Aggies To Open Big West Football Season At North Texas
Oct. 8, 2000
Game #6 at North Texas Sat., Oct. 14, 1:35 p.m. (MST) Fouts Field (30,500) Denton, Texas Radio: KVNU (610 AM), Logan KVFX (94.5 FM), Logan KWLW (700 AM), SLC Internet: www.UtahStateAggies.com TV: None USU Tickets: 1-888-U-STATE-1 or (435) 797-0305
USU SID: Mike Strauss (435) 797-1361 UNT SID: Sean Johnson (940) 565-2476
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2000 Utah State (1-4, 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 L 14-38 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 North Texas (1-4, 0-0) Aug. 31 BAYLOR L 7-20 Sept. 9 at Texas Tech L 7-13 Sept. 16 at UNLV L 0-38 Sept. 23 at Kan. State L 10-55 Oct. 5 SAMFORD W 41-6 Oct. 14 UTAH STATE Oct. 21 at Boise State Oct. 28 at La. Lafayette Nov. 4 IDAHO Nov. 11 at Arkansas State Nov. 18 N.M. STATE
QUICKLY -- Utah State (1-4) will open Big West Conference play at North Texas (1-4)... This is the final season for Big West football (more later in this release)... USU has won three of its last five conference openers, including a 20-14 win against Arkansas State to open league play last year... USU is making its second trip to the state of Texas this year (opened the year at Texas Tech)... USU is 8-1 in the game immediately following the BYU game in the last nine years... USU is 0-3 on the road this year (all non-conference), but has won nine of its last 12 Big West Conference road games, including back-to-back wins at Nevada and North Texas to end the year last season... USU will be playing on artificial turf for the second time this year (lost at Texas Tech) and the Aggies' win at North Texas in last year's finale stopped a seven-game losing streak on the fake stuff (0-1 on turf since then).
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried on the Aggie Radio Network with Al "I'm puttin' a Denton somethin' while I'm there" Lewis handling the play-by-play chores and Chris "I'll hold the get out of jail free card" 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. There is no television for the UNT game.
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 -- Brigham Young scored on three straight possessions to turn a 10-7 lead into a 31-7 lead and hand Utah State its fourth loss of the season. The Aggies were led by Emmett White, who rushed for 61 yards, had 40 yards in receptions and returned three punts for 52 yards and four kickoffs for 124 yards. USU produced just 215 yards offensively while allowing BYU 533 yards. USU committed just one turnover and had just three penalties, but BYU was even better with zero turnovers and just four penalties.
TRAVEL PLANS -- Utah State will headquarter at the DFW Airport Marriott (972-929-8800) and will hold a light workout Friday afternoon at Fouts Field.
UP NEXT -- Utah State will return home after two weeks on the road to host Idaho at 3:05 p.m. The day is designated as Reunion Day and USU will recognize the Chuck Mills-era teams (1968-72).
DID YOU KNOW? -- Utah State is making back-to-back trips to North Texas (also played there last year), marking the first time the Aggies have traveled to the same opponent in consecutive years since playing back-to-back games at Brigham Young in 1991 and 1992.
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. His 66.2 winning percentage in seven years of head coaching entering the year was third among active division I head coaches with less than five years at this level. 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 1-4 .200 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.) 1-4 .200 0-0 .000 50th career win Totals (8th year) 50-29 .633 33-17 .660 3-4 in playoffs
THE USU-UNT SERIES -- Utah State leads the all-time series 3-1 with all four previous games coming in each of the last four years. USU posted a 21-13 victory in the first meeting in Logan in 1996 before losing a thrilling 51-48 decision at Denton in the 1997 season finale. USU then won 28-27 at Logan in 1998 and posted a 34-7 victory to close the 1999 season at Denton.
USU-UNT LAST YEAR -- Utah State ended the 1999 season on a positive note with a 34-7 victory at Denton. The Aggies scored on a blocked punt return (Blake Eagal), a fumble recovery (Cade Smith), two rushing touchdowns (Demario Brown) and two field goals (Brad Bohn), while the defense allowed a 63-yard scoring pass for the only mark by the Mean Green. USU ran up 493 yards and limited North Texas to 218 yards. Brown rushed for 159 yards in his final game as an Aggie, while John Roberts gained 75 yards on 11 carries.
USU-UNT NOTE-ABLE -- A win against North Texas would give USU its third straight win against the Mean Green, the second longest such winning streak USU has against an active Division I opponent (USU has beaten Hawaii four straight times)... USU has two players from the state of Texas in Adam Colbert (Dallas) and Desmond Watson (Richardson)... UNT assistant coach Bill Michael had to work with USU SID Mike Strauss at Oklahoma State... USU is 4-1 against schools from the state of Texas in its last five games (lost to Texas Tech this year)... Ex-USU running back Demario Brown produced four 100-yard rushing games against North Texas in his career, which ended last season. Brown gained 165 in 1996, 142 in 1997, 130 in 1998 and 159 last year... This is the earliest in the season USU and UNT have played each other as the previous four meetings were all USU's 10th or 11th game).
DID YOU KNOW? -- Utah State and North Texas played in the 1999 conference season finale and are opening league play in 2000. The last time USU played two straight games against a league opponent was 1991 and 1992 when USU beat NMSU to close the 1991 season and then beat the New Mags to open conference play in 1992.
BIG WEST'S FINAL YEAR -- This is the final football season for the Big West Conference and here is a look at some of USU's conference success as the league enters its 32nd and final season:
Years In The Conference 1. 27, San Jose State and Pacific 3. 23, UTAH STATE, Long Beach State
Conference Games Played 1. 151, Pacific 2. 149, San Jose State 3. 133, UTAH STATE
Conference Wins 1. 100, San Jose State (100-45-4) 2. 78, UTAH STATE (78-53-2) 2. 78, Fresno State (78-49-1)
Conference Championships (won or shared) 1. 9, San Jose State 2. 6, Fresno State 3. 5, UTAH STATE, Nevada, San Diego State
Conference Records of Current Schools 78-53-2 UTAH STATE (23rd year) 21-80-0, New Mexico State (17th year) 13-8-0, Idaho (5th year) 11-10-0, Boise State (5th year) 9-12-0, North Texas (5th year) 7-17-0, Arkansas State (5th year)
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 after this release is printed):
Opponent Offense Defense Special Teams Texas Tech Emmett White Jesse Busta None Southern Utah A. JONES Cade Smith Steve Mullins Arizona State Emmett White Brent Passey BRAD BOHN Utah Aaron Jones B. PASSEY Steve Mullins Brigham Young Emmett White Brent Passey Emmett White
BOHN GETS A KICK OUT OF UNT -- PK Brad Bohn has made seven-of-nine field goal attempts against North Texas in three previous meetings with the seven makes his most against any opponent. After missing a 49-yarder as his only attempt as a freshman in 1997, Bohn tied a Big West record by hitting five-of-five attempts in 1998 and last year made two-of-three, including a 52-yarder for the eighth longest field goal in school history.
BOHN HIGH ON USU AND BIG WEST CHARTS -- PK Brad Bohn's 240 points are ninth in league history (he needs one point for eighth and seven for seventh). His 51 field goals rank third behind 70 by Barry Belli of Fresno State and 53 by Nick Garritano of UNLV. His 87 PATs are ninth place as well.
DID YOU KNOW? -- PK Brad Bohn did not attempt a field goal against Brigham Young last Saturday, marking the first time in the last 20 games he did not get to try a three-pointer (had back-to-back weeks against Washington and Idaho in 1998 without an attempt).
HAVING A WHITE OUT -- RB Emmett White is producing one of the most versatile individual seasons in USU history. In his first year as a starter, White ranks in the Big West Conference's top 10 in seven different statistical categories and is among the top 50 in the NCAA in four different categories. Nationally White is ranked fifth in all-purpose yardage and is one of just three players in the nation to have gained 100 yards in each of the four categories that make up all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, punt returns and kickoff returns). The other two players are ninth-ranked Deuce McAllister of Mississippi and 29th-listed Domanick Davis of LSU. White ranks 14th in the country in kickoff returns, 48th in rushing and 50th in punt returns as well.
"White was on the field the entire game." -- BYU head coach LaVell Edwards
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 four of five games this year (had nine vs. Texas Tech) and has reached double-figure tackle totals in 16 of his last 20 games dating back to his sophomore season.
OFFENSIVE NOTES -- USU rushed for just 11 yards on 25 carries against BYU for its lowest rushing output since a minus 19-yard effort against New Mexico in 1998... USU has thrown for 200-plus yards in four straight games for the first time since the first four games of last year... USU has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all five games this year... After committing a combined seven turnovers in back-to-back games against Arizona State and Utah, USU had just one turnover against BYU on Saturday... USU has owned the time of possession advantage in just one game this year (30:10 to 29:50 vs. Arizona State)... Fourteen different players have caught passes this season and five different Aggies have touchdown catches... RB Emmett White has produced 77.0 yards per game rushing, while the rest of the team is averaging a minus 8.6 yards per game... Ten different players have rushed the ball this year... Seven of USU's 11 touchdowns have come from outside of the redzone... RB Emmett White's touchdown against BYU marked the first time in six games that USU's first points were not a Brad Bohn field goal... USU has scored just six points in the first quarter this year and 29 in the first half through five games... WR David Fiefia is ranked sixth in the country for receptions by a freshman.
DEFENSIVE NOTES -- USU has allowed 500 yards of total offense to three different opponents this year... USU had allowed just one rushing touchdown in the first three games, but has allowed nine in the last two games... The opponents have averaged 77.0 plays per game, while USU has run 62.4 per contest... The opponent has scored first in all five games this year... USU's five interceptions have been by five different players... USU is allowing 490.4 yards of total offense and only once in school history have the Aggies allowed more (506.0 in 1988)... USU has been starting three freshmen on the defensive line this year (Jorge Tapia, Jared Solosabal and Nate Putnam).
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES -- Utah State is 10th in the nation in net punting and 27th in kickoff returns... USU's individual NCAA special teams rankings include Emmett White (14th in kickoff returns and 50th in punt returns), Steve Mullins (18th in punting) and Brad Bohn (24th in field goals)... 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 and has a 50-yard punt in 13-of-16 games in his career.
USU NOTE-ABLE -- USU is opening league play on the road for the first time since 1996 when the Aggies won 53-21 at New Mexico State... LB Cade Smith recorded his first career reception on a fake punt against BYU. This year Smith has a reception and an interception (Tony Walker accomplished that feat last year) and a fumble recovery and last year Smith had a fumble recovery that he returned for a touchdown against North Texas... USU played four games this year against teams that received votes in the Associated Press poll at some point in the season... USU has played 58 different players this season, including 13 freshmen, 12 sophomores, 17 juniors and 16 seniors... WR Chris Stallworth and SS Maurice Caraway made their first collegiate starts against BYU becoming the 32nd and 33rd different players to start for USU this year... Four of USU's starters this year have been freshmen... USU has just six active players that have started at least 10 games in their careers... USU is 24-27-1 in October in the last 15 years as compared to 12-46-1 in September games in that same time span... USU head coach Mick Dennehy is trying to avoid just the second four-game losing streak of his career (lost his first four games at Western Montana after that school had dropped football the year before.
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. * USU started three freshmen defensive linemen against Utah (Tapia, Solosabal, Putnam).
USU When... Category Record Record 1-4 Scoring First 0-0 Opp. Scores First 1-4 Lead at Half 0-0 Tied at Half 0-0 Trail at Half 1-4 Lead after 3 1-0 Tied after 3 0-0 Trail after 3 0-4 Rush for 200 0-0 Pass for 300 0-0 More Yards than Opp. 0-0 Fewer Yards than Opp. 1-4 More TO than Opp. 0-4 Same TO as Opp. 0-0 Fewer TO than Opp. 1-0 Home 1-1 Away 0-3 Big West 0-0 Non-Conference 1-4 Natural Grass 1-3 Artificial Turf 0-1 Day Games 0-1 Night Games 1-3 Decided by one score 0-0
MORE AT USU -- Here is a look at USU's athletic schedule this week:
Tue., Oct. 10 -- VOLLEYBALL VS. UTAH, 7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 13 -- SOCCER VS. CAL STATE FULLERTON, 3 p.m. Fri., Oct. 13 -- CROSS COUNTRY HOSTS USU INVITATIONAL, 5 p.m. (Logan Golf and Country Club) Sat., Oct. 14 -- Football at North Texas, 1:35 p.m. Sat., Oct. 14 -- VOLLEYBALL VS. BOISE STATE, 7 p.m. Sun., Oct. 15 -- SOCCER VS. UC IRVINE, noon
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
www.UtahStateAggies.com * * * * *
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 (96th) Rushing Offense 6th (110th) Passing Offense 3rd (57th) Scoring Offense 3rd (85th) Total Defense 6th (113th) Rushing Defense 4th (96th) Passing Defense 5th (112th) Scoring Defense 5th (100th) Kickoff Returns 2nd (27th) Punt Returns 2nd (55th) Net Punting 1st (10th) TO Margin 5th (79th)
Individual Big West (NCAA) BRAD BOHN Field Goals 1st (24th) Scoring 5th DAVID FIEFIA Receptions 7th Receiving Yards 8th JOSE FUENTES Total Offense 3rd Passing 3rd AARON JONES Receiving Yards 2nd (37th) Receptions 2nd (37th) Scoring 3rd STEVE MULLINS Punting 2nd (18th) TONY WALKER Kickoff Returns 7th EMMETT WHITE All-Purpose 2nd (5th) Kickoff Returns 2nd (14th) Punt Returns 2nd (50th) Rushing 3rd (48th) Receptions 6th Receiving Yards 7th Total Offense 9th
2000 Big West Standings
School Conf. Overall Boise State 0-0 3-2 Idaho 0-0 2-4 UTAH STATE 0-0 1-4 New Mexico State 0-0 1-4 North Texas 0-0 1-4 Arkansas State 0-0 0-6
This Week Arkansas State at Idaho Eastern Washington at Boise State Tulsa at New Mexico State Utah State at North Texas
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)
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)
1999 Starters in ALL CAPS
1L = one varsity letter, HS= High School experience, JC=Junior College, RS= Redshirt, SQ=Squad, TR=Transfer