Aggie Football Returns Home To Host In-State Rival BYU Friday Night on National TV
Sept. 30, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. BYU
BYU Game Notes vs. Utah State
BYU at UTAH STATE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME SIX INFORMATION
Date: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. (MT)
Location: Logan, Utah
Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field
at Romney Stadium (25,513)
Series: Utah State trails, 34-45-3
TV: CBS Sports Network
Andrew Catalon (Play-by-Play)
Aaron Taylor (Analyst)
Lauren Gardner (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
Utah State is in its 116th season of football and is 509-510-31 (.499) all-time. USU has nine 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 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. All-time, USU is 121-96 (.558) at Romney Stadium.
Utah State has won six-straight home games against in-state opponents as it defeated Weber State (70-6) in 2013; Southern Utah (34-3) and Utah (27-20 OT) in 2012; Weber State (54-17) in 2011; BYU (31-16) in 2010; and Southern Utah (53-34) in 2009. USU's last home loss against an in-state opponent was on Oct. 3, 2008 when it lost to BYU, 34-13.
Utah State is 9-1 in its last 10 non-conference home games, including six straight wins, dating back to the 2009 season as it has posted non-conference home wins against Weber State (70-6) in 2013; Southern Utah (34-3), Utah (27-20 OT) and UNLV (35-13) in 2012; Weber State (54-17) and Wyoming (63-19) in 2011; Idaho State (38-17) and BYU (31-16) in 2010; and Southern Utah (53-34) in 2009, while its only loss during that stretch was a 35-34 double overtime loss to Colorado State in 2011. During its last 10 non-conference home games, USU is out-scoring its opponents 43.9 to 18.6.
Utah State has won 19 of its last 24 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 24 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.
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton currently ranks second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, trailing Oregon State's Sean Mannion who leads the nation with 21 touchdowns.
Utah State has 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while BYU has 42 players on its roster from the state of Utah.
After playing four of its first five games of the season on the road, Utah State will conclude the 2013 campaign by playing five of its final seven games at home.
UTAH STATE HOSTS BYU IN FINAL NON-CONFERENCE GAME OF REGULAR SEASON FRIDAY NIGHT
The Last Meeting
October 5, 2012
Utah State (3-2, 2-0 MW) continues its 2013 season with its final non-conference game of the regular season as it hosts in-state rival BYU (2-2) on Friday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221) with Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (analyst) and Lauren Gardner (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 ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Utah State will be making its second of five appearances on the CBS Sports Network this weekend when it hosts in-state rival BYU. USU's first game on the CBS Sports Network was its first-ever Mountain West game as it posted a 52-20 win at Air Force. Other Aggie games scheduled to be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network includes home games against Boise State (Oct. 12), Hawai'i (Nov. 2) and Colorado State (Nov. 23).
UTAH STATE PLAYING FOUR GAMES IN A ROW AGAINST BOWL TEAMS FROM A YEAR AGO
Utah State is in game three of a four-game stretch where its playing 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 José 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 135 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (43), senior tackle Eric Schultz (37), senior guard Jamie Markosian (20), senior guard Kyle Whimpey (18) and junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (17). Texas has the most experienced offensive line with 149 career starts, followed by Tennessee (148), Duke (138) and Utah State (135).
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/safety for 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 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in Mountain West play following its 40-12 road win at San José State last weekend. USU 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 and a 17-14 loss at USC. Offensively, USU is led by junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 132-of-186 passing for 1,362 yards (272.4 ypg) with 17 touchdowns and one interception. Senior running back Joey DeMartino leads the team in rushing as he has carried the ball 47 times for 345 yards (69.0 ypg) with four touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has 21 catches for 306 yards with three touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 50 tackles (15-solo, 35-assist), including 2.5 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 46 tackles (18-solo, 28-assist) with 3.5 for loss, and senior safety Maurice Alexander has 32 tackles (19-solo, 13-assist) with 3.5 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 40.4 points and 491.2 yards of total offense (288.0-passing, 203.2-rushing) and allowing 17.0 points and 315.4 yards of total offense (188.8-passing, 126.6-rushing).
UTAH STATE WINS 13 STRAIGHT CONFERENCE GAME, INCLUDING EIGHTH STRAIGHT ON THE ROAD
With its 40-12 road win at San José State in its last game, Utah State has now won 13 straight conference games dating back to the 2011 season, extending its own 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. USU has also won nine straight conference road games dating back to the 2011 season, extending its own school record, bettering the six straight Big West road wins from 1995-97. Overall, USU is 9-4 in its last 13 road games dating back to the 2011 season including a 2-2 record this year.
UTAH STATE HASN'T LOST BACK-TO-BACK GAMES SINCE 2011
With its 40-12 win at San José State, Utah State extended its current streak of going 24 straight games without consecutive losses. In fact, following its last four losses Utah State is averaging 43.0 points and 505.5 yards of total offense (269.5-passing, 236.0-rushing).
UTAH STATE HAS 500 YARDS OF TOTAL OFFENSE AGAINST SAN JOSÉ STATE
Utah State produced 520 yards of total offense (267-passing, 253-rushing) in its last game at San José State, marking the third time this year and eighth time in its last 11 games dating back to last season that USU has produced at least 500 yards of total offense.
UTAH STATE RUSHES FOR OVER 200 YARDS AGAIN
With its 253 rushing yards in its last game against San José State, Utah State has now rushed for at least 200 yards in six of its last nine games. USU has also passed for at least 300 yards in six of its last 10 games dating back to the 2012 season.
UTAH STATE IMPROVES TO 15-3 DURING LAST 18 GAMES WHEN LEADING AT THE HALF
Utah State has led at the half in 18 of its last 20 games and improved to 15-3 in its last 18 games when leading at the half following its 40-12 road win at San José State last weekend. USU led SJSU 23-6 at the half.
UTAH STATE HASN'T ALLOWED A FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN IN 19 OF ITS LAST 21 GAMES
Utah State held San José State without a first half touchdown in its last game, marking the 19th time in its last 21 games overall that USU has not allowed a first quarter touchdown The only two teams to score first quarter touchdowns against USU dating back to the 2011 season was Utah and USC this year. Furthermore, USU has now held two opponents this year (Weber State, San José State) and 12 opponents over the last two years with a first-half touchdown.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE PLAYING WELL DURING ITS LAST FOUR GAMES
Utah State's defense continued to play well in its last game at San José State, limiting the Spartans to a season-low 12 points as USU has now held its last four opponents to 20 or fewer points. During its last four games, USU is limiting its opponents to just 13.8 points and 281.8 yards of total offense (121.2-rushing, 160.5-passing). USU has also allowed just 68 first downs in the last four games (17.0 pg) and has limited its last four opponents to just 18-of-64 (.281) on third downs and just three touchdowns in 10 red zone opportunities (.333).
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 120-47 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'S 93 OFFENSIVE PLAYS AT SAN JOSÉ STATE RANK SECOND IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State ran 93 offensive plays at San José State to rank as the second-most in a single-game in school history trailing the 99 plays it ran in a 21-17 loss at Arkansas State in 1995.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has scored a touchdown on its initial drive of the game three times this year and 10 times during its last two seasons. USU also has 12 touchdown drives of less than two minutes this year.
DIAZ KICKS CAREER-HIGH FOUR FIELD GOALS AGAINST SAN JOSÉ STATE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz was a perfect 4-of-4 on field goals in his last game against San José State, setting career-highs for both field goals attempted and made in a single game. Against SJSU, Diaz made field goals from 24, 45, 24 and 21 yards as the 45-yard field goal is a season-long. Diaz is now 7-of-8 in field goal attempts this year and 15-of-19 during his carer, including 7-of-8 all-time from 20-to-29 yards and 5-of-6 all-time from 40-to-49 yards. Overall, Diaz's four made field goals are the most by an Aggie since the 1999 season when Brad Bohn made a school record five field goals against BYU. Furthermore, the 16 total points accounted for by Diaz are the second-most in a single-game in Mountain West history, trailing BYU's Owen Pochman who accounted for 17 points against UNLV on Oct. 23, 1999.
KEETON THROWS THREE TOUCHDOWN PASSES AND RUSHES FOR ANOTHER AGAINST SPARTANS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another in Utah State's 40-12 Mountain West road win at San José State in his last game, marking the third time in his career that he has thrown at least three touchdown passes and ran for another in the same game, also doing so against San Jose State and Texas State during the 2012 season.
THREE AGGIES RECORD INTERCEPTIONS IN SAN JOSÉ STATE GAME
Utah State senior safety Maurice Alexander, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson and junior cornerback Jeremy Morris all intercepted passes in Utah State's 40-12 Mountain West road win at San José State last weekend. For Alexander and Morris, it was their first career interceptions, while Lawson now has three interceptions in his USU career, including two at San José State. Overall, Utah State entered its game with San José State with no interceptions on the season and the last time USU had three picks in a game was against Idaho on Nov. 24, 2012.
DEMARTINO RECORDS SECOND CAREER 100-YARD RUSHING GAME IN SAN JOSÉ STATE GAME
Senior running back Joey DeMartino recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game in his last outing at San José State as he carried the ball 17 times for 120 yards (7.1 ypc), both of which are career-highs. During his last four games, DeMartino has carried the ball 44 times for 341 yards (7.8 ypc/85.3 ypg) with four rushing touchdowns. 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 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.
REYNOLDS RECORDS CAREER-HIGHS IN SAN JOSÉ STATE GAME
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds recorded career-highs with eight receptions for 77 yards (9.6 ypr) in his last game at San José State and now has 19 catches for 277 yards (69.2 ypg) with three touchdowns in his last four games. Against USC, Reynolds had five receptions 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 had caught a touchdown. Against Weber State, Reynolds had 71 receiving yards on two catches (35.5 ypc). And against Air Force, he had four catches for 59 yards with one touchdown.
TIALAVEA TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH THREE RECEPTIONS IN SAN JOSÉ STATE GAME
Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea tied his career-high with three receptions in his last game at San José State for 12 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown. Against USC, he had three receptions for 10 yards, and against Weber State he had three receptions for 18 yards, including two touchdowns for his first-ever multi-touchdown game. During his last four games, Tialavea has caught 10 passes for 46 yards (11.5 ypg) with three touchdowns.
SWINDALL HAS CAREER GAME AT SAN JOSÉ STATE
Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall tied his career-high with five receptions for a career-best 79 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown in his last game at San José State. Swindall, who also had a career-long reception of 32 yards against the Spartans, leads the team with four touchdown receptions on the season.
FACKRELL TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 11 TACKLES AT SAN JOSÉ STATE
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell tied his career-high with 11 tackles (5-solo, 6-assist), including 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks at San José State. Overall, Fackrell now has 4.0 sacks this year and 7.0 in his career, to go along with his fifth career double-digit tackle outing.
VIGIL RECORDS DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
Junior linebacker Zach Vigil recorded 11 tackles (3-solo, 8-assist) at San José State, marking the second time in as many games he has recorded double-digit stops. Overall, Vigil now has three double-digit tackle games this year and eight in his career. Vigil also has fumble recoveries in each of his last two games.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton attempted a career-high 42 passes... Junior tight end Keegan Andersen caught his third touchdown pass of the season and his career... Junior wide receiver Lars Gunderson caught his first pass of the season and second of his career... Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright recorded a career-long kickoff return of 54 yards... Junior cornerback Rashard Stewart tied his career-high with three tackles... Junior punter Jaron Bentrude had three punts downed inside the 20-yardline giving him six punts downed inside the 20 this year.
FACKRELL NAMED COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been named the College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week following Utah State's 40-12 road win at San José State. Fackrell tied his career-high with 11 tackles (5-solo, 6-assist) against the Spartans, to go along with 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks. Fackrell also tackled SJSU quarterback David Fales behind the line of scrimmage to stop a two-point conversion attempt.
DIAZ NAMED COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NATIONAL SPECIALIST OF THE WEEK
Utah State junior placekick Nick Diaz was named the College Football Performance Awards National Specialist of the Week, along with being one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week following Utah State's 40-12 Mountain West win at San José State. Diaz was a perfect 4-of-4 on field goals, setting career-highs for both field goals attempted and made in a single game. Against SJSU, Diaz made field goals from 24, 45, 24 and 21 yards as he 45-yard field goal is a season-long. Overall, Diaz's four made field goals are the most by an Aggie since the 1999 season when Brad Bohn made a school record five field goals against BYU. Furthermore, the 16 total points accounted for by Diaz are the second-most in a single-game in Mountain West history.
UTAH STATE WEEKLY PLAYER HONORS
Sept. 7 (W, 52-20 at Air Force)
Chuckie Keeton - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week; Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award Honorable Mention Honors; one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week.
Zach Vigil - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Sept. 14 (W, 70-6 vs. Weber State)
Joey DeMartino - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Running Back of the Week.
Chuckie Keeton - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week.
D.J. Tialavea - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Tight End of the Week.
Sept. 21 (L, 14-17 at USC)
Kyler Fackrell - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week.
Sept. 27 (W, 40-12 at San José State)
Nick Diaz - College Football Performance Awards National Specialist of the Week; one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week.
Kyler Fackrell - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH JUNIOR QUARTERBACK Chuckie Keeton
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game 18 times in his career, three touchdown passes in a game eight 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 14 times in his career. Furthermore, Keeton has thrown for at least 300 yards five times in his last 10 games dating back to last season, and seven times in his career.
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.
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.
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.
AGGIES IN THE NFL
Eight former Utah State football players are currently on NFL rosters 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).
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior free safety Maurice Alexander is averaging 6.4 tackles per game and junior strong safety Brian Suite is averaging 5.0 tackles per game and the duo ranks first and second, respectively, for tackles among safeties in the Mountain West.
UTAH STATE RANKS 24TH IN THE NATION IN SCORING OFFENSE
Utah State is averaging 40.4 points per game to rank third in the Mountain West and 24th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency (164.2), third in the MW and 24th in the nation in total offense (491.2 ypg), fourth in the MW and 28th in the nation in passing offense (288.0 ypg), fourth in the MW and 44th in the nation in rushing offense (203.2 ypg), and tied for eighth in the MW and 68th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.8 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 22ND IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 315.4 yards of total offense to rank first in the Mountain West and 22nd in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and tied for 23rd in the nation in scoring defense (17.0 ppg), second in the MW and 27th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (109.8), second in the MW and 38th in the nation in rushing defense (126.6 ypg), third in the MW and 32nd in the nation in passing defense (188.8 ypg), and eighth in the MW and 92nd in the nation in sacks (1.4 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 21ST IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURNS
Utah State currently ranks second in the Mountain West and 21st in the nation averaging 25.4 yards per kick return. USU also ranks second in the MW and tied for 22nd in the nation in turnover margin (+1.0), fourth in the MW and 66th in the nation in punt returns (8.1 ypr), and ninth in the MW and 75th in the nation in net punting (36.2 ypk).
UTAH STATE RANKS AMONG TOP FIVE NATIONALLY IN KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks among the top five teams in the nation in both kickoff return and punt return defense as it is allowing 0.0 yards per punt return to rank third in the Mountain West and fourth in the nation, and just 16.5 yards per kickoff return to rank first in the MW and fifth nationally.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE NATION IN FIRST DOWNS
Utah State is averaging 26.4 first downs per game thus far this year to rank third in the Mountain West and fourth in the nation. In 2012, USU averaged 20.9 first downs per game.
UTAH STATE RANKS 15TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 41-of-79 third downs (.519) to rank second in the Mountain West and 15th in the nation. In 2012, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE RANKS 12TH IN THE NATION IN FORCING THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State ranks 12th in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it has forced 31 three-and-outs on 66 drives, which averages out to 46.9 percent of the time and 6.2 per game.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 28TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 25 first downs on 81 third-down attempts (.309) to rank first in the Mountain West and 28th in the nation. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS 24TH IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 25-for-27 (.926) on red zone opportunities to rank tied for fourth in the Mountain West and 24th 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. Against USC, USU scored two touchdowns in three red zone opportunities. And against San José State, USU scored four touchdowns and converted three field goals in seven red zone opportunities.
KEETON RANKS SECOND IN THE NATION IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the nation with 17 touchdowns passes, trailing Oregon State's Sean Mannion who leads the nation with 21 touchdowns. Keeton also ranks first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the MW and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the Mountain West and tied for 21st in the nation in tackles (10.0 pg). Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 21st in the nation in fumbles forced (0.4 pg), fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in sacks (0.8 pg), eighth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.20 pg), and 46th in the MW in tackles (5.6 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 41st in the nation in fumbles forced (0.4 pg), fourth in the MW and tied for 35th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.4 pg), and fifth in the MW and 42nd in the nation in tackles (9.2 pg). Senior running back Joey DeMartino ranks seventh in the MW and 51st in the nation in rushing touchdowns (0.8 pg), and eighth in the MW and 84th in the nation in rushing (69.0 ypg). Senior safety Maurice Alexander ranks 31st in the MW in tackles (6.4 pg). Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson ranks third in the MW and tied for 42nd in the nation in punt returns (9.1 ypr). Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall ranks fourth in the MW and 15th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.8 pg). Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds, senior tight end D.J. Tialavea and junior tight end Keegan Andersen all rank tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 47th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.6 pg). Junior placekicker Nick Diaz ranks fourth in the MW and tied for 31st in the nation in field goals (1.4 pg), fourth in the MW and 34th in the nation in field goal percentage (87.5), fifth in the MW and 53rd in the nation in scoring (8.8 ppg), and sixth in the MW in extra point percentage (95.8). And junior punter Jaron Bentrude ranks 10th in the MW and 86th in the nation in punting (37.9 ypk).
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 513-of-767 passing during his Utah State career with a completion percentage of 66.9 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) ranks second all-time at 60.7 percent.
KEETON RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second all-time in school history with 55 touchdown passes and is now just five 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 7,071 yards of total offense (5,935-passing, 1,136-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 1,025 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 513 career completions and is now four 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 5,935 yards to rank sixth all-time in school history and is now 138 yards shy of tying Eric Hipple (1976-79) for fifth-place with 6,073 passing yards, 170 yards shy of tying Brent Snyder (1987-88) for fourth-place with 6,105 passing yards, and 291 yards shy of tying Tony Adams (1970-72) for third-place with 6,226 passing yards. The school record for passing yards is 9,168 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS SEVENTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING ATTEMPTS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has attempted 767 passes during his career to rank seventh all-time in school history and is now 62 pass attempts shy of tying Anthony Calvillo (1992-93) for sixth-place with 829 career pass attempts. The school record for pass attempts is 1,270 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS 22ND ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has rushed for 1,136 yards (249 carries, 4.6 ypc) during his Aggie career to rank 22nd all-time in school history. Keeton is now 12 yards shy of tying Jerry Hughes (1971-72) for 21st-place with 1,144 yards, and 57 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.
KEETON AMONG ACTIVE FBS LEADERS IN SEVERAL CATEGORIES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks among the top active Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks in several career categories as he ranks fourth in career completion percentage (.669), 10th in touchdowns responsible for (69), 12th in passing efficiency (152.4), and is one of 18 FBS quarterbacks to throw for at least 5,000 yards and rush for at least 1,000 yards.
KEETON ALREADY AMONG SINGLE-SEASON LEADERS FIVE GAMES INTO 2013 CAMPAIGN
Five games into the 2013 season, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has already thrown 17 touchdown passes to rank tied for 10th all-time at USU, while his completion percentage of 71.0 percent ranks first all-time. 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 63-of-64 on extra points during his Aggie career and his career PAT percentage of .984 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 7-of-8 (.875) 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 15-of-19 (.789) on field goals, while Moody holds the career record at 84.6 percent as he was 22-of-26 on field goal attempts during his career.
A LOOK AT BYU
BYU is 2-2 on the season following its 37-10 home win against Middle Tennessee last weekend. The Cougars began the year with a 19-16 loss at Virginia, followed by a 40-21 home win against Texas and a 20-13 home loss to Utah. Offensively, BYU is led by sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill who is 54-of-133 passing for 741 yards (185.2 ypg) with one touchdown and four interceptions. Hill also leads the team in rushing with 565 yards on 66 carries (141.2 ypg) with six touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Cody Hoffman has 10 catches for 171 yards (85.5 ypg). Defensively, senior linebacker Kyle Van Noy leads the team with 29 tackles (16-solo, 13-assist) and 6.0 tackles for loss, while fellow senior linebacker Uani `Unga has 28 tackles (10-solo, 18-assist) with 2.5 tackles for loss. As a team, BYU is averaging 26.5 points and 492.5 yards of total offense per game (307.2-rushing, 185.2-passing) and allowing 17.5 points and 320.5 yards of total offense per game (201.2-passing, 119.2-rushing). Overall, BYU returns 15 starters (O-8, D-6, S-1) and 45 lettermen from last year's team that went 8-5 and defeated San Diego State, 23-6, in the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Bronco Mendenhall is 76-31 in his ninth year as the Cougars head coach.
AGGIES AND COUGARS
Utah State trails in the all-time series against BYU, 34-45-3, but holds an 18-15-2 all-time advantage in Logan. The first game played in the series was on Oct. 7, 1922 in Provo with USU winning, 42-3. BYU won the last game played in the series, 6-3, on Oct. 5, 2012 in Provo, while USU won the last game played between the two teams in Logan, 31-16, on Oct. 1, 2010.
ALL-TIME VERSUS BYU
Utah State's 34 wins against BYU are the second-most in school history behind USU's 35 wins against Wyoming. The USU-BYU series is the second-most played in school history as this weekend's 83rd meeting trails only USU's 111 games played against Utah. USU and BYU began their series in 1922 and have played every year except 1943, 1944, 1945, 1995, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.
BATTLE FOR THE OLD WAGON WHEEL
Utah State and BYU will be playing for possession of `The Old Wagon Wheel', the traveling trophy between the two schools, this Friday night. The Old Wagon Wheel became part of the rivalry in 1948. Since its inception, BYU holds a 37-22 advantage in the series and currently holds possession of the traveling trophy after its 6-3 win last year in Provo. USU claimed the trophy in 2010 after defeating the Cougars in Logan, 31-16.
UTAH STATE-BYU SERIES IN THE FUTURE
Utah State and BYU will play the first game of a four-game contract this weekend in Logan. USU is also scheduled to host BYU on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 and play in Provo on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014 and on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS BYU
Rushing Yards: Roy Shivers (1965), 180
Passing Yards: Anthony Cavillo (1993), 472
Receiving Yards: Aaron Jones (1999), 195
UTAH STATE AND BYU TO PLAY UNDER FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS AGAIN
For the sixth-straight year, Utah State and BYU will be playing one another on Friday night under the lights and for the 16th time in its last 20 meetings dating back to 1987.
UTAH STATE VERSUS FBS INDEPENDENTS
Utah State is 35-45-3 all-time against current Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) Independents with a 34-45-3 record against BYU and a 1-0 record against Army.
Matt Wells VERSUS BYU
Matt Wells will be facing BYU for the first time as a head coach, but has faced the Cougars six times as an assistant including the past two years while at Utah State, as well as three times as an assistant at New Mexico and once as an assistant at Tulsa.
UTAH STATE-BYU CONNECTIONS
Utah State assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mark Weber spent six seasons (2007-12) as BYU's offensive line coach, helping the Cougars to six bowl games and a conference championship in 2007. USU offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kevin McGiven spent three years at BYU (2002-04) as an offensive graduate assistant. USU offensive administrative assistant Naufahu Tahi played running back at BYU from 1999, 2003-05. BYU's stadium namesake LaVell Edwards, is a 1952 Utah State alum, and was a three-year letterman for the Aggies from 1949-51, collecting unanimous all-Skyline Six Conference honors in 1950 at linebacker. Edwards was inducted into USU Athletics' Hall of Fame in 2011. Utah State University President Stan Albrecht worked at BYU for 18 years (1974-92), including three years as Academic Vice President and Associate Provost. BYU inside linebacker coach Paul Tidwell's hometown is Logan and he played fullback at USU from 1974-76. BYU defensive graduate assistant Jason Walker played defensive back at USU in 2004. And BYU outside linebackers coach Kelly Poppinga was a USU linebacker from 2003-04.
UTAH STATE IN OCTOBER
Utah State has won each of its last three games played during the month of October and is 4-8 all-time in games played on Oct. 4.
DID YOU KNOW?
Freshman offensive lineman Tyshon Mosley (Sandy, Utah) turns 19 years old on Friday, Oct. 4, the same day USU hosts BYU.
CURRENT AGGIES VERSUS BYU
The following is a look at what current Utah State players have done against BYU. Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 35-of-63 (.556) passing for 324 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and has rushed for 43 yards on 16 carries (2.7 ypc) in two games. Senior running back Joey DeMartino has five carries for 16 yards and one reception for 10 yards in two games. Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has two receptions for 22 yards and one carry for six yards in two games. Senior running back Robert Marshall has two receptions for 11 yards and one carry for two yards in two games. Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright has two receptions for 10 yards in one game. Senior cornerback Nevin Lawson has 12 tackles in three games. Junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 11 tackles in two games. Senior linebacker Jake Doughty has eight tackles in two games. Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell had 10 tackles and one interception in 2012. Junior safety Brian Suite had nine tackles and a pass breakup in 2012. Senior defensive end Connor Williams has seven tackles in two games. Senior safety Maurice Alexander had eight tackles in 2011. Junior linebacker Tavaris McMillian has six tackles in two games. Senior cornerback Quinton Byrd has four tackles in two games. Senior safety Cameron Sanders has five tackles and two pass breakups in two games. Senior defensive end Paul Piukala blocked a 34-yard field goal in 2012. Senior placekicker Josh Thompson is 2-of-3 on field goals in two games, making from 21 and 26 yards, and missing form 38 yards. Sophomore placekicker Braeden Loveless is 1-of-2 on field goals, making from 34 yards and missing from 42 yards.
UTAH STATE PLAYING THREE IN-STATE FOES DURING 2013 SEASON
Utah State's 2013 schedule marks the third time in five years that it will face three in-state foes (Aug. 29 at Utah; Sept. 14 vs. Weber State; Oct. 4 vs. BYU) also doing so in 2009 and 2012. Prior to 2009, USU hadn't played three in-state teams in the same season since 2001. USU will also face a pair of Pac-12 opponents (Aug. 29 at Utah; Sept. 21 at USC) in 2013 for the first time since 1998.
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.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
There are nine Division I schools that are located in cities with an elevation of at least 4,000 feet about sea level and Utah State ranks sixth on the list with an elevation of 4,710 feet. USU is the fifth-highest Mountain West Conference school. This season the Aggies will play at three other locations on the list (Air Force, New Mexico and Utah), giving USU nine games this season at 4,000 feet above sea level.
School Location Elevation
1. Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. 7,220
2. Air Force Colorado Springs, Colo. 6,620
3. Colorado Boulder, Colo. 5,360
4. Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. 5,190
5. New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 5,100
6. UTAH STATE LOGAN, UTAH 4,710
7. BYU Provo, Utah 4,630
8. Nevada Reno, Nev. 4,610
9. Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 4,357
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.
LAST MEETING VS. BYU
PROVO, Utah - Utah State lost to Brigham Young, 6-3, on Oct. 5, 2012 in a nationally televised game on ESPN. The nine combined points between the Aggies (4-2) and Cougars (4-2) was the fewest in the series since a 0-0 tie in 1946.
Utah State was held to 243 yards of total offense, over half of its season average coming into the game. The Aggies had 202 yards passing as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 22-of-38. USU had a season-low 41 rushing yards, its fewest since rushing for just 27 yards at home against Utah in 2008. Keeton had 23 yards on 10 carries, while senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 18 yards on 14 carries.
Senior wide receiver Matt Austin led the team with a career-high seven catches for 72 yards, while Williams added five catches for 39 yards.
Senior safety McKade Brady led the Aggie defense with 14 tackles, while the linebacker duo of sophomore Zach Vigil and redshirt freshman Kyler Fackrell followed with 10 each. Fackrell also snared his first career interception, while Vigil's 10 tackles tied his career-high.
Senior Tyler Bennett punted seven times for a 42.4 yards per punt average with four inside the 20.
BYU was led by freshman quarterback Taysom Hill who had 235 passing yards, completing 24-of-36 passes. Hill also had 19 rushes for a total of 80 yards. Junior wide receiver Cody Hoffman led the BYU receiving corps with eight catches for a total of 114 yards.
The Cougar defense was led by Brandon Ogletree with seven stops, while Preston Hadley and Spencer Hadley had six tackles each.
The Aggies opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal from junior placekicker Josh Thompson with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 49-yard drive. It was USU's second-longest scoring drive of the season in terms of plays behind its 19-play scoring drive in the Colorado State game. The first quarter ended with the 3-0 score, as the Aggies have now out-scored their opponents in the first quarter, 54-0.
The score would remain 3-0 until three seconds were left in the half when BYU scored on a 3-yard pass from Hill to JD Falslev, but Riley Stephenson's PAT attempt was wide left, leaving the score 6-3 in BYU's favor heading into halftime.
On USU's first possession of the second half, the Aggies fumbled and BYU recovered at the USU 9, but the Aggie defense forced a Cougars' field goal attempt. BYU tried a fake field goal but the USU defense sniffed it out, as the Aggies chased BYU holder Falslev and he fell down for a 16-yard loss back to the 23-yardline.
The teams traded punts back-and-forth until early in the fourth quarter when Fackrell snared his first career interception, batting the ball out of the air and then snaring it, to give the Aggies the ball at their own 48. USU's offense took over with 10:21 to go and drove down to the BYU 20, but Thompson's 38-yard field goal attempt floated wide left, leaving the score still at 6-3.
USU's defense forced BYU to punt and got the ball back with 5:06 to go, but were 94 yards from the end zone. The Aggies got out to the 30, but the drive stalled and they had to punt it back to the Cougars with just over two minutes to play and USU with two timeouts.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the BYU 28, the Cougars picked up the first down with 1:44 left, and ran out the clock for the win.
LAST MEETING VS. BYU IN LOGAN
LOGAN, Utah - A swarming, stout defense and two Derrvin Speight touchdowns paved the way for Utah State's 31-16 caging of the Cougars from BYU on Oct. 1, 2010.
A national television audience saw Utah State beat BYU on Merlin Olsen Field at a packed Romney Stadium for the Aggies' first win against the Cougars since 1993, snapping a 10-game losing skid and recording its largest win in the series since a 24-7 win in 1978.
Speight rushed for a career-high two touchdowns on a career-best 22 carries for 91 yards, part of Utah State's 59 rushes, the most in school history since at least 1990.
The Aggie defense snared two interceptions, matched by two sacks, and held BYU to just 65 rushing yards. USU contained BYU, which had scored at least 30 pts in its last 21 games in the series, and the 16 points allowed were BYU's fewest since USU's 24-7 win in 1978.
Utah State had 243 yards of offense in the first half and 191 in the second for a 434 total, opening a 31-3 lead mid-way through the third quarter. USU's defense limited BYU quarterback Jake Heaps to 27-of-55 passing for 270 yards with two interceptions.
Senior quarterback Diondre Borel started the scoring with a 79-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Xavier Martin at the 6:57 mark of the first quarter. Borel ended the night 10-of-13 passing for 192 yards, the fewest pass attempts for USU since 1991 when Ron Lopez was 9-of-13 at New Mexico State. Borel added 68 yards on the ground, while sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams had a career-best 15 carries for 51 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Dontel Watkins had three catches for 28 yards.
Junior linebacker Bobby Wagner led Utah State with 11 tackles, junior linebacker Kyle Gallagher added 10 stops, and junior safety Walter McClenton notched eight tackles. The senior duo of cornerback Chris Randle and safety Rajric Coleman each snared an interception, as Coleman added two pass break-ups, matched by redshirt-freshman cornerback Cameron Sanders, while senior cornerback Curtis Marsh posted a game-high three pass break-ups. Junior defensive end Levi Koskan and senior defensive end Devin Johnson each had a sack.
Utah State took a 10-0 lead on freshman placekicker Braeden Loveless' first career field goal, a 34-yarder with 27 seconds left in the first quarter. Borel scampered to payturf from 1-yard out for a 17-0 lead at the 6:54 mark of the second quarter.
BYU got on the board with a 23-yard Mitch Payne field goal with 3:28 left in the half, but Speight scored his first touchdown of the night with 49 seconds on the first half clock and the PAT by Loveless sent USU into halftime with a 24-3 lead.
Speight scored again from a yard out with 6:32 left in the third stanza, capping a 12-play, 69-yard Aggie drive to open a 31-3 advantage.
BYU added a 1-yard scoring run by Bryan Kariya for the Cougars' first touchdown of the night with 3:44 to go in the third. Di Luigi scored from 3-yards out with 31 seconds left, but the Aggies blocked Payne's extra point attempt for the final margin.
BYU attempted the onside kick twice, going offsides the first time before the ball went out-of-bounds on the second, and USU took one knee to spark the celebration and field-storming.
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.
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).
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.
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 SAN JOSE STATE GAME
SAN JOSÉ, Calif. - Behind 520 yards of total offense and four total touchdowns from junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton, Utah State (3-2, 2-0 MW) speared the Spartans (1-3, 0-1 MW) of San José State, 40-12, on Sept. 27, 2013 in a nationally-televised game on ESPN.
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz booted a career-high four field goals, including a season-long 45-yarder, marking the first time a USU kicker had four field goals in a game since 1999.
The win was USU's fifth-straight in the series and the longest in series history, while its 28-point margin of victory was also its largest in series history.
Utah State's 520 yards came on 260 through the air as Keeton was 29-of-42 passing with three touchdowns. Keeton also rushed for 52 yards on 12 carries with another score, as part of the Aggies' 253 yards on the ground.
Senior running back Joey DeMartino rushed 17 times for 120 yards, both career-highs, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds also posted a pair of career-bests with eight catches for 77 yards. Sophomore wide receivers Brandon Swindall and Bruce Natson both added five receptions apiece with Swindall finishing with a team-high and career-best 79 yards in tying his career-high for catches. Natson ended with 34 yards.
The Aggie defense was led by the linebacker duo of junior Zach Vigil and sophomore Kyler Fackrell with 11 tackles apiece. Fackrell, who tied his career-high with 11 stops, also registered his fourth sack of the season and seventh of his career. It was Vigil's third double-digit tackle outing of the season and eighth of his career. Vigil also recovered his second fumble of the year and his career.
Utah State's defense entered the game without any interceptions, but left the game with three, as senior safety Maurice Alexander, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson and junior cornerback Jeremy Morris all snared oskies. It was Lawson's third interception of his career and his second at Spartan Stadium. Alexander and Morris posted their first interceptions of their career.
San José State was led by David Fales who was 25-of-48 passing for 314 yards, but threw three interceptions and was sacked once. Chandler Jones snared seven passes for 115 yards for the Spartans, while Jason Simpson rushed for 48 yards on 15 carries with one score.
Utah State took the opening kickoff and Keeton guided the charge down the field, resulting in a 3-yard pass to senior tight end D.J. Tialavea for a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game.
On SJSU's ensuing possession, the Spartans marched down the field in a 15-play drive resulting in a 31-yard field goal with 8:01 left in the quarter to pull within, 7-3.
The Aggies opened up a 14-3 lead later in the quarter after a 5-yard pass from Keeton to junior tight end Keegan Andersen. USU's lead grew to 20-3 after a 24 and 45-yard field goal by Diaz.
After a 26-yard field goal by San José State with 5:48 to go in the half, Diaz set a new career-high with his third field goal from 24 yards for a 23-6 USU halftime lead.
The Aggies stretched their lead to 30-6 midway through the third quarter with a 17-yard strike to Swindall. SJSU countered with a 1-yard rush by Simpson, but the Aggies snuffed out the two-point conversion, leaving the score 30-12 with 3:02 left in the third.
Keeton later darted in from 9-yards out to give USU a 37-12 lead with 15 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Diaz capped the game's scoring with his fourth field goal of the night, this one from 21 yards out with 5:23 on the clock and the Aggies cruised to the win.