Sept. 16, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. USC
USC Game Notes vs. Utah State
(RV) UTAH STATE at (RV) USC
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME FOUR INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
Kickoff: 1:36 p.m. (MT)
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Stadium: Los Angeles
Memorial Coliseum (93,607)
Series: Utah State trails, 0-4
Dave Flemming (Play-by-Play)
David Diaz-Infante (Analyst)
Shelley Smith (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Radio: XM 192/SIRIUS 113/Internet 968
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
Utah State is in its 116th season of football and is 508-509-31 (.499) all-time. USU has 10 nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 in 2013 and two more that will be broadcast regionally on ROOT SPORTS.
Utah State is once again listed among the other schools receiving votes in this week's USA Today coaches' poll as it garnered five votes to rank tied for 39th in the nation. USU began the season with 23 top 25 votes in the USA Today preseason coaches' poll to rank 35th nationally and eight votes in the Associated Press preseason poll to rank 37th. Two weeks ago, USU received one vote in the USA Today coaches' poll to rank tied for 43rd, and last week USU had two votes to rank tied for 43rd in the nation.
Utah State's is playing its first national game on ABC since Oct. 7, 1978 when it played at BYU.
Utah State is 1-1 on the road this year and has won eight of its last 11 road games dating back to the 2011 season.
Utah State will play on natural grass for the first and only time this year at USC. USU has not played on natural grass in its last 10 games dating back to Oct. 5, 2012 when it played at BYU.
Utah State has won 18 of its last 22 games, which is USU's best stretch since going 18-2-1 during the 1960-61 seasons. USU's four losses during its last 22 games have been by a combined 10 points as it lost to Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) in 2012, and at Utah (30-26) to open the 2013 season.
Utah State has produced at least 500 yards of total offense in seven of its last nine games, including in each of its last two outings. During its first game of the 2013 season, USU just missed the 500-yard mark as it had 487 yards of total offense at Utah. In all, Utah State has produced at least 400 yards of total offense 11 times in its last 13 games.
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton currently ranks tied for first in the nation along with Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion with 12 touchdown passes.
Utah State has 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while USC has 52 players on its roster from the state of California.
Utah State has won five of its last six games played during the month of September and is 4-4 all-time in games played on Sept. 21.
Utah State is facing a pair of Pac-12 opponents (Aug. 29 at Utah; Sept. 21 at USC) in 2013 for the first time since 1998.
UTAH STATE RETURNS TO THE ROAD WITH GAME AT USC
Utah State (2-1, 1-0 MW) continues its 2013 season with its third road game of the year as it plays at USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 1:36 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on ABC in the western part of the United States and on ESPN2 throughout the rest of the country with Dave Flemming (play-by-play), David Diaz-Infante (analyst) and Shelley Smith (reporter) on the call. Live audio of the game is also available on www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will also be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's Game Day coverage.
UTAH STATE PLAYING FOUR OF ITS FIRST FIVE GAMES ON THE ROAD
For the first time since 2009, Utah State is playing four of its first five games on the road as it began the year with back-to-back road games at Utah and at Air Force, followed by a home game against Weber State. During the next two weeks, USU plays at USC and at San Jose State before playing five of its final seven games of the season at home.
UTAH STATE'S NEXT FOUR GAMES ALL AGAINST BOWL TEAMS FROM A YEAR AGO
Utah State's next four games on its schedule are all against teams who participated in bowl games a year ago as USC played in the Hyundai Sun Bowl (L, 21-7 vs. Georgia Tech); San Jose State played in the Military Bowl (W, 29-20 vs. Bowling Green); BYU played in the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (W, 23-6 vs. San Diego State); and Boise State played in the Las Vegas Maaco Bowl (W, 28-26 vs. Washington). USU's second game of the year was also against a bowl team as Air Force played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (L, 33-14 vs. Rice).
UTAH STATE IN FIRST SEASON IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is in its first 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 116 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 in 2005 for eight seasons.
UTAH STATE ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED TEAMS IN THE NATION
Utah State entered the 2013 season tied with Army and trailing South Alabama as the second most experienced team at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview as USU returns 13 seniors and seven juniors who have started games, and three additional seniors and 12 additional juniors listed on its preseason depth chart.
UTAH STATE HAS FOURTH-MOST EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE NATION
Utah State entered the 2013 season returning all five of its starters on the offensive line from a year ago and has the fourth-most experienced offensive line in the nation according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview with 125 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (41), senior tackle Eric Schultz (35), senior guard Jamie Markosian (18), senior guard Kyle Whimpey (16) and junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (15). Texas has the most experienced offensive line with 139 career starts, followed by Tennessee (138), Duke (128) and Utah State (125).
WELLS IS THE 11TH-YOUNGEST HEAD COACH AT THE FBS LEVEL
First-year Utah State head football coach Matt Wells is the 11th-youngest head coach at the FBS level at 40 years of age (8-10-73). Wells is also just the second USU 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 was a three-year letterwinner at quarterback from USU from 1994-96.
WELLS IS ONE OF 12 HEAD COACH AT THE FBS LEVEL WHO PLAYED AT SAME SCHOOL
First-year Utah State head football coach Matt Wells is one of just 12 head coaches at the FBS level who played college football at the same school he is currently the head coach at joining Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina) Paul Haynes (Kent State), Don Treadwell (Miami, Ohio), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Bill Blankenship (Tulsa), Sean Kugler (UTEP) and Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 2-1 on the season following its 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State last weekend. USU, who is also 1-0 in Mountain West play, began the year with a 30-26 loss at Utah, before winning its first-ever Mountain West game at Air Force, 52-20. Offensively, USU is led by junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 82-of-105 passing for 923 yards with 12 touchdowns and one interception. Keeton also leads the team in rushing as he has carried the ball 28 times for 187 yards with one touchdown, while senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen has 13 catches for 226 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 30 tackles including 0.5 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 23 tackles with 2.5 for loss, and senior safety Maurice Alexander has 17 tackles with 3.5 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 49.3 points and 550.3 yards of total offense (331.3-passing, 219.0-rushing) and allowing 18.7 points and 286.0 yards of total offense (148.0-passing, 138.0-rushing).
UTAH STATE SCORES MOST POINTS SINCE 1964 IN WIN AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State's 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State in its last game was its most points scored since defeating New Mexico State, 76-0, on Sept. 26, 1964. Overall, those 70 points scored against the Wildcats are the sixth-most in school history. Furthermore, USU's 63-point win against WSU is its seventh-largest in school history and largest since its 76-point win against NMSU in 1964.
UTAH STATE SCORES TOUCHDOWNS ON ITS FIRST SEVEN POSSESSIONS AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State scored touchdowns on its first seven possessions in its 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State, marking the first time since at least 1964 that USU has accomplished that feat. USU's 49 first-half points against the Wildcats are also its most in a half since at least 1964 according to available records. Also, during USU's first half against Weber State, the Aggie defense forced the Wildcats into seven-straight three-and-outs to begin the game as WSU had just one first down in the first half.
UTAH STATE SCORED IN A HURRY AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State had 10 touchdown drives in its 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State and six of those drives were less than two minutes. On the season, USU has now had nine scoring drives of less than two minutes.
UTAH STATE PRODUCES SEASON-HIGH 587 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State had a season-high 587 yards of total offense in its 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State as it passed for 320 yards and rushed for a season-high 267 yards. With its 587 yards of total offense against WSU, USU has now rushed for at least 200 yards in five of its last seven games, and passed for at least 300 yards in six of its last eight games. Overall, USU's 587 yards of total offense against Weber State ranks as the 14th-most in school history and most since producing 646 yards of total offense against then No. 19 Louisiana Tech last year.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN WEBER STATE OFFENSE
Utah State's defense had a dominating performance in its last outing against Weber State as it limited the Wildcats to just 138 yards of total offense, including just 34 yards passing. Those 138 yards of total offense allowed by USU ranks as the 21st-fewest in school history and fewest since limiting Idaho State to just 111 total yards in 1997. WSU's 34 passing yards against USU are the 14th-fewest allowed in school history and fewest since ISU passed for just 16 yards in 1997.
UTAH STATE HAD 10 PLAYERS CATCH PASSES FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT WEEK
For the second time in as many weeks, Utah State had 10 different receivers catch passes in its 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State. Players who caught passes against the Wildcats include: Keegan Andersen, Ronald Butler, Kyler Fackrell, Shaan Johnson, Bruce Natson, Travis Reynolds, Brandon Swindall, D.J. Tialavea, Travis Van Leeuwen and Alex Wheat, Jr. USU also had 10 players catch at least one pass in its 52-20 road win at Air Force two weeks ago, which are the most in a single-game since 12 Aggies caught passes in a 48-17 win at UTSA on Oct. 27, 2012.
NINE DIFFERENT AGGIES CARRY THE BALL AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State had nine different players carry the ball in its last game against Weber State, which is its most since at least 1995, according to available records. Players who carried the ball against the Wildcats include: Paul Clark, Joey DeMartino, Craig Harrison, Joe Hill, Chuckie Keeton, Kelvin Lee, Jeff Manning, Robert Marshall and Kennedy Williams.
UTAH STATE RECORDS ANOTHER WIN WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
Utah State improved to 2-1 this season and 14-3 in its last 17 game when leading at the half. Overall, USU has led at the half in 17 of its last 18 games dating back to 2011.
UTAH STATE SCORES TOUCHDOWN ON FIRST DRIVE FOR NINTH TIME IN LAST TWO YEARS
Utah State has scored a touchdown on its initial drive in each of its last two games against Weber State and Air Force, marking the ninth time in its last 16 games dating back to the 2012 season that USU has scored a touchdown on its first drive of a game.
KEETON TIES OWN SCHOOL RECORD AGAIN WITH FIVE TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST WEBER STATE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton tied his own school record for the second time in as many weeks with five touchdown passes in the first half against Weber State. Keeton also threw five touchdown passes in three quarters of action two weeks ago at Air Force. Overall, Keeton is the only player in school history to throw five touchdown passes in a game three different times, also doing so during his freshman season against Wyoming. Former Aggies Tony Adams (1970-72) and Anthony Calvillo (1992-93) threw five touchdown passes in a game twice during their careers, while Brent Synder (1987-88) accomplished the feat once.
KEETON HAS THROWN 10 TOUCHDOWN PASSES IN LAST FIVE QUARTERS OF PLAY
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown 10 touchdown passes, and just one interception, during his last two games as he had five touchdown passes in three quarters of play in USU's 52-20 road win at Air Force, and then had five more touchdown passes in two quarters of play in USU's 70-6 home win against Weber State. During his last five quarters of play in USU's last two games, Keeton is 51-of-65 passing (.785) for 609 yards with a quarterback efficiency rating of 204.9. Keeton has also rushed for 102 yards on 13 carries (7.8 ypc) during his last five quarters of play.
DEMARTINO RECORDS FIRST-CAREER 100-YARD RUSHING GAME AGAINST WEBER STATE
Senior running back Joey DeMartino recorded his first-ever 100-yard rushing game in his last outing against Weber State as he carried the ball eight times for a career-best 105 yards (13.1 ypc), while scoring a career-high three rushing touchdowns. DeMartino also had a career-long rush of 60 yards against WSU for a score to give him four rushing touchdowns this year and five in his career. During his last two games, DeMartino has carried the ball 18 times for 149 yards (8.3 ypc) with four rushing touchdowns.
TIALAVEA RECORDS FIRST-CAREER MULTI-TOUCHDOWN GAME AGAINST WEBER STATE
Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea caught a pair of touchdown passes in his last game against Weber State, marking his first-ever multi-touchdown game. Tialavea also tied his career-high with three receptions against WSU. Overall, Tialavea now has four career touchdown receptions.
ANDERSEN CATCHES TOUCHDOWN PASS IN SECOND CONSECUTIVE GAME
Junior tight end Keegan Andersen caught a touchdown pass for the second time in as many games as he recorded a career-long reception of 56 yards for a score against Weber State in his last game. Andersen also had a 1-yard touchdown reception against Air Force in his previous game. During his last two games, Andersen has caught four passes for 76 yards (19.0 ypc) with two touchdowns.
REYNOLDS RECORDS CAREER-HIGH IN RECEIVING YARDS AGAINST WEBER STATE
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds recorded a career-high 71 receiving yards in his last game against Weber State, including a career-long reception of 39 yards for a touchdown. During his last two games, Reynolds has caught six passes for 130 yards (21.7 ypc) with two touchdowns.
PLAYER NOTABLES FROM WEBER STATE GAME
Junior linebacker Kyler Fackrell caught his first career touchdown on his first career reception...Junior wide receiver Ronald Butler caught his second career touchdown pass at USU, and had a career-best two receptions... Junior wide receiver Shaan Johnson had career-highs in both receptions (4) and receiving yards (48)... Junior quarterback Craig Harrison threw his first career touchdown pass... Senior running back Robert Marshall had a career-high 57 rushing yards and a career-long run of 40 yards... Junior wide receiver Alex Wheat, Jr. caught his first career pass... Sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen and freshman safety Dayton DeLoach both recovered their first career fumbles... Aggies with career-highs in tackles include junior safety Frankie Sutera (8), redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil (7), freshman defensive end Ricky Ali'ifua (6), junior linebacker Keylon Hollis (6), sophomore linebacker Jarom Baldomero (5), sophomore linebacker La'Bradford Harold (5), junior cornerback Jeremy Morris (4), sophomore linebacker Torrey Green (3), redshirt freshman cornerback Dre Snowden (2), redshirt freshman defensive end Eric Bernston (2), redshirt freshman cornerback Devin Centers (1), freshman safety Dayton DeLoach (1)and redshirt freshman defensive end Jake Gallegos (1).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE PITCHES A SHUTOUT AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State's defense pitched a shutout against Weber State in its last game, as the only points the Wildcats scored were against the Aggies offense as it recovered a fumble on a high snap and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. The last time USU's defense did not give up any points in a game was on Nov. 29, 2008 when it defeated New Mexico State, 47-2.
UTAH STATE HASN'T ALLOWED A FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN IN 18 OF ITS LAST 19 GAMES
Utah State allowed a pair of first quarter touchdowns in its 30-26 loss at Utah to start the 2013 season, marking the first time in 17 games it allowed a touchdown in the first 15 minutes of play. Dating back to the 2011 season, Utah is the only Utah State opponent in its last 19 games to score a first quarter touchdown against the Aggies.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State limited Weber State to just seven first downs in its last game, which are the fewest by an Aggie opponent since North Texas had just six first downs in 2000. In fact, Weber State, had just one first down in the entire first half against USU and did not record its second first down of the game until its final drive of the third quarter.
THREE AGGIES EARN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS THIS WEEK
Utah State junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton, senior running back Joey DeMartino and senior tight end D.J. Tialavea all earned honorable mention national honors at their respective positions from College Football Performance Awards following Utah State's 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State last weekend. Keeton tied his own school record with five touchdown passes as he was 19-of-25 passing for 249 yards in just the first-half, while also carrying the ball five times for 25 yards. DeMartino recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game as he carried the ball eight times for 105 yards and scored a career-best three rushing touchdowns, including a career-long run of 60 yards. DeMartino's other two touchdowns came on runs of 11 and seven yards. Tialavea finished the game with three receptions for 18 yards, including a pair of touchdown catches of five and eight yards.
UTAH STATE'S OFFENSE PUTTING UP BIG NUMBERS DURING ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State's offense has played very well during its last two games as it is averaging 61.0 points and 582.0 yards of total offense (340.0-passing, 242.0-rushing). USU has also converted 69.0 percent of its third-downs during its last two games (20-29) and has registered 60 first downs.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE PLAYING WELL DURING ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State's defense hasn't allowed much production during its last two games as its opponents are averaging just 13.0 points and just 204.0 yards of total offense (133.0-rushing, 77-0-passing). USU has also allowed just 23 first downs in the last two games and limited its opponents to just 5-of-31 (.162) on third downs.
LOOKING BACK AT UTAH STATE'S FIRST-EVER MOUNTAIN WEST GAME
Utah State won its first-ever Mountain West game on Sept. 7 with a 52-20 victory at Air Force. USU's 32-point win at Air Force (52-20) was the Falcons worst home loss since the 2005 season when No. 21 TCU posted a 48-10 road win at the USAF Academy. Furthermore, the 162 rushing yards allowed by Utah State against the Falcons were the fewest since rushing for just 160 yards against Army in 2009. With its 52-20 win at Air Force to begin Mountain West play, Utah State has now won 12 straight conference games dating back to the 2011 season, extending its own school record. USU has also won seven straight conference road games dating back to 2011, to set a school record.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO OUT-SCORE OPPONENTS IN THE FIRST HALF
Much like it did in 2012, Utah State continues to out-score opponents in the first half as it has a 90-27 scoring advantage in the first 30 minutes of play this season. During the 2012 season, USU had a 254-60 scoring advantage in the first half.
UTAH STATE AT HOME
Utah State has now won nine-straight home games, which is its longest home winning streak since the 1959-63 teams set a school record with 17 straight home wins. Overall, USU's current nine-game home winning streak is tied for the fourth-longest in school history along with the 1910-12, 1917-20 and 1934-36 teams.
UTAH STATE PLAYING SIX HOME GAMES IN 2013
Utah State's 2013 schedule marks the fourth-straight season, the fifth time in the last six years, and the sixth time in the last 17 years that it will play six home games. Overall, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate a total of only just 10 times: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1978, 1952.
KEETON EARNS FOUR NATIONAL AWARDS FOLLOWING PERFORMANCE AT AIR FORCE
Utah State junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton earned four national awards following Utah State's 52-20 conference win at Air Force on Sept. 7 as he was named the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week, one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week, honorable mention honors for the weekly Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award, and honorable mention National Quarterback of the Week honors from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA). Against Air Force, Keeton tied his own school record with five touchdown passes (30, 23, 20, 36, 1) in handing the Falcons their worst home loss since 2005. Against Air Force, he completed a career-high 32 passes and tied his career-high with 40 pass attempts, while throwing for 360 yards, which is the second-most in his career. Keeton also rushed for a game-high 77 yards on just eight carries, including a 30-yard run, to become the 25th player in school history and just second quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a career.
VIGIL NAMED COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS MW DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State junior linebacker Zach Vigil was named College Sports Madness' Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week following Utah State's 52-20 conference win at Air Force on Sept. 7. It was the first time this year that an Aggie has been honored by College Sports Madness. Vigi recorded nine tackles (5-solo, 4-assist), including 1.5 tackles for loss, against Air Force and forced a fumble on the Falcons' first offensive play of the game that lead to USU's second touchdown in the first 4:43 of the contest. In all, Vigil and the Aggies defense limited Air Force to just 162 rushing yards, which are the fewest rushing yards for the AFA since the 2009. The Falcons also rushed for just one touchdown in the game.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 30-of-46 third downs during its first two games of the 2013 season and that conversion percentage of 65.2 percent ranks first in the Mountain West and fourth in the nation. In 2013, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE RANKS FIFTH IN THE NATION IN FIRST DOWNS
Utah State is averaging 29.0 first downs per game thus far this year to lead the Mountain West and rank fifth in the nation. In 2012, USU averaged 20.9 first downs per game.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS SEVENTH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 12 first downs on 47 third down attempts this year and that conversion percentage of 25.9 percent ranks first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS 23RD IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 16-for-17 (.941) on red zone opportunities offensively during its first three game of the 2013 season to rank 23rd nationally. Against Utah, USU scored three touchdowns to go along with two field goals in five red zone opportunities. Against Air Force, USU scored five touchdowns in five red zone opportunities. And against Weber State, USU scored seven touchdowns in eight red zone opportunities.
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR EIGHTH IN THE NATION IN SCORING OFFENSE
Utah State is averaging 49.3 points per game thus far in 2013 to lead the Mountain West and rank tied for eighth in the nation and has a passing efficiency of 193.0 to rank first in the Mountain West and ninth nationally. USU also ranks first in the MW and 12th in the nation in total offense (550.3 ypg), second in the MW and 15th in the nation in passing offense (331.3 ypg), third in the MW and 37th in the nation in rushing offense (219.0 ypg), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 18th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.0 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 13TH IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE AND PASSING DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 148.0 passing yards and 286.0 total yards of offense per game, to rank first in the Mountain West and 13th in the nation in both categories. USU also ranks second in the MW and tied for 49th in the nation in rushing defense (138.0), third in the MW and tied for 36th in the nation in scoring defense (18.7 ppg), third in the MW and 51st in the nation in passing efficiency defense (119.1), and tied for fifth in the MW in sacks (1.0 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 15TH IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURNS
Utah State currently ranks second in the Mountain West and 15th in the nation averaging 27.8 yards per kick return. USU also ranks fourth in the MW in punt returns (8.8 ypr), seventh in the MW in turnover margin (0.00), and eighth in the MW in net punting (38.9 ypk).
UTAH STATE RANKS AMONG THE TOP 10 NATIONALLY IN KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks among the top 10 teams in the nation in both kickoff return and punt return defense as it is allowing just 15.3 yards per kickoff return to rank fifth nationally, and 0.0 yards per punt return to rank sixth in the nation.
KEETON RANKS TIED FOR FIRST IN THE NATION IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Following the first three weeks of college football, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for first in the nation along with Oregon State's Sean Mannion with 12 touchdown passes. Keeton also ranks first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation in total offense with 370.0 yards per game, second in the MW and tied for eighth in the nation in completions (27.3), first in the MW and ninth in the nation in passing efficiency (187.7), third in the MW and 17th in the nation in passing (307.7 ypg), and ninth in the MW in rushing (62.3 ypg).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the MW and tied for 27th in the nation in tackles (10.0 pg). Senior safety Maurice Alexander ranks fourth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.17 pg), tied for eighth in the MW sacks (0.5 pg), and tied for 39th in the MW in tackles (5.7 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks first in the MW and tied for sixth in the nation in fumbles forced (0.7 pg), 10th in the MW in tackles for loss (0.8 pg), and tied for 13th in the MW in tackles (7.7). Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson ranks second in the MW and 25th in the nation in punt returns (11.2 ypr) and eighth in the MW and tied for 36th in the nation in receptions (6.3 pg). Senior running back Joey DeMartino ranks tied for eighth in the MW in scoring (8.0 pg). Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen ranks ninth in the MW in receiving (75.3 ypg). Junior safety Brian Suite ranks tied for 39th in the MW in tackles (5.7 pg). Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright ranks tied for sixth in the MW in passes defended (1.0 pg). Sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for seventh in the MW in fumble recovered (0.33 pg). And junior placekicker Nick Diaz ranks tied for sixth in the MW in field goals (1.0 pg), and seventh in the MW in scoring (8.7 ppg).
DID YOU KNOW?
Eighth former Utah State football players are currently on NFL preseason rosters as of September 1 including Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), Will Davis (Miami), Chuck Jacobs (San Francisco), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle), Bobby Wagner (Seattle) and Kerwynn Williams (Indianapolis).
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 463-of-686 passing during his Utah State career with a completion percentage of 67.5 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) ranks second all-time at 60.7 percent.
KEETON RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks third all-time in school history with 50 touchdown passes and is now two touchdown passes shy of tying Tony Adams (1970-72) for second all-time with 52 career touchdown passes. The school record for career touchdown passes is 60 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has 6,595 yards of total offense (5,496-passing, 1,099-rushing) in his career to rank third all-time in school history. The school record for total offense is 8,791 yards by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002) and Keeton is now just 1,501 yards of total offense shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for second-place with 8,096 yards of total offense.
KEETON RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETIONS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks fourth all-time at Utah State with 463 career completions and is now nine completion shy of tying Brent Snyder (1987-88) for third with 472 career completions. The school record is 704 completions set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS SEVENTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING YARDS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown for 5,496 yards to rank seventh all-time in school history and is now 146 yards shy of tying Anthony Calvillo (1992-93) for sixth-place with 5,642 passing yards. The school record for passing yards is 9,168 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING ATTEMPTS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has attempted 686 passes during his career to rank eighth all-time in school history and is now 52 pass attempts shy of tying Travis Cox (2001-04) for seventh-place with 738 career pass attempts. The school record for pass attempts is 1,270 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS 23RD ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has rushed for 1,099 yards (225 carries, 4.9 ypc) during his Aggie career to rank 23rd all-time in school history. Keeton is now four rushing yards shy of tying Marc White (1983-84) for 22nd-place with 1,103 yards, 45 yards shy of tying Jerry Hughes (1971-72) for 21st-place with 1,144 yards, and 94 yards shy of tying current USU offensive graduate assistant David Fiefia for 20th-place with 1,193 yards rushing. The school record for rushing yards is 3,933 set by Abu Wilson (1992, 1994-96). Overall, Keeton is just the 25th player in school history to rush for 1,000 career yards and just the second quarterback along with Diondre Borel (2007-10) who holds the school record with 1,398 yards by a quarterback.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Chuckie Keeton
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game 16 times in his career, three touchdown passes in a game seven times in his career, four touchdown passes in a game four times in his career, and five touchdown passes in a game three times during his career. Keeton has also rushed for a touchdown 13 times in his career. Furthermore, Keeton has thrown for at least 300 yards five times in his last eight games dating back to last season, and seven times in his career.
KEETON SETS NUMEROUS SINGLE-SEASON RECORDS IN 2012
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton set numerous single-season school records in 2012 including touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), total offense (3,992), completion percentage (.676) and completions (275), while ranking seventh in passing attempts (407). The previous school record for touchdown passes was 24 set by Jose Fuentes in 2001. Fuentes also had the previous school record for passing yards of 3,268 set in 2002 and completions of 260 set in 2001. The previous record for total offense was 3,343 yards set by Diondre Borel in 2009, while Leon Jackson III held the previous school record for completion percentage at 65.4 percent set in 2007.
DIAZ RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PAT PERCENTAGE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 57-of-58 on extra points during his Aggie career and his career PAT percentage of .983 ranks fourth all-time in school history. Senior placekicker Josh Thompson is 70-of-72 on career extra points and that career percentage of .972 ranks fifth all-time at USU. Diaz was a perfect 40-of-40 on extra points in 2012 marking the seventh time in school history that an Aggie kicker has not missed an extra point with a minimum of 20 made PAT's. Diaz also ranks second all-time at USU for a single-season in extra points made (40) and third in extra point attempts (40), while ranking eight in single-season field goal percentage (.769) as he was 8-of-11 on field goals. The single-season school record for extra points made and attempted were both set in 2011 by Thompson who was 57-of-58 on extra points. Thus far this year, Diaz is 3-of-3 on field goals and the single-season school record for field goal percentage is 86.7 percent set by Russ Moody in 1988 as he was 13-of-15 on field goals. For his career, Diaz is 11-of-14 (.786) on field goals.
A LOOK AT USC
USC is 2-1 on the season after posting a 35-7 home win against Boston College last weekend. The Trojans began the year with a 30-13 win at Hawai'i, followed by a 10-7 home loss to Washington State. USC is led by sophomore quarterback Cody Kessler who is 33-of-49 passing for 373 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Sophomore running back Tre Madden has 362 rushing yards on 66 carries with one touchdown, while junior wide receiver Marqise Lee has caught 17 passes for 221 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, junior safety Dion Bailey leads the team with 18 tackles (15-solo, 6-assist), while senior safety Demetrius Wright has 14 tackles (9-solo, 5-assist), and junior linebacker Hayes Pullard has 13 tackles (5-solo, 8-assist). As a team, USC is averaging 24.0 points and 359.3 yards of total offense per game (196.0-rushing, 163.3-passing) and allowing 10.0 points and 212.3 yards of total offense per game (168.7-passing, 43.7-rushing). Overall, USC returns 16 starters (O-8, D-7, ST-1) and 56 lettermen from last year's team that went 7-6 overall and finished tied for second in the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference with a 5-4 league mark. The Trojans ended their year with a 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. Lane Kiffin is 34-20 in this his fifth year as a collegiate head coach, including a 27-14 record in his fourth year at USC.
AGGIES AND TROJANS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and USC will be meeting for the fifth time in series history this weekend, with USU holding a 4-0 all-time advantage. The first meeting between the two teams was on Sept. 29, 1928 in Los Angeles with the Trojans winning, 40-12. The last time the two teams played one another was on Sept. 16, 1989 in Los Angeles as USC won that game, 66-10.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS USC
Rushing Yards: Brett Payne (1984), 47
Passing Yards: Bard Ipsen (1984), 113
Receiving Yards: Pat Newman (1989), 103
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State has 13 players in its program from the state of California, which is the second-most on the team behind the 59 players in the program from Utah. Those players from the Golden State currently in USU's program include Ricky Ali'ifua (San Leandro), Andrew Chen (Calabasas), Joey DeMartino (San Diego), Nick Diaz (Redondo Beach), Torrey Green (Riverside), Joe Hill (Fullerton), Mark Hutchinson (Corona), Karris Johnson (San Ramon), Shaan Johnson (Cerritos), Alex Marsaw (Torrance), Tryn Mesarch (Palm Desert), Paul Piukala (Oakland) and Jake Simonich (Danville).
UTAH STATE AGAINST BCS SCHOOLS
Utah State is 46-175-5 (.215) all-time against current BCS schools with almost half of those games (111) being played against Utah.
AGGIES HAVE PERFORMED WELL AGAINST BCS TEAMS DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS
Utah State has been very competitive in games against BCS schools during the last five years. 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. In 2012, USU defeated Utah at home, 27-20 OT, and lost at then No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14. And in 2013, USU lost at Utah, 30-26.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE
Utah State is 40-121-5 (.256) all-time against current members of the Pac-12 with a 29-78-4 record against Utah, a 6-11-1 record against Colorado, a 2-11-0 record against Arizona State, a 2-4 record against Arizona, a 1-2 record against Washington State, 0-4 records against both Oregon and USC, an 0-3 record against Oregon State, an 0-2 record against Washington, and 0-1 records against both Stanford and UCLA. The only current Pac-12 team that USU has not played is California. Other than Utah, the last time USU played a Pac-12 team was on Sept. 6, 2008 when it lost at Oregon (66-24).
WELLS VERSUS THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is 3-2 all-time as a coach when facing teams from the Pac-12 Conference. As an assistant at New Mexico, the Lobos posted a pair of wins against Arizona and a loss to Oregon. As an assistant at Utah State, the Aggies defeated Utah, 27-20, in overtime during the 2012 season. And as a head coach, Utah State lost at Utah, 30-26, to start the 2013 season. Wells has never faced USC during his coaching career.
UTAH STATE COACHING CONNECTIONS WITH USC
USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson was the running backs coach at Utah State during the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mark Weber graduated from Van Nuys High School in Van Nuys, Calif., while USU linebackers coach Kevin Clune graduated from Palma High School in Salinas, Calif.
UTAH STATE COACHING CONNECTIONS WITH THE PAC-12 CONFERENCE
Utah State assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mark Weber coached in the Pac-12 at UCLA from 1997-2003 helping the Bruins to a pair of conference championships (1997, 1998) and five bowl appearances (Cotton Bowl, 1997; Rose Bowl, 1998; Sun Bowl, 2000; Las Vegas Bowl, 2002; Silicon Valley Football Classic, 2003). Weber also coached at Oregon State from 1987-90. USU special teams coordinator and running backs coach Dave Ungerer coached in the Pac-12 with three schools as he spent the 2002 season at California, the 2007-08 seasons at Oregon State, and the 2010-11 seasons at Washington State. While at OSU, Ungerer helped the Beavers to back-to-back bowl appearances (Emerald, 2007; Sun, 2008). Utah State special assistant to the head coach Dave Kragthorpe was the head coach at Oregon State from 1985-90 and was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1989.
LAST MEETING AGAINST USC - (No. 13 USC 66, USU 10)
September 16, 1989 Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
Pat Newman caught five passes for 103 yards and Kevin White completed 9-of-19 passes for 88 yards with one touchdown in Utah State's 66-10 loss at No. 13 USC on Sept. 16, 1989. Brett Payne was USU's leading rusher with 47 yards on 16 carries, while Del Lyles had a game-high 16 tackles and Kevin Bouwman added 13 tackles. USC scored the first 24 points of the game, before Utah State scored on a 33-yard field goal by Russ Moody with 10:03 remaining in the first half. USU added a 15-yard touchdown pass from White to Tracy Jenkins with 7:13 to play in the second quarter to cut the lead to 24-10, but the Trojans added another touchdown late in the half for a 31-10 lead at intermission. USC then scored 35 second-half points with 21 in the third quarter and 14 more in the fourth to make the final score 66-10. Ricky Ervins led USC with 180 rushing yards on just 15 carries and scored two touchdowns, while Todd Marinovich was 10-of-18 passing for 92 yards and two touchdowns. USC finished the game with 654 yards of total offense (491-rushing, 163-passing) as compared to just 207 total yards by USU (183-passing, 24-rushing). The Trojans ran the ball 49 times overall, while USU had 37 rushing attempts. USC also converted 10-of-11 third downs in the game, while USU was 5-of-17 on third down.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State sophomore offensive lineman Taani Fisilau and USC offensive lineman John Martinez both attended Cottonwood High School in Murray, Utah.
UTAH STATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2012
Utah State had its best season in school history in 2012 as it set the single-season school record for wins with 11, bettering the 1960 and 1961 teams that won nine games. USU also set a single-season school record with its six home wins, bettering the 1931, 1935 and 1972 teams that all won five home games. USU went 6-0 at home in 2012 for its first undefeated home season since 1982 (4-0) and just its fourth in the 45 years of play at Romney Stadium along with the 1968 (4-0) and 1972 (5-0) teams. USU also posted the school's first-ever 6-0 conference mark and won six league games for just the second time in school history joining the 1936 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championship team that went 6-0-1 in league play. USU also recorded its first ever road win against a ranked opponent when it posted a 48-41 overtime victory at then No. 19 Louisiana Tech. USU also appeared in the Associated Press (AP) poll in four-straight weeks in 2012 for the first time in school history, not to mention being ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings for the first time ever. And finally, USU finished the 2012 season nationally ranked - 16th in the AP poll, 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and 22nd in the BCS Standings - for just the third time in school history joining the 1961 team that finished the year ranked 10th nationally in both the AP and United Press International (UPI) polls and the 1972 team that finished 19th in the UPI poll.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State returns 18 starters (O-8, D-7, S-3) and 49 letterwinners (O-23, D-22, S-4) from last year's team that finished with a 11-2 record and won the Western Athletic Conference with a perfect 6-0 mark. USU ended its season with a 41-15 win against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and was ranked 16th nationally by the Associated Press. Highlighting Utah State's returners is senior center Tyler Larsen who is a two-time first-team all-WAC honoree. Joining Larsen as returning all-conference players from 2012 are senior linebacker Jake Doughty (first-team), sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell (first-team), junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton (first-team), senior offensive tackle Eric Schultz (first-team), senior cornerback Nevin Lawson (second-team), senior offensive guard Jamie Markosian (second-team), sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen (second-team), junior linebacker Zach Vigil (second-team) and senior defensive tackle Connor Williams (honorable-mention). Along with the players mentioned above, USU also returns four other starters on offense (WR-Travis Reynolds; TE-D.J. Tialavea; OT-Kevin Whimpey; OG-Kyle Whimpey), two other starters on defense (NG-Elvis Kamana-Matagi; S-Brian Suite) and three special teams starters (PK/H-Jaron Bentrude; PK-Nick Diaz; LS-Nate Needham).
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE FROM 2012
Utah State lost seven players who earned all-WAC honors in 2012 as cornerback Will Davis, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho and running back Kerwynn Williams all earned first-team honors, wide receiver Matt Austin and safety McKade Brady earned second-team honors, and tight end Kellen Bartlett and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs earned honorable mention honors. Davis also earned third-team All-American honors from CBSSports.com, fourth-team All-American honors from Phil Steele, and honorable mention All-American honors from SI.com. Williams was also an honorable mention All-American by SI.com. Other starters lost include punter Tyler Bennett.
UTAH STATE BLOCKED SIX KICKS IN 2012
Utah State blocked six kicks during the 2012 season with two blocked punts, three blocked field goals and one blocked extra point. USU's first blocked kick of the season was by junior linebacker Zach Vigil who blocked a Utah punt that was recovered in the end zone by senior safety Clayton Christensen. The Aggies' second blocked kick of the year was by sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen who blocked an extra point in the Wisconsin game. USU's third blocked kick of the season was at BYU as senior defensive lineman Paul Piukala blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt. USU's fourth blocked kick of the year was against New Mexico State as sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt. Its fifth blocked kick of the year was at UTSA as senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright blocked a punt on UTSA's first series of the game. And its sixth blocked kick of the year was at Louisiana Tech as Nielsen blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter.
AGGIES WHO ARE MARRIED AND HAVE BEEN ON MISSIONS
Utah State has 12 players on its team who are married (Clayton Christensen, Craig Harrison, Tyler Larsen, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Nate Needham, AJ Pataiali'i, Bridger Peck, Joe Summers, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 24 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Ricky Ali'ifua, Jarom Baldomero, Eric Bernston, Brock Bird, Jordan Brown, Clayton Christensen, Jefferson Court, Dayton DeLoach, Jarom Ioane, Derek Keller, B.J. Larsen, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Alex Marsaw, Nate Needham, Travis Parrish, Eric Schultz, Brayden Stembride, Joe Summers, Brandon Taukeiaho, Tyler Weese, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey and Daniel Wray).
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior defensive end Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario, Canada/Holy Trinity HS) is one of just 32 players from Canada currently playing college football at the FBS level. Overall, USU is one of just 18 FBS teams with a Canadian player on its roster.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
With its 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17, 2012, Utah State improved to 6-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last three. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
UTAH STATE COMING OFF BACK-TO-BACK BOWL APPEARANCES
Utah State played in consecutive bowl games for just the third time in school history in 2012 after appearing in each of the last two Famous Idaho Potato Bowls, including just its second-ever bowl win in 2012 as it defeated Toledo, 41-15. USU's only other bowl win was at the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl when it defeated Ball State, 42-33. USU has never played in three-straight bowl games.
UTAH STATE BOWL HISTORY
Following its 41-15 win against Toledo in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Utah State now has a 2-6 bowl record all-time as it lost to San Jose 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; and lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, along with its win in 2012 against Toledo.
Utah State had 21 football players earn academic all-WAC honors during the 2012-13 academic year, which ranked first in the WAC. Over the past four years, USU has had 87 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 94 players have graduated from Utah State University.
RUNNING BACK UNIVERSITY
Utah State is the only school in the nation who has had three running backs selected in the NFL Draft during the last two seasons as Robert Turbin (Seattle, 4/111) and Michael Smith (Tampa Bay, 7/212) were both chosen in 2012, while Kerywnn Williams (Indianapolis, 7/230) was selected in 2013. Linebacker Bobby Wagner (Seattle, 2/47) was also taken in the 2012 NFL Draft and cornerback Will Davis (Miami, 3/93) was selected in 2013 giving Utah State five NFL Draft picks during the past two years.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
There are nine Division I schools that are located in cities with an elevation of at least 4,000 feet about sea level and Utah State ranks sixth on the list with an elevation of 4,710 feet. USU is the fifth-highest Mountain West Conference school. This season the Aggies will play at three other locations on the list (Air Force, New Mexico and Utah), giving USU nine games this season at 4,000 feet above sea level.
School Location Elevation
1. Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. 7,220
2. Air Force Colorado Springs, Colo. 6,620
3. Colorado Boulder, Colo. 5,360
4. Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. 5,190
5. New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 5,100
6. UTAH STATE LOGAN, UTAH 4,710
7. BYU Provo, Utah 4,630
8. Nevada Reno, Nev. 4,610
9. Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 4,357
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State was one of just 13 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to win 10 or more football games and 20-plus basketball games during the 2012-13 academic year as the Aggies went 11-2 on the gridiron and 21-10 on the hardwood. Other FBS schools in the 20-10 club include Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Kansas State, Kent State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCF.
RECAPPING THE WEBER STATE GAME
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw five touchdown passes in the first half to tie his own school record for the second week in a row to lead Utah State (2-1, 1-0 MW) to a 70-6 Homecoming victory against Weber State (1-2) on Saturday, Sept. 14 at a rain-soaked Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium and in front of a sold out crowd of 25,513.
Utah State's 70 points rank as the sixth-most in school history and are its most since defeating New Mexico State, 76-0, in 1964, while its 63-point victory is the seventh-largest in school history and largest since its win against NMSU in 1964.
Against the Wildcats, Utah State amassed a season-high 587 yards of total offense, its 14th-most in school history, while limiting WSU to 138 yards of total offense, which ranks 21st on the Aggies' fewest yards of total offense list.
Keeton was 19-of-25 passing for 249 yards with the five touchdowns, matching the five touchdown tosses he threw at Air Force in his previous game, and the third time in his career with five touchdown passes.
Senior running back Joey DeMartino led the USU rushing attack with eight carries for a career-high 105 yards with a career-best three touchdowns, while junior running back Joe Hill added 12 carries for 63 yards, and senior running back Robert Marshall had a career-high 57 yards on nine carries with one touchdown. Overall, USU had nine different players carry the ball.
For the second week in a row, 10 different Aggies had a catch, led by sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson with five catches for 35 yards, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds had a career-best 71 yards receiving on two catches, with 39 of them coming on a first-quarter touchdown catch. Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea had a career-best two touchdown receptions.
The Aggie defense was led by junior safety Frankie Sutera with a career-high eight tackles, while redshirt-freshman linebacker Nick Vigil added a career-best seven stops. In all, 13 Aggie defenders recorded career-high tackles.
The scoring floodgates opened early before the rain fell, as Utah State scored on its first seven possessions of the first half in opening up a 49-0 halftime lead. Keeton started the scoring with a 5-yard toss to Tialavea. On USU's next possession, DeMartino darted in from 11-yards out, and then Keeton hit Reynolds for a 39-yard scoring pass play for a 21-0 USU lead after the first quarter.
USU's second quarter scoring started with a 4-yard pass from Keeton to sophomore linebacker/tight end Kyler Fackrell, then hit junior wide receiver Ronald Butler with a 15-yard strike. DeMartino later scored on a 7-yard scamper and Tialavea capped the first half scoring with an 8-yard catch from Keeton.
On USU's second possession of the second half, DeMartino scampered 60-yards to the end zone for a touchdown. The next Aggie possession lasted only one play as junior quarterback Craig Harrison hit junior tight end Keegan Andersen for a 56-yard scoring strike for Harrison's first Aggie career touchdown toss.
Marshall went in from 2-yards out for USU's final score of the game with 9:59 left in the third quarter, and the Aggies coasted to the win.
Weber State's lone score came with 50 seconds left in the game as Spencer Unga scooped up a loose ball after the snap went over redshirt-freshman quarterback Jeff Manning's head and returned it 38 yards for the score.
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Aggie alumnus Matt Wells was named Utah State's 27th head football coach on Dec. 20, 2012 after serving as the team's offensive coordinator in 2012, and quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator in 2011.
The 39-year old Wells, who is now the 11th-youngest head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, replaces Gary Andersen who accepted the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin. Dating back to 1919, Wells 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.
Wells, a former Aggie quarterback and three-year letterwinner from 1994-96, was a member of two conference championship teams as a student-athlete as he was a redshirt freshman in 1993 when Utah State tied for first in the Big West Conference and defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the Las Vegas Bowl for its first-ever bowl win. As a senior in 1996, Wells helped USU to another share of the Big West Conference title.
Wells has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the 2012 campaign. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
Utah State concluded its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while being nationally ranked in the Associated Press poll for three-straight weeks for the first time in school history. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 during the 2012 campaign and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles. All-time, Utah State has won or shared 11 league championships.
During his two years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a Utah State team that went to back-to-back bowl games for just the third time in school history, while posting an 18-8 record. Furthermore, USU's 41-15 win against Toledo in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was the school's second-ever bowl victory.
As offensive coordinator this past season, Wells directed an Aggie offense that set single-season school records for total points (454), total offense (6,108 yards), completions (285) and total yards per game (469.8), while ranking second in points per game (34.9) and total passing yards (3,445).
Nationally, Utah State's 2012 offense ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference and 23rd in the country in total offense (469.8 ypg), second in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (153.21), second in the WAC and 25th in the nation in rushing offense (204.8 ypg), third in the WAC and 31st in the nation in sacks allowed (1.38 pg), third in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in scoring offense (34.9 ppg), and third in the WAC and 39th in the nation in passing offense (265.0 ypg).
Under Wells, Utah State finished the 2012 season scoring 38 or more points in each of its final seven games, bettering the previous school record of 38-plus points in three-straight games accomplished six times and most recently in 2000.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
In 2012, Wells coached current Aggie junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who earned first-team all-WAC honors after setting single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completion percentage (.676), completions (275) and total offense (3,992 yards). Keeton also earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors four times in 2012, which is a single-season school record.
As the quarterbacks coach in 2011, Wells helped Utah State's offense establish then-school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).
Under Wells' tutelage during his first two seasons at Utah State, Keeton has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and currently ranks first in school history in career completion percentage (.656), fourth in career touchdown passes (38), seventh in career total offense (5,485 yards), and ninth in career passing yards (4,573) and completions (381).
In 2012, Utah State had four offensive players earn first-team all-conference honors, while two others were named to the league's second-team.
Utah State, who officially joined the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013, will return 18 starters (8-offense, 7-defense, 3-special teams) and 49 letterwinners (23-offense, 22-defense, 4-special teams) from a group that has won 16 of its last 19 games.
Wells, who has been a part of six bowl teams and two conference championships during his coaching career, came to Utah State after two coaching stints at New Mexico, serving as the Lobos' wide receivers and kickoff return unit coach in 2010 and its wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 2007 to 2008. In 2009, Wells served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Louisville.
Prior to his first stint at New Mexico, Wells spent five years (2002-06) as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa and five years at the U.S. Naval Academy (1997-2001) as its quarterbacks coach, fullbacks coach and wide receivers coach, while also serving as the junior varsity head coach and offensive coordinator for three years.
Wells, a native of Sallisaw, Okla., received his bachelor's degree in business marketing from Utah State in 1996, graduating cum laude. He and his wife Jen have two daughters, Jadyn (10) and Ella (7), and one son Wyatt (4). His brother, Luke, is Utah State's co-offensive coordinator, tight ends coach, and recruiting coordinator.