Football Team Looks Ahead to Brigham Young
Oct. 1, 2000
Oct. 1, 2000
Game #5 vs. Brigham Young Fri., Oct. 6, 7:05 p.m. (MST) Cougar Stadium (65,000) Provo, Utah Radio: KVNU (610 AM), Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), SLC Internet: www.UtahStateAggies.com TV: Sports West USU Tickets: 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305
USU SID: Mike Strauss (435) 797-1361 BYU SID: Jeff Reynolds (801) 378-4909
* * * * *
2000 Utah State (1-3, 0-0) Sept. 2 at Texas Tech L 16-38 Sept. 9 SO. UTAH W 30-14 Sept. 23 at Ariz. State L 20-44 Sept. 30 UTAH L 14-35 Oct. 6 (Fri) at BYU 7:05 Oct. 14 at North Texas* 1:35 Oct. 21 IDAHO* 3:05 Oct. 28 ARKANSAS ST.* 3:05 Nov. 4 at N.M. State* 6:00 Nov. 11 at Boise State* 1:05 Nov. 18 IDAHO STATE 3:05 (All times are Mountain)
2000 BYU (2-4, 1-1) Aug. 26 at Florida State L 3-29 Sept. 2 at Virginia W 38-35 ot Sept. 9 at Air Force L 23-31 Sept. 14 MISS. STATE L 28-44 Sept. 23 UNLV W 10-7 Sept. 30 at Syracuse L 14-42 Oct. 6 UTAH STATE Oct. 21 S.D. STATE Oct. 26 WYOMING Nov. 2 at Colorado State Nov. 18 NEW MEXICO Nov. 25 at Utah
QUICKLY -- Utah State (1-2) has a short week as the Aggies visit Brigham Young (2-4) on Friday, 7:05 p.m... Utah State has lost four straight non-Saturday games since winning the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl on a Friday... USU is 0-2 on the road this year, after closing the 1999 season with road wins at Nevada and North Texas... For just the seventh time in its last 28 games USU will be playing a school with a losing record at game time... After playing Utah last week, Utah State is meeting Utah and BYU in consecutive games for the second straight year, but just the second time since 1985... USU is 1-1 against instate opponents this year having beaten Southern Utah and lost to Utah... USU is playing three instate schools for the first time since 1982... USU will be looking to avoid its first three-game losing streak since dropping four straight last year, while Aggie head coach Mick Dennehy has lost three straight games just once in his career (lost first four games of his career at Western Montana in 1988 (this is only the fifth time in his career since then that he has lost back-to-back games).
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on the Aggie Radio Network with Al "My real first name is LeVal" Lewis handling the play-by-play chores and Chris "My real name is Jeff Reynolds" Tunis providing analysis. The games are carried on KVNU (610 AM) and KVFX (94.5 FM) in Logan and KWLW (700 AM) in Salt Lake City as well as on USU's web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com. The BYU game will be televised in the state by Sports West with Tom Kirkland and Blaine Fowler calling the action.
MEDIA SERVICES -- All Utah State player and coach interview requests should be made through the Athletic Media Relations Office by calling Mike Strauss at (435) 797-1361. Interviews should be completed by Wednesday each week. Information about Utah State football can be obtained in several ways, including the internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com), Fax-on-Demand, e-mail, fax, or simply by calling us. Information will be updated as quickly as possible on all of the systems each week. See the left column on page two for information on USU's weekly press conferences.
LAST TIME OUT -- Emmett White produced 43 yards rushing and 80 yards receiving and Aaron Jones had six catches for 103 yards, but Utah State fell 35-14 to Utah on Saturday. The Utes overpowered the Aggies by rushing 59 times for 278 yards and five touchdowns. In all Utah produced 464 yards of total offense and controlled the clock with 36:24 of possession, while USU managed 282 yards on the day. The teams were tied 14-14 early in the third quarter before the Utes scored the game's final 21 points. QB Jose Fuentes started for the second time in his career and completed 19-of-42 passes for 230 yards, but also threw three interceptions. The game was played in front of an USU homecoming crowd of 29,814.
UP NEXT -- Utah State will begin the Big West Conference portion of its schedule with a trip to North Texas on Oct. 14. USU will play all five of its league games before closing the season with a non-conference game against Idaho State.
COACH MICK DENNEHY -- In his first year at Utah State is Mick Dennehy (Montana, 1973), who was hired on Dec. 3, 1999. He compiled a 39-12 record in four years at Montana and his 76.5 winning percentage is the best at the school for coaches with more than two years. Dennehy played safety at Montana in 1971 and 1972. Prior to assuming the head coaching role at Montana, he served as the school's offensive coordinator for five seasons, producing one of the nation's top offenses. Before going to Montana, Dennehy revived the program at Western Montana, which had dropped football in 1987. In three years he improved the team from a 1-6 record to a 5-3 mark.
Year School Overall Pct. Conf. Pct. Notes 1988 West. Montana 1-6 .143 1-5/5th .167 Revived Program 1989 West. Montana 4-4 .500 2-4/4th .333 1990 West. Montana 5-3 .625 3-3/3rd .500 1996 Montana 14-1 .933 8-0/1st 1.00 3-1 (2nd in I-AA) 1997 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/2nd .750 0-1 in playoffs 1998 Montana 8-4 .667 6-2/1st .750 0-1 in playoffs 1999 Montana 9-3 .750 7-1/1st 1.00 0-1 in playoffs 2000 Utah State 1-3 .250 0-0 .000 24th head coach Western Montana (3 yrs.) 10-13 .435 6-12 .333 Revived Program Montana (4 yrs.) 39-12 .765 27-5 .844 Four playoffs Utah State (1st yr.) 1-3 .250 0-0 .000 50th career win Totals (8th year) 50-28 .641 33-17 .660 3-4 in playoffs
MORE ON DENNEHY -- USU's first-year head coach entered the year with a 49-25 record in seven years of coaching. His 66.2 winning percentage entering the year was third among active division I head coaches with less than five years at this level. Here is a look at the list through games of Sept. 30:
Coach, School (years at D-I) Record Pct. Jim Donnan, Georgia (5th) 99-37-0 .728 Bobby Keasler, La. Monroe (2nd) 84-44-2 .654 Terry Allen, Kansas (4th) 91-48-0 .654 Hal Mumme, Kentucky (4th) 85-47-1 .642 MICK DENNEHY, USU (1st) 50-28-0 .641
THE USU-BYU SERIES -- Brigham Young leads the all-time series by a narrow 36-33-3 count and leads in games at Provo by a 22-15-1 margin. The Cougars have won four straight in the series, even though each of the last two meetings have come down to the last play of the game. USU's last win was a 58-56 win in Logan in 1993, while the Aggies last victory at Provo was a 24-7 win in 1978 (lost 11 straight there since then).
USU-BYU LAST YEAR -- Utah State jumped out to a 14-0 lead against BYU just seven minutes into the game before falling 34-31 in overtime. USU led 20-17 at halftime, but saw the Cougars go ahead 31-20 with 7:23 left in the game. USU rallied with a 47-yard Brad Bohn field goal and then scored on an eight-play, 74-yard drive with :21 left and added a two-point conversion to force overtime. Bohn hit a 37-yard field goal in the extra period, but it was nullified by a false start and he then missed a 42-yard attempt. BYU's Owen Pochman then hit a 33-yarder to give BYU the overtime win.
USU-BYU LAST TIME IN PROVO (Spain? No, Utah) -- Utah State built up a 24-10 lead on then 24th-ranked Brigham Young with 10:22 left in the second quarter before being outscored 22-11 in the second half and falling 42-35. After tying the game at 35 with 7:33 left, USU allowed BYU to march 69 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:39 remaining. USU got the ball back after the teams swapped possessions and Brian Benza hit Demario Brown on a 44-yard screen pass to the BYU 17. The Aggies then threw four straight incompletions and BYU ran out the final 1:24 of the game.
USU-BYU NOTE-ABLE -- BYU head coach Lavell Edwards is a member of USU's all-century team that was announced in 1993... BYU assistant coach Chris Pella spent most of his coaching career at Utah State, while assistant Tom Ramage also played and coached at USU... BYU SID Jeff Reynolds is an Utah State graduate (although someone needs to check that diploma)... Anthony Calvillo's 472 passing yards against BYU in 1993 are still the second-most in USU history... Last year against BYU Jeff Crosbie connected with Aaron Jones for an 87-yard pass, the sixth longest pass in school history... Brad Bohn's 55-yard field goal against BYU last year was a career best and the fourth-longest in school history... USU has played three overtime games in its history with the last one coming against BYU last year.
USU VS. THE MOUNTAIN WEST (If that is what you kids are calling it these days) -- Utah State owns a 143-185-13 record against current members of the Mountain West. USU has played all eight league schools sometime in its history. The Aggies have lost eight straight games against the league since beating Utah 21-14 in 1997. However, the Aggies' losing margin has been just 9.5 points as USU lost five of those games by one score or less.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK NOMINEES -- Here is a look at Utah State's nominees for Big West Player of the Week honors this season (winners in all caps - announced on Monday):
BOHN MOVING UP ON BIG WEST CHARTS -- PK Brad Bohn is off to a good season, having made six-of-eight field goal attempts already this year. He enters the BYU game 16th in the country in field goals made per game and is quickly moving up both USU charts (see chart later in this release) as well as the Big West Conference career lists. Bohn's 238 points are ninth in league history (he needs three points for eighth and nine for seventh). His 51 field goals rank third behind 70 by Barry Belli of Fresno State and 53 by Nick Garritano of UNLV. His 85 PATs are one shy of 10th place as well.
WHITE SHOWING VERSATILITY -- RB Emmett White has shown how versatile he is for the Aggies this year. In his first year as a starter, White ranks in the Big West Conference's top 10 of six different statistical categories, including punt returns (third), all-purpose (fourth), rushing (fourth), receiving yards (sixth), receptions (seventh) and total offense (ninth). He is 13th in the nation in all-purpose yards and 43rd in rushing. White has two 100-yard rushing games this year and two 80-yard receiving games as well.
HE IS A FOOTBALL JONES -- WR Aaron Jones recorded the sixth 100-yard receiving day of his career against Utah on Saturday with six catches for 103 yards. Last year he recorded 10 catches for a career-best 195 yards and an 87-yard touchdown against Brigham Young. Jones enters the week ranked 26th in receiving yards and 33rd in receptions.
MULLINS GIVING THE BOOT -- P Steve Mullins, a candidate for the Ray Guy Award, is coming off his best game of the season against Utah as his four punts went for an average of 44.8 yards. He also recorded his second 60-yard punt of the season in that contest. Mullins is ranked 22nd in the nation in punting and has recorded at least one 50-yard punt in 12 of 15 games in his career.
PASSEY PUTTING UP DEFENSIVE NUMBERS -- Bronko Nagurski award candidate Brent Passey has once again been a standout on defense for the Aggies. The two-time first-team all-Big West selection has recorded double-figure tackle totals in two of four games this year (had nine vs. Texas Tech) and has reached double-figure tackle totals in 14 of his last 19 games dating back to his sophomore season.
OFFENSIVE NOTES -- WR Aaron Jones has five touchdowns this season as compared with his total of four last year... 12 different players have made receptions this season... Eight of USU's nine touchdowns have been on pass plays... Six of USU's nine touchdowns have come from outside the red zone... USU has managed just 22 first half points this year and 58 second half points... USU has had three or more turnovers in each of its three losses and one turnover in its lone win... RB Emmett White has produced back-to-back 80-yard reception games... USU's 19 first downs against Utah were a season best, but the Aggies' 23:36 time of possession and 14 points were both season lows... Emmett White has produced eight plays of 15 or more yards (four rushing and four receiving), while Aaron Jones has eight catches for 15 or more yards... USU's first points have been a field goal in five straight games dating back to last year.. USU has scored just one field goal on the opponents' last four turnovers... USU has scored three touchdowns on three goal-to-go situations this year.
DEFENSIVE NOTES -- USU had allowed just one rushing touchdown until Utah scored all five of its touchdowns on the ground... USU started three freshmen on the defensive line against Utah in Jorge Tapia, Jared Solosabal and Nate Putnam... USU's five interceptions have been made by five different players... USU has allowed the opponent just one touchdown on their last five possessions which started in USU territory... The opponent has recorded a run of longer than 20 yards in just one game (Southern Utah)... LB Blake Eagal recorded a turnover for the second straight game as he had a fumble recovery against Arizona State and an interception against Utah in the last two weeks.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- USU ranks first in the Big West and 12th in the nation in net punting, second and 56th in kickoff returns and second and 83rd in punt returns... Dating back to last year PK Brad Bohn has made nine of his last 12 field goal attempts... P Steve Mullins has three 60-plus yard punts this season.
USU NOTE-ABLE -- DE Nate Putnam made his first career start against Utah and became the 30th different player to start a game for USU this year... Three freshmen have started for USU this year and all three are defensive linemen (all three started against Utah on Saturday)... USU has just six active players that have started at least 10 games in their careers... USU is 3-2 in known games on Oct. 6, including a 13-7 win against Brigham Young in 1973... The Aggies are playing Utah and BYU in back-to-back games for just second time since 1985 (last year was the other time when the Aggies fell by 20 at Utah and lost by three in overtime to BYU... USU is 24-26-1 in October in the last 15 years as compared to 12-46-1 in September games in that same time span... Utah State is averaging just 62.3 offensive plays per game, while the opponent is running 77.0 per contest... RB Emmett White is averaging 81.0 yards rushing per game, while the team is averaging 82.8.
DID YOU KNOW? -- WR David Fiefia is the sixth leading freshman receiver in the country based on total catches as he enters the week with 14 receptions in four games.
2000 Season Note-Able
* Utah State's 2000 schedule includes eight teams with winning records in 1999, as well as four schools, which went to bowl games (Arizona State, Brigham Young, Boise State and Utah)... The Aggies will meet teams from the Pac-10 (Arizona State), Big XII (Texas Tech) and Mountain West (Brigham Young and Utah) as well as Southern Utah and Idaho State in non-conference action... The 2000 opponents combined for a 68-57 (.544) record in 1999... USU will end its season with a non-conference game (Idaho State) for the first time since 1990 (Brigham Young)... No USU first-year head coach has had a winning record in his first season at Logan since Phil Krueger went 7-4 in 1973 (six coaches since then). * USU is playing three instate schools in the same season for the first time since 1982 (beat Weber State and BYU and lost to Utah). * USU's starting offensive tackles are the two tallest players in USU history (Jim Newton, 6-10 and Jeff Long, 6-9). In comparison, USU's NCAA-Tournament basketball team in 2000 started a frontline of 6-11, 6-6 and 6-2. * USU head coach Mick Dennehy entered the year 1-2 against division I opponents in his career (beat Oregon in 1996, lost to Wyoming in 1997 and lost to Idaho in 1999 while at Montana). .* USU lost 1999 second-team all-Big West LB Tony Newson before the season to a shoulder injury that never healed properly. * SS Aminifu Johnson, a projected starter at strong safety, tore his ACL in practice before the season opener and is lost for the season. * WR Adam Colbert broke his hand in the final fall scrimmage. * RB coach Craig Dickenson left USU for a position with the San Diego Chargers the week of the season opener. He was quickly replaced by Eric Kiesau (key-saw) a former quarterback under USU offensive coordinator Bob Cole at Portland State. Kiesau was at Oregon, where he was the school's recruiting coordinator. * P Steve Mullins is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award (national punter of the year). * LB Brent Passey is a candidate for the Bronko Nagurski Award (national defensive player of the year). * The 99 degree kickoff temperature at Texas Tech was the second hottest known kickoff temperature in USU history (103 at Arizona State in 1983). * USU played 54 of the 60 players that traveled to Texas Tech, including 12 freshmen (eight true freshmen). * USU had six different players with receptions in the season opener. Aaron Jones (did not play in last two games last year), David Fiefia (was not in school last fall), Emmett White (fourth and fifth career receptions), Casey Poppinga (redshirted last year), Steve Mullins (punter last year), Joe Solosabal (linebacker last year). * RB Emmett White's 143 yards against Texas Tech was the third-best by an Aggie in his first start at running back in the 1990s (Abu Wilson 157 vs. New Mexico State in 1992 and Demario Brown 166 vs. Boise State in 1996). * FB Joe Solosabal scored a touchdown (five yard reception against Texas Tech) the first time he touched the ball as an Aggie. * USU head coach Mick Dennehy recorded his 50th career victory and his first at Utah State against Southern Utah. * Mick Dennehy's first USU win in USU's second game marked the fastest an Aggie coach has put his name on that side of the ledger since Phil Krueger won in his debut in 1973 (Dennehy is the seventh coach since then). * USU's home crowd of 26,715 against Southern Utah was the eighth largest in school history and the most for a non-Utah or BYU game. * QB Jeff Crosbie suffered a season-ending injury in practice on Sept. 12, tearing a ligament in his throwing hand. He had started 17 consecutive games. * Texas Tech and Arizona State were both receiving votes in the AP poll when USU played against them. * Against Arizona State RB Emmett White became the first Aggie to score a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game since Demario Brown accomplished that feat against Brigham Young in 1997. * QB Jose Fuentes made his first career start against Arizona State. * USU has drawn two 25,000-plus home crowds for the first time since 1996 as the Aggies had 26,715 on hand for Southern Utah and 29,814 for Utah.
INDEPENDENTS -- In the year 2000, eight schools will play as independents. In 2001, Utah State will join Central Florida, Connecticut, Navy and Notre Dame as independents. Here is a look:
2000 Independents 2001 Affiliation Central Florida Independent Connecticut Independent (Big East in 2005) Louisiana-Lafayette Sun Belt Louisiana-Monroe Sun Belt Louisiana Tech Sun Belt Middle Tennessee State Sun Belt Navy Independent Notre Dame Independent
USU When... Category Record Record 1-3 Scoring First 0-0 Opp. Scores First 1-3 Lead at Half 0-0 Tied at Half 0-0 Trail at Half 1-3 Lead after 3 1-0 Tied after 3 0-0 Trail after 3 0-3 Rush for 200 0-0 Pass for 300 0-0 More Yards than Opp. 0-0 Fewer Yards than Opp. 1-3 More TO than Opp. 0-3 Same TO as Opp. 0-0 Fewer TO than Opp. 1-0 Home 1-1 Away 0-2 Big West 0-0 Non-Conference 1-3 Natural Grass 1-2 Artificial Turf 0-1 Day Games 0-1 Night Games 1-2 Decided by one score 0-0
MORE AT USU -- Here is a look at USU's athletic schedule this week: Tue., Oct. 3 -- SOCCER VS. WEBER STATE, 4 p.m. Thur., Oct. 5 -- Volleyball at Long Beach State, 8:30 p.m. Thur., Oct. 5 -- Men's Tennis at BYU Invitational Fri., Oct. 6 -- Football at Brigham Young, 7:05 p.m. Fri., Oct. 6 -- Men's Tennis at BYU Invitational Sat., Oct. 7 -- Volleyball at Pacific, 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 8 -- Men's Tennis at BYU Invitational
Weekly Press Conferences
Logan -- Mondays, 11:30 a.m. at the Coppermill Restaurant
Salt Lake City (Big Five Huddle) Tues., Green Street, 11:30 a.m. * * * * *
USU On The Air
Play-by-Play - Al Lewis Analysis - Chris Tunis KVNU (610 AM) Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), Salt Lake City Web: www.utahstateaggies.com * Mick Dennehy Radio Show (KVNU), Thursday, 6 p.m. Web: www.utahstateaggies.com * Aggie Update Radio Show (KVNU), Tuesday, 5:30 p.m. Web: www.utahstateaggies.com * * * * *
USU On The Web
* * * * *
Preseason Big West Polls
Big West Coaches Poll 1. Boise State 25 (5) 2. Idaho 18 (1) 3. New Mexico State 18 4. Arkansas State 15 5. North Texas 8 6. UTAH STATE 6
Big West Media Poll 1. Boise State 169 (26) 2. New Mexico State 131 (2) 3. Idaho 124 (1) 4. UTAH STATE 66 5. Arkansas State 63 6. North Texas 53 * * * * *
2000 Crucial.com Humanitarian Bowl Big West Champion vs. Western Athletic Conf. selection Boise, Idaho, Dec. 28, 1 p.m.
2000 Big West/NCAA Rankings
Team Big West (NCAA) Total Offense 4th (92nd) Rushing Offense 6th (101st) Passing Offense 4th (58th) Scoring Offense 3rd (78th) Total Defense 6th (112th) Rushing Defense 4th (97th) Passing Defense 6th (107th) Scoring Defense 4th (94th) Kickoff Returns 2nd (56th) Punt Returns 2nd (83rd) Net Punting 1st (12th) TO Margin 2nd (77th)
Individual Big West (NCAA) BRAD BOHN Field Goals 1st (16th) Scoring 4th DAVID FIEFIA Receptions 6th Receiving Yards 9th JOSE FUENTES Total Offense 3rd (42nd) Passing 3rd AARON JONES Receiving Yards 2nd (26th) Receptions 2nd (33rd) Scoring 2nd All-Purpose 7th STEVE MULLINS Punting 2nd (22nd) TONY WALKER Kickoff Returns 5th EMMETT WHITE Punt Returns 3rd All-Purpose 4th (13th) Rushing 4th (43rd) Receiving Yards 6th Receptions 7th Total Offense 9th
2000 Big West Standings
School Conf. Overall Boise State 0-0 3-1 Idaho 0-0 2-3 UTAH STATE 0-0 1-3 New Mexico State 0-0 0-4 North Texas 0-0 0-4 Arkansas State 0-0 0-5
This Week Samford at North Texas (Thursday) Utah State at Brigham Young (Friday) Army at New Mexico State Boise State at Washington State Idaho at West Virginia Arkansas State at Mississippi
Utah State Depth Chart
LT 79 Jim Newton (6-10, 294, So., 1L) 76 Eric Gwilliam (6-5, 257, Jr., JC)
LG 67 JESS SCHUCK (6-2, 305, Jr., 2L) 52 Ed Powell (6-3, 300, Jr., JC)
OC 53 JUNIOR PUTUTAU (6-1, 300 Sr., 2L) 63 Matt Jenkins (6-3, 306, Sr., 1L)
WR 9 AARON JONES (5-11, 180, Sr., 3L) (X) 80 Michael Brignac (6-2, 190, Fr., HS)
WR 39 David Fiefia (5-8, 189, Fr., HS) (H)
WR 15 Chris Stallworth (6-3, 190, Fr., HS) (Z) 3 KY ODAY (6-2, 183, Sr., 1L)
TB 32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L) 31 John Roberts (5-9, 195, Jr., 2L)
Hero 44 BRENT PASSEY (6-1, 227, Sr., 3L) 40 Justin Oswald (5-8, 206, Sr., 1L)
Mac 47 BLAKE EAGAL (6-2, 231, Sr., 3L) 21 Nathan Barber (6-2, 220, Jr., JC)
LC 10 Adebola Jimoh (6-1, 185, So., 1L) 22 Malcom Moore (5-10, 175, Jr., JC)
RC 1 TONY WALKER (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L) 29 Shaun Healy (5-7, 167, Sr., 1L)
P 12 STEVE MULLINS (6-4, 226, So., 1L) 18 Brian Benza (6-2, 205, Sr., 1L)
PK 26 BRAD BOHN (5-7, 178, Sr., 3L) 87 Dane Kidman (5-10, 178, So., SQ)
PR 32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L) 1 Tony Walker (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L)
KOR 1 Tony Walker (5-11, 183, Jr., 2L)
32 Emmett White (5-11, 199, Jr., 2L)