Aggie Football Team Prepares For Arizona State
Sept. 17, 2000
Sept. 17, 2000
Game #3 at Arizona State Sept. 23, 8:05 p.m. (MST) Sun Devil Stadium (73,379) Tempe, Ariz. Radio: KVNU (610 AM), Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), SLC Internet: www.UtahStateAggies.com TV: In Phoenix USU Tickets: 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305
USU SID: Mike Strauss (435) 797-1361 ASU SID: Mark Brand (480) 965-6592
2000 Utah State (1-1, 0-0) Sept. 2 at Texas Tech L 16-38 Sept. 9 SO. UTAH W 30-14 Sept. 23 at Arizona State 8:00 Sept. 30 UTAH 3:05 Oct. 6 (Fri) at Brigham Young 7:05 Oct. 14 at North Texas* 1:35 Oct. 21 IDAHO* 3:05 Oct. 28 ARKANSAS ST.* 3:05 Nov. 4 at N.M. State* 6:00 Nov. 11 at Boise State* 1:05 Nov. 18 IDAHO STATE 3:05 (All times are Mountain)
2000 Arizona State (2-0, 0-0) Aug. 31 at S.D. State W 10-7 Sept. 16 COLO. STATE W 13-10 Sept. 23 UTAH STATE Sept. 30 at UCLA Oct. 7 CALIFORNIA Oct. 14 WASHINGTON Oct. 21 at Washington State Oct. 28 OREGON Nov. 4 USC Nov. 11 at Stanford Nov. 24 at Arizona
QUICKLY -- After a bye week, Utah State (1-1) returns to action playing at Arizona State (2-0) on Sept. 23 (8:05 p.m. MT)... Sept. 16 was the earliest point in the season USU has had a bye since 1991 when the Aggies played two games before having a bye on Sept. 14... USU was 1-1 after bye weeks last year, losing to BYU (34-31 in overtime) and beating Nevada (37-35)... USU is 0-1 on the road this year, losing 38-16 at Texas Tech to open the season, but capped the 1999 season with two straight road victories... Utah State will be playing a team with a winning record at game time for the 21st time in its last 26 games.
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on the Aggie Radio Network with Al "He put the Air in Arizona" Lewis handling the play-by-play chores and Chris "Desert Dog" Tunis providing analysis. The games are carried on KVNU (610 AM) and KVFX (94.5 FM) in Logan and KWLW (700 AM) in Salt Lake City as well as through USU's web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com. The ASU game will be televised in Phoenix.
MEDIA SERVICES -- All Utah State player and coach interview requests should be made through the Athletic Media Relations Office by calling Mike Strauss at (435) 797-1361. Interviews should be completed by Wednesday each week. Information about Utah State football can be obtained in several ways, including the internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com), Fax-on-Demand, e-mail, fax, or simply by calling us. Information will be updated as quickly as possible on all of the systems each week. See the left column on page two for information on USU's weekly press conferences.
LAST TIME OUT -- Utah State erupted for 30 second-half points to overcome a 6-0 halftime deficit to defeat Southern Utah 30-14 on Sept. 9. The Aggies were sparked by backup quarterback Jose Fuentes who came off the bench in the second half to complete 10-of-13 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Jones was on the receiving end of five of Fuentes' passes for 127 yards and three touchdowns, while David Fiefia hauled in five balls for 73 yards and another score in the game. USU struggled in the first half, punting on all seven of its possessions and gaining just 52 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes. USU scored on five of its first six second half possessions to take control of the game. The USU defense, which allowed Southern Utah 162 yards in the first half, forced four second half turnovers, which USU tuned into two touchdowns and a field goal.
UP NEXT -- Utah State will meet instate opponents Utah and Brigham Young in back to back weeks. The Aggies have already defeated Southern Utah to own a 1-0 record against schools from the state of Utah.
DID YOU KNOW? -- USU head coach Mick Dennehy posted a victory in his second game at Utah State (beat Southern Utah). That marked the fastest an Aggie coach has put his name on that side of the ledger since Phil Krueger won in his debut in 1973 (Dennehy is the seventh coach since then). In fact, the previous six coaches all lost at least their first three games at USU.
COACH MICK DENNEHY -- In his first year at Utah State is Mick Dennehy (Montana, 1973), who was hired on Dec. 3, 1999. He compiled a 39-12 record in four years at Montana and his 76.5 winning percentage is the best at the school for coaches with more than two years. Dennehy played safety at Montana in 1971 and 1972. Prior to assuming the head coaching role at Montana, he served as the school's offensive coordinator for five seasons, producing one of the nation's top offenses. Before going to Montana, Dennehy revived the program at Western Montana, which had dropped football in 1987. In three years he improved the team from a 1-6 record to a 5-3 mark.
Year School Overall Pct. Conf. Pct. Notes 1988 West. Montana 1-6 .143 1-5/5th .167 Revived Program 1989 West. Montana 4-4 .500 2-4/4th .333 1990 West. Montana 5-3 .625 3-3/3rd .500 1996 Montana 14-1 .933 8-0/1st 1.00 3-1 (2nd in I-AA) 1997 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/2nd .750 0-1 in playoffs 1998 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/1st .750 0-1 in playoffs 1999 Montana 9-3 .750 7-1/1st 1.00 0-1 in playoffs 2000 Utah State 1-1 .500 0-0 .000 24th head coach Western Montana (3 yrs.) 10-13 .435 6-12 .333 Revived Program Montana (4 yrs.) 39-12 .765 27-5 .844 Four playoffs Utah State (1st yr.) 1-1 .500 0-0 .000 50th career win Totals (8th year) 50-26 .658 33-17 .660 3-4 in playoffs
THE USU-ASU SERIES -- Arizona State owns a 9-2 advantage in the series, including an 8-1 mark in games played at Tempe. Utah State won the first meeting 22-17 back in 1948, but has lost three straight since posting a 13-0 win at Tempe in 1965. The last time the two schools met was 1985 when ASU won 42-10 at Tempe. Current ASU coach Bruce Snyder coached USU against ASU in 1979 when Arizona State won 28-14 at Tempe. Utah State is 5-22 all time against current members of the Pacific 10 Conference with two wins against Arizona and Arizona State and one victory against Washington State. The last USU victory against a Pac-10 school was the 13-0 win against Arizona State in 1965. USU's last meeting against a Pac-10 member was a 53-12 loss at Washington in 1998 (lost 20-16 against Oregon State the week before).
AGGIES TO MEET FORMER COACH -- Utah State will get to face one of its former head coaches when the Aggies are reunited with Bruce Snyder, who was 37-38-2 in seven seasons at Utah State from 1976-82. Snyder's seven seasons is tied with Clayton T. Teetzel (1909-15) for second on the USU longevity list behind the 29 years E. Lowell Romney coached the Aggies from 1919-48. His 37 wins are third behind Romney (128) and Chuck Mills (38). His 49.4 winning percentage is the best among the last six USU coaches.
GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN -- The last time Utah State played a game against an opponent with its head coach having served in a similar capacity at Utah State was 1992 when the Aggies faced Pacific, which was coached by Chuck Shelton, who had just left USU after coaching from 1986-91. The Aggies ended that 1992 season with a 38-35 victory at Pacific.
MORE USU-ASU CONNECTIONS -- Utah State has eight players from the state of Arizona including Aaron Jones (Casa Grande), Derrek Shank (Glendale), Matt Jenkins (Lake Havasu City), Brent Passey (Mesa), Ryan Duncan, Steve Mullins, Jess Schuck, and Kyle Siever, who are all from Phoenix. Siever transferred to USU from Arizona State. ASU's Mason Unck is from Ogden, Utah. ASU assistant coach Johnny Barr had to work with USU SID Mike Strauss at Oklahoma State. ASU assistant Robin Flugrad was an assistant at Montana from 1986-94 working with several members of USU's current coaching staff.
MORE ON DENNEHY -- USU's first-year head coach entered the year with a 49-25 record in seven years of coaching. His 66.2 winning percentage entering the year was third among active division I head coaches with less than five years at this level. Here is a look at the list through games of Sept. 16:
Coach, School (years at D-I) Record Pct. Jim Donnan, Georgia (5th) 97-37-0 .724 Bobby Keasler, La. Monroe (2nd) 84-42-2 .664 MICK DENNEHY, USU (1st) 50-26-0 .658 Terry Allen, Kansas (4th) 90-47-0 .657 Hal Mumme, Kentucky (4th) 85-45-1 .653
IN THE POLLS -- Here is a look at where USU's 2000 opponents have been ranked in the Associated Press polls this year:
Opponent Pre 8-27 9-3 9-10 9-17 Texas Tech 43 39 43 37 Arizona State 47 46 41 38 Utah 33 31 41 NR Brigham Young 41 NR 43 NR
PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEES -- Here is a look at Utah State's nominees for Big West Player of the Week honors this season (winners in all caps): Opponent Offense Defense Special Teams Texas Tech Emmett White Jesse Busta None Southern Utah A. JONES Cade Smith Steve Mullins
NATIONAL RANKINGS -- Entering the Arizona State game, several Aggies have worked their way into the national rankings. Aaron Jones is in three different categories, including scoring (44th), receiving yards (eighth) and receptions (10th). Emmett White is 31st in all-purpose yards, while Steve Mullins is 26th in punting and Brad Bohn is 40th in field goals. Four Aggies are tied for 38th in interceptions (Jesse Busta, Adebola Jimoh, Cade Smith and Tony Walker).
IF YOU CAN'T STAND THE HEAT THEN... -- When Utah State opened the season at Texas Tech on Sept. 2, the kickoff temperature was 99 degrees, the second highest known temperature in USU history. That trailed only the 103 degrees USU faced at Arizona State in 1983. In comparison USU's home opener this season against Southern Utah on Sept. 9 was 64 degrees.
STARTING UNDER CENTER -- Sophomore Jose Fuentes is scheduled to make his starting debut at quarterback for Utah State against Arizona State. Fuentes has appeared in five games in his brief two year career and was 10-of-13 for 198 yards and four touchdowns in the second half against Southern Utah last week. Here is a look at how some recent Aggies have fared in their first career start:
Player, Class Year Opponent A-C-I, Yds, TD Result Jeff Crosbie, Fr. 1998 Boise State 46-18-3, 233, 1 L 16-30 Logan Galli, Fr. 1998 Idaho 11-4-0, 8, 0 L 14-26 Riley Jensen, Sr. 1998 Utah 25-11-1, 99, 0 L 12-20 Matt Sauk, Jr. 1996 Okla. State 34-22-2, 390, 0 L 17-31 Patrick Mullins, Jr. 1995 Ark. State 56-30-2, 315, 0 L 17-21 Aaron Flowers, Fr. 1994 UNLV 13-7-0, 53, 1 L 21-23 Matt Wells, So. 1994 Utah 33-14-2, 190, 2 L 17-32 Anthony Calvillo, Jr. 1992 N.M. State 29-18-1, 207, 2 W 48-21
OFFENSIVE NOTES -- After punting on each of its seven first half possessions, Utah State scored on five of its first six possessions of the second half against Southern Utah... Four of USU's six touchdowns this year have come from outside the redzone... All six of USU's touchdowns this season have been by pass... USU has scored on all three of its redzone opportunities (two touchdowns and one field goal)... USU's 30 second half points against Southern Utah were its most in a half since scoring 34 in the opening half against Stephen F. Austin in the second game of last year... USU has scored just three first half points and 43 second half points in two games this year... USU rushed for just 29 yards against Southern Utah for the lowest output since gaining just 15 yards on the ground at Colorado in 1998 (meanwhile the defense limited CU to -2 yards rushing in that game).
DEFENSIVE NOTES -- Utah State forced turnovers on three straight Southern Utah series in the second half... USU has faced two different styles of offense in its first two games as Texas Tech passed for 505 yards (and rushed for just 77) and Southern Utah rushed for 297 yards (and passed for just 71)... Going back into last season, USU has allowed 14 or fewer points in three of its last five games... Three Aggies had interceptions against Southern Utah and all three players recorded their first career picks (Adebola Jimoh, Jesse Busta and Cade Smith)... Smith also had a fumble recovery against SUU.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- P Steve Mullins averaged a career-best 48.9 yards on his eight punts against Southern Utah... Mullins had four 50-plus yard punts, including a 64 and 62-yarder... PK Brad Bohn connected on a 34-yard field goal and has made five of his last seven attempts dating back to last year... Emmett White recorded the sixth 40-plus yard kickoff return of his career against Southern Utah (46 yards)... USU's average starting field position against Southern Utah was its own 44-yard line, while SUU started on its own 25... SUU recovered a miscued snap on an USU PAT attempt and returned it for a two-point score.
USU NOTE-ABLE -- Utah State has run 117 plays while the opponents have already run 165... USU has started a season 1-1 for the second straight year, but just the fourth time in the last 15 years (have been 0-2 nine times and 2-0 twice)... In the last five years USU has played a I-AA team and has not won its next game after playing a lower level team... USU will be looking for its first non-conference, division I win since winning at Utah in the 1997 season opener... USU is 4-1 in known games on Sept. 23.
DID YOU KNOW? -- The Big West Conference schedule will include just five games and USU has won four league games in six of the seven years the Big West has had just six teams (1978, 79, 80, 81, 96 and 97).
INDEPENDENCE DAY -- While this is the final year of the Big West Conference it is also the final year of Utah State's 22-year streak of playing in a conference as the Aggies will be an independent in 2000. It will not be the first time Utah State has not been affiliated with a conference in football as the Aggies were independent for a 16-year stretch from 1962-77 after a 23-year affiliation with with the Mountain States/Skyline Conference from 1938-61. In addition, USU was not a member of a conference from 1892-1937. Here is a closer look at USU's history since joining a conference in 1938:
Conf. Years Conference Seasons Record Champ Bowls 1938-1961 Mntn. States/Skyline 23 101-113 3 4 1962-1977 Independent 16 99-66 N/A 0 1978-pres. PCAA/Big West 22 103-139 5 2
2000 Season Note-Able
* Utah State's 2000 schedule includes eight teams with winning records in 1999, as well as four schools, which went to bowl games (Arizona State, Brigham Young, Boise State and Utah)... The Aggies will meet teams from the Pac-10 (Arizona State), Big XII (Texas Tech) and Mountain West (Brigham Young and Utah) as well as Southern Utah and Idaho State in non-conference action... The 2000 opponents combined for a 68-57 (.544) record in 1999... USU will end its season with a non-conference game (Idaho State) for the first time since 1990 (Brigham Young)... No USU first-year head coach has had a winning record in his first season at Logan since Phil Krueger went 7-4 in 1973 (six coaches since then). * USU is playing three instate schools in the same season for the first time since 1982 (beat Weber State and BYU and lost to Utah). * USU's starting offensive tackles are the two tallest players in USU history (Jim Newton, 6-10 and Jeff Long, 6-9). In comparison, USU's NCAA-Tournament basketball team in 2000 started a frontline of 6-11, 6-6 and 6-2. * USU head coach Mick Dennehy entered the year 1-2 against division I opponents in his career (beat Oregon in 1996, lost to Wyoming in 1997 and lost to Idaho in 1999 while at Montana). .* USU lost 1999 second-team all-Big West LB Tony Newson before the season to a shoulder injury that never healed properly. * SS Aminifu Johnson, a projected starter at strong safety, tore his ACL in practice before the season opener and is lost for the season. * WR Adam Colbert broke his hand in the final fall scrimmage. * P Steve Mullins is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award (national punter of the year). * LB Brent Passey is a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award (national defensive player of the year). * The 99 degree kickoff temperature at Texas Tech was the second hottest known kickoff temperature in USU history (103 at Arizona State in 1983). * USU played 54 of the 60 players that traveled to Texas Tech, including 12 freshmen (eight true freshmen). * USU had six different players with receptions in the season opener. Aaron Jones (did not play in last two games last year), David Fiefia (was not in school last fall), Emmett White (fourth and fifth career receptions), Casey Poppinga (redshirted last year), Steve Mullins (punter last year), Joe Solosabal (linebacker last year). * RB Emmett White's 143 yards against Texas Tech was the third-best by an Aggie in his first start at running back in the 1990s (Abu Wilson 157 vs. New Mexico State in 1992 and Demario Brown 166 vs. Boise State in 1996). * FB Joe Solosabal scored a touchdown (five yard reception against Texas Tech) the first time he touched the ball as an Aggie. * USU head coach Mick Dennehy recorded his 50th career victory and his first at Utah State against Southern Utah. * USU's home crowd of 26,715 against Southern Utah was the eighth largest in school history and the most for a non-Utah or BYU game. * QB Jeff Crosbie suffered a season-ending injury in ptractice on Sept. 12, tearing a ligament in his throwing hand. He had started 17 consecutive games.
MORE AT USU -- Here is a look at USU's athletic schedule this week: Tue., Sept. 19 -- Volleyball at Weber State, 7 p.m. Thur., Sept. 21 -- Soccer at Texas-El Paso, 7 p.m. Fri., Sept. 22 -- Volleybal at Cal State Fullerton, 8 p.m. Fri., Sept. 22 -- Golf at Air Force Tournament Sat., Sept. 23 -- Golf at Air Force Tournament Sat., Sept. 23 -- Football at Arizona State, 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 23 -- Volleyball at UC Irvine, 8 p.m. Sat., Sept. 23 -- Soccer at Youngstown State, noon Sat., Sept. 23 -- Cross Country at Portland, Ore.
Weekly Press Conferences
Logan -- Mondays, 11:30 a.m. at the Coppermill Restaurant
Salt Lake City (Big Five Huddle) Tues., Green Street, 11:30 a.m.
USU On The Air
Play-by-Play - Al Lewis Analysis - Chris Tunis KVNU (610 AM) Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), Salt Lake City Web: www.utahstateaggies.com * Mick Dennehy Radio Show (KVNU), Thursday, 6 p.m. Web: www.utahstateaggies.com * Aggie Update Radio Show (KVNU), Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. Web: www.utahstateaggies.com
USU On The Web
Preseason Big West Polls
Big West Coaches Poll 1. Boise State 25 (5) 2. Idaho 18 (1) 3. New Mexico State 18 4. Arkansas State 15 5. North Texas 8 6. UTAH STATE 6
Big West Media Poll 1. Boise State 169 (26) 2. New Mexico State 131 (2) 3. Idaho 124 (1) 4. UTAH STATE 66 5. Arkansas State 63 6. North Texas 53 * * * * *
2000 Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl Big West Champion vs. Western Athletic Conf. selection Boise, Idaho, Dec. 28, 1 p.m.
2000 Big West/NCAA Rankings
Team Big West (NCAA) Total Offense 5th (93rd) Rushing Offense 5th (95th) Passing Offense 3rd (64th) Scoring Offense 5th (63rd) Total Defense 5th (111th) Rushing Defense 6th (97th) Passing Defense 2nd (109th) Scoring Defense 4th (79th) Kickoff Returns 3rd (44th) Punt Returns 2nd (71st) Net Punting 1st (17th) TO Margin 1st (44th)
Individual Big West (NCAA) BRAD BOHN Field Goals 2nd (40th) Scoring 6th JESSE BUSTA Interceptions 2nd (38th) JEFF CROSBIE Passing 6th Total Offense 10th DAVID FIEFIA Receptions 4th Receiving Yards 5th JOSE FUENTES Passing 5th Total Offense 8th ADEBOLA JIMOH Interceptions 2nd (38th) AARON JONES Receiving Yards 1st (8th) Scoring 1st (44th) Receptions 2nd (10th) All Purpose 5th STEVE MULLINS Punting 3rd (26th) CADE SMITH Interceptions 2nd (38th) TONY WALKER Interceptions 2nd (38th) Kickoff Returns 8th EMMETT WHITE Punt Returns 2nd Rushing 3rd All-Purpose 4th (31st) Total Offense 9th
2000 Big West Standings
School Conf. Overall Boise State 0-0 2-1 UTAH STATE 0-0 1-1 New Mexico State 0-0 0-2 Arkansas State 0-0 0-3 Idaho 0-0 0-3 North Texas 0-0 0-3
This Week Arkansas State at Texas Christian Boise State at Central Michigan Idaho at Washington State New Mexico State at Georgia North Texas at Kansas State Utah State at Arizona State
Utah State Depth Chart
LT 79 Jim Newton (6-10, 294, So., 1L) 76 Eric Gwilliam (6-5, 257, Jr., JC)
LG 67 JESS SCHUCK (6-2, 305, Jr., 2L) 52 Ed Powell (6-3, 300, Jr., JC)
OC 53 JUNIOR PUTUTAU (6-1, 300 Sr., 2L) 63 Matt Jenkins (6-3, 306, Sr., 1L)
WR 9 AARON JONES (5-11, 180, Sr., 3L) (X) 80 Michael Brignac (6-2, 190, Fr., HS)
WR 3 KY ODAY (6-2, 183, Sr., 1L) (Z) 15 Chris Stallworth (6-3, 190, Fr., HS)
TB 32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L) 31 John Roberts (5-9, 195, Jr., 2L)
Hero 44 BRENT PASSEY (6-1, 227, Sr., 3L) 40 Justin Oswald (5-8, 206, Sr., 1L)
Mac 47 BLAKE EAGAL (6-2, 231, Sr., 3L) 21 Nathan Barber (6-2, 220, Jr., JC)
LC 10 Adebola Jimoh (6-1, 185, So., 1L) 22 Malcom Moore (5-10, 175, Jr., JC)
RC 1 TONY WALKER (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L) 29 Shaun Healy (5-7, 167, Sr., 1L)
P 12 STEVE MULLINS (6-4, 226, So., 1L) 18 Brian Benza (6-2, 205, Sr., 1L)
PK 26 BRAD BOHN (5-7, 178, Sr., 3L) 87 Dane Kidman (5-10, 178, So., SQ)
PR 32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L) 1 Tony Walker (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L)
KOR 1 Tony Walker (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L) 32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L)
1999 Starters in ALL CAPS
1L = one varsity letter, HS= High School experience, JC=Junior College, RS= Redshirt, SQ=Squad, TR=Transfer