Aggie Football Returns To Mountain West Play As It Hosts Boise State on National TV Saturday Night
Oct. 7, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. Boise State
BOISE STATE at UTAH STATE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME SEVEN INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013
Kickoff: 6:05 p.m. (MT)
Location: Logan, Utah
Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field
at Romney Stadium (25,513)
Series: Utah State trails, 13-4-0
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 509-511-31 (.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.
The Last Meeting
December 4, 2010
Utah State has won 13 straight conference games, including nine straight on the road, dating back to the 2011 season, which is a school record. The previous record for consecutive conference wins was seven in the Big West Conference during the 1979 and 1980 seasons. USU's last conference loss was against Louisiana Tech (24-17) on Oct. 22, 2011 in Logan when it was a member of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-12.
Utah State has won five straight conference games at home with its last league loss at home coming against Louisiana Tech (24-17) on Oct. 22, 2011. Overall, USU has won nine of its last 10 home games. All-time, USU is 121-97 (.555) at Romney Stadium.
Utah State has won 19 of its last 25 games overall, which is USU's best stretch since going 18-2-1 during the 1960-61 seasons. USU's six losses during its last 25 games have been by a combined 30 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), at USC (17-14), and against BYU (31-14) in 2013.
Utah State has had two sellouts this year against Weber State and BYU, marking the first time since the 2002 season that USU has had multiple sellouts in the same year. USU has never had three sellouts in a single-season in the 46-year history of Romney Stadium.
Utah State has not lost back-to-back games in its last 25 outings following its 40-12 win at San José State. 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 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Boise State has 22 players on its roster from the state of Idaho.
After playing four of its first five games of the season on the road, Utah State is concluding the 2013 campaign by playing five of its final seven games at home.
Utah State has won three of its last four games played during the month of October and is 5-4 all-time in games played on Oct. 12.
UTAH STATE HOSTS BOISE STATE IN NATIONALLY TELEVISED MOUNTAIN WEST GAME
Utah State (3-3, 2-0 MW) continues its 2013 season with a Mountain West home game against Boise State (3-2, 1-1 MW) on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. (MT) in its second-annual `White Out'. All Aggie fans are encouraged to `Wear Your Fighting White to the Game'. 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 third of five appearances on the CBS Sports Network this weekend when it hosts Mountain West foe Boise State. USU's first two game on the CBS Sports Network was its first-ever MW game at Air Force (W 52-20), along with its home game against BYU (L, 31-14) last weekend. Other USU games scheduled to be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network includes home games against 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 four of a four-game stretch where its playing against 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, in addition to three seniors and 12 juniors listed on its preseason depth chart.
UTAH STATE ENTERED 2013 WITH 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 had the fourth-most experienced offensive line in the nation according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview before losing senior guard Kyle Whimpey to a knee injury against San Jose State. Overall, USU's current offensive line has 122 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (44), senior tackle Eric Schultz (38), senior guard Jamie Markosian (21), junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (18) and senior guard Sini Tauauve'a (1), while Kyle Whimpey had started 18 straight games before his injury.
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 coach Matt Wells is one of just 12 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 3-3 on the season following its 31-14 home loss to BYU last weekend. USU, who is 2-0 in Mountain West play, began the year with a 30-26 loss at Utah, before winning its first-ever MW game at Air Force, 52-20, followed by a 70-6 Homecoming win against Weber State, a 17-14 loss at USC, and a 40-12 MW win at San Jose State. Offensively, USU is led by senior running back Joey DeMartino who has carried the ball 63 times for 425 yards (70.8 ypg) with four touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has 25 catches for 353 yards with three touchdowns, and junior quarterback Craig Harrison is 23-of-46 passing for 263 yards (52.6 ypg) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 64 tackles (19-solo, 45-assist), including 5.0 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 57 tackles (19-solo, 38-assist) with 3.5 for loss, and sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has 41 tackles (18-solo, 23-assist) with 8.0 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 36.0 points and 475.5 yards of total offense (275.2-passing, 200.3-rushing) and allowing 19.3 points and 335.8 yards of total offense (203.7-passing, 132.2-rushing).
INJURY BUG HITS UTAH STATE
The injury bug has hit Utah State hard during the last two weeks as starting senior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey and junior starting running back Joe Hill both suffered season-ending knee injuries against San Jose State (9/27/13), while junior starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton suffered a season-ending knee injury against BYU (10/4/13). Between Whimpey, Hill and Keeton, the trio had combined for 52 career starts and 70 career games played in while at Utah State.
UTAH STATE'S HOME WINNING STREAKS SNAPPED IN 31-14 LOSS TO BYU
Utah State had its nine-game home winning streak, which was tied for the fourth-longest in school history and longest since 1963, snapped last weekend with its 31-14 home loss to BYU. USU had also won six straight home games against in-state opponents dating back to the 2008 season before losing to the Cougars last weekend.
UTAH STATE SUFFERS WORST LOSS SINCE 2010 CAMPAIGN
Utah State's 31-14 home loss to BYU last weekend was its worst loss since losing at No. 9 Boise State, 50-14, on Dec. 4, 2010 and its worst home loss since losing to Idaho, 28-6, on Nov. 20, 2010.
UTAH STATE NOTABLES FROM BYU GAME
Utah State had a season-high three turnovers and scored a season-low tying 14 points in its last game against BYU, while allowing a season-high 31 points... USU's 51 pass attempts against BYU were a season-high and its most since attempting 54 passes at Arizona State in 2003... USU won the time of possession battle (30:32) against BYU, marking the fifth time in six games this year that USU has possessed the ball more than its opponents... USU's 47-yard field goal attempt that was blocked in the second quarter against BYU was its first blocked kick since Oct. 20, 2012 when a 44-yard field goal attempt was blocked by New Mexico State... USU's 10-point halftime deficit to BYU (17-7) was its largest since it trailed at Hawai'i, 28-7, on Nov. 5, 2011.
UTAH STATE OFFENSIVE NOTABLES
Utah State produced a season-low 397 yards of total offense (211-passing, 186-rushing) in its last game against BYU, but has produced at least 500 yards of total offense three times in six games this year and eight times in its last 12 games dating back to last season... USU has also rushed for at least 200 yards in six of its last 10 games and passed for at least 300 yards in six of its last 11 games dating back to the 2012 season.
UTAH STATE ALLOWS FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN FOR JUST THIRD TIME IN LAST 22 GAMES
BYU's 17-yard interception return for a touchdown on the first offensive play of the game, marked just the third time in its last 22 games dating back to the 2011 season that USU has allowed a first quarter touchdown. The only other two teams to score first quarter touchdowns against USU dating back to the 2011 season was Utah and USC this year. USU has also held two opponents this year (Weber State, San José State) and 12 opponents over the last two years without a first-half touchdown.
UTAH STATE TRAILS AT THE HALF AGAINST BYU FOR JUST SECOND TIME IN LAST 13 GAMES
Utah State trailed at the half against BYU, 17-7, marking just the second time in its last 13 games that it has trailed at the half as it also trailed USC, 14-7, at the half this year. Overall, USU has led at the half in 18 of its last 21 games dating back to 2011 and is 15-3 in those contests, including a 3-1 record this year. USU also trailed BYU, 10-7, at the end of the first quarter marking just the second time in its last 21 games that it trailed at the end of the first quarter as it also trailed at USC, 7-0, at the end of the first period.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO OUT-SCORE OPPONENTS IN THE FIRST HALF
Despite being out-scored 17-7 in the first half against BYU in its last game, Utah State continues to out-score its opponents in the first half as it has a 127-64 scoring advantage in the first 30 minutes of play this year. Last season, USU had a 254-60 scoring advantage in the first half.
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 13 touchdown drives of less than two minutes this year.
FACKRELL RECORDS CAREER-HIGH 13 TACKLES AGAINST BYU
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell recorded his second-straight double-digit tackle outing with a career-high 13 stops in his last game against BYU. Fackrell, who now has six career double-digit tackle outings, also had a career-high tying 2.0 tackles for loss to go along with two quarterback hurries and one pass breakup against the Cougars. During his last two games, Fackrell has recorded 24 tackles to go along with 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks.
VIGIL RECORDS THIRD-STRAIGHT DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLE OUTING
Junior linebacker Zach Vigil recorded his third-straight double-digit tackle game with 11 stops against BYU. Vigil also forced his third fumble of the season and fourth of his career against the Cougars. Overall, Vigil now has four double-digit tackle games this year and nine in his career. During his last three games, Vigil has 34 tackles to go along with 1.0 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
DOUGHTY RECORDS EIGHTH CAREER DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLE OUTING
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty recorded 14 tackles in his last game against BYU, giving him four double-digit tackle games this year and eight in his career. Doughty also had a career-high 2.5 tackles for loss against the Cougars. During his last three games, Doughty has recorded 34 tackles to go along with 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and one forced fumble.
HARRISON RECORDS CAREER-HIGHS AGAINST BYU
Junior quarterback Craig Harrison recorded career-highs in completions (18), attempts (41) and passing yards (185) in his last game against BYU. Harrison also threw his second career touchdown pass on an 8-yard strike to junior wide receiver Ronald Butler against the Cougars.
TIALAVEA RECORDS CAREER-HIGH WITH FOUR RECEPTIONS AGAINST BYU
Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea recorded a career-high four receptions in his last game against BYU for 21 yards. Tialavea's previous career-high for receptions was three accomplished in five different games. During his last five games, Tialavea has caught 14 passes for 67 yards (13.4 ypg) with three touchdowns as he also had three receptions for 12 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown, against San José State, three receptions for 10 yards at USC, and three receptions for 18 yards against Weber State, including two touchdowns for his first-ever multi-touchdown game.
WILLIAMS RECORDS CAREER-HIGH SIX TACKLES IN RETURN AGAINST BYU
Senior defensive end Connor Williams recorded a career-high six tackles in his last outing against BYU after missing the majority of the season after suffering a foot injury in the opening quarter of the year at Utah. Williams also had 0.5 sacks against the Cougars giving him 8.5 sacks in his career.
BENTRUDE HAS CAREER NIGHT AGAINST BYU
Junior punter Jaron Bentrude had his best night as a collegiate punter in his last outing against BYU as he punted a career-high 10 times for an average of 43.1 yards with a career-long punt of 64 yards, while five of his 10 punts were downed inside the 20 and none of them ended in the end zone for a touchback. In fact, Benturde had two of his punts downed inside the five as his 64-yard punt was downed at the BYU 2-yardline and a 49-yard punt was downed at the BYU 4-yardline. Bentrude's 64-yard punt is the longest by an Aggie since Tyler Bennett had a 67-yard punt at BYU in 2011.
DEMARTINO CONTINUES TO RUN THE BALL WELL
Senior running back Joey DeMartino continues to play well for Utah State as he has carried the ball 60 times for 421 yards (7.0 ypc/84.2 ypg) with four rushing touchdowns in his last five games. Against BYU he rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries. Against San José State, he recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game as he carried the ball 17 times for 120 yards (7.1 ypc), both of which are career-highs. 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) with a career-long rush of 60 yards, while scoring a career-high three rushing touchdowns. Overall, DeMartino has four rushing touchdowns this year and five in his career.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST BYU
Aggies who made their first career start against BYU include senior offensive guard Sini Tauauve'a, redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil and sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen... Junior wide receiver Ronald Butler tied his career-high with two receptions and caught his third touchdown pass of the season... Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen caught his second touchdown pass of the season and fifth of his career... Junior tight end Keegan Andersen tied his career-high with three receptions... Senior running back Robert Marshall had a career-long reception of 30 yards... Freshman running back Kennedy Williams had career-highs in rushes (6), rushing yards (37) and career long run (30)... Senior cornerback Quinton Byrd recorded his first interception of the season and fourth of his career... Senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i had a career-high five tackles... Junior strong safety Brian Suite recovered his first career fumble... Junior cornerback Rashard Stewart recorded his first career sack... Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil recorded a season-high eight tackles and added his first career sack... Junior nose guard Elvis Kamana-Matagi tied his career-high with three tackles.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior free safety Maurice Alexander is averaging 6.5 tackles per game and junior strong safety Brian Suite is averaging 4.5 tackles per game and the duo ranks first and third, respectively, for tackles among safeties in the Mountain West.
AGGIE OFFENSIVE LINE RECORDS SEASON-HIGH 36 KNOCKDOWNS AGAINST BYU
Utah State's offensive line recorded a season-high 36 knockdowns in its last game against BYU as senior guard Jamie Markosian had a season-high nine knockdowns, senior center Tyler Larsen and junior tackle Kevin Whimpey each had a season-best eight knockdowns, senior tackle Eric Schultz had a season-high seven knockdowns, and senior guard Sini Tauauve'a had a season-high four knockdowns.
REYNOLDS PLAYING WELL DURING HIS LAST FIVE GAMES
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds continues to play well for Utah State as he has 23 catches for 324 yards (14.1 ypc/64.8 ypg) during his last five games with three touchdowns. Against BYU, Reynolds caught four passes for 47 yards. Against San José State, he recorded career-highs with eight receptions for a career-best 77 yards (9.6 ypr). 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. 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.
ANDERSEN EARNS NATIONAL RECOGNITION FROM COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS
Junior tight end Keegan Andersen earned honorable mention National Tight End of the Week honors from College Football Performance Awards in his last game against BYU as he caught a career-high tying three passes for 47 yards, with a long reception of 22 yards.
UTAH STATE OFFENSIVE NOTABLES
Utah State has seven players who have caught at least 10 passes this year and six players who have at least two touchdown receptions... USU has also had at least seven players catch at least one pass in every game this season, eight players catch a pass in all but one game this year, nine players catch at least one pass in three games this year, and 10 players catch at least one pass in two games this year.
UTAH STATE DEFENSIVE NOTABLES
Utah State has had a player record 10 or more tackles in a game five times this season and USU's three linebackers of senior Jake Doughty, junior Zach Vigil and sophomore Kyler Fackrell have combined for nine double-digit tackle games thus far this year... After not intercepting a pass in each of its first four games of the season, Utah State has intercepted four passes in its last two games as senior safety Maurice Alexander, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson and junior cornerback Jeremy Morris each intercepted a pass at San José State, while senior cornerback Quinton Byrd intercepted a pass against BYU.
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 11 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.
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, 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.
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton missed four games due to injury during his freshman season in 2011 and Utah State won all four of those games as they advanced to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, its first bowl game in 15 years.
UTAH STATE RANKS 31ST IN THE NATION IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Utah State is averaging 475.5 yards of total offense per game to rank fourth in the Mountain West and 31st in the nation. USU also ranks third in the MW and 34th in the nation in passing efficiency (148.0), fifth in the MW and tied for 36th in the nation in scoring (36.0 ppg), sixth in the MW and 37th in the nation in passing offense (275.2 ypg), fifth in the MW and 41st in the nation in rushing offense (200.3 ypg), and tied for eighth in the MW and 50th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.5 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 25TH IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 335.8 yards of total offense per game to rank first in the Mountain West and 25th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 26th in the nation in scoring defense (19.3 ppg), second in the MW and 40th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (117.7), first in the MW and 38th in the nation in rushing defense (132.2 ypg), third in the MW and 28th in the nation in passing defense (203.7 ypg), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 88th in the nation in sacks (1.5 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 31ST IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURNS
Utah State currently ranks third in the Mountain West and 31st in the nation averaging 23.6 yards per kick return. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and tied for 39th in the nation in turnover margin (+0.7), eighth in the MW and 43rd in the nation in net punting (38.3 ypk), and eighth in the MW and tied for 79th in the nation in punt returns (6.0 ypr).
UTAH STATE RANKS AMONG TOP 10 NATIONALLY IN KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks among the top 10 teams in the nation in both kickoff return and punt return defense as it is allowing -0.33 yards per punt return to rank second in the Mountain West and third in the nation, and just 16.7 yards per kickoff return to rank second in the MW and eighth nationally.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE NATION IN FIRST DOWNS
Utah State is averaging 25.3 first downs per game thus far this year to rank second in the Mountain West and second in the nation. In 2012, USU averaged 20.9 first downs per game.
UTAH STATE RANKS 19TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 51-of-102 third downs (.500) to rank third in the Mountain West and tied for 19th in the nation. In 2012, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 24TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 30 first downs on 98 third-down attempts (.306) to rank first in the Mountain West and 24th in the nation. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS EIGHTH IN THE NATION IN FORCING THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State ranks eighth in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it has forced 38 three-and-outs on 81 drives, which averages out to 46.9 percent of the time and 6.3 per game.
UTAH STATE RANKS 21ST IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 27-for-29 (.931) on red zone opportunities to rank fifth in the Mountain West and 21st nationally. Overall, USU has scored 22 touchdowns and converted 5-of-6 field goals in the red zone, while turning it over on downs once.
KEETON RANKS THIRD IN THE NATION IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Despite playing just one quarter in his last game against BYU, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton still ranks third in the nation with 18 touchdowns passes. Keeton also ranks second in the Mountain West and ninth in the nation in points responsible for (20.0 pg), second in the MW and 28th in the nation in passing efficiency (157.1), fourth in the MW and 12th in the nation in completion percentage (.694), fourth in the MW and 18th in the nation in completions (22.7), fifth in the MW and 37th in the nation in total offense (271.5 ypg), and sixth in the MW and 46th in the nation in passing (231.3 ypg).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks second in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation in tackles (10.5 pg). Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks fifth in the MW and tied for 32nd in the nation in tackles for loss (1.33 pg), tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 50th in the nation in sacks (0.7 pg), tied for sixth in the MW and 57th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.3 pg), and tied for 22nd in the MW in tackles (6.8 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks second in the MW and tied for ninth in the nation in fumbles forced (0.5 pg), tied for third in the MW and tied for 29th in the nation in tackles (9.5 pg), and fifth in the MW and tied for 42nd in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.3 pg). Senior running back Joey DeMartino ranks eighth in the MW and 69th in the nation in rushing (70.8 ypg), and ninth in the MW and 71st in the nation in rushing touchdowns (0.7 pg). Senior safety Maurice Alexander ranks tied for 27th in the MW in tackles (6.5 pg). Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson ranks sixth in the MW and 54th in the nation in punt returns (6.1 ypr). Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall ranks tied for seventh in the MW and tied for 31st in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.7 pg). Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds, senior tight end D.J. Tialavea, junior tight end Keegan Andersen and junior wide receiver Ronald Butler all rank tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 72nd in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.5 pg). Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright ranks fifth in the MW and tied for 43rd in the nation in kickoff returns (24.0 ypr). Junior placekicker Nick Diaz ranks tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 51st in the nation in field goals (1.2 pg), tied for sixth in the MW and 54th in the nation in field goal percentage (77.8), seventh in the MW in extra point percentage (96.2), and 10th in the MW and 72nd in the nation in scoring (7.7 ppg). And junior punter Jaron Bentrude ranks ninth in the MW and 80th in the nation in punting (39.5 ypk).
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 517-of-777 passing during his Utah State career with a completion percentage of 66.5 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 56 touchdown passes and is just four 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 7,114 yards of total offense (5,961-passing, 1,153-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 982 yards of total offense shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for second-place with 8,096 yards of total offense.
KEETON RANKS TIED FOR SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETIONS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for second all-time at Utah State with 517 career completions along with Diondre Borel (2007-10). 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 5,961 yards to rank sixth all-time in school history and is now 112 yards shy of tying Eric Hipple (1976-79) for fifth-place with 6,073 passing yards, 144 yards shy of tying Brent Snyder (1987-88) for fourth-place with 6,105 passing yards, and 265 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 777 passes during his career to rank seventh all-time in school history and is now 52 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 21ST ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has rushed for 1,153 yards (252 carries, 4.6 ypc) during his Aggie career to rank 21st all-time in school history. Keeton is now 40 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'S 18 TOUCHDOWN PASSES RANKS TIED FOR NINTH IN SCHOOL HISTORY FOR A SEASON
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw 18 touchdown passes to rank tied for ninth all-time at USU, while his completion percentage of 69.4 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 65-of-66 on extra points during his Aggie career and his career PAT percentage of 98.5 percent ranks fourth all-time in school history, while his 65 extra points made ranks seventh all-time and his 66 extra point attempts ranks eighth all-time at USU. Diaz is also 15-of-20 (.750) on field goal attempts during his career and that 75.0 percentage ranks third 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, while his 70 extra points made ranks sixth and his 72 extra point attempts ranks fifth. The school record for field goal percentage is 84.6 percent set by Russ Moody (1988-89) as he was 22-of-26 on field goal attempts during his career.
DIAZ AND THOMPSON BOTH RANK AMONG BEST KICKERS IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Junior placekicker Nick 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 senior placekicker Josh Thompson who was 57-of-58 on extra points.
DID YOU KNOW?
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 (.665), 10th in touchdowns responsible for (70), 12th in passing efficiency (151.4), and is one of 18 FBS quarterbacks to throw for at least 5,000 yards and rush for at least 1,000 yards.
A LOOK AT BOISE STATE
Boise State is 3-2 (1-1 MW) on the season following its 60-7 home win against Southern Miss two weekends ago. The Broncos began the year with a 38-6 loss at Washington, followed by a 63-14 home win against Tennessee-Martin and a 42-20 home win against Air Force, followed by a 41-40 road loss at Fresno State. Offensively, BSU is led by senior quarterback Joe Southwick who is 119-of-162 passing for 1,254 yards (250.8 ypg) with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Sophomore running back Jay Ajayi leads the team in rushing with 435 yards on 89 carries (87.0 ypg) with eight touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Matt Miller has 35 catches for 388 yards (77.6 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, redshirt freshman linebacker Ben Weaver leads the team with 37 tackles (27-solo, 10-assist) and 1.5 tackles for loss, while junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence has 24 tackles (11-solo, 13-assist) with 4.5 tackles for loss. As a team, BSU is averaging 42.2 points and 491.4 yards of total offense per game (281.6-passing , 209.8-rushing) and allowing 24.0 points and 405.8 yards of total offense per game (251.2-passing, 154.6-rushing). Overall, Boise State returns 10 starters (O-5, D-4, S-1) and 48 lettermen from last year's team that went 11-2 and 7-1 in league play and shared the Mountain West Championship with Fresno State and San Diego State. The Broncos defeated Washington, 28-26, in the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas and ended the year ranked 18th in the final Associated Press poll. Chris Peterson is 87-10 in his eighth year as the Broncos head coach.
AGGIES AND BRONCOS
Utah State trails in the all-time series against Boise State, 13-4, including a 2-6 record in Logan. The first game played in the series was on Oct. 15, 1975 in Boise with USU winning, 42-19. BSU has won the last 10 games played in the series, including a 50-14 win in Boise in the last meeting between the two teams on Dec. 4, 2010. The last time the two teams played in Logan was on Nov. 20, 2009 with BSU winning, 52-21. The last time USU defeated the Broncos was on Nov. 1, 1997 in Logan, 24-20.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS BOISE STATE
Rushing Yards: Demario Brown (1999), 239
Passing Yards: Jose Fuentes (2000), 509
Receiving Yards: Aaron Jones (2000), 297
UTAH STATE-BOISE STATE SERIES 16TH-LONGEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Boise State will be meeting for the 18th time in series history this weekend for the 16th-most played series in school history.
UTAH STATE AND BOISE STATE AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and Boise State have spent 11 years as league foes as both schools were members of the Big West Conference from 1996 to 2000 and members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005 to 2010. Boise State joined the Mountain West Conference in 2011.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE GEM STATE
Utah State is 38-32-0 (.43) all-time against Division I teams from the state of Idaho, including a 20-17-2 record against Idaho, a 14-2 record against Idaho State and a 4-13 record against Boise State.
Matt Wells VERSUS BOISE STATE
Matt Wells will be facing Boise State for the first time as a head coach, but has faced the Broncos three times as an assistant at Tulsa.
Utah State does not have a single player on its roster from the state of Idaho, while Boise State does not have a single player on its roster from the state of Utah.
UTAH STATE-BOISE STATE CONNECTIONS
Tony Knap was head coach for both teams, as he was head coach at Utah State from 1963-66, compiling a 25-14-1 (.637) record. In 1968, he succeeded Lyle Smith at Boise State, then still known as Boise College. It was the school's first year in Division II (then the "college division"); it had previously competed (and dominated) in the junior college ranks. Knap led the Broncos to a 71-19-1 (.788) record in eight years, including three 10-win seasons.
Freshman offensive lineman Joe Malanga (South Jordan, Utah) turns 19 years old on Saturday, Oct. 12, the same day USU hosts Boise State.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 WEEKLY PLAYER HONORS
Sept. 7 (W, 52-20 at Air Force)
- 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.
- College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Sept. 14 (W, 70-6 vs. Weber State)
- College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Running Back of the Week.
- College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week.
- College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Tight End of the Week.
Sept. 21 (L, 14-17 at USC)
- College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week.
Sept. 27 (W, 40-12 at San José State)
- College Football Performance Awards National Specialist of the Week; one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week.
- College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Oct. 4 (L, 31-14 vs. BYU)
- College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Tight End of the Week.
LAST MEETING VS. BOISE STATE
Sophomore running back/kick returner Kerwynn Williams broke the Western Athletic Conference and NCAA FBS record for single-season kick return yards in Utah State's 50-14 loss at Boise State, who is ranked No. 9 in the AP Poll and No. 11 in the BCS Standings, on Dec. 4, 2010 at BSU's Lyle Smith Field at Bronco Stadium.
Utah State ends the season with a 4-8 overall record and 2-6 WAC mark, as Dec. 4 was the final game for USU's 22 seniors. Boise State improves to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in WAC play, earning a share of the WAC title.
Williams entered the game needing 123 yards for the record and he had 157 yards to top the week-old mark of 1,410 yards by New Mexico State's Taveon Rogers, as the USU sophomore totaled 1,444 yards for the year. Williams is also the WAC's career kick return yards record holder. In addition to the 157 kick return yards, Williams also had a career-high 147 rushing yards for his first 100-yard game of his career, nearly tripling his previous career-best of 52 yards. Williams stepped in for senior running back Derrvin Speight, who was injured in the first half and did not return.
Utah State had a total of 250 rushing yards with a season-low 41 passing yards, finishing with 291 yards of total offense.
Senior quarterback Diondre Borel was a season-low 4-of-15 for 41 yards passing, and was intercepted twice and sacked four times by the Bronco defense. Redshirt-freshman wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen had three catches for 33 yards.
The Aggie defense was led by junior safety Walter McClenton with eight tackles, while senior safety Rajric Coleman added seven stops. Junior linebacker Bobby Wagner was one of three Aggies with six tackles, posting a game-high two tackles for loss. Wagner suffered an arm injury in the second half and saw limited action.
Boise State amassed 453 total offense yards with 251 through the air and 202 on the ground. Kellen Moore was 24-of-34 passing for 237 yards with three touchdowns. Kyle Efaw had five catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns, while Jeremy Avery had 10 rushes for 71 yards and one touchdown. Jeron Johnson logged nine tackles to lead the BSU defense.
The Broncos' Derrell Acrey intercepted Borel on the Aggies' first play from scrimmage and returned the oskie 31-yards to the endzone. Efaw's first touchdown of the game came at the 8:21 mark after the Broncos had a short field on a 20-yard drive following a 29-yard punt return by Mitch Burroughs.
Williams scored on a 40-yard scamper on a fourth-and-one, bursting through a huge hole in the right side created by the Aggies' offensive line, and senior placekicker Peter Caldwell's extra point pulled USU within, 15-7, with exactly one minute on the first quarter clock.
The Broncos added 14 second stanza points, on a 2-yard Moore to Efaw scoring connection and a 4-yard pass from Moore to Austin Pettis, taking a 29-7 halftime lead. Avery scored from 13-yards out and Moore later went over for a 1-yard score to open a 43-7 Bronco lead.
Borel darted in from a yard-out with 11:03 to go in the fourth quarter for a 43-14 score, but Mike Coughlin closed the scoring with a 1-yard run with 6:21 on the clock.
LAST MEETING VS. BOISE STATE IN LOGAN
Utah State kept it close with sixth-ranked Boise State for a quarter and a half, until the Broncos pulled away with 21 points in the final five minutes of the first half and won, 52-21, on November 20, 2009 in a nationally-televised game from USU's Romney Stadium.
It was USU's final home game of the season, as the Aggies finish their home ledger with a 3-2 mark, their first season with a winning record since 2003.
The loss spoiled USU's Senior Night, as the Aggies honored their 15 seniors before the game. It also spoiled the first nationally televised game from Romney Stadium since at least 1977 and the first time that the ESPN network televised a football game in Logan.
Utah State finished the game with 363 yards of total offense (226-passing, 137-rushing) and Boise State finished with 572 yards of total offense (323-passing, 249-rushing).
Sophomore running back Robert Turbin topped USU's single-season rushing record for a sophomore on a 24-yard scoring run, as he now has 1,183 yards on the season, topping the previous sophomore mark of 1,135 by Rick Parros in 1977.
The win improves Boise State to 11-0 overall and 6-0 in Western Athletic Conference action, while USU is now 3-8 overall and 2-5 in WAC play. It was the Broncos' 14th-straight WAC win, with their last conference loss coming in 2007. Utah State is now 4-12 all-time vs. Boise State, losing the last nine meetings, including the last four times when BSU has been ranked.
Junior running back Michael Smith scored on a 22-yard run to tie it at 7-7 with 5:52 in the first quarter. After a Boise State touchdown, Utah State countered with the 24-yard touchdown rush by Turbin to knot the score at 14-all with 6:28 remaining in the first half.
The Broncos then scored 21 points in the final five minutes of the half to take a 35-14 halftime lead and never looked back, amassing 572 yards of total offense in the process, led by 121 rushing yards and four touchdowns from running back Doug Martin, while fellow running back Jeremy Avery added 116 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Kellen Moore was 15-of-29 passing for 233 yards and one Ttouchdown, hitting wide receiver Titus Young for five passes for 102 yards.
Utah State was led by Turbin with 61 yards rushing, while junior quarterback Diondre Borel was 18-of-30 passing for 201 yards. Smith ended the game with 44 rushing yards and two touchdowns and had 48 yards receiving on two catches, including 25 on a fake punt pass play from sophomore wide receiver Stanley Morrison.
Junior wide receiver Eric Moats had a team-high 70 yards on three catches, while senior wide receiver Xavier Bowman added four catches for 23 yards.
Sophomore linebacker Bobby Wagner led USU with 13 tackles, while BSU was led by Jeron Johnson's 14 stops.
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 BYU GAME
Utah State lost to Brigham Young, 31-14, on Oct. 4, 2013 at a chilly, sold out Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The loss leveled the Aggies' season record at 3-3. BYU improved to 3-2 with the win.
The Aggies totalled 397 yards of total offense with 186 rushing and 211 passing, while the Cougars collected 438 yards of total offense with 278 through the air and 160 on the ground.
Junior quarterback Craig Harrison was 18-of-41 passing for 185 yards with one touchdown, coming on in place of fellow junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton in the first quarter after Keeton went down with a knee injury and never returned. Keeton was 4-of-10 passing for 26 yards and a touchdown, adding three rushes for 17 yards before the injury.
Senior running back Joey DeMartino rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries, while Harrison rushed for 38 yards on six carries and freshman running back Kennedy Williams amassed a season-high 37 yards on six rushes.
The senior duo of wide receiver Travis Reynolds and tight end D.J. Tialavea each had four receptions, with Reynolds totaling 47 yards and Tialavea tallying 21 yards. Junior tight end Keegan Andersen matched Reynolds with 47 yards on three catches.
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty registered a team-high 14 tackles, while sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell tallied a new career-high with 13 stops. Doughty logged 2.5 tackles for loss, while Fackrell recorded a pair of tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Zach Vigil notched 11 tackles and forced a first-quarter fumble to set up USU's first touchdown of the night.
The Cougars were led by Taysom Hill's 17-of-31 passing for 278 yards with three touchdowns, all to Mitch Mathews, who finished with five catches for 112 yards. Jamaal Williams totaled 79 yards rushing on 14 carries. Uani `Unga led BYU's defense with a game-high 16 stops, while Robertson Daniel added 10 tackles.
BYU started its scoring on the first play from scrimmage, as Kyle Van Noy jumped in the middle of a Keeton pass and snared it and returned it 17 yards to the end zone for an early 7-0 Cougar lead.
The Aggie defense generated a score two series later, with Zach Vigil forcing a Hill fumble after a scamper and junior safety Brian Suite recovered at the BYU 10. Three plays later Keeton threw a 7-yard pass to senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen, and sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz hit the extra point to tie the score at 7-7 with 10:48 on the first quarter clock.
On the Cougars' next possession, Hill led the charge down the field with a 14-play, 67-yard drive ending with a Justin Sorensen 27-yard field goal with 7:04 to go in the first frame.
BYU added to its lead with a 30-yard touchdown toss from Hill to Mathews, the first of their three touchdown connections on the night, for a 17-7 Cougar lead at the 10:30 mark of the second quarter, which remained the score into halftime.
Hill and Mathews connected with two more touchdowns in the third quarter, first on a 6-yarder with 12:06 to go and again on a 43-yard strike with 5:52 on the third quarter clock for a 31-7 Cougar lead and capping BYU's scoring.
The Aggies added an 8-yard touchdown toss from Harrison to junior wide receiver Ronald Butler with 1:34 left in the game to conclude the scoring at 31-14.