Sept. 24, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Football Game Notes vs. UNLV
UNLV Football Game Notes vs. Utah State
The Last Meeting
August 30, 2008
Las Vegas, Nev.
Aggies Drop Season-Opener At UNLV, 27-17
UNLV's Omar Clayton threw for 192 yards (17-29-0) and a career-high three touchdown passes, and Frank Summers added 87 yards on the ground to lead the Rebels to a season-opening 27-17 win against Utah State here Saturday night.
UNLV at UTAH STATE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME FIVE INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MT)
Location: Logan, Utah
Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field at
Romney Stadium (25,513)
Series: Utah State leads, 12-7
Trey Bender (Play-by-Play)
Jay Taylor (Analyst)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
Utah State will wear all white for its Homecoming game this week against UNLV, in its first-ever `White Out'. All Aggie fans are encouraged to `Wear Your Fighting White to the Game'.
Utah State's 3-1 start to the season is its best since 1978 when that Aggie team won its first five games of the year.
For the second-straight week, Utah State will be playing a future conference opponent in Mountain West member UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29 after winning at Colorado State last weekend, 31-19. USU officially joins the Mountain West on July 1, 2013.
Utah State has won each of its last four home games and is 12-7 (.632) at home under head coach Gary Andersen including a 7-1 (.875) non-conference record. USU's current four-game home winning streak is its longest since the 1990 team also won four-straight home games. The last time USU won five home games in a row was during the 1981-82 seasons. All-time, USU is 117-95 (.552) at Romney Stadium.
Utah State is 49-30-2 (.617) all-time during Homecoming, with two of those games being played against UNLV as USU defeated the Rebels, 7-6, in 1986 and then posted a 31-6 win against UNLV in 1990.
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 51-0 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 each by Southern Utah, Utah and Wisconsin.
Utah State has won eight of its last nine regular season games and eight of its last 10 games 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. USU has also won four of its last five road games dating back to 2011.
During the last two years, nine of Utah State's last 11 games have been decided by one score, while seven of its last 10 games had the winning points scored in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. Overall, USU has won six of its last eight games decided by one score dating back to the 2011 season.
Utah State is 5-9 in September under Andersen and 5-4 all-time in games played on Sept. 29.
UTAH STATE HOSTS UNLV IN ANNUAL HOMECOMING GAME
Utah State (3-1, 0-0 WAC) will host UNLV (1-3, 1-0 MWC) in its 82nd Homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. The game, which is USU's only home game during a five-week stretch, will be carried live on ESPN3 with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jay Taylor (analyst) 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.
AFCA TO HOLD FIFTH-ANNUAL COACH TO CURE MD EFFORT THIS WEEKEND
The American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) will hold its fifth annual Coach to Cure MD effort with the games of September 29. More than 100 FBS schools, including the coaching staffs from both Utah State and UNLV, will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999."
UTAH STATE-UNLV SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and UNLV will be meeting for the 20th time in series history this weekend, with USU owning a 12-7 advantage including a 6-3 record at home. The first game played in the series was on Sept. 25, 1971 in Logan with USU winning, 27-7. The last time the two teams played one another was on Aug. 30, 2008 in Las Vegas with the Rebels winning, 27-17. The last time UNLV played in Logan was on Aug. 30, 2007, winning 23-16. The last time Utah State defeated UNLV was on Sept. 24, 2005 in Logan, 31-24. Overall, USU has won nine of the last 12 games played in the series despite losing each of the last two meetings.
UTAH STATE AND UNLV MEMBERS OF BIG WEST CONFERENCE FROM 1982-95
When Utah State joins the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013 it will be the second time that USU and UNLV will be league foes as the two schools were conference rivals for 14 years (1982-95) as members of the Big West Conference. As Big West members, USU went 8-5 against the Rebels with a 4-2 home record and a 4-3 road mark.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH UNLV
Utah State assistant head coach, running backs coach and tight ends coach Mike Sanford spent five years (2005-09) as UNLV's head coach and led the Rebels to a 2-1 record against Utah State winning in 2007 in Logan (23-16) and in 2008 in Las Vegas (27-17), while losing in 2005 in Las Vegas (31-24). UNLV assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach Kraig Paulson spent three years at Utah State (2000-02) as Utah State's defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH THE STATE OF NEVADA
Utah State has two players on its active roster from the state of Nevada in senior running back Kerwynn Williams (Las Vegas/Valley HS) and redshirt freshman running back Ladale Jackson (Las Vegas/Silverado HS).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF NEVADA
Utah State is 17-24 (.415) all-time against teams from the state of Nevada with a 12-7 record against UNLV and a 5-17 record against Nevada. The last time USU played a team from `The Silver State' was on Nov. 26, 2011 in Logan when USU defeated the Wolf Pack, 21-17.
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).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Gary 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 3-1 on the year after winning at Colorado State, 31-19, in its last outing. USU began the year by posting a 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 led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 85-of-121 passing for 879 yards (219.8 ypg) with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team in rushing with 406 yards on 69 carries (101.5 ypg) with three touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin has 15 catches for 238 yards (59.5 ypg) and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 33 tackles (10-solo, 23-assist), including 1.0 tackle for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 29 tackles (11-solo, 18-assist) with 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu has 25 tackles (10-solo, 15-assist) with 3.5 tackles for loss to go along with one sack. As a team, Utah State is averaging 26.5 points and 424.2 yards of total offense per game (219.8-passing, 204.5-rushing) and allowing just 14.5 points and 274.8 yards of total offense (171.0-passing, 103.8-rushing).
UTAH STATE WINS FIRST NON-CONFERENCE ROAD GAME SINCE 2004
Utah State's 31-19 road win at Colorado State was its fourth road win in its last five outings dating back to 2011, but it was the Aggies first non-conference road win dating back to Sept. 25, 2004 when it won at UNLV, 31-21. Since that win in Las Vegas, USU had lost 19 straight non-conference road games. Furthermore, USU's 12-point road win was its largest since it won at New Mexico State by 18 points (35-17) on Nov. 17, 2007.
UTAH STATE AVOIDS BACK-TO-BACK DEFEATS
With its 31-19 road win at Colorado State, Utah State improved to 11-10 (.524) following a loss under head coach Gary Andersen and has lost back-to-back games just twice during its last 17 outings.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE PITCHES A SHUTOUT IN THE FIRST-HALF AGAINST THE RAMS
Utah State played outstanding defense in the first-half of its last game against Colorado State as it held the Rams to just four first downs and 61 yards of total offense as USU lead 17-0 at the break. The last time USU held an opponent scoreless in the first-half was during the 2009 season against San Jose State.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE RECORDS SEASON-HIGH FIVE SACKS AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State's defense recorded season-highs with five sacks and 10 tackles for loss in its last game against Colorado State. Those five team sacks are the most for an Aggie defense since it had five sacks against Louisiana Tech in 2009.
UTAH STATE SCORES ON 19-PLAY DRIVE AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State recorded one of the longest scoring drives in school history against Colorado State as it went 85-yards in 19-plays that took 7:46 off the clock. Those 19-plays are the most in a drive since Nov. 3, 1990 against New Mexico State when USU drove 59-yards on 20-plays for a touchdown. Furthermore, the time of the drive against CSU (7:46) was USU's longest since 2007 when it had an 8:23 scoring drive against San Jose State.
UTAH STATE PRODUCTIVE ON OFFENSE AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State had a very productive game offensively against Colorado State with 440 yards of total offense, including 262 on the ground, which was just three yards shy of its season-high of 265 rushing yards in its season-opener against Southern Utah. Utah State also converted a season-best 10 third downs in the game on 17 attempts.
PLAYER NOTABLES FROM THE COLORADO STATE GAME
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game as he finished with a career-high 205 yards on a career-best 21 carries to go along two rushing touchdowns, also a career-high. Williams also had a career-long 58 yard rush. Overall, Williams has three rushing touchdowns this year and 10 in his career. Senior wide receiver Matt Austin tied his career-high with six catches. He also had his third receiving touchdown of the season and the ninth of his career. Sophomore running back Joe Hill scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen recorded a career-high four catches. Senior safety McKade Brady tied his season-high with 10 tackles. Overall, it is his fifth-career double digit tackle outing. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil had career-highs in tackles for loss (3) and sacks (2). Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs had a career-long 55 yard kick return. Junior linebacker Cade Cowdin had a season-high five tackles. Senior punt Tyler Bennett had one punt of 50-plus yards to give him four punts of 50 or more yards this year.
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 Berntson, 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).
THREE AGGIES EARN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE HONORS FOLLOWING COLORADO STATE GAME
Utah State's Tyler Bennett, Zach Vigil and Kerwynn Williams all earned national recognition from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) following Utah State's 31-19 road win at Colorado State this past weekend as the trio garnered honorable mention honors at their respective positions. It is the second-straight week that Vigil and Williams have garnered recognition from CFPA as Vigil was named an honorable mention national linebacker of the week and Williams was named an honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week following USU's 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Bennett is also being honored for the second time this year after garnering the WAC's Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following USU's 27-20 overtime win against Utah. Bennett had three punts against Colorado State for an average of 47.0 yards, including a 54-yarder for his fourth 50-yard punt of the season. Bennett also had two punts downed inside the 20-yardline. Vigil had seven tackles (6-solo, 1-assist) to go along with a career-high three tackles for loss and a career-best two sacks against Colorado State this past weekend. Williams had 227 yards of total offense against Colorado State as he rushed for 205 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, all career-highs, and added three receptions for 22 yards. Williams had touchdown runs of 26 and 58 yards in the game, with the 58-yarder being a career-long. Overall, it was Williams's second-career 100-yard rushing game and first-career multi-touchdown game.
WILLIAMS NAMED WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 24 following his performance against Colorado State in leading the Aggies to a 31-19 road win. Against the Rams, Williams had 227 yards of total offense as he rushed for 205 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, all career-highs, and added three receptions for 22 yards. Williams had touchdown runs of 26 and 58 yards in the game, with the 58-yarder being a career-long. Overall, it was Williams' second-career 100-yard rushing game and first-career multi-touchdown game. Furthermore, Williams' 205 rushing yards rank tied as the 22nd-most in a single game in school history.
VIGIL NAMED COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second straight week, sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has garnered national recognition as he was named College Sports Madness' Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in USU's 31-19 road win at Colorado State. Last week, Vigil was named an honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) following Utah State's hard-fought 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Vigil had seven tackles (6-solo, 1-assist) to go along with a career-high three tackles for loss and a career-best two sacks against Colorado State this past weekend. Overall, Vigil ranks second on the team in tackles (29), is first in both tackles for loss (5.5) and sacks (3.0), is tied for second in quarterback hurries (2), and has one blocked kick, one forced fumble and one pass breakup on the season.
WILLIAMS' 205 RUSHING YARDS AGAINST COLORADO STATE AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had one of the best rushing days in school history in his last outing against Colorado State as his 205 rushing yards on 21 carries ranks tied for the 22nd-best single-game rushing performance in school history and the best since Robert Turbin rushed for 208 yards at Idaho in 2011.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 191-of-295 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 64.7 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) entered the 2011 season as the school record holder at 60.7 percent. Thus far in 2012, Keeton is completing 70.2 percent of his passes (85-121), which would also be a single-season school record bettering the mark set last year by Adam Kennedy (.691).
BENNETT TIED FOR FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN PUNTING
Senior Tyler Bennett has a career punt average of 43.5 yards on 82 punts (3,565) which ranks tied for first all-time in school history along with Jerry Arguello (1997-98).
Kerwynn Williams RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 227 all-purpose yards in his last game against Colorado State and now has 3,913 all-purpose yards in his career to rank fifth in school history. Williams is now 1,290 yards shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for fourth-place with 5,203 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), sixth in extra points made (65) and seventh in extra points attempted (66).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had a player rush for at least 100 yards 23 times in the last three-plus years under current head coach Gary Andersen. Prior to that, USU produced a 100-yard rusher 23 times in the previous eight seasons combined. Furthermore, USU has had a player rush for 200 or more yards twice in the past two seasons, but just once in the previous 10 seasons combined.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE NATION
As of Sept. 23, Utah State's defense ranks second in the WAC and 11th in the nation in total defense (274.8 ypg). USU also leads the WAC and ranks 18th in the nation in passing defense (171.0 ypg), ranks first in the WAC and 20th in the nation in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), is first in the WAC and 21st in the nation in pass efficiency defense (102.1), ranks second in the WAC and 21st in the nation in rushing defense, and is second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in sacks per game (2.8). USU also ranks first in the WAC in opponent's third-down conversions at 24.2 percent (16-66) and is second in the WAC in first downs allowed (15.25).
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 6-of-10 (.600) inside the 20 this season with just two touchdowns and four field goals, to go along with one missed field goal, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE WAC IN RUSHING OFFENSE
As of Sept. 23, Utah State ranks second in the WAC and 37th in the nation in rushing offense (204.5 ypg) and third in the WAC and 55th in the nation in total offense (424.2 ypg). USU also ranks fifth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in passing efficiency (143.90), fifth in the WAC and 72nd in the nation in passing offense (219.8 ypg), and sixth in the WAC and 76th in the nation in scoring offense (26.5 ppg). USU also ranks fourth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in sacks allowed per game (1.5).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Sept. 23, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks second in the WAC and tied for 27th in the nation in rushing (101.5 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 40th in the nation in all-purpose yards (130.2 ypg) and ninth in the WAC in total offense (101.5 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks fourth in the WAC and 41st in the nation in total offense (270.2 ypg), fifth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in passing efficiency (145.4), fifth in the WAC and 55th in the nation in passing (219.8 ypg), and seventh in the WAC in rushing (50.5 ypg). Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks ninth in the WAC and tied for 89th in the nation in scoring (7.5 ppg). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks seventh in the WAC in receiving (54.3 ypg) and 10th in receptions (3.75 pg). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 50th in the nation in punt returns (8.3 ypr). Junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright ranks seventh in the WAC and tied for 71st in the nation in kickoff returns (19.8 ypr). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks fourth in the WAC and 37th in the nation in punting (42.6 ypk). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks sixth in the WAC and tied for 88th in the nation in tackles (8.2 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for third in the WAC and tied for 46th in the nation in sacks (0.75 pg), tied for fourth in the WAC and tied for 47th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.38 pg), and tied for 10th in the WAC in tackles (7.2 pg). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for 23rd in the WAC in tackles (6.2 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranks tied for 23rd in the WAC in tackles (6.2 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks tied for 38th in the WAC in tackles (5.2 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for 38th in the WAC in tackles (5.2 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks 41st in the WAC in tackles (5.0 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker La'Bradford Harold ranks tied for eighth in the WAC in interceptions (0.25 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks tied for first in the WAC in passes defended (2.0 pg), and fellow senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks tied for sixth in the WAC in passes defended (1.0 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
Four games into the 2012 season, Utah State has had 11 players make their first career starts at the Division 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. At Wisconsin, sophomore defensive lineman Elvis Kamana-Matagi made his first career start. And at Colorado State, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb 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 73 combined starts between the three of them, including a combined 66 consecutive starts, as Larsen has made all of his 29 starts in a row, while Schultz has 23 straight starts and Molina-Sanchez had 14 consecutive starts in a row before missing the last three games. Overall, Molina-Sanchez has 21 total starts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
GAME FOUR (A) - Pewter Jersey, Pewter Pants, Blue Helmet
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
5. Idaho 17
6. Texas State 10
7. UTSA 7
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
Preseason Media Poll
1. Louisiana Tech (25) 193
2. UTAH STATE (3) 164
3. San Jose State 130
4. Idaho 102
5. New Mexico State 95
6. Texas State 57
7. UTSA 43
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.
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 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.
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).
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).
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)
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 UNLV
UNLV is 1-3 on the season following a 38-35 home win against Air Force last weekend. The Rebels began the year with home losses to Minnesota (30-27 3OT), Northern Arizona (17-14) and Washington State (35-27). Offensively, UNLV is led by redshirt freshman quarterback Nick Sherry who is 88-of-146 passing for 962 yards (240.5 ypg) with five touchdowns and five interceptions. Junior running back Tim Cornett leads the team in rushing with 471 yards on 87 carries (117.8 ypg), and sophomore wide receiver Marcus Sullivan has 19 catches for 308 yards (77.0 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker John Lotulelei leads the team with 36 tackles (16-solo, 20-assist), while redshirt freshman free safety Peni Vea has 28 tackles (9-solo, 19-assist). As a team, UNLV is averaging 26.5 points and 404.5 yards of total offense per game (240.5-passing, 164.0-rushing) and allowing 29.2 points and 417.2 yards of total offense per game (233.5-passing, 183.8-rushing). Overall, UNLV returns 15 starters (O-8, D-5, S-2) and 47 lettermen from last year's team that went 2-10 overall and finished in a tie for sixth-place in the Mountain West with a 1-6 mark. Bobby Hauck is 5-24 in his third year as the Rebels head coach and 85-41 in 10 years as a collegiate head coach.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS UNLV
Rushing Yards: Abu Wilson (1995), 251
Passing Yards: Gym Kimball (1984), 356
Receiving Yards: Kevin Alexander (1994), 157
BARTLETT ONLY AGGIE TO SEE ACTION AGAINST UNLV
Senior redshirt tight end Kellen Bartlett was a freshman in 2008 when Utah State last played UNLV and played in the game, but did not record any stats. Bartlett is the only current Aggie who was an active member of the 2008 Utah State team.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is 112-142-7 (.443) all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference with a 35-24-4 record against Wyoming; a 31-36-2 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 3-3 against the Mountain West Conference in his four 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; losing to Colorado State (35-34 2OT) and defeating Wyoming (63-19) in 2011; and winning at Colorado State (31-19) in 2012. Andersen also spent nine years (1999-2002, 2004-08) in the league as an assistant at Utah and was 8-1 against the Rebels.
LAST TIME UTAH STATE HOSTED UNLV
Utah State was defeated by visiting UNLV, 23-16, in the Aggies' home and season opener on Thursday, Aug. 30, 2007. Frank Summers' 11-yard run with 1:02 to play and Sergio Aguayo's extra point gave UNLV its first road win dating back to 2004. The Aggies jumped out to a 10-3 lead as senior running back Aaron Lesue scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard plunge with 13:08 left in the second quarter. After a 45-yard punt return by senior Kevin Robinson gave the Aggies the ball at the UNLV 21 with one second left, freshman kicker Peter Caldwell split the uprights from 38-yards out as time expired to send the Aggies into the locker room with a 10-3 lead. After a scoreless third quarter, UNLV quarterback Travis Dixon, a redshirt freshman making his Rebel debut, opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a 15-yard scamper to put UNLV ahead, 16-10. The Aggies countered with a one-yard touchdown dive by senior signal-caller Leon Jackson III, but Chris Ulinski's extra point was wide right, leaving the score tied at 16-all, setting up UNLV's game-winner. USU had 234 yards of total offense (137 passing, 97 rushing), while UNLV had 314 yards (173 rushing, 141 passing). Jackson started the game 6-of-7 passing and ended 13-of-19 for 137 yards. Dixon led UNLV with 129 rushing yards and 141 passing yards on 12-of-20 passing. Defensively, senior safety Antonio Taylor led USU in tackles with 10. Sophomore linebacker Paul Igboeli added eight stops, while junior linebacker Jake Hutton had six tackles, including a sack.
FROM THE RECORD BOOKS
Utah State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Matt Wells, who was a sophomore at the time, connected on an 85-yard pass to Kevin Alexander in Utah State's 23-21 home loss to UNLV in 1994, which still ranks as the eighth-longest play in school history. In Utah State's 31-21 road win at UNLV in 2004, linebacker Robert Watts had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown, which ranks as the second-longest interception return in school history.
DID YOU KNOW?
Former Utah State head football coach Tony Knap (1963-66) also spent six years as UNLV's head coach from 1976-81. In fact, Knap is the longest-tenured UNLV head coach in school history and has the most wins (47) and best winning percentage (.696) all-time at UNLV. During his time at USU, Knap recorded a 25-14-1 record (.638) and ranks second all-time in school history in winning percentage behind John Ralston (.733) and sixth all-time in wins (25).
LAST MEETING AGAINST UNLV - (UNLV 27, USU 17)
August 30, 2008 Las Vegas, Nev. Sam Boyd Stadium
UNLV's Omar Clayton threw for 192 yards (17-29-0) and a career-high three touchdown passes, and Frank Summers added 87 yards on the ground to lead the Rebels to a season-opening 27-17 win against Utah State on Aug. 30, 2008. The Aggies entered 2008 on a two-game winning streak as it ended the 2007 campaign with a pair of road wins at New Mexico State and at Idaho. Sophomore quarterback Diondre Borel highlighted Utah State's offense as he gained 70 yards rushing on 15 carries and added 80 yards passing (8-16-0) after entering the game early in the third quarter. Borel also threw his first career touchdown, completing a 6-yard pass to junior wide receiver Nnamdi Gwacham late in the fourth quarter to make the final margin 10 points. It was also Gwacham's first career touchdown. Senior quarterback Sean Setzer started the game by completing nine of his first 10 passes for 114 yards for Utah State and led the Aggies on a 12-play, 82-yard drive that spanned 6:21, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown run by Robert Turbin to tie the game at seven-all early in the second quarter. Utah State dominated the first quarter as it held the ball for 12:38 and outgained UNLV, 114-44, but trailed 7-0 as the Rebels turned an Aggie turnover into seven points on a 5-play, 47-yard drive midway through the opening quarter. Following the Aggies' first touchdown, UNLV scored 17 straight points over the next two periods to put the game away. UNLV finished the game with 353 yards of total offense (221 passing, 153 rushing) and Utah State recorded 314 total yards (203 passing, 130 rushing). The Aggies finished the game by possessing the ball for 30:46 and ran eight more offensive plays (70-62), but they also committed two turnovers in the contest that led to 10 Rebel points, which proved to be the difference in the game. UNLV finished the game with zero turnovers. Senior linebacker Jake Hutton had a team-high 12 tackles to lead a trio of Aggie defenders with double-digit stops.
HEAD COACH Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen was named Utah State's 26th head coach on Dec. 4, 2008, and since that day Andersen and his staff have worked non-stop to create a culture of accountability and responsibility that would translate into success both on and off the field. And in 2011, Aggie fans saw that plan pay dividends as USU produced a 7-6 record (5-2 Western Athletic Conference) and participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the school's first bowl game since 1997.
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.