USU To Host Fresno State In Annual Homecoming Game Saturday At 6:05 p.m.
Oct. 2, 2006
QUICKLY -- Utah State (0-5, 0-1) will host Fresno State (1-3, 0-1) in its second straight home game on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6:05 p.m... The game will be televised on KJZZ in the state of Utah as well as on KFRE in Fresno, Calif... It is homecoming in Logan and the Aggies are 47-26-2 all-time in front of the alums, including a 24-17 win against San Jose State last year... USU has opened its year 0-5 for the first time since 2001... USU has lost five straight games as well as 11 of its last 12 contests dating back to last year... USU has dropped five straight home games... USU will be playing its 10th WAC game as a member of the conference and is 2-7 in its first nine league games... After this week, USU will play four of its next five games on the road.
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on KVNU 610 AM in Logan, and either 1230 AM or 1320 AM in Salt Lake City, and at www.UtahStateAggies.com with Al Lewis calling the play-by-play and Craig Hislop providing analysis. Saturday's game will be televised in the state of Utah on KJZZ as well as back to Fresno on KFRE. USU home games and all WAC games can be seen via the web at WAC.tv. Home USU games and some road games can be accessed via Game Tracker. This service provides updated play-by-play and statistics as they happen.
LAST TIME OUT -- Utah State jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter, but gave up 41 consecutive points before adding a final touchdown en route to losing its Western Athletic Conference opener 41-21 to Idaho here Saturday afternoon. Utah State, which had not scored an offensive touchdown in its first four games, took the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards in 10 plays to put its first offensive points of the year on the board. Marcus Cross capped the drive with a six-yard scoring run at the 11:10 mark. The Aggies added their second touchdown just three minutes later as they recovered a pooched kickoff at the Idaho 21-yard line. USU needed just five plays to get in the endzone when Leon Jackson hit tight end Jimmy Bohm for a one-yard touchdown pass to give the Aggies a 14-0 lead at the 8:16 mark of the first quarter. After producing 92 yards in its first 15 plays of the game, the Aggies' next eight drives resulted in five punts, two interceptions and a fumble. In that stretch, USU had four three and outs. The Aggies did put together an 11-play 66-yard drive midway through the second quarter, but after reaching the Idaho seven-yard line, Jackson's cross field pass was picked off by Stanley Franks and returned 98 yards for a Vandal score. Had USU scored on the drive it would have given the Aggies a 21-10 lead, but instead USU found itself behind 17-14. USU did produce a season high 306 yards, while holding Idaho to an Aggie opponent season-low 316 yards. Cross ran 16 times for 68 yards, while Jackson completed 16 of 24 attempts for 136 yards and one touchdown. However Jackson threw two interceptions after opening the game by hitting his first seven attempts. The Vandals scored two defensive touchdowns in the game, as after forcing USU backup quarterback Riley Nelson into a fumble, Jo Artis Ratti returned the ball 74 yards for a score in the fourth quarter.
UP NEXT -- Utah State will play back-to-back road games traveling to San Jose State on Oct. 14 and to Louisiana Tech on Oct. 21. In fact, USU will have just one home game in the 48 days after this week's Fresno State contest.
DID YOU KNOW? -- The 1971 team, which went 8-3 under coach Chuck Mills, is holding a reunion this weekend and will be recognized at the game.
HEAD COACH Brent Guy -- Brent Guy (Oklahoma State, 1983) is in his second year as head coach after coming to Utah State from Arizona State where he was the defensive coordinator for four years. Guy was an assistant coach (linebackers) at Utah State from 1992-94 under then head coach Charlie Weatherbie. During that time, USU posted its only bowl victory in school history, claiming the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl. Guy was involved in eight bowl games in 19 years as a collegiate assistant coach. Previous stops include Oklahoma State (1986-91 - graduate assistant 1986-87, recruiting coordinator 1988, linebackers 1989-91), Utah State (1992-94 - linebackers), Oklahoma State (1995-97 - linebackers), Boise State (1998-2000 - defensive coordinator) and Arizona State (2001-04 - defensive coordinator) before being named the Aggies' 25th head coach in December of 2004. In his first year at USU, the Aggies were 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Utah State Head Coach All WAC 2005 3-8 2-6 2006 0-5 0-1 Total 3-13 2-7
Assistant Totals Record Notes Oklahoma State (1986-91, 95-97) 51-51-1 3 Bowls Utah State (1992-94) 15-19-0 1 Bowl Boise State (1998-99) 26-10-0 2 Bowls, 2 10-win seasons Arizona State (2001-04) 13-19-0 2 Bowls Totals (19 years) 118-103-1 8 Bowls, 10 winning seasons
AGGIE ASSISTANT COACHES -- Utah State had three changes on its coaching staff from last year, as Shaun Johnson, Tracy Smith and Tony Flores joined the staff. Prior to the Idaho game offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Santiago resigned and wide receivers coach Greg Stevens was named interim offensive coordinator. Wide Receivers/Interim Offensive Coordinator - Greg Stevens (Eastern Oregon, 1992, 2nd Year)... Former offensive coordinator at S.F. Austin. Running Backs - Shaun Johnson (Utah State, 1995, 1st Year)... Former Aggie wide receiver, coached Division I-AA rushing leader at Brown in 2005. Tight Ends - Tracy Smith (LSU, 2003, 1st Year)... Worked with LSU quarterbacks last year. Is son of Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Carl Smith. Offensive Line - Vance Vice (Oklahoma State, 1990, 2nd Year)... As an Oklahoma State tight end was the key to Barry Sanders winning the Heisman in 1988. Def. Coord./LB - Mark Johnson (UC Davis, 1990, 2nd Year)... Has coached at four different WAC schools (San Jose State, Boise State, Nevada and USU). Def. Line - Danilo Robinson (Utah State, 1997, 2nd Year)... Holds USU single-game sacks record with five vs. San Jose State in 1995. Safeties - Jeff Copp (Boise State, 2001, 2nd Year)... Was an all-conference defensive end while playing at Boise State. Cornerbacks - John Rushing (Washington State, 1995, 4th Year)... Was a freshman All-America corner at Washington State. Older brother of USU WR Kevin Robinson. GA - Mike McMahon (Carroll, 2004, 2nd Year)... Helped coach Carroll College to three national championship appearances. GA - Tony Flores (Utah State, 1st Year)... Moved up from serving as a work study in the football office in 2005.
USU-FSU SERIES -- Fresno State leads the all-time series by a 11-9-1 count and has claimed each of the last three since Utah State posted a 20-19 win against then 25th-ranked Fresno State in 1991. That victory is USU's only win against an AP ranked team in school history. After meeting four straight seasons from 1952-55, the teams played every year from 1978-91 and 1993 when both programs were members of the Big West Conference. The teams met in a non-conference game in 2001 and again last year as members of the Western Athletic Conference.
USU-FSU SERIES NOTE-ABLE -- Utah State lists 34 players on its roster from the state of California, including three from the Fresno area in WR Kevin Robinson (Hoover HS), CB Kejon Murphy (Edison HS), and DL Jon Prock (Clovis HS)... USU and FSU have met three times since the Aggies posted their only victory against a ranked team (beat the #25 Bulldogs 20-19 in 1991) and Fresno State has won those last three games by an average score of 51.0 to 18.7.
USU-FSU LAST TIME -- Fresno State used a balanced offensive attack and controlled the clock for 34:39 en route to a 53-21 victory against Utah State last year. USU struck first after Terrance Washington recorded an interception on Fresno State's first play of the game. The Aggies took over on the Bulldog's 36-yard line and scored five plays later on a Chris Forbes one-yard touchdown run to take a 7-0 lead just three minutes into the game. However, the Bulldogs responded by scoring the game's next 46 points. The Aggies finally got on the board again early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Leon Jackson scored on a one-yard sneak to bring the score to 46-14. The Aggies committed three turnovers in the first half which led to 17 Bulldog points. One of USU's turnovers took place on its own one-yard line. Jackson finished the day hitting 12 of 19 passes for 128 yards and one interception. Fresno native Kevin Robinson had four catches for 99 yards, while Jake Hutton led the team with nine tackles.
USU-FSU LAST TIME IN LOGAN -- A week that began with head coach Chuck Shelton announcing his resignation at the end of the season, ended with Utah State's biggest win of the year as the Aggies posted a 20-19 win against 25th-ranked Fresno State on Nov. 2, 1991 in Logan. The Aggies used the big play all day long to hand FSU its first and only loss of the regular season. FSU jumped out to a 10-0 lead after one play in the second quarter. USU responded with a Ron Lopez to Rod Moore 15-yard scoring pass to pull within 10-7. However FSU added back to back field goals to push its lead to 16-7. USU then scored on a Doug Beach field goal and a Damon Smith 37-yard fumble return to take a 17-16 lead. FSU then kicked a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. However, with 51 seconds left in the game, Sean Jones made a 45-yard field goal to give the Aggies the victory.
GUY VS. FRESNO STATE -- Aggie head coach Brent Guy has coached against Fresno State three times in his career. Here is a closer look:
1993 (Utah State Assistant) - L 14-30 at Fresno 1997 (Oklahoma State Assistant) - W 35-0 at Stillwater, Okla. 2005 (Utah State Head Coach) - L 21-53 at Fresno
LAST WEEK -- Last week against Idaho, the Aggies started a very young group of players, especially on defense. In fact on defense, the Aggies started two freshmen, six sophomores, one junior and one senior. Offensively, three sophomores, five juniors and three seniors started the game.
YOUNG STARTERS -- Here is a look at the classifications of Utah State's starters in the first five games with number of starters in that class with the number of combined starts in parentheses:
Fr. So. Jr. Sr. Offense 2 (4) 5 (13) 7 (27) 3 (1) Defense 3 (3) 8 (33) 3 (12) 2 (7)
FOURTEEN FIRST-TIME STARTERS -- Fourteen different Aggies have made their first career starts this season, including five freshmen (OT Taylor Wallace, DE Darby Golden, WR Xavier Bowman, DL Alan Bishop and LB Paul Igboeli).
DID YOU KNOW? -- Utah State has started as many freshmen as seniors this season (five of each).
YOUTH MOVEMENT -- Last season in Brent Guy's first year as Utah State head coach, the Aggies played 20 freshmen, including 12 true freshmen. Of that group, 12 started at least one game. The 20 freshmen played ranked 11th nationally, while the 12 freshmen starters ranked third in the country behind only Western Michigan (17) and Cincinnati (13).
QUARTERBACK DEBUT -- With freshman Riley Nelson expected to make his starting debut this week (he saw his first collegiate action in the fourth quarter last week against Idaho), here is a look at how recent Aggie quarterbacks have fared in their first Utah State starts:
Player, Yr., Opponent A-C-I, Yds Score Leon Jackson, So., at Utah, 2005 (game #1) 25-12-1, 95 L 7-31 Travis Cox, Jr., at Utah, 2003 (game #1) 41-19-1, 280 L 20-40 Jose Fuentes, So., at Arizona St., 2000 (game #3) 38-17-3, 240 L 20-44 Jeff Crosbie, Fr., at Boise State, 1998 (game #8) 46-18-3, 233 L 16-30 Logan Galli, Fr., IDAHO, 1998 (game #7) 11-4-0, 8 L 14-26 Riley Jensen, Sr., UTAH, 1998 (game #1) 25-11-1, 99 L 12-20 Matt Sauk, Jr., at Okla. State, 1996 (game #4) 34-22-2, 390 L 17-31 Patrick Mullins, Jr., at Ark. State, 1995 (game #1) 56-30-2, 315 L 17-21 Aaron Flowers, Fr., UNLV, 1994 (game #4) 13-7-0, 53 L 21-23 Matt Wells, So., UTAH, 1994 (game #1) 33-14-2, 190 L 17-32
OFFENSIVE NOTES -- After not scoring an offensive touchdown in the first four games, the Aggies scored touchdowns on each of their first two possessions against Idaho last Saturday... USU had a season-best 305 yards against Idaho... USU has owned the time of possession advantage in three of the first five games... USU had reached the red zone just four times in the first four games (no scores) before getting inside Idaho's 20-yard line three times (scored three touchdowns)... TB Marcus Cross has rushed for 369 yards and last year's team rushing leader Ryan Bohm had 340 and the 2004 leader Chris Forbes, had 396... USU had each of its first five interceptions thrown returned for touchdowns this year (USU's sixth pick was returned 33 yards to the Aggie 36-yard line)... The opponents have scored six defensive touchdowns this year with five interception returns for scores and a fumble recovery for a touchdown... USU has thrown six interceptions this year compared to eight all of last season... USU has used four different quarterbacks through five games... Thirteen different players have receptions this season... USU has produced just six plays longer than 20 yards this season... USU's 14 first-quarter points against Idaho on Saturday, marked the first time the Aggies scored that many points in the opening period since scoring 21 against Arkansas State in 2003.
DEFENSIVE NOTES -- USU is coming off its best defensive effort of the year after allowing Idaho just 316 yards (previous best was 401 yards by Utah)... USU's defense has allowed the opponent 18 touchdowns as six of the other team's scores have been by their defense... The opponent has started 14 of its 55 drives on USU's side of the 50 and turned those into seven scores (five touchdowns and two field goals)... Three of USU's top four tackle leaders are sophomores.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- After punting a combined 20 times in the first two games, USU has punted 19 times in the last three games combined... USU has attempted just one field goal this year (a 33-yarder against BYU that was blocked)... After averaging 10.0 yards per punt return last season, the Aggies are averaging just 2.4 yards per return this season.
QUARTERBACK NOTE-ABLE -- Leon Jackson threw just six interceptions in nine starts last season, but has thrown six in five games this year... Each of Jackson's first five interceptions were returned for touchdowns... Jackson has started five consecutive games and 14 in his career... Jackson's 136 passing yards against Idaho were a season best... Freshman Riley Nelson made his collegiate debut against Idaho, coming into the game in the fourth quarter and completing all three of his attempts for 50 yards, while rushing seven times for 17 more yards... On his first play he hit Otis Nelson (no relation) on a 25-yard pass... Nelson led the Aggies on a nine-play 65-yard scoring drive on their last possession against Idaho... Bryan Black has seen action in two games and is five of seven for 57 yards... Mike Affleck threw two incompletions against Utah in his only action this season... The last time USU used at least four quarterbacks in a season was 1999 (Jeff Crosbie, Jose Fuentes, Brian Benza, Steve Mullins and Logan Galli).
RUNNING BACK NOTE-ABLE -- Marcus Cross' 369 rushing yards through five games are more than last year's leading rusher had all season (Ryan Bohm had 340 yards in 2005)... Cross has become the first Aggie since David Fiefia in 2003 to record two 100-yard rushing games in a season (Fiefia had three)... Cross has produced two of USU's four 100-yard rushing games in the Aggies' last 29 games... Cross' 103 yards in his second game (at Arkansas) was the quickest an Aggie reached 100 since Roger Grant ran for 202 yards in his second game at USU in 1990... Cross is the only Aggie player with at least one reception in all five games... Cross currently leads the team in both rushing and receiving and the only time in school history a player led the team in both for the year was Tom Larscheid in 1961... Antraun McDaniel had a season-best eight yards on two carries, as well as his first collegiate touchdown against Idaho last week.
WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END NOTE-ABLE -- Kevin Robinson, who entered the year having caught at least two passes in 17 consecutive games and extended that streak to 19 games, has caught just two passes in the last three games combined (zero vs. Utah and Idaho and two at BYU)... Otis Nelson had caught six passes in the first four games combined and then caught six against Idaho on Saturday... USU tight ends/fullbacks combined for zero catches in the first three games, but have eight in the last two contests... TE/FB Jimmy Bohm has USU's only receiving touchdown (one yarder vs. Idaho) this season. That score also marked the first touchdown reception by a non-wide receiver since TE Jason Stephens caught a 10-yarder against Boise State in game six last year... Bohm has 11 career catches with two of those for touchdowns... Nnamdi Gwacham made his first collegiate appearance against Utah and responded with two receptions for 25 yards, including a 23-yarder... Gwacham, a Nigerian native, who moved to the USA in 1999, became an American citizen in August... USU had a different leading receiver in each of the first four games of the season, until Otis Nelson led against Idaho (also led against Arkansas).
OFFENSIVE LINE NOTE-ABLE -- OG Pace Jorgensen has started a team-high 16 consecutive games and 21 total games in his career (second on the team to Terrance Washington - 22)... USU tackles Shawn Murphy and Taylor Wallace are seeing their first collegiate action this year. That duo started the first three games before Wallace was replaced by Malik Cin against BYU... Murphy is the son of former major leaguer Dale Murphy... OC Brent DeLadauranty started four games in 2004, but none last season, while OG Ryan Tonnemacher had made three starts last season... OL Malik Cin made his first appearance of the season against Utah after returning from surgery on his Achilles tendon and then started at right tackle against BYU and Idaho
DEFENSIVE LINE NOTE-ABLE -- USU has started seven different linemen in the first five games as only Bevan Howard has started every game... DT Ben Calderwood recorded six tackles against Idaho, including his team-high second sack... Calderwood has a line-best 20 tackles, while also leading the team in tackles for loss (four) and sacks (two)... USU's regular two interior linemen, Frank Maile and E.J. Reid, have seen limited action due to injuries in the last two games.
LINEBACKERS NOTE-ABLE -- USU has lost the services of Jake Hutton due to a stress fracture in his foot suffered against BYU. Hutton was the team's leading tackler through four games and led the team last season as well... Derrick Cumbee made his first collegiate start at BYU and responded with a game-high and team season-best 11 tackles... Freshman Paul Igboeli made his first collegiate start against Idaho last Saturday and responded with a team-high tying six tackles as well as a sack... Devon Hall has made at least six tackles in four of five games this season... At 5-7, Daryl Fields, who started the first two games of the year, is the shortest linebacker in the country at the Division I level.
SECONDARY NOTE-ABLE -- S Terrance Washington ranks 18th in the NCAA in passes defended with seven... He is also second on the team with 29 tackles... He has recorded at least six tackles in four of five games... S Caleb Taylor has recorded at least five tackles in four of five games... CB Drew Pearson recorded his first career interception against BYU... He also had a pass broken up and four tackles in the game... Of the eight Aggie secondary players with tackles this year, two are freshmen and three are sophomores... S Antonio Taylor had scored USU's only touchdown in the first four games with a 45-yard interception return for a score in the opener at Wyoming... Against Utah twin brothers Caleb and Josh Taylor started together for the first time (Caleb has started five games, while Josh has started five in their two-year careers).
SPECIALISTS NOTE-ABLE -- Leon Jackson has been the only starting quarterback/punter in the country... Jackson has improved his punting average every game this year... Jackson has punted 32 times for a 39.9 average with five 50-plus yarders and seven inside the 20... Jackson had a season-long 61-yarder against Idaho on Saturday... Kevin Robinson entered the year averaging 14.8 yards per punt return in his career, but has seven returns for 17 total yards this season... Justin Hamblin has attempted just one field goal this year, a blocked attempt against BYU... Bryan Shields took over the kickoff chores against Idaho on Saturday and his first kickoff was a pooch kickoff that was recovered by the Aggies on the Idaho 21-yard line.
USU NOTE-ABLE -- USU has had worse average starting position than the opponent in four of five games (exception was Saturday against Idaho when USU started on its own 34 and Idaho averaged starting on its own 30)... USU has started just three drives on the opponents' side of the 50-yard line and scored one touchdown... USU was whistled for just two penalties against Idaho, its fewest infractions in a game since getting flagged twice against Boise State in the sixth game last year... When USU jumped out to a 14-0 lead against Idaho midway through the first quarter Saturday, it marked the Aggies' first two-score lead in a game since leading San Jose State 14-0 one minute into the second quarter of game four last year... Only one Aggies has made more than five consecutive starts in OG Pace Jorgensen (16)... Only 10 Aggies have made at least 10 career starts, led by S Terrance Washington (22)... There have been six interception returns for scores on eight pickoffs by either team in USU games this year... USU is 3-2-1 in known games played on Oct. 7.
DB Jarrett Bush - first year with the Green Bay Packers
WR Kevin Curtis - fourth year with the St. Louis Rams
TE Chris Cooley - third year with the Washington Redskins
DB Ade Jimoh - fourth year with the Washington Redskins
OT Donald Penn - first year with Minnesota Vikings (practice squad)
NEW BUILDING -- Work has begun on a new north endzone facility at Romney Stadium. The building, which will be ready prior to the 2007 season, will house lockerrooms, a sports medicine area, an equipment room, coaches offices, and team meeting rooms. The cost of the 50,000-plus square foot building will be $10.5 million.
NEW JERSEYS -- Utah State is wearing new jerseys this season. A major change on the jersey is on the back, as instead of player's last names, the word "Aggies" is imprinted to signify that the team is more important than any individual.