Sept. 17, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
GAME FOUR INFORMATION
UTAH STATE at COLORADO STATE
Date: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
Kickoff: 5 p.m. (MT)
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Stadium: Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium (32,500)
Series: Utah State trails, 30-36-2
TV: KTVD Ch. 20
Bill Doleman (Play-by-Play)
Reggie Rivers (Analyst)
Natalie Vickers (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
Utah State's 2-1 start to the season is its best since 1997 when that Aggie team won two of its first three games. The last time USU started a season with a 3-1 record was 1978 when that team began the year with five-straight wins.
Under head coach Gary Andersen, Utah State is 10-10 (.500) following a loss as it posted a 4-4 record in 2009, a 3-4 record in 2010 and a 3-2 record a year ago. Overall, USU has lost back-to-back games just twice in its last 16 contests.
Utah State has won three of its last four road games dating back to the 2011 season as it won at Hawai`i (35-31); won at Idaho (49-42 2OT); and won at New Mexico State (24-21) in its final three road games in 2011, and lost at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) in its first road game of 2012. Overall, USU is 5-15 (.250) in road games under Andersen.
Utah State and Colorado State will be meeting for the 69th time in series history this weekend in what is the third-most played rivalry in school history. USU's most played rivalry is Utah (110), followed by Brigham Young (81), Colorado State (68) and Wyoming (63).
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 41-0 in the first quarter this year and has not allowed a first-half touchdown on the season. Overall, the only points scored against the Aggies thus far in the first half has come on three field goals, one by each of its opponents.
Utah State has already had four touchdown drives this year of three plays or less with two coming against Southern Utah, and one each against Utah and Wisconsin.
Utah State has won seven of its last eight regular season games and seven of its last nine contests overall with its only losses during that stretch coming against Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) this season. Prior to its loss at Wisconsin, USU was riding a seven-game regular season winning streak, which ranked as the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. USU had also won three-straight road games prior to its loss at Wisconsin.
During the last two years, nine of Utah State's last 10 games have been decided by one score, while seven of its last nine games had the winning points scored in the final minute of regulation or in overtime.
Utah State is 4-9 in September under Andersen and 3-3 all-time in games played on Sept. 22.
UTAH STATE PREVIEWS MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE WITH GAME AT COLORADO STATE
Utah State (2-1, 0-0 WAC) will play its first of back-to-back games against future conference opponents this weekend with its matchup at Colorado State (1-2) on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 5 p.m. (MT). The game, which is USU's second-straight road game, will be televised regionally throughout the state of Colorado on KTVD Ch. 20 with Bill Doleman (play-by-play), Reggie Rivers (analyst) and Natalie Vickers (reporter) on the call. Live audio of the game will be available at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's gameday coverage.
UTAH STATE-COLORADO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Utah State is 30-36-2 all-time against Colorado State including a 13-17-1 road record. CSU has won each of the last four games played in the series including a 35-34 double-overtime win in Logan on Sept. 24, 2011. The last time the two teams played one another in Fort Collins was on Sept. 10, 1994 with CSU posting a 41-16 win. The last time Utah State won a game in the series was on Sept. 22, 1979 in Logan, 24-0, and the last time USU won in Fort Collins was on Sept. 16, 1978 by a final score of 21-20. The first-ever game played in the series was in 1902 with CSU winning in Logan, 24-5.
AGGIES AND RAMS HAVE STORIED HISTORY
Utah State and Colorado State have a storied history dating back to the early 1900s as both schools were members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) from 1916-37 and later members of the Mountain States/Skyline Conference from 1938-61. As members of the RMAC, USU won league championships in 1921 and 1936, and later won league titles in the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1946, 1960 and 1961. CSU won team championships in the RMAC in 1915, 1916, 1919, 1920, 1925, 1927, 1933 and 1934, and in the Mountain States Conference in 1955. Overall, the Aggies and Rams faced each other in every season from 1911-1979 except in 1912, 1918, 1921, 1943-44 (war), and 1968, even after CSU joined the Western Athletic Conference in 1968. After 1979, the two teams didn't play again until 1994.
UTAH STATE PLAYING FOUR OF FIVE GAMES ON THE ROAD
After opening the season with consecutive home games for just the third time since the 1954 season, and for the first time under current head coach Gary Andersen, Utah State is now in the midst of playing four road games in a five-week period. Last weekend, USU lost at No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14, and this week USU plays at Colorado State (Sept. 22), followed by road games at BYU (Oct. 5), and at San Jose State (Oct. 13). USU's only home game during that stretch will be against UNLV (Sept. 29). The last time Utah State had a stretch where it played four of five games on the road was during the 2009 season, Andersen's first year at USU, when the Aggies began that season by playing four of its first five games away from home.
EIGHTH AND FINAL YEAR IN THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Utah State is entering its eighth and final year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference as it will officially join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. In its first seven years in the WAC, USU has posted an 18-37 (.327) mark. Prior to joining the WAC, Utah State was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04 and spent two years as a independent (2001-02). USU was also a member of the PCAA/Big West Conference (1978-2000), the Mountain States Conference/Skyline (1938-61), and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (1916-37).
LOOKING INSIDE UTAH STATE'S 2012 SCHEDULE
Utah State's 2012 schedule features four teams who played in bowl games a year ago as Utah played in the Sun Bowl (W, 30-27 vs. Georgia Tech); Wisconsin played in the Rose Bowl (L, 45-38 vs. Oregon); BYU played in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Tulsa); and Louisiana Tech played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (L, 31-24 vs. TCU).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Andersen's first three years as head coach. In 2011, USU had a WAC-leading 18 academic all-conference honorees.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 2-1 on the year after posting a season-opening 34-3 home win against Southern Utah, followed by a 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah and a 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Offensively, USU is lead by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 62-of-91 passing for 701 yards (233.7 ypg) with six touchdowns and one interception. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team in rushing with 201 yards on 48 carries (67.0 ypg) with one touchdown, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin has nine catches for 163 yards (54.3 ypg) and two touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 23 tackles (5-solo, 18-assist), including 1.0 tackle for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 22 tackles (5-solo, 17-assist) with 2.5 tackles for loss, one sack, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu has 21 tackles (7-solo, 14-assist) with 3.5 tackles for loss to go along with one sack. As a team, Utah State is averaging 25.0 points and 419.0 yards of total offense per game (233.7-passing, 185.3-rushing) and allowing just 13.0 points and 256.0 yards of total offense (153.3-passing, 102.7-rushing).
UTAH STATE HELD SCORELESS IN SECOND HALF AT WISCONSIN
Utah State did not score any points in the second half at Wisconsin, marking the first time since Oct. 15, 2011 when it was held scoreless in second half at Fresno State.
UTAH STATE PLAYS ANOTHER CLOSE GAME IN LOSS AT WISCONSIN
After playing seven games in 2011 that were decided in the last minute of regulation or overtime, Utah State has already had two nail-bitters this year with its 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah, and its 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. During the last two years, USU is 5-4 in games decided in the final minute of regulation or overtime scoring the winning touchdown at Hawai`i (35-31) with 14 seconds to play; scoring the winning touchdown against San Jose State (34-33) with 47 second to play; defeating Idaho (49-42) in double overtime; and scoring the winning touchdown at New Mexico State (24-21) with 35 seconds to play. USU's losses at the end of games or in overtime were to Colorado State (35-34) in double overtime; at BYU (27-24) who scored the winning touchdown with 11 seconds to play; to Ohio (24-23) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl who scored its winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining; and at Wisconsin as USU missed a 37-yard field goal with six seconds left in the game.
UTAH STATE PLAYED IN 10 GAMES IN 2011 DECIDED BY ONE SCORE
Utah State was in a nation-leading 10 games that were decided by one score in 2011 as it began the year losing to Auburn, 42-38. USU then lost to Colorado State, 35-34 in 2OT, lost at BYU, 27-24, and lost to Louisiana Tech, 24-17, before breaking through with a 35-31 win at Hawai`i, and following it up with a wild 34-33 win against San Jose State. USU then posted a 49-42 double overtime victory at Idaho, followed by its 21-17 win against Nevada and its 24-21 victory at New Mexico State. USU ended its season with a 24-23 loss to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Thus far in 2012, USU has had two of its three games decided by one score, defeating Utah (27-20 OT) at home and losing at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14).
UTAH STATE GIVES UP SPECIAL TEAMS TOUCHDOWN AT WISCONSIN
Utah State gave up its first special teams score of the 2012 season at Wisconsin as the Badgers returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown. The last time USU gave up a special teams score was during the 2011 season as San Jose State returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, and the last time USU allowed a punt to be returned for a score was in 2007 against Utah (72 yards).
Zach Vigil AND Kerwynn Williams HONORED BY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE
Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil and senior running back Kerwynn Williams were both honored by College Football Performance on Sunday, Sept. 16 following Utah State's 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Williams earned honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week honors as he caught a career-high six passes for a career-high 78 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, the first of his career. Williams also rushed 16 times for 43 yards in the game and finished with 121 all-purpose yards. Vigil finished the game with seven tackles (4-solo, 3-assist) to go along with two tackles for loss, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and one sack as he earned honorable mention linebacker of the week honors.
AGGIES IN THE NFL
Utah State has eight former football players who are on NFL rosters for the 2012 season including Diondre Borel (Green Bay), Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), John Chick (Jacksonville), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Michael Smith (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle) and Bobby Wagner (Seattle).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has eight players on its team who are married (McKade Brady, Clayton Christensen, Nate Needham, Joe Summers, Brad Theurer, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 16 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Eric Bernston, Clayton Christensen, Jefferson Court, Derek Keller, B.J. Larsen, Jason Luke, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Alex Marsaw, Nate Needham, Travis Parrish, Eric Schultz, Brad Theurer, Cameron Webb, Kevin Whimpey and Kyle Whimpey.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE NATION
As of Sept. 16, Utah State's defense ranks as one of the best in the nation as it leads the WAC and ranks 11th nationally in passing defense (153.3 ypg). USU also leads the WAC and ranks 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense (94.5), first in the WAC and 14th in the nation in total defense (256.0 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in scoring defense (13.0 ppg), third in the WAC and 27th in the nation in rushing defense (102.7nypg), and fourth in the WAC in 52nd in the nation in sacks allowed (1.7 pg). USU also ranks first in the WAC in opponent's first downs per game (14.3) and first in opponent's third-down conversions at 17.0 percent (8-47).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE LIMITING POINTS ALLOWED IN THE RED ZONE
Utah State's defense has done a great job of not allowing teams to score once it enters the red zone as USU's opponents are just 3-of-7 (.429) inside the 20 this season with one touchdown and two field goals, to go along with one missed field goal, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS THIRD IN THE WAC IN TOTAL OFFENSE
As of Sept. 16, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 57th in the nation in total offense (419.0 ypg). USU also ranks third in the WAC and 37th nationally in passing efficiency (150.20), fourth in the WAC and 49th in the nation in rushing offense (185.3 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in passing offense (233.7 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 52nd in the nation in sacks allowed (1.7 pg), and fifth in the WAC and 86th in the nation in scoring offense (25.0 ppg).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Sept. 16, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 27th in the nation in total offense (288.3 ypg), third in the WAC and 35th in the nation in passing efficiency (152.4), fourth in the WAC and 50th in the nation in passing (233.7 ypg), and sixth in the WAC in rushing (54.7 ypg). Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks fourth in the WAC and 90th in the nation in rushing (67.0 ypg), eighth in the WAC in all-purpose yards (98.0 ypg) and 10th in the WAC in total offense (67.0 ypg). Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks sixth in the WAC and tied for 68th in the nation in scoring (8.0 ppg) and 10th in the WAC in rushing (39.7 ypg). Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs ranks tied for eighth in the WAC in receptions (4.0 rpg). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks eighth in the WAC in receiving (54.3 ypg). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks second in the WAC and 41st in the nation in punt return average (9.4 ypr). Junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright ranks sixth in the WAC and 68th in the nation in kickoff return average (19.8 ypr). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks fourth in the WAC and tied for 44th in the nation in punting (42.0 ypk). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for third in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.17 pg) and tied for 15th in the WAC in tackles (7.0 pg). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks eighth in the WAC in tackles (7.7 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for 13th in the WAC in tackles (7.3 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranked tied for 24th in the WAC in tackles (6.3 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks 34th in the WAC in tackles (5.3 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks 35th in the WAC in tackles (5.0 pg). Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 58th in the nation in sacks (0.67 pg), and tied for ninth in the WAC in tackles for loss (1.0 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker La'Bradford Harold ranks tied for second in the WAC in interceptions (0.3 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks second in the WAC in passes defended (1.7 pg). And senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks third in the WAC in passes defended (1.3 pg).
YOUNG AGGIES GAINING EXPERIENCE
Of the 66 players that saw action for Utah State in its season opener against Southern Utah, 26 were underclassmen including four true freshmen (K. Lee, L. Malohifo'ou, B. Natson, B. Warren), seven redshirt freshmen (K. Fackrell, T. Fisilau, L. Harold, D. Keller, J. Nielsen, T. Seefeldt, B. Swindall), and 15 sophomores (K. Andersen, J. Bentrude, C. Harrison, J. Haueter, J. Hill, J. Jenkins, E. Kamana-Matagi, C. Keeton, T. McMillian, N. Needham, R. Stewart, B. Suite, F. Sutera, A. Wheat, Jr., Kevin Whimpey). Furthermore, of the 66 players that Utah State played in its season opener against Southern Utah, 22 were playing in their first-ever Division I game, while 11 were playing in their first-ever collegiate game.
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Three games into the 2012 season, Utah State has had 10 players make their first career starts at the Divison I level. Against Southern Utah, freshman placekicker Brock Warren; senior defensive lineman Havea Lasike; junior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey; junior linebacker Zach Vigil; sophomore safety Frankie Sutera; and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell all started for the first time. Against Utah, sophomore offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey, sophomore running back Joe Hill and sophomore safety Brian Suite all made their first career starts. And at Wisconsin, sophomore defensive lineman Elvis Kamana-Matagi made his first career start.
UTAH STATE RETURNS EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINE
Utah State returns a great deal of starting experience on the offensive line highlighted by first-team all-WAC junior center Tyler Larsen (6-4, 312), and senior offensive tackles Eric Schultz (6-4, 303) and Oscar Molina-Sanchez (6-5, 299) who have 71 combined starts between the three of them, including a combined 64 consecutive starts, as Larsen has made all of his 28 starts in a row, while Schultz has 22 straight starts and Molina-Sanchez had 14 consecutive starts in a row before missing the past two games. Overall, Molina-Sanchez has 21 total starts.
UTAH STATE SUFFERS ANOTHER CLOSE LOSE TO BCS SCHOOL
For the fourth time in as many years, Utah State came up short in its chance to beat a BCS school on the road. In Andersen's first year at Utah State in 2009, USU lost at Texas A&M, 38-30. In 2010, USU lost at then No. 7 Oklahoma, 31-24. In 2011, USU lost at defending national champion and No. 19 Auburn, 42-38, after leading for the majority of the game. And in 2012, USU lost at No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14, after leading 14-3 at the half. USU has defeated one BCS school under Andersen with its 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah in 2012.
PLAYER NOTABLES FROM THE WISCONSIN GAME
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams recorded his first-career touchdown reception (39 yards) and had a career-high in receiving yards (78). Williams also had a career-high six receptions. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil forced his first career fumble and junior linebacker Jake Doughty recovered his first career fumble. Senior wide receiver Matt Austin caught his eighth career touchdown pass. Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs caught a career-high six passes. Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb caught a career-high three passes for a career-high 41 yards. Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw two touchdown passes and now has 17 career touchdown passes. For his career, Keeton has now thrown multiple touchdowns in six games, including all three this season. Keeton also had 34 pass attempts which is a career-high. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen blocked his first career kick on an extra point. It is the second week in a row that USU has blocked a kick. Sophomore safety Brian Suite had a career-high 13 tackles. Senior Tyler Bennett punted a career-high 10 times.
UTAH STATE HAS WON ITS LAST FOUR HOME GAMES
Utah State has won each of its last four home games, which is its longest home winning streak since winning five-straight home games during the 1990 season. Overall, USU is 12-7 at home under Andersen, which includes a 7-1 non-conference record and a 5-0 mark against in-state opponents.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
With its 27-20 overtime win against Utah on Sept. 7, Utah State improved to 5-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last two as it won a double-overtime game at Idaho (49-42) in 2011. Under Andersen, USU is 2-1 in overtime games with wins against Utah (27-20 OT) and at Idaho (49-42 2OT), and a loss to Colorado State (35-34 2OT). All-time, USU is 3-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
Kerwynn Williams HOLDS WAC'S CAREER KICK RETURN YARDS RECORD
Senior running back/kick returner Kerwynn Williams broke the WAC's career kick return yards record during the 2011 season and he enters the 2012 season with 3,349 career kick return yards. His career average of 25.3 yards per return ranks fourth all-time in school history. Williams currently ranks fifth all-time at Utah State with 3,686 career all-purpose yards and is 1,517 yards shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for fourth all-time with 5,203 career all-purpose yards.
THOMPSON SETS SCHOOL RECORDS IN KICKING IN 2011
Junior placekicker Josh Thompson set new Utah State single-season extra point records in 2011 with 57 makes in 58 attempts. Thompson also ranked fifth in school history in extra point percentage (.983). All-time, Thompson ranks fourth at USU in extra point percentage (.984), seventh in extra points made (61) and 10th in extra points attempted (62).
AGGIE UNIFORM OPTIONS IN 2012
Utah State will have nine different jersey and pant combinations, manufactured by Nike, to go along with two different helmet options for a total of 18 different uniform combinations for the 2012 season. Along with its traditional blue and white uniforms, a new pewter grey uniform will be utilized this season. Two helmet options are also available including a new diamond pattern blue and black helmet with a black face mask, along with its traditional white helmet with a blue face mask. Home uniform options feature a traditional combination of blue jersey with blue or white pants, as well as an option of blue jersey and pewter pants. Road uniform combinations can be built around the newly-designed pewter jersey or the traditional white jersey. The road pewter jerseys can be combined with pewter, blue or white pants, while white jerseys can be worn with white, blue or pewter pants. Both helmet options will also be utilized with the various uniform combinations for both home and away games.
GAME ONE (H) - Blue Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME TWO (H) - Blue Jersey, Pewter Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME THREE (A) - Pewter Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
DID YOU KNOW?
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
A LOOK AT COLORADO STATE
Colorado State is 1-2 on the season after defeating Colorado (22-17) in its season opener in Denver, before losing at home to North Dakota State (22-7) and on the road to San Jose State (40-20). Offensively, CSU is lead by sophomore quarterback Garrett Grayson who is 51-of-87 passing for 641 yards (213.7 ypg) with five touchdowns and two interceptions. Redshirt freshman running back Donnell Alexander leads the team in rushing with 148 yards on 26 carries (49.3 ypg), and sophomore tight end Kivon Cartwright has 11 catches for 118 yards (39.3 ypg) with one touchdown. Defensively, sophomore linebacker Aaron Davis leads the team with 26 tackles (11-solo, 15-assist), while junior cornerback Shaq Bell has 21 tackles (14-solo, 7-assist). As a team, Colorado State is averaging 16.3 points and 309.0 yards of total offense per game (213.7-passing, 95.3-rushing) and allowing 26.3 points and 393.0 yards of total offense per game (268.3-passing, 124.7-rushing). Overall, CSU returns 16 starters (O-8, D-8) and 49 lettermen from last year's team that went 3-9 overall and finished in a tie for sixth-place in the Mountain West with a 1-6 mark. Jim McElwain is 1-2 in his first year as the Rams head coach.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS COLORADO STATE
Rushing Yards: Louie Giammona (1975), 242
Passing Yards: Eric Hipple (1977), 296
Receiving Yards: Wesley Garnett (1969), 139
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH COLORADO STATE
Utah State has one player on its active roster from the state of Colorado in junior linebacker Terrell Thompson (Aurora, Colo./Eaglecrest HS). CSU offensive coordinator/tight ends coach Dave Baldwin spent three years as Utah State's offensive coordinator (2009-11). Aggie wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight is a native of Denver, and was an outstanding quarterback at Manual High school in Denver, before playing at Wyoming.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is 111-142-7 (.440) all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference with a 35-24-4 record against Wyoming; a 30-36-2 record against Colorado State; a 12-7 record against UNLV; a 10-16-1 record against Fresno State; an 8-10 record against New Mexico; a 6-6 record against Hawai`i; a 5-17 record against Nevada; a 4-13 record against Boise State; a 1-10 record against San Diego State; and an 0-1 record against Air Force.
COACH ANDERSEN VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Gary Andersen is 2-3 against the Mountain West Conference in his first three years as Utah State head coach losing at No. 20 BYU (35-17) in 2009; losing at San Diego State (41-7) and defeating BYU (31-16) in 2010; and losing to Colorado State (35-34 2OT) and defeating Wyoming (63-19) in 2011. Andersen also spent nine years (1999-2002, 2004-08) in the league as an assistant at Utah. Versus Colorado State, Andersen is 0-1 as a head coach and was 4-5 against the Rams at Utah as an assistant.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF COLORADO
Utah State is 64-71-6 (.475) all-time against teams from the state of Colorado with a 30-36-2 record against Colorado State; a 13-19-3 record against Denver; a 6-11-1 record against Colorado, a 7-0 record against Western State; a 5-4 record against Colorado Mines; a 3-0 record against Colorado College; and an 0-1 record against Air Force. Overall, USU has lost each of its last four games against teams from the Centennial State with its last win coming against Colorado State, 24-0, in Logan on Sept. 22, 1979.
LAST TIME UTAH STATE PLAYED AT COLORADO STATE
Utah State was limited to 157 yards of total offense (119-passing, 38-rushing) in a 41-16 loss at Colorado State on Sept. 10, 1994. Following a 69-yard run by Colorado State on the first series of the game, USU scored its first points on a 54-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Micah Knorr. The Aggies then tied the game at 10-all on a 1-yard touchdown run by junior running back Abu Wilson. However, CSU would score the next 24 points en route to the 25-point win. Colorado State finished the game with 409 yards of total offense (141-passing, 268-rushing). USU was led by sophomore quarterback Matt Wells who threw for 64 yards. Junior tight end Mike Hamilton caught three passes for 32 yards and senior wide receiver SHaun Johnson had two receptions for 35 yards. Senior linebacker Willie Jackson had six tackles to lead Utah State, while sophomore defensive tackle Pratt Lyons had five tackles including two for loss with one sack. USU's defense did have four interceptions on the day, including two from senior cornerback Donald Toomer who also had three passes defended.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State limited Colorado State to 90 yards of total offense in 1961 in a 49-3 win in Fort Collins, while rushing for 389 yards, the most in series history by a USU team. USU also held the Rams to one passing yard in a 10-7 loss at home in 1976.
LAST MEETING AGAINST COLORADO STATE - (CSU 35, USU 34 2OT)
September 24, 2011 Logan, Utah Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium Junior running back Robert Turbin scored a career-high four rushing touchdowns, including a 25-yard burst in the second overtime to bring Utah State within one, but he was stopped on his two-point conversion and USU dropped a heartbreaker at home to Colorado State, 35-34, on Sept. 24, 2011. Utah State had four turnovers on the night including two muffed punts. USU appeared to be on its way to a fourth-quarter win as it led 21-13 with just over two minutes remaining and Colorado State punting, but the Aggies muffed the punt and the Rams recovered the ball at Utah State's 15-yardline. Four plays later, CSU's Chris Nwoke scored on a 1-yard rush and quarterback Pete Thomas hit Crockett Gillmore for the two-point conversion with 36 seconds to play, sending the game into overtime. Both teams registered touchdowns in the first overtime as Utah State scored first on a 9-yard run from Turbin, but Colorado State answered on a touchdown pass from Thomas to Gillmore. In the second overtime, Colorado State had the ball first and scored on a 2-yard run from Nwoke. USU quickly answered as Turbin scored his fourth touchdown of the night on the first play of the drive from 25 yards out. Utah State then decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win as freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton's pass to senior wide receiver Matt Austin was incomplete, but CSU was called for pass interference. With the ball moved from the three to the one-and-half following the penalty, Turbin rushed left but was stopped short of the goal. Turbin finished the night with 115 yards on 24 carries and Utah State ended the game with 281 rushing yards on 52 carries. Senior running back Michael Smith added 77 rushing yards on nine carries, including a 51-yard scamper in the second quarter highlighting a 3-play, 68-yard drive that was capped off with a 14-yard run from junior running back Kerwynn Williams for the Aggies first score of the night. Keeton was 9-of-15 passing for 86 yards and added 44 yards on the ground on 13 carries as Utah State finished the game with 367 total yards. Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner finished the game with 17 tackles, tying his career-high, while fellow senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher added 10 stops. Senior defensive end Levi Koskan added two sacks, and senior safety Alfred Bowden registered the team's first turnover of the year with a fumble recovery. Colorado State, who won the time of possession battle 34:19 to 25:41, had 232 yards of total offense as it rushed for 168 yards and passed for 108. CSU also won the turnover battle as it forced USU into four miscues and committed just one of its own, a fumble in the fourth quarter that resulted into an eight-play, 27-yard drive that Turbin capped with a 1-yard run to give the home team a 21-13 advantage.
KEETON NAMED WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah, snapping a 12-game losing streak to the Utes. In the game, Keeton completed 22-of-32 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns as the 22 completions and 32 attempts both tied previous career-highs. Keeton also carried the ball a career-high 17 times for a career-high 86 yards, including a 23-yard scramble in overtime to set up the winning touchdown. Overall, it is the second time in his career that Keeton has been named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week.
KEETON NAMED DAVEY O'BRIEN HONORABLE MENTION NATIONAL QUARTERBACK OF THE WEEK
Along with being named the WAC's Offensive Player of the week on Sept. 10, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was also named an honorable mention Davey O'Brien National Quarterback of the Week for his performance against Utah. Other quarterbacks to earn honorable mention honors along with Keeton include Matt Barkley (USC), Brett Hundley (UCLA), Collin Klein (Kansas State), Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Aaron Murray (Georgia). Louisiana-Monroe's Kolton Browning was named the Davey O'Brien Quarterback of the Week.
FILIMOEATU NAMED HONORABLE MENTION NATIONAL LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK
Utah State's Bojay Filimoeatu was named an honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his performance against Utah. Filimoeatu was also named College Sports Madness' Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 9. Filimoeatu recorded a career-high 12 tackles, to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss, in Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah in a game that was televised nationally on ESPN2. Filimoeatu also had a sack and two quarterback hurries against the Utes. Georgia's Jarvis Jones was named the Performer of the Week at linebacker by College Football Performance Awards, and Filimoeatu joined Tristan Okpalaugo (Fresno State), Arthur Brown (Kansas State), Steve Greer (Virginia), James Morris (Iowa), Jonathan Brown (Illinois), Chi Chi Ariguzo (Northwestern), Pat Hinkel (Miami, OH), Jamal Merrell (Rutgers), Dion Bailey (USC), DeAundre Brown (Tulsa) and Carols Mendoza (Arizona State) as honorable mention award winners.
BENNETT NAMED WAC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior punter Tyler Bennett was named the WAC's Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following Utah State's 27-20 overtime home win against Utah, snapping a 12-game losing streak to the Utes. In the game, Bennett punted a career-high nine times against Utah for an average of 45.3 yards per punt with a long of 59. Bennett also had four punts downed inside the 20-yardline which is also a career-high. Overall, it is Bennett's first career WAC Player of the Week honor and the last time USU had a WAC Special Teams Player of the Week was Kevin Robinson who won the award in 2007 as a kick returner.
PRESEASON WAC POLLS
The Western Athletic Conference announced its preseason coaches and media polls on July 28 and Utah State was picked to finish second in 2012 by both the media and coaches.
|Preseason Coaches' Poll|
|1.||Louisiana Tech (6)||36|
|2.||UTAH STATE (1)||31|
|3.||San Jose State||24|
|4.||New Mexico State||22|
|Preseason Media Poll|
|1.||Louisiana Tech (25)||193|
|2.||UTAH STATE (3)||164|
|3.||San Jose State||130|
|5.||New Mexico State||95|
UTAH STATE RETURNS PLENTY OF TALENT IN 2012
Utah State returns 19 starters (O-8, D-6, S-5) and 44 lettermen (O-19, D-20, S-5) from last year's team that finished with a 7-6 record and tied for second-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 5-2 mark as it participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 24-23 vs. Ohio), its first bowl game since 1997. Highlighting Utah State's returners is junior center Tyler Larsen who earned first-team all-WAC honors a year ago. Along with Larsen, USU returns seven other starters on offense (WR-Matt Austin; WR-Chuck Jacobs; QB-Chuckie Keeton; QB-Adam Kennedy; LT-Oscar Molina-Sanchez; RT-Eric Schultz; RB/KR-Kerwynn Williams), six starters on defense (FS-McKade Brady; LB-Bojay Filimoeatu; DT-Al Lapuaho; CB-Nevin Lawson; LB-Tavaris McMillian; CB-Jumanne Robertson) and five special teams starters (P-Tyler Bennett; PK/H-Jaron Bentrude; KO-Jacob Haueter; LS-Nate Needham; PK-Josh Thompson).
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE IN 2012
Utah State lost five players who earned all-WAC honors in 2011 highlighted by senior running back Robert Turbin who was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year. Senior offensive lineman Philip Gapelu and senior linebacker Bobby Wagner both earned first-team all-WAC honors, while senior tight end Tarren Lloyd and senior defensive end Levi Koskan were both named to the second-team. Other offensive starters lost include guards Robert Hill and Funaki Asisi, wide receivers Stanley Morrison and Eric Moats, and running back Michael Smith. Other defensive starters lost include end Quinn Garner, linebacker Kyle Gallagher and safety Alfred Bowden.
UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE 2011 WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Junior running back Robert Turbin was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, marking the first time in its seven years in the league and just the second time in school history that USU has had an offensive player of the year in its league joining Kendall Smith (WR) who was the Big West Conference Offensive MVP in 1988. Turbin rushed for 1,517 yards and led the WAC in scoring with 23 touchdowns and 138 points in 2011. The junior finished his career as the school's all-time leader in scoring with 308 points and total touchdowns with 51.
WAGNER THREE-TIME FIRST-TEAM ALL-WAC SELECTION
Linebacker Bobby Wagner earned first-team all-WAC honors each of his final three seasons at Utah State and is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection. Wagner ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
THREE AGGIES SELECTED IN 2012 NFL DRAFT
Utah State had three players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft as linebacker Bobby Wagner was chosen in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, while running back Robert Turbin was chosen in the fourth round (106) by the Seattle Seahawks and fellow running back Michael Smith was picked in the seventh round (212) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
PRESEASON NATIONAL WATCH LISTS
The following is a list of current Utah State players who are listed among various watch lists for the National College Football Awards Association.
Davey O'Brien Award Chuckie Keeton (So., QB)
Doak Walker Award Kerwynn Williams (Sr., RB)
Lombardi Award Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Outland Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Rimington Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C)
Ray Guy Award Tyler Bennett (Sr., P)
RECAPPING THE WISCONSIN GAME
Just like in two of its three games this season and 12 of its last 16 games dating back to last year, Utah State football found itself in a one-score game, but came up short as the Aggies' lost 16-14 at No. 22 Wisconsin Saturday.
Utah State had its seven-game regular-season win streak halted with the loss after a 37-yard field goal missed wide right by junior placekicker Josh Thompson with six seconds left. The Aggies' also had their three-game road game winning streak halted, in falling to 2-1 on the year. Wisconsin improved to 2-1 with the win which also evened the all-time series between the Aggies and Badgers at 1-1 after USU's 20-0 win in 1968.
The Aggie defense limited Wisconsin to 234 total yards and the USU offense totalled 308 yards, with sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton completing 18-of-34 passes for 181 yards, while rushing for 75 yards on 15 carries, part of USU's 127 total yards on the ground.
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had a career-night receiving with six catches for 78 yards with one touchdown, all career-highs. Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs matched Williams with a career-high six receptions, totally 41 yards. Fellow senior wide receiver Cameron Webb added a career-best three receptions for 41 yards with 36 coming on an amazing catch down the sideline to set the Aggies up with a 1st-and-10 at the UW 15 on its last drive of the game.
Sophomore safety Brian Suite led the Aggie defense with a career-high 13 tackles, while senior safety McKade Brady added eight stops and junior linebacker Zach Vigil tallied seven stops, including two tackles for loss, one sack and one forced fumble.
Wisconsin was led by Montee Ball with 139 yards rushing on 37 carries and one touchdown. Danny O'Brien was 5-of-10 passing for 63 yards in the first half, before getting relieved by Joel Stave who was 2-of-6 for 15 yards. Brian Wozniak led the Badgers with two catches for 24 yards. Kenzel Doe had one punt return for an 82-yard touchdown.
Mike Taylor led the Badger defense with a game-high 15 tackles.
Williams started his career receiving night with the Aggies' first score on a 39-yard catch-and-run to the end zone from Keeton for a 7-0 USU lead with 9:17 to go in the first quarter. Kyle French hit a 19-yard field goal to pull the Badgers within 7-3 at the 14:16 mark of the second quarter.
After the Aggie defense made repeated stops, with Vigil forcing his fumble that was recovered by fellow junior linebacker Jake Doughty at the UW 33 with 2:17 left in the first half, Keeton drove the Aggies to the end zone and hit senior wide receiver Matt Austin from 11 yards out with 29 seconds left for a 14-3 USU lead at intermission.
Doe's big punt return for a score came with 7:06 to play in the third quarter to pull Wisconsin within, 14-10, and exactly four minutes later, Ball darted in from 17 yards out but French's PAT was blocked by redshirt-freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen, leaving the score 16-14 and the Aggies within the game-winning field goal attempt.
HEAD COACH Gary Andersen
In his first three years at Utah State, Andersen has compiled a 15-22 (.407) record including a 10-13 (.435) WAC mark as those 15 wins are the most by an Aggie coach in his first three years since John L. Smith went 16-18 (.471) from 1995-97.
Furthermore, Andersen has coached 10 players who have earned first or second team all-WAC honors and six players who are currently on NFL rosters, including Michael Smith, Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner who were all selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. That trio of Aggies drafted in 2012 is the most selections in one year since five USU players were chosen in 1980. Wagner, who was drafted in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, becomes the highest drafted Aggie since Rulon Jones was the 42nd overall pick in the second round in 1980 by the Denver Broncos.
Along with playing in its first bowl game in over a decade during the 2011 season, Utah State's seven overall wins and five league victories were its most since 1993, while its second-place conference finish was its best since the 2000 team ended the year second in the Big West. Furthermore, those five league wins in 2011 were tied with five other teams (1953, 1960, 1990, 1991, 1993) for the most in school history, while its seven overall wins are tied for the 10th most all-time at Utah State.
Utah State also won its final five games of the regular season in 2011, which is tied for the eighth-longest winning streak in school history and the longest since the 1993 squad won its final six games of the year. USU's three-win turnaround from four wins in 2010 to seven wins in 2011 was among the top 15 in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the year.
During the 2011 season, Andersen's high-octane spread offense was statistically one of the best in the country as it led the WAC and ranked sixth in the nation in rushing offense (282.69 ypg). USU also ranked first in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (151.8), first in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in scoring offense (33.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 20th in the nation in total offense (457.31 ypg), and second in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.38 pg).
In 2011, Utah State also established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).
Highlighting Utah State's offense in 2011 was junior running back Robert Turbin who ended the season as the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year, USU's first in its six years in the league, and just its second such offensive award in school history. During the season, Turbin ranked first in the WAC and eighth in the nation in scoring (10.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 13th in the nation in rushing (116.69 ypg), and sixth in the WAC and 40th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (129.85 ypg). He ended the year setting single-season school records for rushing touchdowns (19), total touchdowns (23) and points scored (138), while his 1,517 rushing yards rank third all-time at USU for a single-season.
Turbin, who was drafted in the fourth round (106) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, ended his Aggie career ranking first in both total touchdowns (51) and points scored (308), while his 3,315 career rushing yards ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Andersen's defense was also formidable during the 2011 season as it ended the year ranking first in the WAC and 50th in the nation in total defense (366.23), second in the WAC and 31st in the nation in rushing defense (127.70 ypg), second in the WAC and 53rd nationally in tackles for loss (5.92 pg), third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (125.58), and third in the WAC and 59th in the nation in sacks (1.92 pg).
Utah State's top defensive player in 2011 was Wagner who earned first-team all-WAC honors after ranking first in the league and eighth nationally with 11.31 tackles per game. Wagner, who is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection, ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
Along with all of his Utah State accolades, Wagner also received some national exposure after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Senior Bowl, leading the North to a 23-13 win. Smith was also recognized for his performance in the Players Classic All-Star Game as he was named the North's Offensive MVP.
Other Aggies to earn first-team all-WAC honors under Andersen's tutelage include offensive linemen Philip Gapelu (2011) and Tyler Larsen (2011), while those who have been named to the league's second-team include defensive end Levi Koskan (2011), tight end Tarren Lloyd (2011), defensive back Curtis Marsh (2010) and Turbin (2009).
Along with all of Utah State's success on the field under Andersen, there has been just as much success in the classroom as 66 Aggies have earned academic all-WAC honors, while another 84 have graduated from the University. Furthermore, Utah State had 18 football players earn academic all-WAC honorees this past year to rank first in the conference.
Andersen came to Utah State after five seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Utah, where he helped guide the Utes to a 13-0 record in 2008. Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll after winning the BCS Sugar Bowl with a dominating 31-17 victory against Alabama. In 2008, Andersen was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the top assistant coach in college football. He was also named a Rivals.com top 10 non-BCS recruiter in 2008 and tabbed as the No. 1 non-BCS recruiter by Rivals.com in 2005.
Overall, Andersen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah after coaching for the Utes from 1997-2002 before becoming the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003 and then returning to Utah in 2004. During his tenure at Utah, Andersen was a part of seven winning bowl teams, including two BCS Bowls as Utah went 12-0 in 2004 and won the Fiesta Bowl, along with its perfect record and Sugar Bowl win in 2008.
During his tenure at Utah, Andersen coached 14 first-team all-conference players (three in 2008), including two Mountain West Conference Defensive Players of the Year in John Frank (1999) and Eric Weddle (2005 and 2006), as well as a consensus All-American in Weddle in 2006. Andersen also coached 10 Ute players drafted in the NFL in Richard Seals, John Frank, Lauvale Sape, Sione Pouha, Jonathan Fanene, Eric Weddle, Paul Soliai, Sean Smith, Brice McCain and Paul Kruger, in addition to several other players who made NFL rosters as free agents.
Andersen's coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City HS (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams).
A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team junior college All-American honors in 1984 at Ricks College.
Andersen is married to the former Stacey Lambert, and they have three sons: Keegan (21) and twins Chasen and Hagen (17). Keegan is currently a sophomore tight end on Utah State's football team, while Chasen and Hagen are both seniors at Logan High School. Andersen's brother, Mark, is USU's director of football operations.
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