Aggie Football Returns To Mountain West Play With Road Game at San Jose State In Nationally Televised Game on ESPN Friday Night
Sept. 23, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. San Jose St
SJSU Game Notes vs. Utah State
UTAH STATE at SAN JOSE STATE
The Last Meeting
|San Jose State||27
October 13, 2012
San Jose, Calif.
Aggies Sack Spartans, 49-27, In Both Teams WAC Opener Saturday
Nine Aggies combined for a school-record 13 sacks, senior running back Kerwynn Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton had four total touchdowns (3-pass, 1-rush) in leading Utah State to a convincing 49-27 Western Athletic Conference road win against San Jose State here Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
GAME FIVE INFORMATION
Date: Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
Kickoff: 7:01 p.m. (MT)
Location: San Jose, Calif.
Stadium: Spartan (30,456)
Series: Utah State trails, 14-20-1
Carter Blackburn (Play-by-Play)
Danny Kanell (Analyst)
Allison Williams (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 is in its 116th season of football and is 508-510-31 (.498) 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 has won 12 straight conference games dating back to the 2011 season, which is a school record. The previous record for consecutive conference wins was seven in the Big West Conference during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. USU's last conference loss was against Louisiana Tech (24-17) on Oct. 22, 2011 in Logan when it was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-12.
Utah State has won seven straight conference road games dating back to the 2011 season, which is a school record, bettering the six straight Big West road wins from 1995-97. Overall, USU is 8-4 in its last 12 road games dating back to the 2011 season including a 1-2 record this year.
Utah State is starting conference play with consecutive road games for the first time since 1996 and 10th time in school history joining the 1947, 1949, 1951, 1954, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1992 and 1996 teams.
Utah State has won 18 of its last 23 games overall, which is USU's best stretch since going 18-2-1 during the 1960-61 seasons. USU's five losses during its last 23 games have been by a combined 13 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) and at USC (17-14) to open the 2013 season.
Through four games this year, Utah State has had nine scoring drives of less than two minutes.
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton currently ranks tied for second in the nation along with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater with 14 touchdown passes on the season, trailing Oregon State's Sean Mannion who leads the nation with 15 touchdown passes.
Utah State has 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while San Jose State has 98 players on its roster from the state of California.
Utah State has won five of its last seven games played during the month of September and is 3-3 all-time in games played on Sept. 27.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY WITH ESPN GAME AT SAN JOSE STATE
Utah State (2-2, 1-0 MW) continues its 2013 season with its fourth road game in the first five weeks of the season in a Mountain West matchup at San Jose State (1-2, 0-0 MW) on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Carter Blackburn (play-by-play), Danny Kanell (analyst) and Allison Williams (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. Following its game at USC last weekend, USU plays at San Jose State this week before playing five of its final seven games of the year at home.
UTAH STATE PLAYING FOUR GAMES IN A ROW AGAINST BOWL TEAMS FROM A YEAR AGO
Utah State is in game two of a four-game stretch where its plays against four-straight 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 an 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 130 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (42), senior tackle Eric Schultz (36), senior guard Jamie Markosian (19), senior guard Kyle Whimpey (17) and junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (16). Texas has the most experienced offensive line with 144 career starts, followed by Tennessee (143), Duke (133) and Utah State (130).
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 2-2 on the season following its 17-14 loss at USC 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, followed by a 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State. Offensively, USU is led by junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 103-of-144 passing for 1,102 yards (275.5 ypg) with 14 touchdowns and one interception. Senior running back Joey DeMartino leads the team in rushing as he has carried the ball 30 times for 225 yards (56.2 ypg) with four touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen has 17 catches for 257 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 42 tackles (14-solo, 28-assist), including 2.5 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 35 tackles (15-solo, 20-assist) with 2.5 for loss, and senior safety Maurice Alexander has 26 tackles (16-solo, 10-assist) with 3.5 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 40.5 points and 484.0 yards of total offense (293.2-passing, 190.8-rushing) and allowing 18.2 points and 285.0 yards of total offense (152.0-passing, 133.0-rushing).
UTAH STATE COMES UP JUST SHORT AGAIN AGAINST BCS TEAM
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. In 2012, USU defeated Utah at home, 27-20 OT, and lost at No. 22 Wisconsin, 16-14. And in 2013, USU lost at Utah, 30-26 and lost at USC, 17-14.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE PLAYING WELL DURING ITS LAST THREE GAMES
Utah State's defense continued to play well its last game at USC as it held the Trojans to just 282 yards of total offense (164-passing, 118-rushing), marking the third-straight game that USU has allowed less than 300 yards of total offense. During its last three games, USU is limiting its opponents to just 14.3 points and just 230.0 yards of total offense (128.0-rushing, 102.0-passing). USU has also allowed just 40 first downs in the last three games (13.3 pg) and has limited its last three opponents to just 8-of-45 (.177) on third downs and just two touchdowns in six red zone opportunities (.333).
UTAH STATE ALLOWS FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN FOR SECOND TIME IN LAST 20 GAMES
Utah State allowed a first quarter touchdown against USC in its last game, marking just the second time in its last 20 outings that it has allowed a first quarter touchdown. Dating back to the 2011 season, Utah is the only other Utah State opponent in its last 20 games to score a first quarter touchdown against the Aggies as the Utes scored two first quarter touchdowns in its season-opening 30-26 win against USU.
UTAH STATE HAS SEASON-LOWS OFFENSIVELY AT USC
Utah State scored just 14 points and had just 285 yards of total offense (179-passing, 106-rushing) in its last game against USC, both of which are season-lows, and its lowest scoring and total offensive output in its last 11 games dating back to Oct. 5, 2012 when it had just 243 yards of total offense in a 6-3 loss at BYU.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH UTAH STATE'S OFFENSE
Despite having a season-low 285 yards of offense (179-passing, 106-rushing) in its last game at USC, Utah State still has rushed for at least 200 yards in five of its last eight games, and passed for at least 300 yards in six of its last nine games.
UTAH STATE TRAILS AT THE HALF AT USC FOR FIRST TIME IN 11 GAMES
Utah State trailed at the half against USC, 14-7, marking the first time in its last 11 games dating back to Oct. 5, 2012 at BYU that USU has trailed at the half. Overall, USU has led at the half in 17 of its last 19 games dating back to 2011 and is 14-3 in those games, including a 2-1 record this year. USU also trailed 7-0 against USC at the end of the first quarter, marking the first time in its last 12 games dating back to its Sept. 29, 2012 home game against UNLV that USU did not score in the first quarter.
UTAH STATE HAS PRODUCED 500 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE IN SEVEN OF ITS LAST 10 GAMES
Utah State has produced at least 500 yards of total offense in seven of its last 10 games, including two of its four games this year. 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 14 games. In its first home game of the 2013 season against Weber State, USU produced a season-high 587 yards of total offense, which ranks as the 14th-most in school history, with 320 passing yards and a season-high 267 rushing yards.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has not lost back-to-back games since Oct. 15 and Oct. 22 of the 2011 season, a span of 23 games. In fact, following its last three losses Utah State is averaging 44.0 points and 500.7 yards of total offense (270.3-passing, 230.3-rushing). Following its 16-14 loss at Wisconsin (9/15/12), USU won at Colorado State, 31-19, and produced 440 yards of total offense (178-passing, 262-rushing). Following its 6-3 loss at BYU (10/5/12), USU won at San Jose State, 49-27, and produced 485 yards of total offense (273-passing, 212-rushing). And following its 30-26 loss at Utah (8/29/13), USU won at Air Force, 52-20, and produced 577 yards of total offense (360-passing, 217-rushing).
FACKRELL EARNS COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARD FOLLOWING USC GAME
Utah State sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell earned honorable mention national linebacker of the week honors from College Football Performance Awards following Utah State's 17-14 loss at USC last weekend. Against USC, Fackrell recorded four tackles including 2.0 sacks, and forced a fumble.
REYNOLDS TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH FIVE RECEPTIONS AT USC
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds tied his career-high with five receptions in his last game at USC for 70 yards (14.0 ypc), including a career-long reception of 42 yards. Reynolds also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass against the Trojans, marking the third-straight game he has caught a touchdown pass. In his previous game against Weber State, Reynolds recorded a career-high 71 receiving yards on two catches (35.5 ypc). During his last three games, Reynolds has caught 11 passes for 200 yards (18.2 ypc) with three touchdowns. Overall, Reynolds has a team-leading three touchdown receptions this year, along with sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall, and four in his career.
DEMARTINO PLAYING WELL DURING HIS LAST THREE GAMES
Senior running back Joey DeMartino has played very well during his last three games as he has carried the ball 27 times for 221 yards (8.2 ypc) with four rushing touchdowns. In his last game against USC, he rushed for 72 yards on nine carries (8.0 ypc), including a 55-yard run. Against Weber State, he recorded his first-ever 100-yard rushing game 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.
TIALAVEA TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH THREE RECEPTIONS AT USC
Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea tied his career-high with three receptions in his last game at USC for 10 yards. In his previous game against Weber State, Tialavea caught a pair of touchdown passes, marking his first-ever multi-touchdown game. Tialavea also tied his career-high with three receptions against WSU as well. During his last two games, Tialavea has caught six passes for 28 yards (4.7 ypc) with two touchdowns.
SWINDALL CATCHES THIRD CAREER TOUCHDOWN PASS IN USC GAME
Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall caught his third touchdown pass of the season and his career on an 8-yard pass against USC in his last game. Overall, Swindall is tied with senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds for the team lead in touchdown receptions with three.
VIGIL RECORDS CAREER-HIGH 12 TACKLES AT USC
Junior linebacker Zach Vigil posted a career-high 12 tackles in his last game against USC, marking the second time this year and seventh time in his career that he has posted double-digit tackles. Vigil also recovered his first career fumble against the Trojans.
DOUGHTY RECORDS DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES FOR SEVENTH TIME IN HIS CAREER
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty posted 12 tackles in his last game at USC, marking the third time this year and seventh time in his career that he has posted double-digit tackles. Doughty also recorded his first sack of the season and second of his career at USC.
FACKRELL TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH TWO SACKS AT USC
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell tied his career-high with 2.0 sacks at USC in his last game to go along with a forced fumble. Overall, Fackrell now has 3.0 sacks this year and 6.0 in his career, to go along with two forced fumbles this season and three in his career.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST USC
Junior tight end Keegan Andersen made his first career start... Senior defensive end Paul Piukala had a career-high six tackles... Senior cornerback Nevin Lawson had a season-high seven tackles... Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright had a career-high six tackles and forced his first career fumble... Junior punter Jaron Bentrude had a career-high eight punts.
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 three 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.
WILLIAMS ONE OF 32 CANADIANS PLAYING AT THE FBS LEVEL
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.
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).
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 97-41 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 HAS NINE FIRST DRIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN THE LAST TWO YEARS
Utah State has scored a touchdown on its initial drive in two of its last three games this year and nine of its last 16 games dating back to the 2012 season.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE SHUTS DOWN WEBER STATE OFFENSE
Utah State's defense had a dominating performance 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'S DEFENSE PITCHES A SHUTOUT AGAINST WEBER STATE
Utah State's defense pitched a shutout against Weber State, 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.
MORE DEFENSIVE NUMBERS FROM THE WEBER STATE GAME
Utah State limited Weber State to just seven first downs, 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.
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.
THREE AGGIES EARN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS FOLLOWING WEBER STATE GAME
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. 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.
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 VS. AIR FORCE
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 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.
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 11TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 35-of-63 third downs during its first four games of the 2013 season and that conversion percentage of 55.6 percent ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for 11th in the nation. In 2013, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR NINTH IN THE NATION IN FIRST DOWNS
Utah State is averaging 25.0 first downs per game thus far this year to rank third in the Mountain West and tied for ninth in the nation. In 2012, USU averaged 20.9 first downs per game.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 10TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 15 first downs on 61 third-down attempts this year and that conversion percentage of 24.6 percent ranks first in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 29TH IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 18-for-20 (.900) on red zone opportunities offensively during its first four games of the 2013 season to rank tied for fifth in the Mountain West and tied for 29th 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. Against Weber State, USU scored seven touchdowns in eight red zone opportunities. And against USC, USU scored two touchdowns in three red zone opportunities.
UTAH STATE RANKS 26TH IN THE NATION IN SCORING OFFENSE
Utah State is averaging 40.5 points per game thus far in 2013 to rank third in the Mountain West and tied for 26th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency (169.8), second in the MW and 30th in the nation in total offense (484.0 ypg), fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing offense (293.2 ypg), fifth in the MW and 57th in the nation in rushing offense (190.8 ypg), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.8 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 15TH IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 285.0 yards of total offense per game to rank first in the Mountain West and tied for 15th in the nation. USU also ranks second in the MW and 12th in the nation in passing defense (152.0 ypg), first in the MW and 32nd in the nation in scoring defense (18.2 ppg), second in the MW and 45th in the nation in rushing defense (133.0), third in the MW and 44th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (116.9), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks (1.3 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 30TH IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURNS
Utah State currently ranks third in the Mountain West and 30th in the nation averaging 24.8 yards per kick return. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 50th in the nation in punt returns (9.1 ypr), tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 63rd in the nation in turnover margin (+0.30), and ninth in the MW and 71st in the nation in net punting (36.8 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 0.0 yards per punt return to rank tied for sixth in the nation and just 16.7 yards per kickoff return to rank ninth nationally.
KEETON RANKS TIED FOR SECOND IN THE NATION IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Following the first four weeks of college football, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for second in the nation with Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater with 14 touchdowns passes, and trailing Oregon State's Sean Mannion who leads the nation with 15 touchdown passes. Keeton also ranks first in the Mountain West and 17th in the nation in passing efficiency (166.5), third in the MW and 10th in the nation in completions (25.8), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (318.5 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (275.5 ypg).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks second in the Mountain West and tied for 16th in the nation in tackles (10.5 pg). Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 20th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.5 pg), fourth in the MW and tied for 35th in the nation in sacks (0.8 pg), and 10th in the MW in tackles for loss (1.12 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 20th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.5 pg), and seventh in the MW and tied for 49th in the nation in tackles (8.8 pg). Senior safety Maurice Alexander ranks 28th in the MW in tackles (6.5 pg). Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson ranks second in the MW and 26th in the nation in punt returns (11.2 ypr), and ninth in the MW and tied for 48th in the nation in receptions (5.8 pg). Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen ranks 10th in the MW in receiving (64.2 ypg). Junior placekicker Nick Diaz ranks eighth in the MW in field goals (0.8 pg), eighth in the MW in field goal percentage (75.0) and eighth in the MW in extra point percentage (95.0). And junior punter Jaron Bentrude ranks 10th in the MW in punting (38.0 ypk).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State's defense has forced its opponent into 22 three-and-outs thus far this year for an average of 5.5 per game, which ranks third in the nation. In 2012, USU ranked tied for eighth in the nation with an average of 5.08 three-and-outs per game.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 484-of-725 passing during his Utah State career with a completion percentage of 66.8 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) ranks second all-time at 60.7 percent.
KEETON RANKS TIED FOR SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for second all-time in school history with 52 touchdown passes along with Tony Adams (1970-72) and is now just eight touchdown passes shy of tying the school record of 60 touchdown passes set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has 6,759 yards of total offense (5,675-passing, 1,084-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 1,337 yards of total offense shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for second-place with 8,096 yards of total offense.
KEETON RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETIONS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks third all-time at Utah State with 484 career completions and is now 33 completion shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for second with 517 career completions. The school record is 704 completions set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING YARDS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown for 5,675 yards to rank sixth all-time in school history and is now 398 yards shy of tying Eric Hipple (1976-79) for fifth-place with 6,073 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 725 passes during his career to rank eighth all-time in school history and is now 13 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 1,084 yards (237 carries, 4.6 ypc) during his Aggie career to rank 23rd all-time in school history. Keeton is now 19 rushing yards shy of tying Marc White (1983-84) for 22nd-place with 1,103 yards, 60 yards shy of tying Jerry Hughes (1971-72) for 21st-place with 1,144 yards, and 109 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 17 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 nine 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 59-of-60 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-4 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-15 (.733) on field goals.
A LOOK AT SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State is 1-2 on the season following its 43-24 road loss at Minnesota last weekend. The Spartans began the year with 24-0 home win against Sacramento State and then lost at No. 5 Stanford 34-13. Offensively, SJSU is led by senior quarterback David Fales who is 67-of-111 passing for 880 yards (293.3 ypg) with six touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior running back Jason Simpson leads the team in rushing with 207 yards on 43 carries (69.0 ypg), and senior wide receiver Chandler Jones has 20 catches for 370 yards (123.3 ypg) with four touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Keith Smith leads the team with 51 tackles (23-solo, 28-assist), while sophomore safety Simon Connette has 23 tackles (17-solo, 6-assist). As a team, SJSU is averaging 20.3 points and 368.0 yards of total offense per game (293.3-passing, 74.7-rushing) and allowing 25.7 points and 368.7 yards of total offense per game (156.7-passing, 212.0-rushing). Overall, SJSU returns 15 starters (O-7, D-6, S-2) and 44 lettermen from last year's team that went 11-2 and finished in second-place in the WAC with a 5-1 mark. The Spartans, who finished the year ranked No. 21 in the final Associated Press poll, are coached by Ron Caragher is 1-2 in his first year as the Spartans head coach and 45-24 in seven years as a collegiate head coach.
AGGIES AND SPARTANS
Utah State trails in the all-time series against San Jose State, 14-20-1, including a 5-11-1 record in San Jose. The first game played in the series was on Sept. 30, 1940 in Logan with SJSU winning, 19-0. In fact, San Jose State won the first five games ever played in the series before USU won four straight from 1962-66, which happens to be the Aggies longest winning streak in the series. USU has also won each of the last four games played in the series, including a 49-27 win at San Jose State last year. The last time the Spartans won a game in the series was on Oct. 11, 2008 in San Jose, 30-7.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS SAN JOSE STATE
Rushing Yards: Robert Turbin (2009), 190
Passing Yards: Brent Snyder (1988), 412
Receiving Yards: Kendal Smith (1988), 208
RECENT UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES HISTORY
If recent history is any indication, Utah State's game at San Jose State this weekend will come down to the final minutes as seven of the last 10 games played in the series have been decided by one score including its 2011 meeting in Logan when USU won 34-33 as it scored the winning touchdown with 47 seconds remaining in the game. USU also rallied for a 38-34 victory at San Jose State in 2010 as it scored the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left. And in 2007 in Logan, San Jose State scored the winning touchdown with 53 seconds to play to make the final score 23-20.
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State has 12 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), Paul Piukala (Oakland) and Jake Simonich (Danville).
WELLS VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is 1-0 against the Mountain West Conference as a head coach following its 52-20 road win at Air Force on Sept. 7, 2013. Wells posted a 20-25 record as an assistant coach when facing current members of the Mountain West Conference, including a 7-2 mark during his last two seasons as an assistant at Utah State. Wells was also 9-7 as an assistant against MW teams while at New Mexico, 0-7 against MW teams as an assistant at Navy, and 4-9 against MW teams as an assistant at Tulsa.
UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE CONNECTIONS
Former Utah State head coach John Ralston (1959-62) spent four years as San Jose State's head coach (1993-1996). At USU, Ralston compiled a 31-11-1 (.733) record ranking first all-time in winning percentage and second all-time in wins. While at SJSU, Ralston was 11-34 (.244). Ralston is currently a special assistant to the football staff at SJSU. USU linebackers coach Kevin Clune graduated from the same high school (Palma High School in Salinas, Calif.) as San Jose State quarterback David Fales.
UTAH STATE SETS SCHOOL RECORD WITH 13 SACKS IN LAST GAME AGAINST THE SPARTANS
Utah State set a single-game school record as nine Aggies recorded 13 sacks in its 49-27 win at San Jose State on Oct. 13, 2012. Senior defensive lineman Connor Williams, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson, sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell and sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen all had a career-high two sacks in the game, while senior linebacker Jake Doughty, junior linebacker Zach Vigil, senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i, and former Aggies Bojay Filimoeatu and Al Lapuaho each had one sack. USU's previous school record for sacks in a game was eight versus Colorado in 1998 and the NCAA record for sacks in a game is 15 set by TCU in 2000.
UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES SEVENTH-LONGEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and San Jose State will be meeting for the 36th time in series history this weekend for the seventh-most played series in school history trailing Utah (111), BYU (82), Colorado State (69), Wyoming (63), Idaho (38) and New Mexico State (36). USU's 35 current meetings with SJSU is tied with Denver for the seventh-most in school history.
UTAH STATE AND SAN JOSE STATE AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and San Jose State will continue its history as conference foes as both schools officially joined the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. The two schools began its conference affiliation as members of the Big West Conference from 1978-1995 and was conference foes in the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-12. As members of the Big West, San Jose State held a 10-4-1 series advantage against Utah State, while the series record as WAC members was 5-3-0 in favor of the Aggies.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE GOLDEN STATE
Utah State is 54-67-2 (.447) all-time against teams from California, including a 20-44-2 (.318) road record. Overall, USU is 21-7 versus Pacific, 14-20-1 against San Jose State, 10-16-1 versus Fresno State, 8-6 against Cal State Fullerton, 1-10 versus San Diego State, 1-0 against Cal State Northridge, 0-5 versus USC, and 0-1 against Stanford, St. Vincent's and UCLA.
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 AT HOME
Utah State has 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.
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.
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State and San Jose State played to a 48-48 tie on Sept. 8, 1979 and that game ranks as the second-highest scoring tied game in NCAA history behind a 52-52 tie between San Diego State and BYU in 1991.
LAST MEETING WITH SAN JOSE STATE
Nine Aggies combined for a school-record 13 sacks, senior running back Kerwynn Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton had four total touchdowns (3-pass, 1-rush) in leading Utah State to a convincing 49-27 Western Athletic Conference road win against San Jose State on Oct. 13, 2012.
Overall, the Aggies scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game to record its largest road win since a 34-7 victory at North Texas in 1999.
Utah State's defense set the tone on the very first play as junior linebacker Jake Doughty sacked Spartan quarterback David Fales. Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen all had a career-high two sacks in the game.
Despite getting sacked on the first play of the game, San Jose State drove down to the Utah State 8-yardline before settling for a 25-yard field goal, marking the first time this year USU has allowed any points in the first quarter.
Utah State's first touchdown of the game came on a 17-yard pass from Keeton to senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs midway through the first quarter after driving 86 yards in 13-plays. On its next series, Keeton hit senior wide receiver Matt Austin with a 5-yard pass as USU drove 53 yards in just four plays. The Aggies' third touchdown came on the first play of its next series as Williams scored from 50 yards out. And USU's final touchdown of the first-half was on a 21-yard pass from Keeton to junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen as USU drove 50 yards in 6-plays.
San Jose State then scored 17 unanswered points on its final three possessions of the second quarter to make the halftime score, 28-20, in favor of Utah State.
Williams got Utah State going in the third quarter as he scored from 86 yards out to give the visitors a 35-20 advantage. That 86-yard burst by Williams was the eighth-longest rush in school history. On its next series, Keeton scored on a 28-yard run to cap an 8-play, 68-yard drive to make the score 42-20 with 9:55 to play in the third quarter.
San Jose State scored its only points of the second half late in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Noel Grisby, but the Spartans could not get any closer as Williams added his third touchdown run of the game from 12 yards out late in the fourth quarter to make the final score, 49-27.
Williams finished the game with 176 rushing yards on just 15 carries (11.7 ypc) as he had scoring runs of 50, 86 and 12 yards.
Keeton was 26-of-35 passing for 273 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as those 26 completions were a career-high at the time. Keeton also had 47 yards rushing on six carries including his 28 yard touchdown run.
Austin had a team-high six catches for 93 yards, including his fourth touchdown reception of the season. In all, 10 Aggies caught passes in the contest.
For the game, Utah State had 485 yards of total offense (273-passing, 212-rushing) and averaged 8.2 yards per play, despite possessing the ball for just 21:36 and running just 59 offensive plays.
The Spartans finished with 471 yards of total offense (467-passing, 4-rushing), ran 92 plays (33 more than USU) and controlled the ball for 38:24.
Along with its school-record 13 sacks, Utah State also limited San Jose State to four net yards rushing to rank tied for the 14th-fewest rushing yards in a game in school history.
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?
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 USC GAME
Utah State football fought tooth and nail with the Trojans of USC, but came up short in a 17-14 loss at USC on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013. The loss slips USU to an even 2-2, while USC improves to 3-1.
Utah State totaled a season-low 285 yards of total offense, but still out-gained USC by three yards. The Aggies' yards came by way of 179 passing and 106 on the ground. Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 21-of-39 for 179 yards with two touchdown passes.
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds tied a career-high with five catches for 70 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown catch from Keeton to tie the game at 14-14 with 6:51 to play in the third quarter. Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall snared Keeton's other touchdown pass on an 8-yard second-quarter catch.
Senior running back Joey DeMartino gained 72 yards on nine carries, including a 55-yard dash to set up USU's first touchdown of the game. Junior running back Joe Hill added 51 yards rushing on five carries.
The linebacker duo of senior Jake Doughty and junior Zach Vigil posted 12 tackles each, for a new career-high by Vigil. It was also Doughty's third double-digit tackle outing of the season and seventh of his career, while Vigil now has two double-digit tackle outings this year and seventh of his career.
USC's Cody Kessler was 13-of-27 passing for 164 with one touchdown and was sacked by the Aggie defense three times, including twice by sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell, while Doughty logged the other. Tre Madden posted 93 rushing yards on 24 carries and had the game's lone rushing score with a 1-yard plunge in the first quarter. Marqise Lee caught six passes for 72 yards.
The Trojans totalled 282 yards of total offense with 164 passing and 118 rushing.
USC got on the board first with a 1-yard run by Madden with 5:41 to go in the first quarter for a 7-0 Trojan lead. That would remain the score through the end of the quarter, marking the first time in the last 12 games that the Aggies did not score in the opening stanza.
Utah State tied the score at 7-all with an 8-yard pass from Keeton to Swindall and an upright split by junior placekicker Nick Diaz at the 13:17 mark of the second quarter. The Trojans took a 14-7 lead with 5:13 to play in the second quarter on a 30-yard pass from Kessler to Xavier Grimble. USC's 14-7 advantage held up through the remainder of first half action and into halftime.
That would remain the score until part-way through the third stanza when Keeton connected with Reynolds to tie it up at 14-14 at the 6:51 mark of quarter number three.
After a short USU punt, the Trojans took advantage of the short field, but the Aggie defense held them to a field goal after driving to get a first-and-goal at the USU 8-yard line. Andre Heidari's 25-yard field goal with 13:35 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference.
The Aggies' final scoring chance came midway through the fourth quarter, getting to the USU 41. Utah State went for it on fourth-and-nine, but the play was denied, turning the ball over to USC and the Trojans ran out the clock for the victory.
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.