LOGAN, Utah -
AGGIES HOST MOUNTAIN WEST FOE WYOMING IN HOMECOMING GAME SATURDAY
Game is third of three Utah State contests aired exclusively on Facebook.
WYOMING (3-2, 1-0 MW) vs. UTAH STATE (3-3, 1-1 MW)
Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017 2:30 p.m. (MT) Logan, Utah Maverik Stadium (25,100)
GAME 7 INFORMATION
STREAMING: Facebook (Stadium)
Play-by-Play: Chris Hassel
Analyst: AJ Hawk
Reporter: Shae Peppler
Sidelines (Social): Paige Zamora
RADIO: Aggie Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Scott Garrard
Analyst: Kevin Whimpey
Online: 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: #AggiesAllTheWay
Live Stats: UtahState.Statbroadcast.com
AGGIE RADIO NETWORKS
Every Utah State football game can be heard live on the Aggie Radio Network. Scott Garrard serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU all-conference offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey (2012-14) will provide color analysis. Games can also be heard on the Internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com) by clicking on the `Listen Live' link, as well as on the TuneIn App.
Salt Lake City: KZNS (1280 AM/97.5 FM)
Logan: KBLU-LP (92.3 FM)
Cache Valley: KACH (1340 AM/105.5 FM)
Price: KRPX (95.3 FM)
Green River: KRPX (102.7 FM)
Moab: KRPX (100.3 FM)
Orangeville: KRPX (95.9 FM)
Utah State continues Mountain West play this weekend by hosting Wyoming in its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2:30 p.m. USU is 38-25-4 all-time against the Cowboys, including a 25-10-1 home record, and has won four of the last five games in the series.
Utah State is 53-31-2 (.628) all-time in Homecoming games, which includes a 1-2 record against Wyoming.
Utah State is 15-10 under head coach Matt Wells following a loss, including a 2-0 record this season, and has lost back-to-back games just six times in five seasons under Wells.
Utah State is playing an afternoon home game for the second time in as many weeks, but for just the ninth time in the past five seasons under Wells, going 6-2 in its previous eight games. Prior to this season, USU's last afternoon home game was on Nov. 28, 2015, vs. BYU.
Utah State is 20-14 (.588) all-time in the Mountain West, including a 12-5 (.706) home record, and has won 31 of its last 45 (.689) league games dating back to 2011.
Utah State has won 28 of its last 35 home games (.800), including 17 of its last 22 conference home games (.773). Under Wells, USU is 20-7 (.741) at home, including a 12-5 (.706) Mountain West record. All-time, USU is 140-103 (.576) at Maverik Stadium, which includes a 2-1 record this season.
Utah State is leading the nation with four blocked kicks this year as it has blocked punts against Idaho State, Wake Forest, San José State and Colorado State, returning the one against CSU for a touchdown. No other team at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level has more than two blocked kicks this season. The school record for blocked kicks is six set in 2012, as that team blocked three field goals, two punts and one extra point.
Utah State has won 14 of its last 26 (.538) games played during the month of October, including six of its last eight at home, and is 4-6 all-time in known games played on Oct. 14.
UTAH STATE HOSTS WYOMING IN MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY SATURDAY
Utah State (3-3, 1-1 MW) continues Mountain West play this weekend as it hosts Wyoming (3-2, 1-0 MW) in its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2:30 p.m. The game will be aired exclusively on Facebook with Chris Hassel (play-by-play), AJ Hawk (analyst), Shae Peppler (reporter) and Paige Zamora (sidelines-social media) on the call. Live audio of the game is available at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
UTAH STATE FOOTBALL ON FACEBOOK
Utah State's Mountain West home game against Wyoming, through a partnership with Stadium, will be its third of three games this season that will air exclusively on Facebook, which is a platform that has more than 100 million video views daily. Other USU games this season on Facebook included its home opener against Idaho State (9/7) and its Mountain West opener at San José State (9/23).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 3-3 on the season and 1-1 in conference play following its 27-14 Mountain West home loss to Colorado State last weekend. Offensively, USU is led by senior QB Kent Myers, who is 109-of-170 (.641) passing for 1,105 yards (184.2 ypg) with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. Junior RB Eltoro Allen leads the team in rushing with 237 yards on 62 carries (3.8 ypc/39.5 ypg) with one touchdown, and junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver has a team-best 27 receptions for 244 yards (9.0 ypr/40.7 ypg) with three touchdowns. Defensively, junior LB Suli Tamaivena leads the team with 54 tackles, which includes 2.0 tackles for loss, to go along with two fumble recoveries, while junior BS Gaje Ferguson has 45 tackles, which includes 0.5 tackles for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 31.0 points and 376.0 yards of total offense (230.2 passing, 145.8 rushing), and allowing 29.8 points and 406.0 yards of total offense (210.7 passing, 195.3 rushing).
UTAH STATE PLAYING THREE-STRAIGHT HOME GAMES
Utah State is playing its third of three-straight home games this weekend as it hosts Mountain West foe Wyoming. USU began its three-game home stretch with a 40-24 non-conference win against BYU on Sept. 29, followed by a 27-14 Mountain West loss to Colorado State last weekend. The last time USU had three-straight home games was in 1997.
Utah State began the season by playing three of its first four games away from home and was the only team in the nation to have played in all four time zones in the contiguous United States during its first four weeks as the Aggies began the year at No. 9 Wisconsin (central time zone), then hosted Idaho State (mountain time zone), followed by road games at Wake Forest (eastern time zone) and at San José State (pacific time zone).
UTAH STATE WITH SIX HOME GAMES ONCE AGAIN IN 2017
Utah State's 2017 schedule marks the eighth-straight season, the ninth time in the last 10 years, and the 10th time in the last 21 years that it will play six home games. Overall, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate just 14 times: 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1978, 1952.
UTAH STATE HAS SUCCESS WHEN IT CAN RUN THE BALL
Utah State has won 19 of its last 22 games when it has a 100-yard rusher and 25 of its last 27 contests when rushing at least 40 times in a game, including a 3-0 record this season.
Utah State has won 38 of its last 39 games dating back to 2011 when scoring at least 30 points, including a 3-0 record this season. In fact, USU had won 35 straight games when scoring at least 30 points before losing at Nevada, 38-37, last season.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE NATION IN FIRST-TIME STARTERS
During the first six weeks of the 2017 season, Utah State has had 19 first-time starters, which ranks tied for fourth in the nation behind Ball State (22), Illinois (22) and Baylor (21), and tied with East Carolina (19), LSU (19) and UAB (19). USU had 12 players make their first career at No. 9 Wisconsin in senior TE Damion Hobbs, junior OL Roman Andrus, junior OL Rob Castaneda, junior OL Quin Ficklin, redshirt junior OL Sean Taylor, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, junior NG Gasetoto Schuster, junior BS Aaron Wade, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata and redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan. USU then had four more players get their first career start against Idaho State in junior DE Adewale Adeoye, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, sophomore LB Dalton Baker and redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram. Two more Aggies made their first career start at San José State in junior RB Eltoro Allen and freshman LB Maika Magalei. And redshirt freshman OL Demytrick Ali'ifua made his first career start against Colorado State.
THIRTY-SEVEN AGGIES PLAY FIRST UTAH STATE GAME IN FIRST THREE WEEKS
Utah State has had 37 players play in their first-ever Aggie game during the first three weeks of the 2017 season. Twenty-four Aggies saw their first-ever action at No. 9 Wisconsin three weeks ago in redshirt junior OL Sean Taylor, junior RB Eltoro Allen, junior OL Roman Andrus, junior OL Rob Castaneda, junior LB Louy Compton, junior OL Quin Ficklin, junior CB Deante Fortenberry, junior LB Ofa Latu, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, sophomore DE Devon Anderson, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, sophomore S Chance Parker, redshirt freshman OL Demytrick Ali'ifua, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata, redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski, redshirt freshman CB Braxton Gunther, redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram, redshirt freshman LB Kevin Meitzenheimer, redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan, redshirt freshman LB David Woodward, freshman LB Maika Magalei, freshman WR Savon Scarver, freshman TE Carson Terrell and freshman DE Nami Tuitu'u. Twelve more Aggies played in their first-ever USU game two weeks ago against Idaho State in senior WR Connor McGuire, junior WR Aaren Vaughns, junior TE Emerson Woods, sophomore LB Mason Gajkowski, sophomore LB Braden Harris, sophomore P Zach Lee, sophomore PK Michael Smith, redshirt freshman WR Taylor Compton, redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love, redshirt freshman OL Viliamu McMoore, redshirt freshman DE Jake Pitcher and freshman PK Connor Coles. And one more Aggie played in his first game last weekend at Wake Forest in redshirt freshman DE Logan Lee.
FIRST TIME PLAYERS ON THE OFFENSIVE LINE FOR UTAH STATE
All five of Utah State's starting offensive linemen -- OC Quin Ficklin, RT Sean Taylor, LG Moroni Iniguez, RG Rob Castaneda, LT Roman Andrus -- played in their first career games at USU in the first three weeks of the season. In fact, Taylor is the only member of this group who was on the team last year, as he redshirted. This is the first time in school history that it has started five offensive linemen who had never played a game at USU, minus the Aggies' first-ever team in 1892. Furthermore, Andrus and Ficklin did not even play offensive line at their previous schools, as Andrus was a defensive end at Snow (Utah) JC and Ficklin was a fullback at BYU.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Utah State has held three of its six opponents scoreless in the first 15 minutes of play this season.
Utah State's offense had committed a turnover in 10 straight games dating back to last season before having zero turnovers against Colorado State last weekend. The last time USU did not commit a turnover was in a 38-20 home win against Fresno State on Oct. 22, 2016.
Utah State has controlled the time of possession three times this season, all in wins against Idaho State (31:40), San José State (39:41) and BYU (31:11), despite running an up-tempo offense. Last year, USU won the time of possession battle just once, against Arkansas State (30:43). On the season, USU is controlling the ball for 29:20 on average through its first six games as compared to just 26:45 last season. The last time USU finished a season winning the time of possession battle was in 2013, when it controlled the ball on average for 31:13.
Wyoming is 3-2 on the season following its 45-10 home win against Texas State two weeks ago. The Cowboys, who are 1-0 in Mountain West play with a 28-21 home win against Hawai'i, are led by junior QB Josh Allen, who is 77-of-139 (.554) passing for 877 yards (175.4 ypg) with six touchdowns and three interceptions. Freshman RB Trey Woods leads the team in rushing with 245 yards on 49 carries (5.0 ypc/61.2 ypg) with one touchdown, and sophomore WR Austin Conway has caught 27 passes for 235 yards (8.7 ypr/47.0 ypg) with two touchdowns. Defensively, sophomore LB Logan Wilson has a team-best 49 tackles, which includes 5.0 tackles for loss, while junior FS Andrew Wingard has 42 tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss. As a team, Wyoming is averaging 23.2 points and 282.2 yards of total offense per game (181.8 rushing, 100.4 passing) and allowing 20.8 points and 345.6 yards of total offense (161.0 passing, 184.6 rushing). Wyoming returns 14 starters (O-6, D-8) and 47 lettermen (O-23, D-23, S-1) from last year's team that went 8-6 overall and won the Mountain Division with a 6-2 record. UW lost to San Diego State in the MW Championship game, 27-24, and then lost to BYU, 24-21, in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. Craig Bohl is 121-58 in his 15th season as a collegiate head coach, including a 17-26 record in his fourth season at Wyoming.
AGGIES AND COWBOYS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State is 38-25-4 all-time against Wyoming, including a 25-10-1 home record, as USU won 20 of the first 23 meetings. USU has also won four of the last five meetings, including a 58-27 home win on Oct. 30, 2015. UW won last year's meeting in Laramie, 52-28. The first-ever game played in the series was in 1903 with USU winning in Logan, 46-0, and the two teams played one another 58 times through the 1978 season. The series resumed in 2001 and the two teams have played one another nine times since then. USU's 38 wins against Wyoming are its most against any opponent in school history.
UTAH STATE VS. WYOMING SERIES FOURTH-MOST PLAYED IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Wyoming will be meeting for the 68th time in series history this weekend in what is the fourth-most played rivalry in school history. USU's most played rivalry is Utah (112), followed by Brigham Young (86), Colorado State (74) and Wyoming (67).
AGGIES AND COWBOYS HAVE STORIED HISTORY
Utah State and Wyoming have a storied history dating back to the early 1900s as both schools were members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) from 1916-37 and later members of the Mountain States/Skyline Conference from 1938-61, along with its current membership in the Mountain West, for a total of 52 years as league foes. As members of the RMAC, USU won league championships in 1921 and 1936, and later won league titles in the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1946, 1960 and 1961. UW won conference championships in the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1949, 1950, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961.
Matt Wells VERSUS WYOMING
Matt Wells is 3-1 all-time against Wyoming as a head coach and will be facing the Cowboys for the ninth time overall as he faced UW once as an assistant coach at USU in 2011, and three times as an assistant at New Mexico (2007-08, 2010).
UTAH STATE AND WYOMING SERIES REFERRED TO AS "BRIDGER'S BATTLE"
Utah State University and the University of Wyoming announced on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013, that both schools have adopted a rivalry series in football that will be referred to as "Bridger's Battle" in reference to celebrated Wyoming/Utah mountain man Jim Bridger. USU won the first "Bridger's Battle" in 2013 in Logan, 35-7, posted a 20-3 road win in 2014, and a 58-27 home win in 2015. Wyoming won last year's meeting in Laramie, 52-28. The winner of the annual contest will take home the traveling "Bridger Rifle," a .50 caliber Rocky Mountain Hawken rifle that was popular among mountain men and widely considered to be what Bridger carried.
PLAYER CONNECTIONS BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND WYOMING
Utah State junior OL Cody Boyer and Wyoming (UW) senior LS Kolton Donovan both attended Pine View HS in St. George, Utah. USU redshirt freshman DL Connor Meyers and Donovan both began their collegiate careers at Southern Utah.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH WYOMING
Utah State outside receivers coach Jovon Bouknight is a 2006 alum of Wyoming, playing for the Cowboys from 2002-05. Bouknight concluded his college career ranked No. 20 in NCAA history in both career receiving yards (3,626) and career receptions (250). During his senior season, Bouknight was one of only 15 semifinalists for the 2005 Biletnikoff Award, which honors the nation's top college receiver each season. He also earned honorable mention All-American honors from College Football News in 2005 and earned first-team all-Mountain West honors. During his senior season, he ranked No. 9 in the NCAA in receiving yards per game (101.45 ypg), No. 15 in total receiving yards (1,116), No. 10 in all-purpose yards (160.45), No. 12 in receptions per game (7.00 rpg) and No. 11 in kickoff returns (27.75 ypr). He currently ranks No. 2 in Mountain West history in receiving yards (3,626) and third in receptions (250), while ranking tied for second all-time in consecutive games with a reception (47). In Wyoming school history, Bouknight ranks No. 3 in career receiving yards (3,626) behind former All-Americans Marcus Harris (4,518) and Ryan Yarborough (4,446). Bouknight also ranks No. 2 in school history in career receptions (250) and third in career touchdown receptions (29). Bouknight also completed his career as Wyoming's all-time all-purpose yardage leader (5,921) and career kickoff return leader (2,016). He caught at least one pass in 47 consecutive games, which was also every game of his college career and ranks No. 2 all-time in school history. Bouknight actually caught at least two passes in each of those 47 career games.
ALL-TIME AGGIE GREATS FROM THE STATE OF WYOMING
Utah State has had several notable football players from the state of Wyoming, including defensive end Ben Crosland (Kemmerer), who was named the 1997 Big West Conference Defensive Player of the Year and an honorable mention All-American by The Sporting News. Defensive end John Chick (Gillette) earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors in 2005. Offensive guard Joe Crum (Rawlins) earned first-team all-Big West Conference honors in 1981 and second-team honors in 1982. And defensive back Paul Gustafson (Casper) earned second-team all-Big West honors in 1994. In men's basketball, Jaycee Carroll (Evanston) was a two-time Associated Press All-American (2007, 2008) and the 2008 WAC Player of the Year, and is USU's all-time leading scorer with 2,522 career points, while ranking first all-time in school history in nine other categories. And in women's soccer, Jayme Gordy (Cheyenne) earned first-team all-Big West honors in 1999 and 2000, while earning second-team honors in 1998 and honorable mention honors in 1997, and ranks second all-time in school history in goals in a season (13) and career (35). Gordy was inducted into Utah State's Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017.
STATS FOR CURRENT AGGIES WITH MULTIPLE GAMES VS. WYOMING
The following is a look at what current Utah State players have done against Wyoming in multiple games played. Senior RB LaJuan Hunt has 75 yards rushing on 14 carries (5.4 ypc) and one catch for zero yards in three games. Senior QB Kent Myers is 44-of-62 passing (.710) for 631 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with 74 yards rushing and one touchdown on 26 carries, in three games. Senior WR Braelon Roberts has four catches for 35 yards (8.5 ypc) in three games. Senior DE Ian Togiai has four tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss, and one quarterback hurry in three games. Senior WR Jaren Colston-Green has three receptions for 103 yards (34.3 ypr) and one touchdown in two games. Senior CB Jalen Davis has 10 tackles, one quarterback hurry and one kickoff return for 17 yards in two games. Senior TE Damion Hobbs is 9-of-18 passing (.500) for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception, to go along with 26 yards rushing and three touchdowns on seven carries, in two games. He tied the modern era school record for touchdown runs in a game by a quarterback with the three against Wyoming on Nov. 5, 2016. Senior LB Alex Huerta has five tackles in two games. Senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr. has 114 yards rushing on just eight carries (14.3 ypc), to go along with one reception for 41 yards, in two games. Junior RB Justen Hervey has 14 yards rushing on three carries (4.7 ypc) in two games. Junior LB Derek Larsen has one tackle in two games. Junior NG Gasetoto Schuster has three tackles in two games. Junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen has one reception for 16 yards in two games. Junior BS Aaron Wade has two tackles in two games.
Utah State junior LB Chase Christiansen will celebrate his birthday on Saturday, Oct. 14.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has 38 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Wyoming has 16 players on its roster from the Cowboy State.
SERIES NOTABLES BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND WYOMING
The following are series notables between Utah State and Wyoming dating back to 2001 and encompassing the last nine meetings.
In 67 games in series history, Utah State has scored 276 more points than Wyoming, 1,406-1,130.
Utah State has won four of the past five games played in the series, outscoring Wyoming 204-108 (40.8-21.6). In fact, Wyoming scored nearly as many points against USU in its last game (52) as it had in the previous four meetings between the two teams (56).
Utah State has averaged 239.8 rushing yards per game in its last four wins against Wyoming, while Wyoming rushed for 267 yards in its 2016 win. In the Cowboys' four consecutive losses to USU from 2011-15, UW averaged just 139.5 rushing yards per game.
The team that has had more rushing yards has won each of the last eight games in the series.
Utah State has forced 12 turnovers in its last seven meetings with Wyoming, while committing nine turnovers in those games.
Utah State has won each of the last three games played against Wyoming in Logan.
Utah State holds the longest shutout streak in the series at five games, as it did not allow the Cowboys to score a single point in meetings from 1931 to 1936.
The losing team has scored less than 20 points in five of the last seven games played in the series, while the winning team has scored at least 50 points in each of the last two games and at least 20 points in each of the past 13 games.
Utah State has scored at least 50 points in the series four times, including twice in the last five meetings, while Wyoming's 52 points last year is its most in series history. In fact, it was just the fifth time in series history that Wyoming had scored 40 points in the series.
Utah State has had four 100-yard rushers and two100-yard receivers in the last nine meetings, while Wyoming has had four 100-yard rushers, one 100-yard receiver and one 100-yard passer in the past nine meetings.
The winning team has scored first in seven of the past nine meetings, with the only exceptions being in 2011 and 2001.
The team that has led at the half has won each of the last eight games played in the series.
Their have been 16 shutouts in series history, 12 by Utah State's defense and four by Wyoming's defense.
Wyoming has controlled the time of possession in seven of the last nine meetings.
FROM THE RECORD BOOKS
Here is a look at some of the top Utah State individual and team statistical performances against Wyoming over the years.
Chuckie Keeton tied the school record as a freshman in 2011, with five touchdown passes in a game in USU's 63-19 home win against Wyoming.
Emmett White's 274 rushing yards against Wyoming in 2001 ranks as the third-most in school history.
Jay Van Noy scored on an 82-yard run against Wyoming in 1948, which is tied for the 10th-longest run in school history.
JoJo Natson had an 80-yard punt return against Wyoming in 2014, which ranks as the 10th-longest in school history.
Tony Adams passed for 389 yards against Wyoming in 1971, the 14th-most in school history.
Utah State had 592 yards of offense against Wyoming in 2015 and 571 yards in 2001, the 14th- and 19th-most in school history.
Utah State had 389 passing yards against Wyoming in 1971, the 17th-most in school history.
Utah State held Wyoming to 29 passing yards in 1978 and 42 passing yards in 1962, the 12th- and 20th-fewest in school history.
Utah State's school record for offensive yards per play is 10.7 set against Wyoming in 1948 with 471 yards on 44 plays.
The Aggies' single-game high of 14 punts was done three times, once against Wyoming in 1970.
Utah State's school record for fewest pass attempts allowed of three was done twice, once against Wyoming in 1955.
Utah State's school record for first downs in a game with 34 has been done three times, including against Wyoming in 2015.
Three of the top 26 winning margins in school history have been against Wyoming, as Utah State posted a 57-0 win in 1917 (ninth-largest), a 53-0 win in 1912 (13th-largest), and a 46-0 win in 1903 (26th-largest).
Wyoming posted a 48-3 win against Utah State in 1968, the 28th-largest defeat in school history.
Utah State has had nine 100-yard rushers, five 100-yard receivers and two 300-yard passers in series history.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is 147-176-8 (.457) all-time against current members of the Mountain West with a 38-25-4 record vs. Wyoming, a 33-39-2 record vs. Colorado State, a 15-7 record vs. UNLV, a 17-20-1 record vs. San José State, a 12-17-1 record vs. Fresno State, a 10-13 record vs. New Mexico, an 8-6 record vs. Hawai`i, a 6-18 record vs. Nevada, a 5-16 record vs. Boise State, a 2-3 record vs. Air Force, and a 1-12 record vs. San Diego State.
UTAH STATE ENTERING FIFTH SEASON IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is entering its fifth 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 119 seasons of competition. USU joined the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1938 until 1961. USU then played as a football 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 for eight seasons from 2005-12.
LAST MEETING vs. WYOMING
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Backup junior QB Damion Hobbs scored a career-high three rushing touchdowns and sophomore WR Ron'quavion Tarver caught eight passes for 104 yards, both game highs, but it still wasn't enough to help Utah State overcome a 28-point deficit at halftime.
Wyoming QB Josh Allen completed 16-of-26 passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns, to go along with 66 yards rushing and another score, to help the Cowboys beat the Aggies 52-28 on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium in Laramie, Wyo.
Junior RB Tonny Lindsey, Jr. led the Aggies with 75 yards rushing on just five carries. Utah State (3-6, 1-5 Mountain West) finished with 414 yards of total offense, including 241 in the third quarter alone.
Brian Hill accounted for Wyoming's other two touchdowns as the senior running back ran for a game-high 142 yards on 25 carries, scoring on runs of 56 and 15 yards, respectively. The Cowboys (7-2, 5-0), who are all alone in first place in the Mountain Division of the MW, tallied 528 yards of offense.
Trailing 35-7 at intermission, Utah State showed some fight in the second half and actually pulled to within a touchdown after scoring 21 unanswered points in a span of 2:41 during the third quarter. Hobbs accounted for two of those scores on touchdown runs of 2 and 10 yards, respectively, less than a minute apart.
Freshman WR Rayshad Lewis began the comeback bid when he caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from junior QB Kent Myers with 8:01 remaining in the third. Myers finished 17-of-29 for 235 yards and the one score before leaving the game with an injury.
Lewis finished with seven catches for 56 yards, while senior TE Wyatt Houston tied his career high with five catches for 37 yards. He has now caught at least one pass in 15 consecutive games.
After the Aggies pulled to within 35-28 with 5:20 left in the third, the Cowboys seized control for good by scoring the game's final 17 points.
Senior LB Anthony Williams led all defenders in the game with a career-high 13 tackles, including 0.5 tackles for loss. Redshirt sophomore BS Gaje Ferguson added a career-best 10 stops, including 1.0 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup in his first career start. And senior CB Daniel Gray intercepted a pass in the third quarter to help set up one of the Aggies' scores.
Wyoming scored touchdowns on four of its five first-half drives as Allen threw touchdown passes of 25 and 15 yards, respectively, and ran for a 1-yard score. Hill had the other touchdown on his 56-yard run.
After the Cowboys opened a 21-0 lead, Utah State cracked the scoreboard on a 1-yard touchdown run by Hobbs with 10:42 left in the second quarter. Lewis helped keep the drive alive when he caught an 18-yard pass from Myers on third-and-5 from the Aggies' 43.
Wyoming took a 35-7 lead into the break following a 46-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Tanner Gentry with 54 seconds left in the second quarter. Gentry was blanketed by USU junior CB Wesley Bailey, but made a diving catch in the left corner of the end zone for the score.
LAST HOME MEETING vs. WYOMING
LOGAN, Utah - Junior RB Devante Mays rushed for a career-high 176 yards and two touchdowns on a career-best 22 carries as Utah State bounced back from its first Mountain West loss of the season with a 58-27 victory against Wyoming on Oct. 30, 2015, on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
Sophomore QB Kent Myers completed his first 10 passes of the game and finished 14-of-17 passing for 246 yards and a career-high-tying three touchdowns for Utah State (5-3, 4-1 MW), which defeated Wyoming (1-8, 1-4) for the fourth straight time.
Sophomore RB Brian Hill finished with 201 yards rushing and one touchdown on 26 carries for the Cowboys, who lost for the second time in a row.
The Aggies, who were held to just 239 yards in a 48-14 loss at San Diego State last weekend, finished with 592 yards (296 rushing and 296 passing) of total offense against Wyoming, its most since gaining 646 yards against Louisiana Tech in 2012 and the 14th-most in school history.
Wyatt Houston had his best game as an Aggie. The junior TE caught a career-high-tying four passes for a career-best 66 yards and a career-high two touchdowns, the final a 25-yarder with 9:52 left in the game that gave Utah State a 51-21 lead.
Junior LB Nick Vigil led the Aggies' defensive effort as he recorded 13 tackles, including 1.0 tackles for loss. Senior SS Marwin Evans added seven tackles, to go along with a career-high two pass breakups.
The Aggies scored points every time they touched the ball in the first half as Mays scored on runs of 11 and 2 yards, respectively, while Houston caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Myers. In addition, junior PK Brock Warren booted a 22-yard field goal.
Of Utah State's 11 offensive possessions on the night, seven ended with a touchdown and one ended with a field goal. The Aggies only punted once on the night.
Utah State capped the first-half scoring when junior LB Brock Carmen blocked a punt, which redshirt freshman FS Jontrell Rocquemore recovered in the end zone to give the hosts a 30-14 lead at the break. It was Rocquemore's second touchdown of the season as he also returned a fumble 97 yards for a score at Washington on Sept. 19.
Wyoming's two touchdowns during the first 30 minutes of action came courtesy of a 9-yard pass from redshirt freshman QB Nick Smith to junior WR Jake Maulhardt and a 47-yard run by Hill that pulled the Cowboys within 21-14 with 6:54 left in the second quarter.
Maulhardt finished with four catches for 30 yards and two touchdowns. Smith was 10-of-18 passing for 83 yards and the two touchdowns.
Utah State also scored on its first possession of the second half when Myers scored on a 5-yard touchdown run, making it 37-14 with 10:09 remaining in the third.
Senior WR Brandon Swindall gave the Aggies a 44-21 lead early in the fourth quarter when he hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Myers. Swindall finished with three catches for 50 yards.
Utah State's final touchdown came on a 34-yard pass from sophomore QB Damion Hobbs to sophomore WR Jaren Colston-Green, making it 58-21 with 6:34 remaining. Colston-Green caught his first two career passes as an Aggie for 50 yards.
Wyoming added a late touchdown when Maulhardt caught an 8-yard pass from Smith with just 16 seconds to go.
GAME 6 RECAP vs. COLORADO STATE
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State LB Suli Tamaivena and BS Gaje Ferguson combined for 27 tackles, and backup QB DJ Nelson scored the first touchdown of his career on a blocked punt, but it still wasn't enough in the Aggies' 27-14 Mountain West loss to Colorado State on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, on Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium.
Tamaivena, a junior, recorded a career-best 14 tackles, while Ferguson, also a junior, added a career-high 13 stops for Utah State (3-3, 1-1 MW), which had its two-game winning streak snapped. Tamaivena also had two quarterback hurries and 0.5 tackles for loss in the game. Sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman and sophomore LB Dalton Baker both added a career high seven tackles, while senior CB Jalen Davis had a season-high six stops to go along with one pass breakup.
In all, Utah State finished the game with six tackles for loss as sophomore NG Christopher `Unga had a career-high 1.5 TFL's, while senior DE Ian Togiai, junior NG Gasetoto Schuster, junior LB Chase Christiansen and sophomore CB Cameron Haney each added 1.0 TFL. Schuster also added a forced fumble in the contest.
Colorado State limited the Aggies to just 212 yards of total offense. Senior QB Kent Myers was 17-of-29 passing for 152 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown pass to senior RB LaJuan Hunt that pulled the home team to within 27-14 with 1:37 to go in the game. Myers finished the game with a career-high-tying 16 carries, but netted just six yards, as he was sacked seven times on the day.
Hunt led Utah State in rushing with 19 yards on eight carries. He matched his career high in catches with four for 30 yards. Redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond was the Aggies' top receiver on the day with a career-best six catches for 45 yards, while junior RB Eltoro Allen had five receptions for 45 yards, both career highs.
Following Hunt's first touchdown reception since the second game of the 2015 campaign, Utah State successfully converted the ensuing on-side kick. Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle got the perfect bounce on his kick and Hunt recovered it.
However, Colorado State did not allow the Aggies to move the ball and Utah State turned it over on downs with 1:09 remaining.
Rams QB Nick Stevens completed 22-of-31 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns to help Colorado State (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) remain perfect in the Mountain Division of the conference.
Colorado State scored the first 24 points of the game and it was a special teams play that finally got Utah State on the board. Nelson took matters into his own hands as he blocked a punt by the Rams' Ryan Stonehouse, scooped it up and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown, pulling the Aggies to within 24-7 with 6:08 left until halftime.
Neither team committed a turnover in the game as Utah State had forced 12 takeaways in its previous two outings. For USU, it was the first time in 10 games it had not committed a turnover on offense.
Junior P Aaron Dalton also had a solid day on special teams for Utah State as he punted 10 times for an average of 42.9, including a long of 54 yards and three of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line.
NELSON NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State junior QB DJ Nelson was named the Mountain West's Special Teams Player of the Week as he scored his first career touchdown last weekend as he returned his own blocked punt 20 yards for a score in the second quarter against Colorado State. Nelson, who is playing on special teams for the first time this season, also blocked a punt at Wake Forest. Overall, Nelson leads the nation with his two blocked punts, along with junior LB and teammate Louy Compton.
Overall, Utah State has now blocked four punts this season against Idaho State, Wake Forest, San José State and Colorado State, and no other team in the nation has more than two blocked kicks. The school record for blocked kicks is six set in 2012, as that team blocked three field goals, two punts and one extra point.
CACHE VALLEY NATIVES MAKING AN IMPACT FOR UTAH STATE
Utah State has 11 players on its current roster from Cache Valley in senior LB Alex Huerta (Mountain Crest HS), junior LB Chasen Andersen (Logan HS), junior BS Gaje Ferguson (Mountain Crest HS), junior LB Derek Larsen (Logan HS), junior QB DJ Nelson (Logan HS), sophomore WR Chad Artist (Logan HS), sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman (Logan HS), redshirt freshman DE Caden Andersen (Logan HS), redshirt freshman WR Taylor Compton (Logan HS), redshirt freshman DE Jake Pitcher (Sky View HS) and freshman S Chase Nelson (Logan HS). Of those 11 players from Cache Valley on Utah State's roster, seven of those players have made significant contributions.
Huerta has played in 28 games during his Aggie career with seven starts, recording 61 tackles, which includes 2.0 tackles for loss, while adding one pass breakup.
Chasen Andersen, who has missed the last two seasons due to injuries, has played in 13 games overall, mostly on special teams, and has 13 tackles.
Ferguson has played in 14 games with nine starts during his first two seasons at Utah State, and has recorded 72 tackles, which includes 2.5 tackles for loss, to go along with one pass breakup. This season, Ferguson is USU's second leading tackler with 45 stops.
Larsen has played in 24 games and made eight starts at Utah State, and has recorded 52 tackles, which includes 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, while adding one fumble recovery.
DJ Nelson has played in 30 games during his Aggie career, mainly on special teams as the holder on field goals and extra points, along with his expanded role on cover units this season. Nelson has three special teams tackles this season to go along with his two blocked punts and one touchdown, returning his blocked punt against Colorado State 20 yards for the score.
Artist has played in 11 games in his first two seasons at Utah State, and has two receptions.
Wildman has played in 16 games with two starts during his first two seasons at Utah State, and has recorded 18 tackles, which includes 1.0 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss, to go along with one forced fumble.
TAMAIVENA AND FERGUSON BOTH RECORD CAREER-HIGH TACKLES
Utah State junior LB Suli Tamaivena and junior BS Gaje Ferguson both recorded career highs in tackles last weekend against Colorado State with 14 and 13, respectively. For Tamaivena, it is his second-straight double-digit tackle outing as he had 13 stops against BYU last weekend. For Ferguson, it is his second double-digit tackle outing of the season and the fourth of his career.
NOTABLES FROM THE COLORADO STATE GAME
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt tied his career high for the third time with four receptions. Hunt also caught his first touchdown pass of the season and third of his career on a 22-yard reception. Junior RB Eltoro Allen had a season-high five receptions for a season-best 45 yards, including a season-long of 17 yards. Sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman had a career-high seven tackles. Sophomore LB Dalton Baker had a career-high seven tackles. Senior CB Jalen Davis had a season-high six tackles and one pass breakup. Junior NG Gasetoto Schuster forced his second fumble of the season and his career, and had 1.0 tackles for loss. Sophomore NG Christopher `Unga had a career-high 1.5 tackles for loss. Senior DE Ian Togiai had 1.0 tackles for loss. Junior LB Chase Christiansen had 1.0 tackles for loss. Sophomore CB Cameron Haney had 1.0 tackles for loss. Junior P Aaron Dalton had three punts downed inside the 20-yard line, giving him 13 punts this year and 59 in his career downed inside the 20-yard line. Dalton also had a 54-yard punt, giving him six punts this year and 23 in his career of 50-plus yards.
AGGIE TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON
#87 | Dax Raymond | TE | 6-5 | 245 | R-SO | Provo, Utah | Timpview HS
Had a career-high six receptions for 45 yards last weekend against Colorado State and has caught at least three passes in four of his last five games. In his last three games, he is averaging four catches for 49.7 yards per game.
Scored his first-career touchdown two weeks ago against BYU on a career-long 32-yard reception. Finished the BYU game with a career-best 57 receiving yards.
On the season, Raymond leads the team with four explosive plays (22, 23, 20, 32).
MYERS RANKS 18TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior QB Kent Myers has rushed for 1,338 yards on 319 carries (4.2 ypc) during his career to rank 18th all-time in school history, including third all-time among quarterbacks, trailing Chuckie Keeton (2011-15), who ranks 14th all-time with 1,415 yards and Diondre Borel (2007-10), who ranks 16th all-time with 1,398 rushing yards. Myers has one career 100-yard rushing game as he set a school record for quarterbacks with 191 yards on 16 carries against Colorado State in 2015.
MYERS HAS 19 CAREER RUSHING TDs
Senior QB Kent Myers has 19 rushing touchdowns in his career, to rank ninth all-time in school history.
Myers has five games with multiple rushing touchdowns as he had a career-high three against San José State in 2014 and two against both Colorado State and Nevada in 2016, and two against both Idaho State and San José State this year.
HUNT RANKS 21ST ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt has rushed for 1,248 yards on 322 carries (3.9 ypc) to rank 21st all-time in school history. Hunt has one 100-yard rushing game in his career as he set a true freshman school record with 34 carries for 145 yards against Hawai'i in 2014.
MYERS RANKS AMONG TOP 10 QBS ALL-TIME IN GAMES PLAYED AND STARTED
Senior QB Kent Myers started his 32nd career game and played in his 34th last weekend, both of which rank tied for fourth and sixth all-time in school history for quarterbacks, respectively. Chuckie Keeton (2011-15) holds the school record for games started by a quarterback with 35, while Diondre Borel (2007-10) holds the school record for games played by a quarterback with 44.
MYERS THIRD ALL-TIME IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers is 520-of-849 (.612) passing for 5,953 yards with 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his career, and that completion percentage ranks third all-time in school history behind Darell Garretson (.631) and Chuckie Keeton (.629).
For his career, Myers has an interception percentage of just 0.025, which ranks third all-time in school history behind Chuckie Keeton (.022) and Anthony Calvillo (0.023), with his 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions on 849 career attempts. Myers has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 19 of his last 26 games, and in 23 games in his career, and multiple touchdowns nine times in his career, which includes five games with three or more touchdown passes. In his career, Myers has 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions at home, and 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the road.
MYERS AMONG ACTIVE QUARTERBACK LEADERS IN THE NATION
Senior QB Kent Myers ranks among the top active quarterbacks in the nation in several categories and is one of just six Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks with 5,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a career, along with Ohio State's J.T. Barrett (7,894 passing, 2,776 rushing), Louisville's Lamar Jackson (7,373 passing, 3,041 rushing), Appalachian State's Taylor Lamb (8,091 passing, 1,635 rushing), South Florida's Quinton Flowers (6,153 passing, 2,989 rushing) and Ball State's Riley Neal (5,476 passing, 1,006 rushing). Myers has passed for 5,953 yards and rushed for 1,338 yards in his career. Myers is also one of just 12 active FBS quarterbacks with 1,200 career rushing yards.
Other categories where Myers ranks among the top active FBS quarterbacks in the nation include being 14th in completion percentage (.612), 18th in touchdowns responsible for (57), 19th in total offense (7,291) and 24th in passing yards (5,953).
DAVIS SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR PASSES BROKEN UP
Senior CB Jalen Davis recorded the 28th pass breakup of his career last weekend against BYU to pass Donald Toomer (1991-94, 26) for the most in school history. Davis also has 11 interceptions in his career, which is tied with Travis Clark (1987, `89), Chuck Detwiler (1966-68) and Ronnie McCloud (1974, `76-78) for the fourth-most in school history. Furthermore, his 227 career interception return yards ranks second all-time in school history behind Henry King (1965-66), who holds the school record for interceptions in a career with 18 and interception return yards in a career with 373.
DAVIS AMONG ACTIVE DEFENSIVE BACK LEADERS IN THE NATION
Senior DB Jalen Davis ranks among the top active defensive backs in the nation in several categories as he ranks sixth nationally with his 39 career pass breakups (27 passes defended, 11 interceptions), and seventh in the nation with his 11 career interceptions.
UTAH STATE RANKS SIXTH IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST IN SCORING OFFENSE
Through the first six games of the season, Utah State is averaging 31.0 points per game to rank sixth in the Mountain West and 60th in the nation. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 67th nationally in passing offense (230.2 ypg), sixth in the MW and 62nd in the nation in completion percentage (.600), eighth in the MW and 82nd in the nation in rushing offense (145.8 ypg), eighth in the conference and 87th in the nation in total offense (376.0 ypg), ninth in the MW and 94th in the nation in passing efficiency (120.3), and 12th in the conference in sacks allowed (3.33 pg).
AGGIES RANK 48TH NATIONALLY IN PASSING DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is allowing 210.7 passing yards per game to rank sixth in the Mountain West and 48th in the nation. USU also ranks seventh in the conference and 81st in the nation in passing efficiency defense (132.0), seventh in the conference and 89th in the nation in scoring defense (29.8 ppg), eighth in the MW and 81st in the nation in total defense (406.0 ypg), ninth in the MW and 97th nationally in sacks (1.50 pg), and ninth in the MW in rushing defense (195.3 ypg).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS THIRD NATIONALLY IN TURNOVERS FORCED
Utah State's defense has forced 16 turnovers (9 fumbles, 7 interceptions) this season to lead the Mountain West and rank third in the nation behind Penn State (17) and Central Michigan (17). In fact, USU forced 12 turnovers during a two-game span with seven against BYU and five at San José State. Last week, USU did not force a turnover against Colorado State. Last year, USU forced just 10 turnovers the entire season.
Along with ranking third nationally in turnovers forced, Utah State also ranks second in the nation with its nine fumble recoveries, trailing only Bowling Green (11). Furthermore, USU ranks second in the Mountain West and 23rd in the nation with its seven interceptions on the season, and fourth in the conference and 24th nationally in turnover margin (+0.83).
With its 16 turnovers thus far this year, Utah State has now forced 126 turnovers in its last 68 games, including at least one turnover in 52 of its last 68 games. USU has also recorded 60 interceptions in its last 55 games, including at least one pick in 29 of its last 55 games and multiple interceptions in 18 of its last 55 games. Overall, USU has forced three or more turnovers in 14 of its last 44 games.
UTAH STATE LEADS THE NATION WITH ITS FOUR DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS
Utah State's defense has already scored four touchdowns this year to rank tied for first nationally along with Duke and Texas. Senior CB Jalen Davis has scored three of those touchdowns as he had a 30- and a 50-yard interception return against BYU, and a 25-yard interception return against Idaho State, while freshman LB Maika Magalei returned a fumble 38 yards for a score against San José State. Overall, USU has now scored 15 defensive touchdowns in its last 52 games.
UTAH STATE RANKS FIFTH IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and fifth in the nation in kickoff return defense (14.4 ypr), third in the conference and 29th in the nation in punt returns (11.4 ypr), fifth in the MW and 76th in the nation in net punting (37.1 ypp), and eighth in the conference in kickoff returns (18.5 ypr).
DAVIS LEADS THE NATION WITH HIS FIVE INTERCEPTIONS
Senior CB Jalen Davis is tied for first in the nation with his five interceptions this season, while his 11 passes defended (6 pass breakups, 5 interceptions) ranks third in the nation, as he is averaging 1.8 passes defended per game. Davis also ranks first nationally with his three defensive touchdowns.
MYERS RANKS THIRD IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers ranks third in the Mountain West and 37th in the nation in completion percentage (.641). Myers also ranks third in the conference and 42nd in the nation with his five rushing touchdowns, third in the MW and 76th in the nation in passing yards (184.2 ypg), fourth in the MW and 51st in the nation in completions (18.2 pg), fourth in the MW and 69th in the nation in total offense (221.3 ypg), fifth in the MW and 64th in the nation with his seven passing touchdowns, and seventh in the MW and 83rd in the nation in passing efficiency (124.1).
OTHER AGGIES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NCAA RANKINGS
Junior LB Louy Compton and junior QB DJ Nelson both rank first nationally with their two blocked kicks, while Nelson also ranks tied for first in the nation with his one punt return for a touchdown. Junior LB Suli Tamaivena ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fifth nationally with his two fumble recoveries, and seventh in the MW and 35th in the nation in tackles (9.0 pg). Redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan ranks third in the MW and 28th in the nation in punt returns (8.9 ypr). Junior LB Chase Christiansen ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 40th nationally with his two forced fumbles, and 14th in the conference in tackles (7.3 pg). Junior NG Gasetoto Schuster ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 40th nationally with his two forced fumbles. Junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver ranks ninth in the MW and 84th in the nation in receptions (4.5 pg). Freshman WR Savon Scarver ranks 10th in the MW and 91st in the nation in kickoff returns (18.4 ypr). Junior BS Gaje Ferguson ranks 13th in the MW in tackles (7.5 pg). Senior BS Dallin Leavitt ranks tied for 37th in the MW in tackles (5.5 pg). Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle ranks second in the MW and ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (.909), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in field goals made (1.67 pg), and sixth in the MW and 46th in the nation in scoring (8.5 ppg). And, junior P Aaron Dalton ranks fourth in the MW and 50th in the nation in punting (42.4 ypp).
WHAT'S RETURNING IN 2017
Utah State returns 14 starters (O-6, D-8) and 38 letterwinners (O-16, D-20, S-2) from last year's team that went 3-9 and finished in sixth place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West with a 1-7 record. Highlighting Utah State's returners in 2017 is senior quarterback Kent Myers, who earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a sophomore in 2015. Utah State returns five other starters on offense in senior OT Preston Brooksby, senior RB Tonny Lindsey Jr., junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver, junior OG KJ Uluave and junior WR Zach Van Leeuwen. USU also returns eight starters on defense in senior CB Wesley Bailey, senior CB Jalen Davis, senior LB Alex Huerta, senior BS Dallin Leavitt, senior DE Ian Togiai, junior BS Gaje Ferguson, junior LB Derek Larsen and junior FS Jontell Rocquemore, to go along with two specialists returning in senior LS Emmett Odegard and junior P Aaron Dalton.
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE FROM 2016
Utah State must replace six players who earned various all-Mountain West honors in 2016, including NG Travis Seefeldt, who earned second-team honors, and OL Austin Albrecht, DE Ricky Ali'ifua, TE Wyatt Houston, OL Jake Simonich and OC Austin Stephens, who were all named to the honorable mention team. Other offensive starters lost include OL Jude Hockel, WR Andrew Rodriquez and WR Rayshad Lewis, and other defensive starters lost include LB Brock Carmen, FS Devin Centers, DE Edmund Faimalo, CB Daniel Gray and LB Anthony Williams.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
Utah State is 6-5 all-time in overtime, winning three of its last four. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-2 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple-overtime games. USU's last overtime game was a 21-14 loss at Arkansas State on Sept. 20, 2014.
DID YOU KNOW?
Of Utah State's seven Mountain West losses in 2016, five were by a combined 29 points (5.8 ppg) as USU lost at home to Air Force by seven points (27-20), at No. 24 Boise State by 11 points (21-10), at Colorado State by seven points (31-24), to New Mexico by three points (24-21), and at Nevada by one point (38-37). Furthermore, USU surrendered three double-digit leads in the second half of the 2016 season at Colorado State (14 points), against New Mexico at home (15 points), and at Nevada (13 points), not to mention a seven-point second-quarter lead at home against Air Force.
UTAH STATE COACHING CHANGES FOR 2017
Utah State's coaching staff had two changes during the offseason as fifth-year head coach Matt Wells hired David Yost as the offensive coordinator working with the quarterbacks, and Mark Tommerdahl as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Coaches who left the USU program following the 2016 season include assistant head coach/running backs/tight ends coach Mike Canales, who went to Tennessee, and linebackers coach David Kotulski, who went to Mercyhurst University.
UTAH STATE THE ONLY PROGRAM WITH NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS FOUR YEARS IN A ROW WITH SAME HEAD COACH
Utah State is the only FBS program to have a new offensive coordinator in each of the past four seasons under the same head coach. In 2014, Kevin McGiven was the offensive coordinator. In 2015, Josh Heupel was the offensive coordinator. In 2016, Jovon Bouknight and Luke Wells were co-offensive coordinators. And in 2017, David Yost is the offensive coordinator. Kansas has had a new offensive coordinator in each of the past five seasons under different head coaches and Pittsburgh has had new offensive coordinators in each of the last four seasons under different head coaches.
WELLS' 31 WINS TIED FOR FOURTH-MOST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State head coach Matt Wells' 31 wins rank tied for the fourth-most all-time in school history along with John Ralston (1959-62), while his 52.5 winning percentage (31-28) ranks seventh all-time with a minimum of 15 games coached.
MORE ON UTAH STATE'S HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is in his fifth season in charge of the Aggie football program and is the longest tenured head coach since Mick Dennehy (2000-04) also spent five years at USU. In fact, Wells is tied with Dennehy and George P. Campbell (1902-06) as the sixth-longest tenured head coaches in 120 seasons of Utah State football.
Matt Wells coached in his third bowl game in 2015 to set the school record for most bowl games by a head coach. E. Lowell `Dick' Romney (1946, 1947), John Ralston (1960, 1961) and Gary Andersen (2011, 2012) all coached the Aggies in two bowl games, while Charlie Weatherbie (1993) and John L. Smith (1997) each coached one bowl game at USU.
Matt Wells, the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year, is one of just 21 coaches to lead his alma mater. He is also 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 ONE OF 21 FBS HEAD COACHES AT HIS ALMA MATER
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is one of the 21 current FBS head coaches who are the head coaches at their alma mater, joining John Bonamego (Central Michigan), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Sean Kugler (UTEP), Tim Lester (Western Michigan), Mike Neu (Ball State), Barry Odum (Missouri), Mark Richt (Miami), Nick Rolovich (Hawai'i), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georiga) and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State).
Of the 21 head coaches listed above who are currently at their alma mater, the Mountain West leads all conferences with five.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is the first Aggie coach to win multiple games against BYU since Bruce Snyder (1976-82) posted wins against the Cougars in 1978 and 1982, which is a span of 10 head coaches.
HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Matt Wells has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program in his first five seasons as head coach, as USU is 31-28, including a 20-14 Mountain West record. USU also played in its fifth-straight bowl game in 2015.
In his five years as head coach, Wells has led Utah State to three wins against top 25 opponents, one more than USU had overall prior to his tenure.
During the 2015 season, Wells mentored 12 players who earned all-Mountain West honors, which were the third-most in the conference. Wells also coached Kyler Fackrell, who was named a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele.
Wells coached three players who participated in the 2016 NFL Combine in Fackrell, Hunter Sharp and Nick Vigil, while 10 players from the 2015 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Vigil (Cincinnati Bengals) and Fackrell (Green Bay Packers), who were both selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Wells led Utah State to 10 wins in 2014 to rank as the second-most in school history behind the 2012 team that finished with an 11-2 record, including its third-straight bowl win with a 21-6 victory against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
During the 2014 season, Wells mentored 15 players who earned 16 all-Mountain West honors, which were the most in the league and tied for the third-most in school history. Wells also coached two All-Americans as Zach Vigil was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, while Jalen Davis was named a True Freshman All-American by 247Sports. Vigil was also named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies went 9-5.
Wells led Utah State to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game after winning the Mountain Division with a 7-1 record in 2013. He also led USU to just its third-ever bowl victory as it posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
During his first year as USU's head coach, Wells mentored 14 Aggies who earned various all-Mountain West honors, including three All-Americans as Tyler Larsen was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, Nevin Lawson was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness, and Kyler Fackrell was named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News.
Wells coached a school-record four players who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine in Larsen, Lawson, Maurice Alexander and D.J. Tialavea, while 11 players from the 2013 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Alexander (Los Angeles Rams) and Lawson (Detroit Lions), who were both selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Overall, Wells is the second USU coach and fifth in school history to garner conference coach of the year honors along with Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991), John L. Smith (1997) and Gary Andersen (2012). Wells is also the fourth individual to earn MW Coach of the Year honors in his first season, along with BYU's Gary Crowton (2001), Utah's Urban Meyer (2003) and Air Force's Troy Calhoun (2007).
Wells is one of just 19 FBS coaches to lead his alma mater and 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.
Prior to being named the head coach at his alma mater, Wells spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
During his six years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a USU program that played in five straight bowl games for the first time in school history, and won three-straight bowl games for the first time ever.
As offensive coordinator in 2012, Utah State concluded its most successful season in program history with a school-best 11-2 record. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936.
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