Oct. 8, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
UTAH STATE at SAN JOSE STATEWHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME SEVEN INFORMATION Date: Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 Kickoff: 2:07 p.m. (MT) Location: San Jose, Calif. Stadium: Spartan Stadium (30,456) Series: Utah State trails, 13-20-1 TV: ESPN Regional (Altitude) Trey Bender (Play-by-Play) Jay Taylor (Analyst) Radio: Utah State Sports Network Al Lewis (Play-by-Play) Craig Hislop (Analyst) Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com Twitter Updates: /USUFootball YouTube: /USUAthletics Facebook: /USUFootball Tickets: 1-877-SJSU-TIX
Utah State's 4-2 start to the season is its best since 1982 when that Aggie team won five of its first seven games. Overall, USU has won nine of its last 12 games with its only losses during that stretch coming against Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) this season.
Utah State's 9-3 record in its last 12 games under head coach Gary Andersen is its best stretch since going 10-2 during the 1972-73 seasons as the 1972 team won its final five games and the 1973 squad started the year with a 5-2 record.
Utah State has won four of its last six road games dating back to 2011, including a 1-2 record this year as it lost at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14), won at Colorado State (31-19), and lost at BYU (6-3). USU ended the 2011 season with road wins at Hawai`i (35-31), Idaho (49-42 2OT), and New Mexico State (24-21). Overall, USU is 6-16 (.273) in road games under Andersen.
Utah State has won five-straight Western Athletic Conference games, which is its longest league winning streak since the 1999 and 2000 seasons when those two teams combined to win six-straight Big West Conference games. All-time, USU is 18-37 (.327) in WAC play.
Utah State will begin WAC play on the road for the fourth time in this its eighth and final year in the league and is 0-3 in road WAC openers. In fact, USU is just 1-6 in WAC openers as its only league-opening win was a 42-17 victory at home against Idaho in 2008. Overall, USU is 27-25-3 (.518) all-time in conference openers including a 10-13-3 (.442) road record.
Under Andersen, Utah State is 11-10 (.524) following a loss as it posted a 4-4 record in 2009, a 3-4 record in 2010, a 3-2 record a year ago, and a 1-0 record thus far this year. Overall, USU has lost back-to-back games just twice in its last 19 contests.
Utah State has 55 players in its program from the state of Utah, while San Jose State has 89 players on its roster from the state of California.
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 54-0 in the first quarter this year and 88-22 in the first-half. Overall, USU had led at the half in each of its first five games this season before trailing 6-3 at the half at BYU.
During the last two years, 10 of Utah State's last 13 games have been decided by one score, while seven of its last 11 games had the winning points scored in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. Overall, USU has won six of its last nine games decided by one score dating back to the 2011 season.
UTAH STATE BEGINS WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PLAY AT SAN JOSE STATE
Utah State (4-2, 0-0 WAC) continues its 2012 season with its fourth road game in the last five weeks as it begins Western Athletic Conference play at San Jose State (4-1, 0-0) on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2:07 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised regionally by ESPN and broadcast on Altitude Sports (Comcast Ch. 61, DirecTV Ch. 681, DISH Network Ch. 410) with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jay Taylor (analyst) on the call. Live audio and streaming of the game is also available at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's gameday coverage.
UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES TIED FOR EIGHTH-LONGEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and San Jose State will be meeting for the 35th time in series history this weekend tying Denver for the seventh-most played series in school history trailing Utah (110), BYU (82), Colorado State (69), Wyoming (63), Idaho (38) and New Mexico State (36). USU's 34 current meetings with SJSU is tied with Montana State for the eighth-most in school history.
UTAH STATE PLAYS FOURTH ROAD GAME IN FIVE WEEKS AT SAN JOSE STATE
Utah State will conclude a brutal five-week stretch this weekend at San Jose State, as the Aggies will have played four of its last five games on the road. That four-game road stretch in a five-week period is the longest for a USU team since the 2009 season, Gary Andersen's first year as Aggie head coach, as that team began the season by playing four of its first five games away from home.
UTAH STATE AND SAN JOSE STATE AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and San Jose State will continue its history as conference foes as both schools will officially join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. The two schools began its conference affiliation as members of the Big West Conference from 1978-1995 and has been conference foes in the Western Athletic Conference since 2005. As members of the Big West, San Jose State held a 10-4-1 series advantage against Utah State, while the series record as WAC members is currently 4-3-0 in favor of the Aggies.
UTAH STATE TO PLAY FINAL SIX GAMES OF THE REGULAR SEASON ON ARTIFICIAL SURFACES
After playing its first and only game of the regular season on natural grass at BYU, Utah State will conclude the year by playing its final six regular season games on artificial surfaces.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE GOLDEN STATE
Utah State is 53-66-2 (.446) all-time against teams from the state of California, including a 19-43-2 (.313) road record. Overall, USU is 21-7 versus Pacific, 13-20-1 against San Jose State, 10-16-1 versus Fresno State, 8-6 against Cal State Fullerton, 1-10 versus San Diego State, 1-0 against Cal State Northridge, 0-4 versus USC, and 0-1 against Stanford, St. Vincent's and UCLA. In fact, the last time USU won a road game in the Golden State was on Nov. 13, 2010 at San Jose State, 38-34.
EIGHTH AND FINAL YEAR IN THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Utah State is entering its eighth and final year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference as it will officially join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. In its first seven years in the WAC, USU has posted an 18-37 (.327) mark. Prior to joining the WAC, Utah State was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04 and spent two years as a independent (2001-02). USU was also a member of the PCAA/Big West Conference (1978-2000), the Mountain States Conference/Skyline (1938-61), and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (1916-37).
AGGIES IN THE CLASSROOM
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Gary Andersen's first three years as head coach. In 2011, USU had a WAC-leading 18 academic all-conference honorees.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has eight players on its team who are married (McKade Brady, Clayton Christensen, Nate Needham, Joe Summers, Brad Theurer, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 16 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Eric Bernston, Clayton Christensen, Jefferson Court, Derek Keller, B.J. Larsen, Jason Luke, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Alex Marsaw, Nate Needham, Travis Parrish, Eric Schultz, Brad Theurer, Cameron Webb, Kevin Whimpey and Kyle Whimpey).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 4-2 on the year after losing at BYU, 6-3, in its last outing. USU began the year by posting a 34-3 home win against Southern Utah, followed by a 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah, a 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin, a 31-19 win at Colorado State, and a 35-13 home win against UNLV. Offensively, USU is led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 128-of-193 passing for 1,485 yards (247.5 ypg) with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team in rushing with 537 yards on 103 carries (89.5 ypg) with three touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin leads the team with 22 catches for 310 yards (51.7 ypg) and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 53 tackles (21-solo, 32-assist), including 1.0 tackle for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 49 tackles (19-solo, 30-assist) with 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And sophomore safety Brian Suite has 42 tackles (17-solo, 25-assist). As a team, USU is averaging 24.0 points and 419.0 yards of total offense per game (251.2-passing, 167.8-rushing) and allowing just 12.8 points and 297.3 yards of total offense (184.5-passing, 112.8-rushing).
UTAH STATE OFFENSE HAS SEASON-LOWS AT BYU
Utah State's offense had season-lows in total yards (243) and rushing yards (41) at BYU in its last game, not to mention a season-low three points. Those 243 total yards are the fewest for USU since it had 242 yards against Idaho at home during the 2010 season, and the 41 rushing yards for USU were its fewest since rushing for just 27 yards at home against Utah in 2008. Furthermore, USU's three points were its fewest scored in a game since losing at No. 19 Boise State, 52-0, on Nov. 10, 2007, a span of 52 games. And finally, the last time USU did not score a touchdown in a game was on Nov. 20, 2010 when it lost to Idaho at home, 28-6.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE PERFORMS WELL IN LOSS AT BYU
Utah State's defense had another outstanding performance in its last game at BYU as it allowed just six points, which are its fewest on the road since winning at UNLV, 42-0, on Nov. 11, 1995, a span of 193 games. Overall, it was USU's lowest scoring game since winning at Ohio, 5-0, on Sept. 17, 1994.
AGGIES AND COUGARS HAVE ONE OF THE LOWEST SCORING GAMES IN SERIES HISTORY
Utah State's 6-3 loss at BYU in its last game was one of the lowest scoring games in series history and the fewest combined points since a 0-0 tie in 1946. In fact, it was the sixth lowest scoring game in 82 meetings between the two teams.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE HOLDS ANOTHER OPPONENT UNDER 20 POINTS
For the fourth-straight game and fifth time this season, Utah State held an opponent under 20 points as it lost at BYU, 6-3. The last time USU held four-straight opponents to less than 20 points was during the 1991 season, and the last time USU began a season by allowing less than 21 points in each of its first six games was 1962 when that team held its first six opponents to 20 or fewer points.
UTAH STATE PRODUCES ANOTHER LENGTHY SCORING DRIVE AT BYU
Utah State's 13-play, 49-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 26-yard field goal by junior placekicker Josh Thompson against BYU in its last game was its second-longest scoring drive in terms of plays this year, behind its 19-play scoring drive at Colorado State. In all, USU has had four scoring drives on the season that have been at least 10 plays. In 2011, Utah State had 19 scoring drives of at least 10 plays. In 2010, USU had 15 scoring drives of at least 10 plays. And in 2009, USU had nine scoring drives of at least 10 plays for a total of 47 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in Andersen's four years.
UTAH STATE BLOCKS THIRD KICK OF THE YEAR AT BYU
Utah State blocked its third kick of the season in its last game at BYU as junior defensive lineman Paul Piukala blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt. USU's first blocked kick of the season was by sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil who blocked a Utah punt that was recovered in the end zone by junior safety Clayton Christensen. The Aggies' second blocked kick of the year was by redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen who blocked an extra point in the Wisconsin game.
UTAH STATE HAS BEEN TIED OR HELD THE LEAD FOR MOST OF THE SEASON
Through six games and 360 minutes of play this season, Utah State has led or been tied for all but 51:30 (85.7 %). USU began the season by never trailing against Southern Utah in a 34-3 win, and never trailed in its 27-20 overtime win against Utah. Against Wisconsin, USU led for the first 41:54 of that game before the Badgers took the lead late in the third quarter and neither team scored in the fourth quarter. USU then led for the entire game against Colorado State and trailed for just 3:21 during the second quarter against UNLV. In its last game against BYU, USU led for the first 29:57 of the game before BYU scored a touchdown with three seconds remaining in the half. USU then trailed the entire second half against the Cougars.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State was 10-2 under Gary Andersen when allowing less than 20 points and 2-0 when allowing less than 10 points before losing at BYU, 6-3, in its last game. USU had also won each of its last three games when trailing at the half before losing to the Cougars.
FACKRELL NAMED WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell was named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against BYU as recorded 10 tackles to go along with his first career interception, which he returned eight yards. For Fackrell, it is the second time this year he has posted double-digit tackles along with his career-high 11 stops against Utah. Fackrell's WAC Defensive Player of the Week honor is USU's first this year, and fifth overall as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has been named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week twice, while senior running back Kerwynn Williams has been named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week once. Senior punter Tyler Bennett has also been honored as he was named the league's Special Teams Player of the Week once.
UTAH STATE HAS SEASON-LOW 24 RUSHING ATTEMPTS AT BYU
Utah State carried the ball 24 times for 41 yards in its last game against BYU as both categories are season-lows. In fact, USU's 24 rushing attempts against BYU were its fewest in the Andersen era and the fewest since rushing just 21 times at Boise State in 2008. In fact, of the 43 games Utah State has played under Andersen it had never ran the ball less than 30 times in a game prior to the BYU contest and it had only the ran the ball less than 40 times a total of 15 times (1-2012, 2-2011, 5-2010, 7-2009).
UTAH STATE HAD SEASON-HIGH 39 PASS ATTEMPTS AGAINST BYU
Utah State attempted a season-high 39 passes in its last game against BYU, which are the most for an Aggie team since passing 39 times at Nevada in 2010. Overall, those 39 pass attempts are tied for the third-most in a single game in the Andersen era.
AUSTIN RECORDS CAREER-HIGH SEVEN CATCHES AT BYU
Senior wide receiver Matt Austin had a career-high seven catches for 72 yards in his last game at BYU. Those seven receptions are tied with senior running back Kerwynn Williams for the second-most by an Aggie player this year trailing the career-high eight receptions by senior tight end Kellen Bartlett against Utah.
KEETON HAS ANOTHER 200 YARD PASSING GAME
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 22-of-38 passes for 202 yards in his last game against BYU, marking the fourth time this year and seventh time in his career that he has thrown for at least 200 yards. Furthermore, those 38 passing attempts against BYU are a career-high for Keeton.
BRADY RECORDS SIXTH CAREER DOUBLE-FIGURE TACKLE GAME AT BYU
Senior safety McKade Brady recorded a season-high 14 tackles against BYU, marking the third time this year and sixth time in his career he has recorded double-digit tackles.
Zach Vigil TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 10 TACKLES AT BYU
Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil tied his career-high with 10 tackles in his last game against BYU. Overall, it is the third time this year that Vigil has recorded double-digit tackles including his second time in as many games.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST BYU
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton attempted a career-high 38 passes. Senior wide receiver Matt Austin caught a career-high seven passes. Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell recorded his first career interception. Fackrell also had 10 tackles for his second-career double-digit tackle outing. Senior free safety McKade Brady had a season-high 14 tackles, marking the third time this year and sixth time in his career he has recorded double-digit tackles. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil tied his career-high for the third time this season with 10 tackles. Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams tied his career-high with five tackles. Junior defensive lineman Paul Piukala blocked his first career kick on a 34-yard field goal attempt.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE
Utah State's defense has not allowed a single team this year to run from more than 160 yards and pass for more than 250 yards, and has not allowed more than 400 yards of total offense in a single game this year. In fact, USU has held 15 straight opponents to less than 200 yards rushing, eighth straight opponents to less than 300 yards passing and eighth straight opponents to less than 400 yards of total offense. The last team to rush for 200 yards against Utah State was BYU (208) in 2011, while the last team to pass for 300 yards and have 400 yards of total offense against USU was Nevada in 2011 as the Wolf Pack passed for 315 yards and had 500 yards of total offense.
FORMER WALK-ONS PAYING DIVIDENDS AT UTAH STATE
Utah State has had great success with its walk-on program under current head coach Gary Andersen including a pair of middle linebackers who are now starting in junior Jake Doughty and sophomore Zach Vigil. Other former walk-ons who have started this season include senior safety McKade Brady, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb and sophomore safety Frankie Sutera. Other former walk-ons who have made contributions this year include junior defensive lineman B.J. Larsen and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen, along with junior placekicker Josh Thompson.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is allowing just 12.8 points per game which is the fewest by an Aggie defense since the 1963 team allowed 9.9 points per game. In fact, the last Aggie defense to allow fewer than 20 points a game was in 1983 (19.5).
UTAH STATE RANKS EIGHTH IN THE NATION IN SCORING DEFENSE
As of Oct. 7, Utah State's defense ranks first in the WAC and eighth in the nation allowing just 12.8 points per game. USU also ranks first in the WAC and 16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (103.9), second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in total defense (297.3 ypg), second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in passing defense (184.5 ypg), second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in rushing defense (112.8 ypg), and second in the WAC and 43rd in the nation in sacks per game (2.33).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS EIGHTH IN THE NATION IN REDZONE EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense has done a great job of not allowing teams to score once it enters the redzone as USU's opponents are 10-of-16 (.625) inside the 20 this season to rank eighth in the nation. Of those 16 trips USU's opponents have made to the redzone, they have come away with just four touchdowns and six field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, one faked field goal attempt, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 15TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 30.5 percent of its third downs (32-105) which leads the WAC and ranks 15th in the nation. USU's defense is also allowing just 16.67 first downs per game to rank third in the WAC and tied for 17th in the nation.
UTAH STATE RANKS THIRD IN THE WAC IN TOTAL OFFENSE
As of Oct. 7, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 51st in the nation in total offense (419.0) and third in the WAC and 63rd in the nation in rushing offense (167.8). USU also ranks fourth in the WAC and 38th in the nation in passing efficiency (143.6), fourth in the WAC and 49th in the nation in passing offense (251.2 ypg), and fifth in the WAC and 88th in the nation in scoring offense (24.0 ppg). USU also ranks fifth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in sacks allowed per game (1.83).
UTAH STATE RANKS 41ST IN THE NATION IN PUNTING
As of Oct. 7, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 41st in the nation in net punting (38.6 ypk), third in the WAC and 41st in the nation in punt returns (10.6 ypr), and fourth in the WAC and 52nd in the nation in kickoff returns (22.2 ypr).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Oct. 7, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and tied for 26th in the nation in all-purpose yards (139.7 ypg), first in the WAC and 40th in the nation in rushing (89.5 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in total offense (89.5 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 29th in the nation in total offense (285.7 ypg), fifth in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing efficiency (145.6), fifth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in passing (247.5 ypg), and 10th in the WAC in rushing (38.2 ypg). Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks 10th in the WAC in scoring (6.0 ppg). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks 10th in the WAC in receiving (51.7 ypg). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 53rd in the nation in punt returns (7.2 ypr). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks third in the WAC and tied for 25th in the nation in punting (43.2 ypk). Junior placekicker Josh Thompson ranks sixth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in field goals (0.80 pg). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks second in the WAC and tied for 49th in the nation in tackles (8.8 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks fifth in the WAC and tied for 88th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.08 pg), sixth in the WAC and tied for 90th in the nation in tackles (8.2 pg), and tied for ninth in the WAC and tied for 88th in the nation in sacks (0.5 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranks 12th in the WAC in tackles (7.0 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks tied for 17th in the WAC in tackles (6.5 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for 23rd in the WAC in tackles (6.0 pg). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for 27th in the WAC in tackles (5.7 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks 37th in the WAC in tackles (5.2 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks first in the WAC in passes defended (1.8 pg) and tied for 45th in tackles (4.0), and fellow senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks tied for fifth in the WAC in passes defended (1.0 pg).
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Six games into the 2012 season, Utah State has had 11 players make their first career starts at the Division I level. Against Southern Utah, freshman placekicker Brock Warren; senior defensive lineman Havea Lasike; junior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey; junior linebacker Zach Vigil; sophomore safety Frankie Sutera; and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell all started for the first time. Against Utah, sophomore offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey, sophomore running back Joe Hill and sophomore safety Brian Suite all made their first career starts. At Wisconsin, sophomore defensive lineman Elvis Kamana-Matagi made his first career start. And at Colorado State, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb made his first career start.
YOUNG AGGIES GAINING EXPERIENCE
Of the 66 players that saw action for Utah State in its season opener against Southern Utah, 26 were underclassmen including four true freshmen (K. Lee, L. Malohifo'ou, B. Natson, B. Warren), seven redshirt freshmen (K. Fackrell, T. Fisilau, L. Harold, D. Keller, J. Nielsen, T. Seefeldt, B. Swindall), and 15 sophomores (K. Andersen, J. Bentrude, C. Harrison, J. Haueter, J. Hill, J. Jenkins, E. Kamana-Matagi, C. Keeton, T. McMillian, N. Needham, R. Stewart, B. Suite, F. Sutera, A. Wheat, Jr., Kevin Whimpey). Furthermore, of the 66 players that Utah State played in its season opener against Southern Utah, 22 were playing in their first-ever Division I game, while 11 were playing in their first-ever collegiate game.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 234-of-367 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 63.8 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) entered the 2011 season as the school record holder at 60.7 percent. Thus far in 2012, Keeton is completing 66.3 percent of his passes (128-193), which would rank second all-time at USU for a single-season Adam Kennedy's mark last year (.691).
BENNETT RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN PUNTING
Senior Tyler Bennett has a career punt average of 43.6 yards on 94 punts (4,099), which ranks first all-time in school history. In 2012, Bennett has punted 36 times for an average of 43.2 yards. He has also had seven punts of 50-plus yards, while 19 have been downed inside the 20-yardline.
Kerwynn Williams RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 57 all-purpose yards in his last game at BYU and now has 4,230 all-purpose yards in his career to rank fifth in school history. Williams is now 973 yards shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for fourth-place with 5,203 all-purpose yards.
THOMPSON SETS SCHOOL RECORDS IN KICKING IN 2011
Junior placekicker Josh Thompson set new Utah State single-season extra point records in 2011 with 57 makes in 58 attempts. Thompson also ranked fifth in school history in extra point percentage (.983). All-time, Thompson ranks fourth at USU in extra point percentage (.971), tied for fifth in extra points made (68) and sixth in extra points attempted (70).
UTAH STATE WINS FIRST NON-CONFERENCE ROAD GAME SINCE 2004
Utah State's 31-19 road win at Colorado State was its fourth road win in its last five outings dating back to 2011, but it was the Aggies first non-conference road win dating back to Sept. 25, 2004 when it won at UNLV, 31-21. Since that win in Las Vegas, USU had lost 19 straight non-conference road games. Furthermore, USU's 12-point road win was its largest since it won at New Mexico State by 18 points (35-17) on Nov. 17, 2007.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
With its 27-20 overtime win against Utah on Sept. 7, Utah State improved to 5-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last two as it won a double-overtime game at Idaho (49-42) in 2011. Under Andersen, USU is 2-1 in overtime games with wins against Utah (27-20 OT) and at Idaho (49-42 2OT), and a loss to Colorado State (35-34 2OT). All-time, USU is 3-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
UTAH STATE RETURNS EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINE
Utah State returns a great deal of starting experience on the offensive line highlighted by first-team all-WAC junior center Tyler Larsen (6-4, 312), and senior offensive tackles Eric Schultz (6-4, 303) and Oscar Molina-Sanchez (6-5, 299) who have 77 combined starts between the three of them, including a combined 70 consecutive starts, as Larsen has made all of his 31 starts in a row, while Schultz has 25 straight starts and Molina-Sanchez had 14 consecutive starts in a row before missing the last three games. Overall, Molina-Sanchez has 21 total starts.
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Three games into the 2012 season, Utah State has had 10 players make their first career starts at the Division I level. Against Southern Utah, freshman placekicker Brock Warren; senior defensive lineman Havea Lasike; junior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey; junior linebacker Zach Vigil; sophomore safety Frankie Sutera; and redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell all started for the first time. Against Utah, sophomore offensive tackle Kevin Whimpey, sophomore running back Joe Hill and sophomore safety Brian Suite all made their first career starts. And at Wisconsin, sophomore defensive lineman Elvis Kamana-Matagi made his first career start.
AGGIES IN THE NFL
Utah State has eight former football players who are on NFL rosters for the 2012 season including Diondre Borel (Green Bay), Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), John Chick (Jacksonville), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Michael Smith (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle) and Bobby Wagner (Seattle).
THREE AGGIES SELECTED IN 2012 NFL DRAFT
Utah State had three players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft as linebacker Bobby Wagner was chosen in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, while running back Robert Turbin was chosen in the fourth round (106) by the Seattle Seahawks and fellow running back Michael Smith was picked in the seventh round (212) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
AGGIE FROM CANADA
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had a player rush for at least 100 yards 24 times in the last three-plus years under current head coach Gary Andersen. Prior to that, USU produced a 100-yard rusher 23 times in the previous eight seasons combined. Furthermore, USU has had a player rush for 200 or more yards twice in the past two seasons, but just once in the previous 10 seasons combined.
UTAH STATE WEEKLY PLAYER HONORS Sept. 10 (W, 27-20 OT vs. Utah) Tyler Bennett - WAC Special Teams Player of the Week. Chuckie Keeton - WAC Offensive Player of the Week; Davey O'Brien honorable mention national Quarterback of the Week. Bojay Filimoeatu - College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week. Sept. 17 (L, 14-16 at No. 22 Wisconsin) Zach Vigil - College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week. Kerwynn Williams - College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national All-Purpose Performer of the Week. Sept. 24 (W, 31-19 at Colorado State) Tyler Bennett - College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national Punter of the Week. Zach Vigil - College Sports Madness' WAC Defensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week. Kerwynn Williams - WAC Offensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national Running Back of the Week. Oct. 1 (W, 35-13 vs. UNLV) Tyler Bennett - College Football Performance Awards national Punter of the Week. Chuckie Keeton - WAC Offensive Player of the Week; College Sports Madness' WAC Offensive Player of the Week. Kerwynn Williams - College Football Performance Awards honorable mention national All-Purpose Performer of the Week.
AGGIE UNIFORM OPTIONS IN 2012
Utah State will have nine different jersey and pant combinations, manufactured by Nike, to go along with two different helmet options for a total of 18 different uniform combinations for the 2012 season. Along with its traditional blue and white uniforms, a new pewter grey uniform will be utilized this season. Two helmet options are also available including a new diamond pattern blue and black helmet with a black face mask, along with its traditional white helmet with a blue face mask. Home uniform options feature a traditional combination of blue jersey with blue or white pants, as well as an option of blue jersey and pewter pants. Road uniform combinations can be built around the newly-designed pewter jersey or the traditional white jersey. The road pewter jerseys can be combined with pewter, blue or white pants, while white jerseys can be worn with white, blue or pewter pants. Both helmet options will also be utilized with the various uniform combinations for both home and away games.
GAME ONE (H) - Blue Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME TWO (H) - Blue Jersey, Pewter Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME THREE (A) - Pewter Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME FOUR (A) - Pewter Jersey, Pewter Pants, Blue Helmet
GAME FIVE (H) - White Jersey, White Pants, White Helmet
GAME SIX (A) - White Jersey, Blue Pants, Blue Helmet
PRESEASON NATIONAL WATCH LISTS The following is a list of current Utah State players who are listed among various watch lists for the National College Football Awards Association. Davey O'Brien Award Chuckie Keeton (So., QB) Doak Walker Award Kerwynn Williams (Sr., RB) Paul Hornung Award Kerwynn Williams (Sr., RB) Lombardi Award Tyler Larsen (Jr., C) Outland Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C) Rimington Trophy Tyler Larsen (Jr., C) Ray Guy Award Tyler Bennett (Sr., P)A LOOK AT SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State is 4-1 on the season following its 12-0 road win at Navy two weeks ago. The Spartans began the year with a road loss at No. 21 Stanford (20-17), followed by home wins against UC Davis (45-13) and Colorado State (40-20), and road wins at San Diego State (38-34) and Navy. Offensively, SJSU is led by junior quarterback David Fales who is 124-of-166 passing for 1,400 yards (280.0 ypg) with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior running back De'Leon Eskridge leads the team in rushing with 356 yards on 78 carries (71.2 ypg), and junior wide receiver Noel Grigsby has 28 catches for 399 yards (79.8 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, junior linebacker Vince Buhagiar leads the team with 44 tackles (32-solo, 12-assist), while senior defensive end Travis Johnson has 35 tackles (22-solo, 13-assist). As a team, SJSU is averaging 30.4 points and 422.8 yards of total offense per game (300.6-passing, 122.2-rushing) and allowing 17.4 points and 309.2 yards of total offense per game (180.6-passing, 128.6-rushing). Overall, SJSU returns 13 starters (O-7, D-5, S-1) and 37 lettermen from last year's team that went 5-7 and finished tied for fourth-place in the WAC with a 3-4 mark. Mike MacIntyre is 10-20 in his third year as the Spartans head coach, including a 3-12 WAC record.
AGGIES AND SPARTANS
Utah State trails in the all-time series against San Jose State, 13-20-1, including a 4-11-1 record in San Jose. The first game played in the series was on Sept. 30, 1940 in Logan with SJSU winning, 19-0. In fact, San Jose State won the first five games ever played in the series before USU won four straight from 1962-66, which happens to be the Aggies longest winning streak in the series. USU has also won each of the last three games played in the series, including a 34-33 win in Logan last year and a 38-34 win in San Jose State in 2010. The last time the Spartans won a game in the series was on Oct. 11, 2008 in San Jose, 30-7.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS SAN JOSE STATE
Rushing Yards: Robert Turbin (2009), 190
Passing Yards: Brent Snyder (1988), 412
Receiving Yards: Kendal Smith (1988), 208
RECENT UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE SERIES HISTORY
If recent history is any indication, Utah State's game at San Jose State this weekend will come down to the final minutes as seven of the last nine games played in the series have been decided by one score including last year's 34-33 Utah State victory as the Aggies scored the winning touchdown with 47 seconds remaining in the game. The last time the two teams played in San Jose (11/13/10), USU rallied for a 38-34 victory as it scored the winning touchdown with 34 seconds left. And in 2007 in Logan, San Jose State scored the winning touchdown with 53 seconds to play to make the final score 23-20.
Gary Andersen VERSUS SAN JOSE STATE
Gary Andersen is 3-0 against San Jose State as Utah State's head coach, defeating the Spartans 24-9 at home in 2009, 38-34 on the road in 2010, and 34-33 at home in 2011. Andersen was also 1-0 against SJSU as an assistant at Utah, winning 49-17 in San Jose in 1998.
UTAH STATE-SAN JOSE STATE CONNECTIONS
San Jose State defensive coordinator Kent Baer was born in Logan, Utah (5/2/51) and was a standout linebacker for the Aggies from 1970-72, setting the single-season record for tackles with 116. Baer graduated from USU in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and recreation. He later spent nine years as an assistant coach for Utah State, serving as the team's outside linebackers coach from 1977-82, and later its defensive coordinator from 1983-85. Former Utah State head coach John Ralston (1959-62) also spent four years as San Jose State's head coach (1993-1996). At USU, Ralston compiled a 31-11-1 (.733) record ranking first all-time in winning percentage and second all-time in wins. While at SJSU, Ralston was 11-34 (.244).
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State has 18 players on its roster from the state of California in Terrence Alston (Richmond), Matt Austin (Monrovia), Mike Chislock (Huntington Beach), Joey DeMartino (San Diego), Nick Diaz (Redondo Beach), Torrey Green (Riverside), Joe Hill (Fullerton), Mark Hutchinson (Corona), Chuck Jacobs (Richmond), Shaan Johnson (Cerritos), Adam Kennedy (Elk Grove), Havea Lasike (San Jose), Jason Luke (Twentynine Palms), Alex Marsaw (Torrance), Tryn Mesarch (Palm Desert), Oscar Molina-Sanchez (Baldwin Park), Paul Piukala (Oakland) and Jake Simonich (Danville). Of those 18 players from the Golden State, five are from the Bay Area in Alston, Jacobs, Lasike, Piukala and Simonich, while Kennedy grew up two hours from the Bay Area. In all, those 18 players from the state of California rank as the second-most from one state on USU's roster behind the 55 players from Utah. In comparison, the third-most represented state on the Aggies' roster is Florida with six.
AGGIES IN OCTOBER
Utah State is 3-10 in October under Andersen and 4-4-2 all-time in games played on Oct.13.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State and San Jose State played to a 48-48 tie on Sept. 8, 1979 and that game ranks as the second-highest scoring tied game in NCAA history behind a 52-52 tie between San Diego State and BYU in 1991.
LAST MEETING AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE - (USU 34, SJSU 33)
November 12, 2011 Logan, Utah Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium
Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy threw a pair of late fourth quarter touchdowns rallying Utah State to a come-from-behind 34-33 victory against San Jose State. USU scored the final 13 points to erase a late 12-point deficit. Kennedy finished the game with 255 passing yards and two touchdowns as he was 21-for-27 with one interception. Junior running back Robert Turbin added 128 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries and senior linebacker Bobby Wagner finished with 12 tackles. Following 10 fourth quarter points from SJSU to give the Spartans a 33-21 advantage midway through the final period, Kennedy led Utah State on an 11-play, 65-yard drive that culminated in a 14-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen with 5:19 remaining to make the score 33-28 SJSU. On the ensuing possession, USU's defense forced the Spartan's into a three-and-out and the Aggies got the ball back on its own 25-yardline with 3:43 remaining. On its game-winning drive, Utah State ran the ball on its first five plays with three rushes from Turbin and two from Kennedy moving the ball down to the San Jose State 45. Kennedy then hit sophomore wide receiver Travis Reynolds for 17 yards and senior running back Michael Smith rushed for seven yards before Kennedy connected with senior wide receiver Matt Austin from 21 yards out with 47 seconds to play for the winning score. USU couldn't connect on its two-point attempt leaving the home team with a slim one-point advantage. Utah State's final drive covered 75 yards in eight plays and took 2:56 off the clock. On its last possession of the game, San Jose State drove from its own 28 to the 50 and attempted a game-winning 67-yard field goal on the final play, but the kick was blocked by senior tight end Tarren Lloyd and returned by Wagner to the Spartans 24-yardline as time expired. Utah State finished the game with 541 yards of total offense (286-rushing, 255-passing) and San Jose State had 394 total yards (54-rushing, 340-passing). USU also converted 9-of-14 third downs, but also lost four fumbles on the afternoon and had five total turnovers in the game. San Jose State converted a pair of field goals on its first two possessions before Utah State took its first lead of the game on a 39-yard touchdown run by Turbin. SJSU immediately answered the Aggies' score with a 95-yard kick return and later scored again from five-yards out giving the visitors a 20-7 lead after the first 15 minutes. Utah State took advantage of a short field early in the third quarter as senior defensive end Levi Koskan forced and recovered a fumble following a sack on SJSU quarterback Matt Faulkner. Turbin then scored his second touchdown of the game from four yards out. After San Jose State increased its advantage to nine at 23-14 following a 21-yard field goal, senior running back Michael Smith raced for a 77-yard touchdown run to get the Aggies within two late in the third quarter. Smith finished the game with 91 rushing yards on just eight carries.
LAST MEETING AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE IN SAN JOSE - (USU 38, SJSU 34)
November 13, 2010 San Jose, Calif. Spartan Stadium
Derrvin Speight's 15-yard touchdown run with 34 seconds left put Utah State ahead and Nevin Lawson's interception in the end zone with nine ticks left sealed the Aggies' 38-34 victory at San Jose State on Nov. 13, 2010. Utah State won at San Jose for the first time since 1980, snapping an eight-game losing streak on the Spartans' home turf. Speight had a career-high for the second-straight game with 125 yards. Speight's game-winning touchdown was also his third of the game. Senior quarterback Diondre Borel was 20-of-29 passing for 259 yards, as Utah State added 261 yards on the ground to finish with 520 yards of total offense, as the Aggies had a dominating 38:20-21:40 time of possession edge. SJSU had 449 yards of total offense with 331 yards passing and 118 rushing. Spartan quarterback Jordan La Secla was 19-of-37 passing for the 331 yards with two touchdowns and the one interception by Lawson. Senior cornerback Chris Randle and junior linebacker Kyle Gallagher led the USU defense with eight tackles each. After San Jose State got out to a 10-0 lead on a 3-yard run by Brandon Rutley and a 42-yard field goal by Harrison Waid, USU got on the board for the first time with a 19-yard Speight touchdown run and the extra point by senior placekicker Peter Caldwell. The drive's big play was a 41-yard pass from Borel to junior wide receiver Xavier Martin. The Aggies took the lead for the first time at 14-10 on a 8-yard pass from Borel to sophomore wide receiver Dontel Watkins and Caldwell's upright split. The key play on the drive was a 16-yard pass from Borel to junior tight end Tarren Lloyd on a fake field goal. Caldwell drilled a 30-yard field goal to put USU ahead 17-10, but SJSU countered with a 46-yard field goal to pull the Spartans within 17-13 at the half. The Spartans took a 20-17 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run by La Secla with 6:09 left in the third quarter. Utah State re-took the lead on a 37-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams, but the Spartans went ahead on a 7-yard pass from La Secla to Kyle Nunn for a 27-24 SJSU five seconds into the fourth stanza. Speight's second touchdown of the game came from 4-yards out with 8:56 to go, capping a 15-play, 82-yard drive. The Spartans marched down the field, getting a 4-yard pass from La Secla to Jalal Beauchman to a 34-31 lead with 5:25 left, setting up Speight and Lawson's dramatics for the Aggies' win.
KEETON NAMED WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AFTER CAREER-HIGH 404 PASSING YARDS
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named the Western Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in leading Utah State to a 35-13 Homecoming win against UNLV as he completed 21-of-34 passes for a career-high 404 yards against the Rebels. Keeton also had four touchdown passes in the game, the second-most of his career, to go along with four rushing yards on six carries. The 404 passing yards for Keeton rank as the 10th-best in school history and the most by an Aggie quarterback since 2002.
WILLIAMS HAS CAREER NIGHT AGAINST UNLV
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had a career night against UNLV as he had a career-high seven catches for a career-high 147 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown reception, which is a career-long and the longest play from scrimmage for USU this year. The 147 receiving yards for Williams is the most by an Aggie since Kevin Curtis caught 13 passes for 177 yards against Middle Tennessee in 2002 and the most by a non-receiver since running back Tom Larscheid had 172 receiving yards on three receptions against Hawai`i in 1959. Williams also rushed for 113 yards against the Rebels on 20 carries to become the first Utah State player to have 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game since Robert Turbin rushed for 104 yards on 17 carries and added 116 receiving yards on four receptions against Southern Utah in 2009. For Williams, it was his third career 100-yard rushing game to go along with his first-ever 100-yard receiving game.
WILLIAMS' 205 RUSHING YARDS AGAINST COLORADO STATE AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had one of the best rushing days in school history against Colorado State as his 205 rushing yards on 21 carries ranks tied for the 22nd-best single-game rushing performance in school history and the best since Robert Turbin rushed for 208 yards at Idaho in 2011. Overall, Williams had 227 yards of total offense as he rushed for 205 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, all career-highs, and added three receptions for 22 yards. Williams had touchdown runs of 26 and 58 yards in the game, with the 58-yarder being a career-long.
UTAH STATE WINS FIFTH-STRAIGHT HOME GAME
With its 35-13 win against UNLV in its last outing, Utah State has now won five-straight home games which is its longest home winning streak since the 1981-82 seasons when those two teams combined for five-straight home wins. Overall, USU is now 13-7 at home under head coach Gary Andersen, which includes an 8-1 non-conference record.
UTAH STATE PLAYED IN 10 GAMES IN 2011 DECIDED BY ONE SCORE
Utah State was in a nation-leading 10 games that were decided by one score in 2011 as it began the year losing to Auburn, 42-38. USU then lost to Colorado State, 35-34 in 2OT, lost at BYU, 27-24, and lost to Louisiana Tech, 24-17, before breaking through with a 35-31 win at Hawai`i, and following it up with a wild 34-33 win against San Jose State. USU then posted a 49-42 double overtime victory at Idaho, followed by its 21-17 win against Nevada and its 24-21 victory at New Mexico State. USU ended its season with a 24-23 loss to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Thus far in 2012, USU has had three of its six games decided by one score, defeating Utah (27-20 OT) at home, losing at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and losing at BYU (6-3).
UTAH STATE PLAYS ANOTHER CLOSE GAME IN LOSS AT BYU
After playing seven games in 2011 that were decided in the last minute of regulation or overtime, Utah State has already had three nail-bitters this year with its 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah, its 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin, and its 6-3 loss at BYU. During the last two years, USU is 5-4 in games decided in the final minute of regulation or overtime scoring the winning touchdown at Hawai`i (35-31) with 14 seconds to play; scoring the winning touchdown against San Jose State (34-33) with 47 second to play; defeating Idaho (49-42) in double overtime; and scoring the winning touchdown at New Mexico State (24-21) with 35 seconds to play. USU's losses at the end of games or in overtime were to Colorado State (35-34) in double overtime; at BYU (27-24) who scored the winning touchdown with 11 seconds to play; to Ohio (24-23) in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl who scored its winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining; and at Wisconsin as USU missed a 37-yard field goal with six seconds left in the game.
UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE 2011 WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Junior running back Robert Turbin was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, marking the first time in its seven years in the league and just the second time in school history that USU has had an offensive player of the year in its league joining Kendal Smith (WR) who was the Big West Conference Offensive MVP in 1988. Turbin rushed for 1,517 yards and led the WAC in scoring with 23 touchdowns and 138 points in 2011. The junior finished his career as the school's all-time leader in scoring with 308 points and total touchdowns with 51.
WAGNER THREE-TIME FIRST-TEAM ALL-WAC SELECTION
Linebacker Bobby Wagner earned first-team all-WAC honors each of his final three seasons at Utah State and is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection. Wagner ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
RECAPPING THE BYU GAME
Utah State lost to Brigham Young, 6-3, Friday night in a nationally televised game on ESPN. The nine combined points between the Aggies and Cougars was the fewest in the series since a 0-0 tie in 1946. USU is now 4-2 with the loss while BYU improved to 4-2.
Utah State was held to 243 yards of total offense, over half of its season average coming into Friday night. The Aggies had 202 yards passing as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 22-of-38. USU had a season-low 41 rushing yards, its fewest since rushing for just 27 yards at home against Utah in 2008. Keeton had 23 yards on 10 carries while senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 18 yards on 14 carries.
Senior wide receiver Matt Austin led the team with a career-high seven catches for 72 yards while Williams added five catches for 39 yards.
Senior safety McKade Brady led the Aggie defense with 14 tackles, while the linebacker duo of sophomore Zach Vigil and redshirt-freshman Kyler Fackrell followed with 10 each. Fackrell also snared his first career interception,while Vigil's 10 tackles tied his career-high.
Senior Tyler Bennett punted seven times for a 42.4 yards per punt average with four inside the 20.
BYU was led by freshman quarterback Taysom Hill who had 235 passing yards, completing 24-of-36 passes. Hill also had 19 rushes for a total of 80 yards. Junior wide receiver Cody Hoffman led the BYU receiving corps with eight catches for a total of 114 yards.
The Cougar defense was led by Brandon Ogletree with seven stops, while Preston Hadley and Spencer Hadley had six tackles each.
The Aggies opened the scoring with a 26-yard field goal from junior placekicker Josh Thompson with 34 seconds left in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 49-yard drive. It was USU's second-longest scoring drive of the season behind its 19-play scoring drive in the Colorado State game. The first quarter ended with the 3-0 score, as the Aggies have now out-scored their opponents in the first quarter, 54-0.
The score would remain 3-0 until three seconds were left in the half when BYU scored on a 3-yard pass from Hill to JD Falslev, but Riley Stephenson's PAT attempt was wide left, leaving the score 6-3 in BYU's favor heading into halftime.
On USU's first possession of the second half, the Aggies fumbled and BYU recovered at the USU 9, but the Aggie defense forced a Cougars' field goal attempt. BYU tried a fake field goal but the USU defense sniffed it out, as the Aggies chased BYU holder JD Falslev and he fell down for a 16-yard loss back to the 23-yardline.
The teams traded punts back-and-forth until early in the fourth quarter when Fackrell snared his first career interception, batting the ball out of the air and then snaring it, to give the Aggies the ball at their own 48. USU's offense took over with 10:21 to go and drove down to the BYU 20, but Thompson's 38-yard field goal attempt floated wide left, leaving the score still at 6-3.
USU's defense forced BYU to punt and got the ball back with 5:06 to go, but were 94 yards from the end zone. The Aggies got out to the 30, but the drive stalled and they had the punt it back to the Cougars with just over two minutes to play and USU with two timeouts.
Facing a 3rd-and-6 from the BYU 28, the Cougars picked up the first down with 1:44 left, and ran out the clock for the win.
HEAD COACH Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen was named Utah State's 26th head coach on Dec. 4, 2008, and since that day Andersen and his staff have worked non-stop to create a culture of accountability and responsibility that would translate into success both on and off the field. And in 2011, Aggie fans saw that plan pay dividends as USU produced a 7-6 record (5-2 Western Athletic Conference) and participated in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the school's first bowl game since 1997.
In his first three years at Utah State, Andersen has compiled a 15-22 (.407) record including a 10-13 (.435) WAC mark as those 15 wins are the most by an Aggie coach in his first three years since John L. Smith went 16-18 (.471) from 1995-97. Furthermore, Andersen has coached 10 players who have earned first or second team all-WAC honors and six players who are currently on NFL rosters, including Michael Smith, Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner who were all selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. That trio of Aggies drafted in 2012 is the most selections in one year since five USU players were chosen in 1980. Wagner, who was drafted in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, becomes the highest drafted Aggie since Rulon Jones was the 42nd overall pick in the second round in 1980 by the Denver Broncos.
Along with playing in its first bowl game in over a decade during the 2011 season, Utah State's seven overall wins and five league victories were its most since 1993, while its second-place conference finish was its best since the 2000 team ended the year second in the Big West. Furthermore, those five league wins in 2011 were tied with five other teams (1953, 1960, 1990, 1991, 1993) for the most in school history, while its seven overall wins are tied for the 10th most all-time at Utah State.
Utah State also won its final five games of the regular season in 2011, which is tied for the eighth-longest winning streak in school history and the longest since the 1993 squad won its final six games of the year. USU's three-win turnaround from four wins in 2010 to seven wins in 2011 was among the top 15 in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the year.
During the 2011 season, Andersen's high-octane spread offense was statistically one of the best in the country as it led the WAC and ranked sixth in the nation in rushing offense (282.69 ypg). USU also ranked first in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (151.8), first in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in scoring offense (33.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 20th in the nation in total offense (457.31 ypg), and second in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in fewest sacks allowed per game (1.38 pg).
In 2011, Utah State also established school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).
Highlighting Utah State's offense in 2011 was junior running back Robert Turbin who ended the season as the WAC's Offensive Player of the Year, USU's first in its six years in the league, and just its second such offensive award in school history. During the season, Turbin ranked first in the WAC and eighth in the nation in scoring (10.62 ppg), second in the WAC and 13th in the nation in rushing (116.69 ypg), and sixth in the WAC and 40th in the nation in all-purpose yardage (129.85 ypg). He ended the year setting single-season school records for rushing touchdowns (19), total touchdowns (23) and points scored (138), while his 1,517 rushing yards rank third all-time at USU for a single-season.
Turbin, who was drafted in the fourth round (106) of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks, ended his Aggie career ranking first in both total touchdowns (51) and points scored (308), while his 3,315 career rushing yards ranks fifth all-time in school history.
Andersen's defense was also formidable during the 2011 season as it ended the year ranking first in the WAC and 50th in the nation in total defense (366.23), second in the WAC and 31st in the nation in rushing defense (127.70 ypg), second in the WAC and 53rd nationally in tackles for loss (5.92 pg), third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (125.58), and third in the WAC and 59th in the nation in sacks (1.92 pg).
Utah State's top defensive player in 2011 was Wagner who earned first-team all-WAC honors after ranking first in the league and eighth nationally with 11.31 tackles per game. Wagner, who is one of just eight players in school history to be a three-time first-team all-conference selection, ended his career with 446 career tackles to rank first all-time in WAC and tied for first all-time in school history.
Along with all of his Utah State accolades, Wagner also received some national exposure after being named the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 Senior Bowl, leading the North to a 23-13 win. Smith was also recognized for his performance in the Players Classic All-Star Game as he was named the North's Offensive MVP.
Other Aggies to earn first-team all-WAC honors under Andersen's tutelage include offensive linemen Philip Gapelu (2011) and Tyler Larsen (2011), while those who have been named to the league's second-team include defensive end Levi Koskan (2011), tight end Tarren Lloyd (2011), defensive back Curtis Marsh (2010) and Turbin (2009).
Along with all of Utah State's success on the field under Andersen, there has been just as much success in the classroom as 66 Aggies have earned academic all-WAC honors, while another 84 have graduated from the University. Furthermore, Utah State had 18 football players earn academic all-WAC honorees this past year to rank first in the conference.
Andersen came to Utah State after five seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Utah, where he helped guide the Utes to a 13-0 record in 2008. Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll after winning the BCS Sugar Bowl with a dominating 31-17 victory against Alabama.
In 2008, Andersen was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the top assistant coach in college football. He was also named a Rivals.com top 10 non-BCS recruiter in 2008 and tabbed as the No. 1 non-BCS recruiter by Rivals.com in 2005.
Overall, Andersen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah after coaching for the Utes from 1997-2002 before becoming the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003 and then returning to Utah in 2004. During his tenure at Utah, Andersen was a part of seven winning bowl teams, including two BCS Bowls as Utah went 12-0 in 2004 and won the Fiesta Bowl, along with its perfect record and Sugar Bowl win in 2008.
During his tenure at Utah, Andersen coached 14 first-team all-conference players (three in 2008), including two Mountain West Conference Defensive Players of the Year in John Frank (1999) and Eric Weddle (2005 and 2006), as well as a consensus All-American in Weddle in 2006. Andersen also coached 10 Ute players drafted in the NFL in Richard Seals, John Frank, Lauvale Sape, Sione Pouha, Jonathan Fanene, Eric Weddle, Paul Soliai, Sean Smith, Brice McCain and Paul Kruger, in addition to several other players who made NFL rosters as free agents.
Andersen's coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City HS (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams).
A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team junior college All-American honors in 1984 at Ricks College.
Andersen is married to the former Stacey Lambert, and they have three sons: Keegan (21) and twins Chasen and Hagen (17). Keegan is currently a sophomore tight end on Utah State's football team, while Chasen and Hagen are both seniors at Logan High School. Andersen's brother, Mark, is USU's director of football operations.
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