77). Mills is USU's second-winningest coach (41-22-1) and went 11-43-1 as head coach at Wake Forest. USU assistants that went to Wake Forest with Mills included Mike Ellison, Garth Hall, Gene McKeehan, Paul Wargo and Cliff Yoshida.
Utah State senior RB LaJuan Hunt and Wake Forest senior LB Jaboree Williams both attended Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) HS.
AGGIES FROM NORTH CAROLINA
According to available records, Utah State has had just two football players from the state of North Carolina all-time in Ferrante Grantham (1982-83), who was from Goldsboro, and Mike Hudson (1995-96), who was from Tarboro.
UTAH STATE AGAINST THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
Utah State is 1-3 against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) with road losses at Florida State (L, 8-17 - 9/20/75), at Miami (L, 16-17 - 10/21/78) and at Clemson (L, 6-35 - 10/16/04), along with its 36-24 home win against Wake Forest in 2014.
WELLS AGAINST THE ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is 1-0 all-time against Atlantic Coast Conference teams and has coached against several ACC teams during his time as an assistant at the United States Naval Academy from 1997-2001 as the Midshipmen played at Duke in 1997, at Wake Forest in 1998 and against Georgia Tech three-straight seasons from 1999-2001.
WAKE FOREST ONE OF NINE BOWL TEAMS ON UTAH STATE'S SCHEDULE
Utah State's 2017 schedule features nine teams who played in bowl games a year ago as Wisconsin played in the Cotton Bowl (W, 24-16 vs. Western Michigan); Wake Forest played in the Military Bowl (W, 34-26 vs. Temple); BYU played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Wyoming); Colorado State played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 61-50 vs. Idaho); Wyoming played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (L, 24-21 vs. BYU); Boise State played in the Cactus Bowl (L, 31-12 vs. Baylor); New Mexico played in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (W, 23-20 vs. UTSA); Hawai'i played in the Hawaii Bowl (W, 52-35 vs. Middle Tennessee); and Air Force played in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl (W, 45-21 vs. South Alabama).
HOMETOWN PLAYERS AND HAPPY BIRTHDAYS
Utah State has 38 players in its program from the Beehive State, while Wake Forest has 22 players on its roster from the Old North State.
UTAH STATE PLAYING ON BOTH COASTS OVER NEXT TWO WEEKENDS
Utah State will see plenty of the United States over the next two weeks with games on both coasts. On Saturday, Sept. 16, USU plays at Wake Forest and on Saturday, Sept. 23, USU opens Mountain West play at San José State. During these two weeks, USU will log roughly 5,670 combined miles in the air as its flight from Logan to Winston-Salem, N.C., is 2,033 miles each way, while its flight from Logan to San Jose, Calif., is 802 miles each way.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is playing a game in the Eastern Time Zone for the first time since opening the 2014 campaign at Tennessee. Furthermore, the last time USU played on the east coast was in 2004 at Clemson. In fact, this will be USU's first-ever football game played in the state of North Carolina.
LAST MEETING VS. WAKE FOREST
LOGAN, Utah - Behind a dominant defense that scored two touchdowns and limited Wake Forest (1-2) to negative 25 yards rushing, Utah State (2-1) rallied from an early 7-0 deficit with 29 unanswered points to beat the Demon Deacons, 36-24, for its first-ever win against an Atlantic Coast Conference opponent on Sept. 13, 2014.
Along with its two touchdowns, Utah State's defense sacked Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford a total of six times, spearheaded by three from senior DE B.J. Larsen. The Aggies also intercepted Wolford twice, including once by senior LB Zach Vigil, who returned it 35 yards for a touchdown to open Utah State's scoring after Wake Forest had scored on a 72-yard interception return of its own. Sophomore S Devin Centers also had a defensive score, scooping up a fumble and darting 47 yards to the end zone. Senior SS Frankie Sutera had the other interception, snaring a Wolford pass at midfield and returning it 24 yards to the WF 26-yard line, which set up the Aggies for a 6-yard touchdown toss from senior QB Chuckie Keeton to senior TE Jefferson Court at the 4:46 mark of the second quarter for Court's first career score.
Wake Forest finished with 232 yards, gaining 257 passing, as Wolford was 20-of-50 with two interceptions and two touchdowns. The negative 25 yards rushing allowed by USU is the third-best defensive performance in school history.
Utah State accumulated 391 yards of total offense with 331 through the air and 60 on the ground. Keeton was 20-of-27 passing for 166 yards with one touchdown, all in the first half, before not returning to action due to an injury. Sophomore QB Darell Garretson was 11-of-16 passing for 121 yards with one touchdown in relief.
Junior WR Hunter Sharp had 12 catches for 138 yards, both not only game-highs but career-bests as well, and were the most receptions by an Aggie receiver since Kevin Curtis in 2002. Junior WR JoJo Natson had six receptions for 78 yards with a touchdown on a 44-yard catch from senior WR Ronald Butler with 8:21 to go in the second quarter. Natson also led Utah State's rushing attack with 49 yards on eight carries.
Wake Forest scored the first points of the game on a 72-yard interception return only to see the Aggies counter-attack with Zach Vigil's oskie return for a score on WF's next possession to even the score at 7-7.
Utah State got its first offensive touchdown in the second quarter on Butler's 44-yard pass to Natson. On the Demon Deacons' ensuing possession, Wolford was sacked by Nick Vigil and fumbled, then Centers scooped up the loose ball and ran it back 47-yards to the end zone.
After Sutera's snare set up USU at the WF 26, Keeton connected with Court to cap the short Aggie drive for a 26-7 Aggie advantage. Senior PK Nick Diaz then added a 26-yard field goal as time expired to give the home team a 29-7 halftime lead.
Wake Forest closed to 29-21 after back-to-back third quarter touchdowns. The Aggies, however, countered with a 5-yard Garretson touchdown pass to sophomore TE Wyatt Houston.
Wake Forest added a 30-yard field goal with 1:01 left in the third quarter for the final scoring margin of 36-24 as neither team scored again.
GAME 2 RECAP vs. IDAHO STATE
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State senior QB Kent Myers and the Utah State Aggies bounced back in a big way on Thursday, Sept. 7, in their home opener.
Myers completed 24-of-26 passes for 323 yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 85 yards rushing and two more scores on just eight carries, leading the Aggies to a dominating 51-13 victory over Idaho State on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
Utah State (1-1, 0-0 Mountain West) racked up 596 yards of total offense against the Bengals (1-1, 0-0 Big Sky).
Thirteen different Aggies caught a pass in the game as Utah State finished with 341 yards through the air. Junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver led the way with seven receptions for 75 yards and a three-yard, first-quarter touchdown that gave the hosts a 17-0 lead.
Redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan added six receptions for 63 yards and his first career touchdown, a 19-yarder in the third quarter that put Utah State up 45-6.
Redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond added a career-high three receptions for a career-best 56 yards in his first career start.
Junior RB Eltoro Allen led the Aggies' ground game with 103 yards rushing and his first career touchdown on 19 carries. Utah State rushed the ball 49 times for 255 yards and three scores, including the two by Myers. Senior RB LaJuan Hunt added 51 yards on 10 carries.
Senior CB Jalen Davis highlighted the Aggies' defensive effort as he intercepted two passes, returning one of them 25 yards for a touchdown to give Utah State a 31-6 lead with 8:12 left in the second quarter. Davis also had two tackles to go along with one pass breakup in the game.
Davis became the first Aggie since 2014 to record more than one interception in a game. The last person to do it? None other than Davis. Against these same Bengals. As a true freshman in 2014, Davis snared two picks against Idaho State and returned one of them 44 yards for a score in the Aggies' 40-20 home victory.
Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle was a perfect 2-for-2 on field goal attempts as he was good from 40 and 22 yards, respectively. Eberle also made all six of his extra point attempts to finish the game with a career high 12 points scored. Fellow sophomore PK Michael Smith added a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter for his first career points as an Aggie.
Junior LB Chase Christiansen led Utah State with eight tackles, while senior LB Alex Huerta and junior LB Suli Tamaivena added six stops apiece. Redshirt freshman CB Cameron Haney added five stops, while junior DE Adewale Adeoye recorded a career high four stops, which included his first career sack, in his first-ever start. Junior LB Ofa Latu also had four tackles.
Idaho State quarterback Tanner Gueller was 17-of-30 for 190 yards and one touchdown. Running back Ty Flanagan led all rushers in the game with 106 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Defensively, Joe Martin led the Bengals with a game-high 20 tackles.
A week after having 12 first-time starters and 24 players appear in their first-ever USU game, Utah State had four more players get their first career start against Idaho State, while 10 others saw their first career action.
UTAH STATE'S OFFENSE EXPLODES IN 51-13 WIN AGAINST IDAHO STATE
Utah State's offense had one of its best days in school history last weekend in its 51-13 home win against Idaho State as it racked up 596 yards of total offense, the 12th-most in school history and most since producing 646 yards at No. 19 Louisiana Tech in 2012. Furthermore, USU's 51 points were its most since posting a 58-27 home win against Wyoming in 2015, a span of 20 games. Overall, it is the sixth time under head coach Matt Wells that USU has scored 50 points in a game.
UTAH STATE'S OFFENSE UNSTOPPABLE IN FIRST HALF AGAINST BENGALS
Utah State's offense was unstoppable in the first half of its game against Idaho State last weekend as it produced 392 yards in the first 30 minutes en route to a 38-6 halftime advantage. USU scored on five of its six first-half possessions, including touchdowns on four of those drives, and added another touchdown on its first drive of the second half.
Of Utah State's five touchdown drives against Idaho State, all five were at least 77 yards long, and four of the five were at least 80 yards long. Also, four of the five drives were of at least eight plays, and all five drives lasted less than 3:22.
MYERS HAS NEAR PERFECT GAME AGAINST IDAHO STATE
Senior QB Kent Myers was as close to perfect as a quarterback could be last weekend in Utah State's 51-13 home win against Idaho State. For the game, Myers was 24-of-26 (.923) passing for 323 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Those 323 passing yards are the third-most in his career and his third-career 300-yard passing game and 12th-career 200-yard passing game. For Myers, it was his seventh-career game with multiple touchdown passes.
That 92.3 completion percentage for Myers ranks second all-time in school history for a single game, behind his true freshman performance at Hawai'i in 2014, as Myers completed 14-of-15 (.933) passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns in his first-ever start.
Myers also carried the ball eight times for 85 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns on runs of 23 and 36 yards against the Bengals. Overall, it was Myers' fourth-career game with multiple rushing touchdowns as he now has 16 rushing touchdowns in his career, which is one shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for 10th place on USU's all-time lists.
Overall, it is the fifth time in Myers' career that he has accounted for four touchdowns in a game, also doing so against San José State in 2014 with three rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown, and against Air Force, Boise State and Wyoming in 2015, as he had three passing touchdowns and one rushing score against both the Broncos and Cowboys, and a career-high four passing touchdowns against the Falcons.
In all, Myers accounted for a career-high 408 yards of total offense against ISU in just over a half of football as he was pulled from the game following the first series of the third quarter.
DAVIS TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH TWO INTERCEPTIONS AGAINST IDAHO STATE
Senior CB Jalen Davis had a career game last weekend against Idaho State as he intercepted two passes, returning one 25 yards for a score, both of which ties his career high, which was also against Idaho State in 2014 when Davis was a true freshman. In that game, Davis recorded the first two interceptions of his career, returning one 44 yards for his first career score.
The last Aggie to have multiple interceptions in a game was Frankie Sutera, who intercepted two passes against Hawai'i in 2014, and the last Aggie to return an interception for a touchdown was Marwin Evans, who had a 90-yard pick-six against No. 21 Boise State in 2015.
Along with his two interceptions, Davis also had a pair of tackles and one pass breakup against the Bengals last weekend. Davis now has eight interceptions in his career and is just two shy of entering the USU career top 10.
DAVIS RECORDS 150TH CAREER TACKLE
Senior CB Jalen Davis had two tackles last weekend against Idaho State and now has 150 tackles in his career, which is the most on the team among active leaders. Davis also leads the team in the following career categories: sacks (5.0), tackles for loss (13.0), interceptions (8), pass breakups (22) and forced fumbles (3).
ALLEN RUSHES FOR 100-YARDS IN SECOND CAREER GAME
Junior RB Eltoro Allen rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries and scored his first career touchdown on a 9-yard run last weekend against Idaho State. For Allen, he is the first Aggie running back to rush for 100 yards in one of his first two career games since 2006, when junior college transfer Marcus Cross gained 103 yards on 29 carries at Arkansas in his second game as an Aggie.
MYERS RANKS 22ND ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior QB Kent Myers has rushed for 1,208 yards on 270 carries (4.5 ypc) during his career to rank 22nd all-time in school history, including third all-time among quarterbacks, trailing Chuckie Keeton (2011-15), who ranks 14th all-time with 1,415 yards and Diondre Borel (2007-10), who ranks 16th all-time with 1,398 rushing yards. Myers has one career 100-yard rushing game as he set a school record for quarterbacks with 191 yards on 16 carries against Colorado State as a sophomore in 2015.
MYERS HAS 16 CAREER RUSHING TDs
Senior QB Kent Myers has 16 rushing touchdowns in his career, which are the most on the team. Overall, Myers is just one rushing touchdown shy of entering the career top 10 in school history.
In his career, Myers has four games with multiple rushing touchdowns as he had a career-high three against San José State in 2014 and two against both Colorado State and Nevada in 2016, and two against Idaho State in 2017.
HUNT RANKS 27TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt has rushed for 1,096 yards on 276 carries (4.0 ypc) to rank 27th all-time in school history in career rushing yards. Hunt has one 100-yard rushing game in his career as he set a true freshman school record with 34 carries against Hawai'i in 2014 for 145 yards.
LINDSEY JR. CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER RUSHING YARDS
Senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr. led Utah State in rushing in 2016 as he gained 763 yards on 148 carries (5.2 ypc) and tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. For his career, Lindsey, Jr. has carried the ball 166 times for 884 yards (5.3 ypc) with six touchdowns and is just 116 yards shy of becoming the 31st player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards. In his career, Lindsey has two 100-yard rushing games, which includes a career-high 168 yards at Nevada in 2016 on 21 carries, one of two career games where he has carried the ball 20-plus times.
With Lindsey returning for the 2017 season, marks the third-straight season that Utah State returns its leading rusher from the previous year as Devante Mays rushed for 966 yards in 2015 and LaJuan Hunt rushed for 540 yards in 2014.
MYERS RANKS AMONG TOP 10 QBS ALL-TIME IN GAMES PLAYED AND STARTED
Senior QB Kent Myers started his 28th career game and played in his 30th last weekend, which ranks sixth and eighth all-time in school history for quarterbacks, respectively.
MYERS MOVES UP IN CAREER RANKINGS IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Senior QB Kent Myers moved up in the top 10 all-time in school history in several categories last weekend following his performance against Idaho State. With his 408 yards of total offense, Myers moved ahead of Tony Adams (6,587) and into fourth-place all-time with 6,598 yards of total offense. With his 24 completions, Myers moved ahead of Anthony Calvillo (448), Tony Adams (456) and Eric Hipple (459) and into fifth place all-time in completions with 460. With his two touchdown passes, Myers moved ahead of Ron Lopez (31) and into eighth place with 31 career touchdown passes. With his 26 attempts, Myers moved ahead of Travis Cox (738) and into eighth place all-time with 746 career pass attempts. And with his 323 passing yards, Myers moved ahead of Matt Sauk (5,385) and into eighth place all-time with 5,390 career passing yards.
MYERS FOURTH ALL-TIME IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers is 460-of-746 (.617) passing for 5,390 yards with 33 touchdowns and 18 interceptions in his career, and that completion percentage ranks fourth all-time in school history behind Darell Garretson (.631), Chuckie Keeton (.629) and Keith Myers (.607).
For his career, Myers has an interception percentage of just 0.024, which ranks third all-time in school history behind Chuckie Keeton (.022) and Anthony Calvillo (0.23), with his 33 touchdowns and 18 interceptions on 746 career attempts. Myers has thrown at least one touchdown in 17 of his last 22 games and multiple touchdowns seven times in his career, which includes five games with three or more touchdown passes.
In his career, Myers has 18 touchdowns and seven interceptions at home, and 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on the road.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior BS Dallin Leavitt (5-10, 205) has a 385-pound flat bench press; senior CB Wesley Bailey (6-1, 200) has a 38-inch vertical jump, and junior DE Adewale Adeoye (6-3, 270) front squatted 455 pounds.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 1-1 on the season following its 51-13 home win against Idaho State last weekend. Offensively, USU is led by senior QB Kent Myers, who is 49-of-67 (.731) passing for 542 yards (271.0 ypg) with two touchdowns and four interceptions. Junior RB Eltoro Allen leads the team in rushing with 100 yards on 21 carries (4.8 ypc) with one touchdown, and redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan has a team-best nine receptions for 86 yards (9.6 ypr) with one touchdown. Defensively, junior LB Chase Christiansen leads the team with 14 tackles, while fellow junior LB Suli Tamaivena has 13 tackles and one fumble recovery. As a team, Utah State is averaging 30.5 points and 450.0 yards of total offense (280.0 passing, 170.0 rushing), and allowing 36.0 points and 390.5 yards of total offense (217.0 passing, 173.5 rushing).
UTAH STATE RANKS 35TH NATIONALLY IN PASSING OFFENSE
Through the first two games of the season, Utah State is averaging 280.0 passing yards per game to rank third in the Mountain West and 35th nationally. USU also ranks second in the MW and 18th in the nation in completion percentage (.712), sixth in the MW and 47th in the nation in total offense (450.0 ypg), sixth in the MW and 48th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.5 pg), seventh in the MW and 62nd nationally in rushing offense (170.0 ypg), ninth in the MW and 72nd nationally in passing efficiency (133.8), and ninth in the MW and 74th in the nation in scoring offense (30.5 ppg).
AGGIES RANK 36TH NATIONALLY IN SACKS
Utah State's defense has recorded five sacks in the first two weeks of the season to rank tied for fifth in the Mountain West and tied for 36th nationally. USU's defense also ranks sixth in the MW and 69th nationally in passing defense (217.0 ypg), seventh in the MW and 78th in the nation in total defense (390.5 ypg), ninth in the conference and 91st nationally in rushing defense (173.5 ypg), ninth in the MW in passing efficiency defense (143.8) and 10th in the MW in scoring defense (36.0 ppg).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 23RD NATIONALLY IN FUMBLES RECOVERED
Utah State's defense has recovered two fumbles this season, which ranks fifth in the Mountain West and 23rd in the nation. USU has also intercepted two passes this season, which ranks fourth in the MW and 32nd nationally, while its four total forced turnovers on the year ranks sixth in the MW and 26th nationally.
Utah State has forced four turnovers this season (two fumbles, two interceptions) and has now forced 113 turnovers in its last 64 games, including at least one turnover in 50 of its last 64 games. USU has also recorded 55 interceptions in its last 51 games, including at least one pick in 27 of its last 51 games and multiple interceptions in 17 of its last 51 games. Overall, USU has forced three or more turnovers in 12 of its last 40 games.
Utah State's defense scored its first touchdown of the season against Idaho State on a 25-yard interception return by senior CB Jalen Davis. Overall, it was USU's 12th defensive touchdown in its last 48 games.
UTAH STATE RANKS 42ND IN THE NATION IN PUNT RETURNS
Utah State ranks fifth in the Mountain West and 42nd in the nation with a team average of 10.0 yards per punt return. USU also ranks sixth in the MW and 75th in the nation in net punting (37.7 ypp), ninth in the MW and 55th in the nation in kickoff return defense (18.7 ypr), ninth in the MW and 86th in the nation in kickoff returns (18.9 ypr), and ninth in the MW and 91st in the nation in turnover margin (-1.00).
MYERS RANKS 16TH IN THE NATION IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers ranks first in the Mountain West and 16th nationally in completion percentage (.731), second in the MW and 18th in the nation in completions per game (24.5), second in the MW and 20th in the nation in total offense (317.5 ypg), second in the MW and 26th in the nation in passing yards (271.0 ypg), fourth in the MW and 58th in the nation in passing efficiency (139.0), and seventh in the MW and 57th in the nation in points responsible for (12.0 pg).
OTHER AGGIES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NCAA RANKINGS
Senior CB Jalen Davis ranks tied for first in the Mountain West and tied for third nationally with his two interceptions, and fourth in the MW and 34th in the nation in passes defended (1.5 pg). Junior LB Louy Compton ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for third nationally with one blocked kick, and tied for first in the MW and tied for fourth in the nation with his one fumble recovery. Junior LB Suli Tamaivena ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fourth in the nation with his one fumble recovery, and tied for 21st in the MW in tackles (6.5 pg). Freshman LB Maika Magalei ranks tied for second in the MW and tied for 24th in the nation in sacks (1.0 pg). Redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 18th in the nation in punt returns (13.3 ypg) and tied for eighth in the MW in receptions per game (4.5).Freshman WR Savon Scarver ranks tied for seventh in the MW in kickoff returns (18.3 ypr). Junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver ranks tied for eighth in the MW in receptions per game (4.5). Junior LB Chase Christiansen ranks tied for 17th in the MW in tackles (7.0 pg). Senior BS Dallin Leavitt ranks tied for 38th in the MW in tackles (5.0 pg). And, sophomore PK Dominik Eberle ranks tied for first in the nation in field goal percentage as he is 3-for-3 on the season, tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 24th in the nation in field goals made (1.5 pg), and 10th in the MW in scoring (8.0 ppg).
DID YOU KNOW?
Junior LB Louy Compton blocked an Idaho State punt last weekend, giving USU 11 blocked kicks under head coach Matt Wells. The school record for blocked kicks in a season is six set in 2012.
WHAT'S RETURNING IN 2017
Utah State returns 14 starters (O-6, D-8) and 38 letterwinners (O-16, D-20, S-2) from last year's team that went 3-9 and finished in sixth place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 1-7 record. Highlighting Utah State's returners in 2017 is senior quarterback Kent Myers, who earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2015. Utah State returns five other starters on offense in senior OT Preston Brooksby, senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr., junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver, junior OG KJ Uluave and junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen. USU also returns eight starters on defense in senior CB Wesley Bailey, senior CB Jalen Davis, senior LB Alex Huerta, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, senior DE Ian Togiai, junior BS Gaje Ferguson, junior LB Derek Larsen and junior FS Jontell Rocquemore, to go along with two specialists returning in senior LS Emmett Odegard and junior P Aaron Dalton.
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE FROM 2016
Utah State must replace six players who earned various all-Mountain West honors in 2016, including NG Travis Seefeldt, who earned second-team honors, and OL Austin Albrecht, DE Ricky Ali'ifua, TE Wyatt Houston, OL Jake Simonich and OC Austin Stephens, who were all named to the honorable mention team. Other offensive starters lost include OL Jude Hockel, WR Andrew Rodriquez and WR Rayshad Lewis, and other defensive starters lost include LB Brock Carmen, FS Devin Centers, DE Edmund Faimalo, CB Daniel Gray and LB Anthony Williams.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
Utah State is 6-5 all-time in overtime, winning three of its last four. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-2 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple-overtime games. USU's last overtime game was a 21-14 loss at Arkansas State on Sept. 20, 2014.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of Utah State's seven Mountain West losses in 2016, five were by a combined 29 points (5.8 ppg) as USU lost at home to Air Force by seven points (27-20), at No. 24 Boise State by 11 points (21-10), at Colorado State by seven points (31-24), to New Mexico by three points (24-21), and at Nevada by one point (38-37). Furthermore, USU surrendered three double-digit leads in the second half of the 2016 season at Colorado State (14 points), against New Mexico at home (15 points), and at Nevada (13 points), not to mention a seven-point second-quarter lead at home against Air Force.
UTAH STATE COACHING CHANGES FOR 2017
Utah State's coaching staff had two changes during the offseason as fifth-year head coach Matt Wells hired David Yost as the offensive coordinator working with the quarterbacks, and Mark Tommerdahl as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Coaches who left the USU program following the 2016 season include assistant head coach/running backs/tight ends coach Mike Canales, who went to Tennessee, and linebackers coach David Kotulski, who went to Mercyhurst University.
UTAH STATE THE ONLY PROGRAM WITH NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS FOUR YEARS IN A ROW WITH SAME HEAD COACH
Utah State is the only FBS program to have a new offensive coordinator in each of the past four seasons under the same head coach. In 2014, Kevin McGiven was the offensive coordinator. In 2015, Josh Heupel was the offensive coordinator. In 2016, Jovon Bouknight and Luke Wells were co-offensive coordinators. And in 2017, David Yost is the offensive coordinator. Kansas has had a new offensive coordinator in each of the past five seasons under different head coaches and Pittsburgh has had new offensive coordinators in each of the last four seasons under different head coaches.
WELLS' 29 WINS FIFTH-MOST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State head coach Matt Wells' 29 wins rank fifth all-time in school history, while his 52.7 winning percentage (29-26) ranks seventh all-time with a minimum of 15 games coached.
MORE ON UTAH STATE'S HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is in his fifth season in charge of the Aggie football program and is the longest tenured head coach since Mick Dennehy (2000-04) also spent five years at USU. In fact, Wells is tied with Dennehy and George P. Campbell (1902-06) as the sixth-longest tenured head coaches in 120 seasons of Utah State football.
Matt Wells coached in his third bowl game in 2015 to set the school record for most bowl games by a head coach. E. Lowell `Dick' Romney (1946, 1947), John Ralston (1960, 1961) and Gary Andersen (2011, 2012) all coached the Aggies in two bowl games, while Charlie Weatherbie (1993) and John L. Smith (1997) each coached one bowl game at USU.
Matt Wells, the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year, is one of just 21 coaches to lead his alma mater. He is also just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach, joining Chris Pella, who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
WELLS ONE OF 21 FBS HEAD COACHES AT HIS ALMA MATER
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is one of the 21 current FBS head coaches who are the head coaches at their alma mater, joining John Bonamego (Central Michigan), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Sean Kugler (UTEP), Tim Lester (Western Michigan), Mike Neu (Ball State), Barry Odum (Missouri), Mark Richt (Miami), Nick Rolovich (Hawai'i), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georiga) and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State).
Of the 21 head coaches listed above who are currently at their alma mater, the Mountain West leads all conferences with five.
UTAH STATE WITH SIX HOME GAMES ONCE AGAIN IN 2017
Utah State's 2017 schedule marks the eighth-straight season, the ninth time in the last 10 years, and the 10th time in the last 21 years that it will play six home games. Overall, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate just 14 times: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1978, 1952.
INSIDE THE ROSTER
Utah State entered the 2017 season with 14 returning starters from last year with six on offense and eight on defense. Despite those high numbers, USU only started five of those 14 players in its season opener at No. 9 Wisconsin, which is the lowest number in the nation at the FBS level. Those five returning starters from last season who started the season-opener this year were senior CB Jalen Davis, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, senior QB Kent Myers, junior BS Gaje Ferguson and junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver.
Utah State entered the 2017 season with 18 seniors on its roster, but only seven of those 18 players started the season opener at No. 9 Wisconsin in WR Jaren Colston-Green, CB Jalen Davis, TE Damion Hobbs, RB LaJuan Hunt, BS Dallin Leavitt, QB Kent Myers and DE Ian Togiai. In fact, only 14 of the 18 seniors on USU's 2017 roster played in its game against the Badgers as those other seven players were CB Wesley Bailey, WR Alex Byers, LB Alex Huerta, OL Jarom Ioane, RB Tonny Lindsey Jr., LS Emmett Odegard and WR Braelon Roberts.
A FINAL LOOK AT UTAH STATE IN 2016
Utah State ended its 2016 season with a 3-9 record and finished sixth in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 1-7 record. Offensively, USU was led by junior QB Kent Myers, who was 211-of-361 (.584) passing for 2,389 yards (199.1 ypg) with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Junior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr. led the team in rushing with 763 yards on 148 carries (5.2 ypc / 63.6 ypg) with six touchdowns, while sophomore WR Ron'quavion Tarver had a team-best 46 receptions for 602 yards (13.1 ypr / 50.2 ypg) with three touchdowns. Defensively, redshirt senior LB Anthony Williams led the team with 96 tackles, which included 2.0 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss, while senior LB Brock Carmen had 64 tackles, which included 3.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss. As a team, Utah State averaged 23.9 points and 376.2 yards of total offense (205.8 passing, 170.5 rushing), and allowed 29.3 points and 379.8 yards of total offense (203.3 rushing, 176.5 passing).
UTAH STATE STREAKS THAT ENDED IN 2016
Utah State had several streaks that ended during the 2016 season, including missing out on a bowl game for the first time since the 2010 campaign. From 2011 to 2015, USU played in a school-record five-straight bowl games, winning three. USU had also won at least six games in each of its previous five seasons, which was tied with the 1971-75 teams for the longest streak in school history. And finally, USU had won at least five conference games in each of its previous five seasons, which was a school record.
UTAH STATE ENTERING FIFTH SEASON IN MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is entering its fifth year as a member of the Mountain West and has been a Division I-A/Bowl Championship Series football playing school in each of its 119 seasons of competition. USU joined the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1938 until 1961. USU then played as a football independent from 1962-77 when the Aggies became members of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1978. The PCAA changed its name to the Big West Conference in 1988. Following the 2000 season, when the Big West no longer sponsored football, USU spent two years as an independent (2001-02) and two years in the Sun Belt Conference (2003-04), before joining the Western Athletic Conference for eight seasons from 2005-12.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is 146-175-8 (.456) all-time against current members of the Mountain West with a 38-25-4 record vs. Wyoming, a 33-38-2 record vs. Colorado State, a 15-7 record vs. UNLV, a 16-20-1 record vs. San José State, a 12-17-1 record vs. Fresno State, a 10-13 record vs. New Mexico, an 8-6 record vs. Hawai`i, a 6-18 record vs. Nevada, a 5-16 record vs. Boise State, a 2-3 record vs. Air Force, and a 1-12 record vs. San Diego State.
UTAH STATE NOTABLES HEADING INTO 2017
Utah State returns its top two rushers from last season in senior RB Tonnny Lindsey Jr. and senior QB Kent Myers. Lindsey led the Aggies in 2016 in rushing yards (763) and carries (148), while tying for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. Myers ranked second on the team in both rushing yards (449) and carries (116), and also tied for the team lead with six rushing touchdowns. In fact, USU returns 86.1 percent of its rushing yards (1,673/2,046) from last season.
Utah State returns its top receiver from 2016 in junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver. Tarver led USU with 46 receptions for 602 yards and three touchdowns. In fact, his 602 receiving yards are the most by an Aggie underclassman since 2009, while his 46 receptions are tied for the most by a USU underclassman in school history. Tarver also had a pair of 100-yard receiving games as a sophomore, including a career-high nine receptions for a career-best 143 yards against Air Force as those 143 receiving yards rank as the third-most in school history by an Aggie underclassman and the most since 1994.
Utah State returns its top quarterback from 2016 in senior Kent Myers. Myers started all 12 games for USU and was 211-of-361 (.584) passing for 2,389 yards with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Myers, who was named the Offensive MVP of the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, also earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2015.
Defensively, Utah State returns 49.8 percent of its tackles (943/470) from last season, including two of its top five tacklers in senior BS Dallin Leavitt and senior LB Alex Huerta, who had 57 and 45 tackles, respectively.
Utah State's 18 seniors heading into the 2017 season are its fewest since it had 18 seniors during the 2014 season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State rushed for 2,046 yards during the 2016 season, marking the eighth-straight year that USU has gained at least 2,000 yards on the ground. Prior to its current streak, USU went 33 years without rushing for 2,000 yards in a single season.
AGGIES CURRENTLY IN THE NFL AND CFL
Utah State currently has 12 players on NFL rosters and has had 11 players drafted into the NFL in the past seven years. Former Aggies currently in the NFL include S Maurice Alexander (Los Angeles), S Marwin Evans (Green Bay), LB Kyler Fackrell (Green Bay), OG Tyler Larsen (Carolina), CB Nevin Lawson (Detroit), RB Devante Mays (Green Bay), OT Donald Penn (Oakland), LS Patrick Scales (Chicago), RB Robert Turbin (Indianapolis), LB Nick Vigil (Cincinnati), LB Bobby Wagner (Seattle) and RB Kerwynn Williams (Arizona). USU also has four former Aggies currently in the Canadian Football League in CB Jarrett Bush (Calgary), DE John Chick (Hamilton), LB Chris Randle (Winnipeg) and DE Connor Williams (Ottawa).
CURRENT AGGIES WITH NFL TIES
Utah State has two players on its current roster with fathers who played in the NFL in senior WR Jaren Colsten-Green (Willie Green) and sophomore LB Mason Tobeck (Robbie Tobeck).
Willie Green (WR) spent eight seasons in the NFL with the Detroit Lions (1991-93), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1994), Carolina Panthers (1995-96) and Denver Broncos (1997-98).
Robbie Tobeck (OL) spent 14 seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons (1993-99) and Seattle Seahawks (2000-06).
AGGIES WHO HAVE SERVED LDS CHURCH MISSIONS
Utah State has 30 players on its current roster who have served two-year LDS Church Missions: redshirt freshman DE Caden Andersen, junior OL Roman Andrus, senior OL Preston Brooksby, freshman WR Taylor Compton, freshman WR Preston Curtis, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata, freshman RB SJ Fehoko, junior OL Quin Ficklin, redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski, sophomore LB Mason Gajkowski, sophomore LB Braden Harris, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, senior OL Jarom Ioane, junior LB Derek Larsen, junior LB Ofa Latu, sophomore DE Logan Lee, redshirt freshman DL Connor Meyers, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley, freshman S Chase Nelson, junior QB DJ Nelson, sophomore S Chance Parker, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, freshman PK Michael Smith, redshirt freshman BS Zach Swenson, redshirt freshman DE Keith Tambe, redshirt freshman TE Tyler Thornock, sophomore NG Mohelika Uasike, junior OL KJ Uluave, junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen and sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman.
AGGIES WHO ARE MARRIED
Utah State has 10 players on its current roster who are married in junior LB Chase Christiansen, senior LB Alex Huerta, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, senior OL Jarom Ionae, junior LB Derek Larsen, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley, sophomore S Chance Parker, junior OL KJ Uluave and junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen.
UTAH STATE BOWL HISTORY
Utah State has a 4-7 bowl record all-time as it lost to San José State, 20-0, in the 1946 Raisin Bowl (Fresno, Calif.); lost to Pacific, 35-21, in the 1947 Grape Bowl (Lodi, Calif.); lost to New Mexico State, 20-13, in the 1960 Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas); lost to Baylor, 24-9, in the 1961 Gotham Bowl (New York City); defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl II; lost to Cincinnati, 35-19, in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; defeated Toledo, 41-15, in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, defeated No. 24 Northern Illinois, 21-14, in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl; defeated UTEP, 21-6, in the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl; and lost to Akron, 23-21, in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has nine players listed on its current depth chart that began their Aggie careers as walk-ons in senior LS Emmett Odegard, senior WR Braelon Roberts, junior P Aaron Dalton, junior BS Gaje Ferguson, junior OC Quin Ficklin, junior LB Derek Larsen, junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen, sophomore PK Dominik Eberle and redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram.
Utah State also has five other players on its current depth chart who are currently walk-ons in junior OL Jake Templeton, junior WR Aaren Vaughns, sophomore P Zach Lee, sophomore PK Michael Smith and redshirt freshman LS Brandon Pada.
Utah State's football team earned recognition from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) in 2016 as it was one of 78 institutions to receive the Academic Achievement Award for graduating 75 percent or more of their student-athletes. Overall, it is the third consecutive year that USU's football program has been recognized by the AFCA.
USU has a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 87 percent to rank first in the Mountain West. The Aggies also rank first among the other football programs in the Beehive State, ahead of Utah (78), Weber State (69), Southern Utah (61) and BYU (48).
Utah State had 19 football players earn academic all-conference honors in 2016.
Over the past eight seasons, USU has had 166 players earn academic all-league honors and 156 players have graduated from Utah State.
Entering the 2017 season, Utah State has one player on its roster who has already received a degree in junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen (family, consumer and human development).
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Matt Wells has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program in his first five seasons as head coach, as USU is 29-26, including a 19-13 Mountain West record. USU also played in its fifth-straight bowl game in 2015.
In his four years as head coach, Wells has led Utah State to three wins against top 25 opponents, one more than USU had overall prior to his tenure.
During the 2015 season, Wells mentored 12 players who earned all-Mountain West honors, which were the third-most in the conference. Wells also coached Kyler Fackrell, who was named a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele.
Wells coached three players who participated in the 2016 NFL Combine in Fackrell, Hunter Sharp and Nick Vigil, while 10 players from the 2015 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Vigil (Cincinnati Bengals) and Fackrell (Green Bay Packers), who were both selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Wells led Utah State to 10 wins in 2014 to rank as the second-most in school history behind the 2012 team that finished with an 11-2 record, including its third-straight bowl win with a 21-6 victory against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
During the 2014 season, Wells mentored 15 players who earned 16 all-Mountain West honors, which were the most in the league and tied for the third-most in school history. Wells also coached two All-Americans as Zach Vigil was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, while Jalen Davis was named a True Freshman All-American by 247Sports. Vigil was also named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies went 9-5.
Wells led Utah State to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game after winning the Mountain Division with a 7-1 record in 2013. He also led USU to just its third-ever bowl victory as it posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
During his first year as USU's head coach, Wells mentored 14 Aggies who earned various all-Mountain West honors, including three All-Americans as Tyler Larsen was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, Nevin Lawson was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness, and Kyler Fackrell was named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News.
Wells coached a school-record four players who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine in Larsen, Lawson, Maurice Alexander and D.J. Tialavea, while 11 players from the 2013 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Alexander (Los Angeles Rams) and Lawson (Detroit Lions), who were both selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Overall, Wells is the second USU coach and fifth in school history to garner conference coach of the year honors along with Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991), John L. Smith (1997) and Gary Andersen (2012). Wells is also the fourth individual to earn MW Coach of the Year honors in his first season, along with BYU's Gary Crowton (2001), Utah's Urban Meyer (2003) and Air Force's Troy Calhoun (2007).
Wells is one of just 19 FBS coaches to lead his alma mater and is just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach, joining Chris Pella, who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
Prior to being named the head coach at his alma mater, Wells spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
During his six years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a USU program that played in five straight bowl games for the first time in school history, and won three-straight bowl games for the first time ever.
As offensive coordinator in 2012, Utah State concluded its most successful season in program history with a school-best 11-2 record. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936.
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