Oct. 15, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
NEW MEXICO STATE at UTAH STATEWHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME EIGHT INFORMATION Date: Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 Kickoff: 1:07 p.m. (MT) Location: Logan, Utah Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium (25,513) Series: Utah State leads, 29-7 TV: KMYU Mychal Clanton (Play-by-Play) Kevin White (Analyst) Brooks Hansen (Reporter) 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: 1-888-USTATE-1
Utah State's 5-2 start to the season is its best since 1982 when that Aggie team also won five of its first seven games. The last USU team to start a season winning six of its first eight games was in 1978 when that group opened the year with a 7-2 record.
Utah State's 10-3 record in its last 13 games under head coach Gary Andersen is its best stretch since going 12-2 during the 1972-73 seasons as the 1972 team won its final five games and the 1973 squad started the year with a 7-2 record. USU's three losses during its last 13 games have been by a combined total of six points 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 has won six straight WAC games, which is its longest conference winning streak since the 1999 and 2000 teams combined to win six-straight Big West games. The last time USU won at least seven-straight league games was when the 1979 and 1980 teams combined for seven-straight Big West wins. All-time, USU is 19-37 (.339) in WAC play.
Utah State has won each of its last five home games and is 13-7 (.650) at home under Andersen including a 5-6 (.445) conference record. USU's current five-game home winning streak is its longest since the 1981-82 teams combined to win five-straight home games. The last time USU won more than five home games in a row was during the 1966-68 seasons when those three teams combined to win eight-straight home games. All-time, USU is 118-95 (.554) at Romney Stadium.
Utah State has 55 players in its program from the state of Utah, while New Mexico State has 12 players on its roster from the state of New Mexico.
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 68-3 in the first quarter this year and 116-42 in the first-half. Overall, USU had led at the half in six of its seven games this year (trailed BYU, 6-3).
During the last two years, 10 of Utah State's last 14 games have been decided by one score, while seven of its last 12 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 is 4-10 in October under Andersen and 8-4-1 all-time in games played on Oct. 20.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES WAC PLAYING BY HOSTING NEW MEXICO STATE
Utah State (5-2, 1-0 WAC) continues its 2012 season with its only home game during the month of October against Western Athletic Conference foe New Mexico State (1-5, 0-2) on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1:07 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised regionally by KMYU (Comcast Ch. 22, Dish Network Ch. 12, DirecTV Ch. 12, Over-the-Air 2.2) with Mychal Clanton (play-by-play), Kevin White (analyst) and Brooks Hansen (reporter) 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 LOOKING TO BECOME BOWL-ELIGIBLE FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT SEASON
With a win against New Mexico State, Utah State will be bowl eligible for the second-straight season after not playing in a bowl for 14 consecutive years from 1997 to 2012. In all, USU has played in six bowl games in school history (1946 Raisin Bowl, 1960 Sun Bowl, 1961 Gotham Bowl, 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl) and has gone to back-to-back bowl games just once playing in the 1960 Sun Bowl and the 1961 Gotham Bowl.
UTAH STATE FACES SECOND-STRAIGHT TEAM COMING OFF A BYE WEEK
For the second-straight week, Utah State will be playing a team who had a bye the previous week as New Mexico State's last game was on Oct. 6 at Idaho. San Jose State also had a bye week prior to its home game against USU.
UTAH STATE-NEW MEXICO STATE SERIES SIXTH-LONGEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and New Mexico State will be meeting for the 37th time in series history this weekend in what is the sixth-most played series in school history trailing Utah (110), BYU (82), Colorado State (69), Wyoming (63) and Idaho (38).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO
Utah State is a combined 37-18 (.673) against teams from the Land of Enchantment, with a 29-7 mark versus New Mexico State and an 8-11 ledger against New Mexico.
Gary Andersen VERSUS NEW MEXICO STATE
Gary Andersen is 2-1 against New Mexico State as Utah State's head coach, defeating the Southern Aggies 27-22 at home in 2010 and 24-21 on the road last year. In 2009, NMSU posted a 20-17 home win against USU. Andersen never faced NMSU as an assistant at Utah.
UTAH STATE AND NEW MEXICO STATE AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and New Mexico State will play their final conference game against one another for the foreseeable future as USU joins the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. Both teams were members of the Big West Conference from 1985-2000, followed by a two-year stint in the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04, and then conference members in the Western Athletic Conference for the past eight years (2005-12). In the Big West Conference, USU held a 15-1 series advantage against NMSU, while the two teams split its two games as members of the Sun Belt. Since joining the WAC, USU has a 5-2 series advantage against New Mexico State.
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).
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 17 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, Kyle Whimpey and Daniel Wray).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 5-2 on the year and 1-0 in WAC play after posting a 49-27 road win at San Jose State in its last outing. Offensively, USU is led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 154-of-228 passing for 1,758 yards (251.1 ypg) with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team with 713 rushing yards on 118 carries (101.9 ypg) with six touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin leads the team with 28 catches for 403 yards (57.6 ypg) and four touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 63 tackles (27-solo, 36-assist), including 1.0 tackles for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 59 tackles (24-solo, 35-assist) with 7.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And junior linebacker Jake Doughty has 48 tackles (11-solo, 37-assist) with 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. As a team, USU is averaging 27.6 points and 428.4 yards of total offense per game (254.3-passing, 174.1-rushing) and allowing just 14.9 points and 322.1 yards of total offense (224.9-passing, 97.3-rushing).
UTAH STATE SETS SCHOOL RECORD WITH 13 SACKS AT SAN JOSE STATE
Utah State set a school record with 13 sacks in its last game against San Jose State as junior defensive lineman Connor Williams, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen all had a career-high two sacks in the game. Aggies with one sack against SJSU included senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu, senior defensive lineman Al Lapuaho, junior linebacker Jake Doughty, junior defensive lineman A.J. Pataiali'i, and sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil. USU's previous school record for sacks in a game was eight versus Colorado in 1998 and the NCAA record for sacks in a game is 15 set by TCU in 2000. USU entered its game against the Spartans with 14 sacks on the season.
UTAH STATE ALLOWS FOUR NET RUSHING YARDS AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
Courtesy of its 13 sacks that resulted in minus 102 rushing yards, Utah State allowed four net yards rushing against San Jose State to rank tied for the 14th-fewest allowed in school history and the fewest since limiting New Mexico State to minus seven yards rushing in 2008. The school record for fewest rushing yards allowed is minus 51 by Pacific in 1980.
UTAH STATE SCORES TOUCHDOWNS ON ITS FIRST FOUR POSSESSIONS AGAINST SPARTANS
Utah State scored touchdowns on its first four possessions against San Jose State as it raced out to a 28-3 second quarter lead. The last time USU scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game was on Nov. 29, 2009 at Idaho as the Aggies scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and added a field goal on its fifth series of the game.
UTAH STATE SCORES SEASON-HIGH 49 POINTS AT SAN JOSE STATE
Utah State scored a season-high 49 points at San Jose State, which are its most points since winning at Idaho, 49-42, in double overtime in 2011. Those 49 points are also the most in a regulation game since scoring 63 points against Wyoming in 2011, and the most in a regulation road game since scoring 52 points at Idaho in 2009. USU also scored 28 first-half points against the Spartans, which were the most since its 42-point first-half against Wyoming in 2011. Furthermore, Utah State's 22-point win at San Jose State (49-27) was its largest road win since defeating North Texas 34-7 on Nov. 27, 1999.
UTAH STATE HAS BEEN TIED OR HELD THE LEAD FOR MOST OF THE SEASON
Through seven games and 420 minutes of play this season, Utah State has led or been tied for all but 55:40 (86.9 %). 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. 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. And in its last game against San Jose State, the Spartans scored a field goal and led for 4:10 before USU scored a touchdown on its first drive and never trailed the rest of the game.
UTAH STATE WINS WAC OPENER FOR JUST SECOND TIME IN EIGHT YEARS
For just the second time in eight years in the league, Utah State won its WAC opener with its 49-27 road win at San Jose State. USU was 1-6 in its previous seven WAC openers, including an 0-3 road record, with its lone win being a 42-17 home victory against Idaho in 2008. All-time, USU is now 28-25-3 in league openers including an 11-13-3 road mark.
TEAM NOTABLES FROM THE SAN JOSE STATE GAME
Utah State has won five of its last seven road games and improved to 7-16 on the road under Andersen. USU improved to 12-10 following a loss under Andersen and has lost back-to-back games just twice in its last 20 contests. USU's five penalties were tied for its season-low along with five at Colorado State. USU had a season-high 10 players make receptionis. USU The 20 first-half points scored by San Jose State are the most by a USU opponent this season. In fact, USU hadn't allowed more than 20 points in any of its first six games of the year. The last team to score 20 first-half points against USU was San Jose State during the 2011 season with 20. The 27 points allowed by Utah State are its most in its last 11 games when Idaho scored 42 points. San Jose State's 467 passing yards are the most allowed by Utah State since Hawaii threw for 486 yards in 2006.
FACKRELL NAMED WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell has been named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in as many weeks as he had a career-high tying 11 tackles (7-solo, 4-assist) to go along with his first two career sacks in a 49-27 road win at San Jose State. Fackrell also forced and recovered a fumble during the same play on his second sack of the contest, and had a pass breakup on third-and-goal from the USU 8, preventing a Spartan touchdown on the first drive of the game. In all, Fackrell was one of nine Aggie defenders who helped record a school-record 13 sacks against the Spartans. Overall, it is the sixth time this year that USU has earned WAC Player of the Week honors 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. In his last two games, Fackrell is averaging 10.5 tackles.
FACKRELL ONE OF FOUR FRESHMEN IN SCHOOL HISTORY TO EARN PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell is the first Aggie freshman to earn conference player of the week honors in consecutive weeks since Demario Brown was named the Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks during the 1996 season. Overall, Fackrell is just the fourth freshman in school history to earn conference player of the week honors joining current sophomore quarterback teammate Chuckie Keeton who was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week in 2011, along with Brown in 1996 and Profail Grier who was named the Big West's Offensive Player of the Week in 1993. Fackrell is also the first player to earn back-to-back WAC Player of the Week honors since Hawaii's Corey Paredes accomplished the feat in 2010. Going back to 1999, no freshman in the WAC has earned back-to-back player of the week honors.
WILLIAMS RECORDS EIGHTH-LONGEST RUSH IN SCHOOL HISTORY AGAINST SPARTANS
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career with 176 yards on just 15 carries (11.7 ypc) to go along with a career-high three rushing touchdowns in Utah State's 49-27 road win at San Jose State. Williams had touchdown runs of 50, 86 and 12 yards in the game, and his 86-yard burst in the third quarter ranks as the eighth-longest rush in school history and the longest since Robert Turbin had a school-record 96-yard touchdown run at Utah in 2009. Williams, who now has six rushing touchdowns this year and 13 in his career, also caught four passes for 30 yards against SJSU.
AUSTIN HAS RECORDED 13 CATCHES IN HIS LAST TWO GAMES
After not catching a pass in Utah State's 35-13 home win against UNLV, senior wide receiver Matt Austin has caught 13 passes for 165 yards (82.5 ypg) in his last two games as he had a career-high seven catches for 72 yards at BYU and six catches for 93 yards with one touchdown at San Jose State. For Austin, that was his fourth touchdown reception of the year and the 10th of his career.
KEETON HAS ANOTHER 200 YARD PASSING GAME
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 26-of-35 passes for 273 yards with three touchdowns in his last game at San Jose State, marking the fifth time this year and eighth time in his career that he has thrown for at least 200 yards. Those 26 completions against SJSU are a career-high, while he has now thrown at least three touchdown passes in a game for the third time in his career. Furthermore, he has thrown at least two touchdown passes in five games this year and in eight games in his career.
BRADY RECORDS SEVENTH CAREER DOUBLE-FIGURE TACKLE GAME AT SAN JOSE STATE
Senior safety McKade Brady recorded 10 tackles against San Jose State in his last outing, marking the fourth time this year and seventh time in his career he has recorded double-digit tackles. In his last two games, Brady is averaging 12.0 tackles.
Zach Vigil TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 10 TACKLES AT SAN JOSE STATE
Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil tied his career-high with 10 tackles in his last game against San Jose State. Overall, it is the fourth time this year that Vigil has recorded double-digit tackles including his third time in as many games as he is averaging 10.0 tackles in his last three games.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs caught his fourth touchdown pass of the season and sixth of his career. Junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen caught his first touchdown pass of the season and third of his career. Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton recorded his first rushing touchdown of the season and the fifth of his career with a 28-yard run in the third quarter. Junior wide receiver Travis Reynolds had a career-long 32 yard kick return. Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson had a season-high eight tackles to go along with his first two career sacks. Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen tied his career-high with two sacks to give him four on the season. Junior linebacker Jake Doughty recorded his first career sack. Junior defensive lineman A.J. Pataiali`i recorded his first career sack. Senior defensive lineman Al Lapuaho recorded his third career sack. Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams had a career-high two sacks and now has five career sacks. Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu recorded his fifth career sack. Senior punter Tyler Bennett had a 50 yard punt for his eighth of the season and 23rd of his career. Sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz attempted his first career PATs as he was 7-of-7 in the game.
UTAH STATE RANKS THIRD IN THE NATION IN SACKS PER GAME
Following its school record 13 sacks at San Jose State, Utah State's defense ranks first in the WAC and third in the nation averaging 3.86 sacks per game, trailing Tulsa (4.71) and Arizona State (4.33). USU also leads the WAC and ranks 11th in the nation in rushing defense (97.3 ypg), first in the WAC and 13th in the nation in scoring defense (14.9), second in the WAC and 20th in the nation in total defense (322.1 ypg), second in the WAC and 36th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (117.4), and third in the WAC and 59th in the nation in passing defense (224.9 ypg).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 11TH 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 15-of-23 (.652) inside the 20 this season to lead the WAC and rank 11th in the nation. Of those 23 trips USU's opponents have made to the redzone, they have come away with just seven touchdowns and eight field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs four times.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 13TH IN THE NATION IN THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State's defense ranks 13th in the nation with an average of 4.8 three-and-outs on the season and has forced a three-and-out by its opposition 34 times on 98 drives, which averages out to 34.7 percent of the time.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 15TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 32.3 percent of its third downs (40-124) which leads the WAC and ranks 15th in the nation. USU's defense is also allowing just 18.14 first downs per game to rank third in the WAC and tied for 31st in the nation.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE WAC IN RUSHING OFFENSE
As of Oct. 14, Utah State ranks second in the WAC and 55th in the nation in rushing offense (174.1 ypg). USU also ranks third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in total offense (428.4 ypg) third in the WAC and 48th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.57 pg), fourth in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in passing efficiency (147.3), fourth in the WAC and 43rd in the nation in passing offense (254.3 ypg), and fourth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in scoring offense (27.6 ppg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 35TH IN THE NATION IN PUNTING
As of Oct. 14, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 35th in the nation in net punting (39.0 ypk), third in the WAC and 46th in the nation in punt returns (9.9 ypr), and fifth in the WAC and 69th in the nation in kickoff returns (20.9 ypr).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Oct. 14, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and 21st in the nation in all-purpose yards (149.1 ypg), first in the WAC and 29th in the nation in rushing (101.9 ypg), eighth in the WAC in scoring (6.9 ppg) and eighth in the WAC in total offense (101.9 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 27th in the nation in total offense (290.6 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 34th in the nation in passing (251.1 ypg), fifth in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in passing efficiency (149.1), and ninth in the WAC in rushing (39.4 ypg). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks seventh in the WAC in receiving (57.6 ypg) and ninth in the WAC in receptions (4.0 pg). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks second in the WAC and 28th in the nation in punting (43.1 ypk). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 47th in the nation in punt returns (6.6 ypr). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks second in the WAC and tied for 45th in the nation in tackles (9.0 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks third in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.07 pg), fourth in the WAC and tied for 72nd in the nation in sacks (0.57 pg), and tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 71st in the nation in tackles (8.4 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks 13th in the WAC in tackles (6.9 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranks tied for 16th in the WAC in tackles (6.7 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for 16th in the WAC in tackles (6.7 pg). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks 10th in the WAC in tackles for loss (0.79 pg) and 33rd in the WAC in tackles (5.3 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks 28th in the WAC in tackles (5.6 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks second in the WAC and 15th in the nation in passes defended (1.57 pg), and 43rd in the WAC in tackles (4.3 pg). Senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks seventh in the WAC in passes defended (0.86 pg). Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams ranks tied for fourth in the WAC and tied for 72nd in the nation in sacks (0.57 pg). And redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for fourth in the WAC and tied for 72nd in the nation in sacks (0.57 pg).
AGGIES DEFENSE RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State is allowing just 14.9 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). Furthermore, USU's defense has not allowed a single team this year to run from more than 160 yards. In fact, USU has held 16 straight opponents to less than 200 yards rushing and the last team to rush for 200 yards against Utah State was BYU (208) in 2011.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had a player rush for at least 100 yards 25 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.
FACKRELL, KEETON AND WILLIAMS ALL HONORED BY COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton and senior running back Kerwynn Williams all earned national honorable mention honors from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) following Utah State's 49-27 WAC road win at San Jose State this past weekend. Fackrell had a career-high tying 11 tackles (7-solo, 4-assist) to go along with his first two career sacks against the Spartans. Keeton was 26-of-35 passing for 273 yards with three touchdowns. And Williams rushed for 176 yards on just 15 carries (11.7 ypc) and scored a career-high three touchdowns with runs of 50, 86 and 12 yards.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 260-of-402 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 64.7 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 67.5 percent of his passes (154-228), which would rank second all-time at USU for a single-season behind 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 43.5 yards on 99 punts (4,309), which ranks tied for first all-time in school history along with Jerry Arguello (1997-98). In 2012, Bennett has punted 41 times for an average of 43.1 yards. He has also had eight punts of 50-plus yards, while 20 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 206 all-purpose yards at San Jose State and now has 4,436 all-purpose yards in his career to rank fifth in school history. Williams is now 767 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).
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.
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.
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Seven 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
A LOOK AT NEW MEXICO STATE
New Mexico State is 1-5 on the season and 0-2 in WAC play following its 26-18 road loss at Idaho two weeks ago. The Aggies began the year with a 49-19 home win against Sacramento State, followed by road losses at Ohio (51-24) and at UTEP (41-28), and home losses to New Mexico (27-14) and UTSA (35-14) to go along with its road loss at Idaho. Offensively, NMSU is led by sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley who is 117-of-212 passing for 1,630 yards (271.7 ypg) with 11 touchdowns and six interceptions. Junior running back Germi Morrison leads the team with 263 rushing yards on 56 carries (43.8 ypg), and sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin has 42 catches for 742 yards (123.7 ypg) with seven touchdowns. Defensively, junior free safety Davis Cazares leads the team with 56 tackles (30-solo, 26-assist), while junior linebacker Trashaun Nixon has 51 tackles (21-solo, 30-assist) with 6.0 for loss. As a team, NMSU is averaging 24.5 points and 361.2 yards of total offense per game (275.5-passing, 85.7-rushing) and allowing 33.2 points and 441.0 yards of total offense per game (262.3-passing, 178.7-rushing). Overall, NMSU returns 16 starters (O-8, D-8) and 34 lettermen from last year's team that went 4-9 and finished in seventh-place in the WAC with a 2-5 mark. DeWayne Walker is 10-34 in his fourth year as the Aggies head coach, including a 4-21 WAC record.
UTAH STATE AND NEW MEXICO STATE
Utah State leads the all-time series against New Mexico State, 29-7, including a 13-3 record at home. The first game played in the series was on Dec. 31, 1960 as NMSU defeated USU, 20-13, in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. Utah State has won each of the last two games played in the series as it won in Las Cruces, 24-21, last year and 27-22 in Logan in 2010. Overall, USU has won each of the last two games played in Logan and 27 of the last 31 games played in the series dating back to 1968. The last time NMSU defeated USU was on Oct. 10, 2009 in Las Cruces, 20-17, and the last time it defeated USU in Logan was on Nov. 25, 2006 by a final score of 42-20.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS NEW MEXICO STATE
Rushing Yards: Emmett White (2000), 322
Passing Yards: Matt Sauk (1997), 371
Receiving Yards: Kevin Alexander (1995), 205
RECENT UTAH STATE-NEW MEXICO STATE SERIES HISTORY
If recent history is any indication, Utah State's game against New Mexico State this weekend will come down to the final minutes as each of the last three games played in the series have been decided by one score including last year's 24-21 Utah State victory as the Aggies scored the winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining in the game. The last time the two teams played in Logan (11/6/10), USU rallied for an early 14-0 deficit to notch a 27-22 win. And in 2009 in Las Cruces, New Mexico State scored the winning field goal on the last play of the game to make the final score 20-17.
UTAH STATE-NEW MEXICO STATE CONNECTIONS
New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker was an assistant coach at Utah State in 1993, coaching the cornerbacks and helping lead the navy-clad Aggies to the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl win against Ball State, 42-33. New Mexico State running backs coach SHaun Johnson was the running backs coach at Utah State from 2006-08, and is a Utah State alum, graduating in 1995 after playing running back from 1992-94. Johnson was on the 1993 Aggie team that won the Big West Championship and the Las Vegas Bowl. NMSU assistant head coach/wide receivers coach R. Todd Littlejohn was the wide receivers coach at Utah State in 1998-99. Utah State's associate head coach/special teams coordinator/safeties coach Bill Busch was an assistant at NMSU, coaching the secondary from 1997-2000.
REMEMBER WHEN VERSUS NEW MEXICO STATE
On Nov. 4, 2000, Utah State junior running back Emmett White produced one of the greatest single-game performances in NCAA history as he broke the NCAA single-game all-purpose yardage record of 435 yards set by Brian Pruitt of Central Michigan versus Toledo in 1994. White accumulated 578 total yards against New Mexico State as he rushed 34 times for a school-record 322 yards, added 134 yards on seven receptions, had one punt return for two yards and four kickoff returns for 120 yards. That added up to 578 yards on 46 touches. Not only did White amass all of those yards, he also scored four touchdowns, including the game-winner, a nine-yard run, with just :28 left in the game as USU won the contest, 44-37.
FROM THE RECORD BOOKS
Utah State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Matt Wells posted a banner day against New Mexico State as a sophomore in 1994, throwing for a career-high 247 yards on 20-of-39 passing with three touchdowns, in leading USU to a 47-20 win.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State's 29 victories against New Mexico State is tied for the fourth-most against any opponent in school history trailing the 35 wins versus Wyoming, the 34 victories against Brigham Young, the 31 wins against Colorado State and tying the 29 wins versus Utah.
LAST MEETING AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE - (USU 24, NMSU 21)
December 3, 2011 Las Cruces, N.M. Aggie Memorial Stadium
Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy hit junior wide receiver Matt Austin with an 8-yard touchdown toss with 35 seconds left to lead Utah State past New Mexico State, 24-21. After a squib kick on the kickoff, sophomore cornerback Nevin Lawson intercepted NMSU quarterback Matt Christian's pass to seal the visiting Aggies' win, its first seven-win regular season since 1979. Utah State's offensive line plowed the way for the visiting Aggies' rushing attack to amass 392 yards. USU ended the day with 515 yards of total offense, as Kennedy was 12-of-16 passing for 123 yards with a season-high three touchdowns. Senior running back Michael Smith had a career-best outing with 121 yards on 18 carries, while junior running back Robert Turbin had 98 yards on 25 rushes and Kennedy added a career-high 95 yards on 15 carries. Junior running back Kerwynn Williams also had 68 yards rushing. Austin ended the game with 32 yards receiving on five catches, while senior wide receiver Stanley Morrison had four receptions for 60 yards. NMSU totaled 397 yards of total offense, as Christian was 17-of-40 passing for 252 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. It was a scoreless first quarter, in which USU had two chances inside the NMSU 10, going for it on fourth down both times, but failing on both attempts. The visiting Aggies got on the board early in the second quarter, when Kennedy hit Turbin with a 21-yard touchdown toss for a 7-0 USU advantage with 8:52 on the clock. NMSU countered on its next possession, with Christian scrambling for a 16-yard touchdown run to tie it at 7-7 with 6:43 left in the half. USU took a 14-7 halftime lead after a 6-yard touchdown pass from Kennedy to Austin with 1:39 to go. USU senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher would make the final play of the half with his first career interception. After a USU fumble at midfield on its opening drive of the third quarter, Christian hit Kemonte' Bateman with a 51-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 14-14 with 13:22 remaining. Sophomore placekicker Josh Thompson gave USU a 17-14 lead with 9:46 left in the fourth with a 23-yard field goal. NMSU needed just three plays and 1:08 to march 66 yards, with Turner capping the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run to give NMSU a 21-17 lead with 8:29 left. After the teams traded punts, USU got the ball on its own 17 with 5:04 on the clock. After nine-straight running plays, the visiting Aggies reached the NMSU 14 with just under a minute left, facing a fourth-and-two. Kennedy ran an option play and got the first down inside the 12. On the next play, Smith plowed ahead for a four-yard gain and on the following play, Kennedy hit Austin with a toss in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 35 seconds left.
LAST MEETING AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE IN LOGAN - (USU 27, NMSU 22)
November 6, 2010 Logan, Utah Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium
A collection of career-best performances sparked Utah State's rally from a 17-10 halftime deficit to upend New Mexico State, 27-22, on Nov. 6, 2010 at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. Utah State overcame a 14-0 deficit, its largest since 2001, and rallied for its first second-half comeback win since 2007. A career-best 230 all-purpose yards by sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams set up Utah State's touchdowns, one of which was scored by senior running back Derrvin Speight as part of his career-high 114 yards. Senior quarterback Diondre Borel had 110 yards on 11-of-22 passing, while junior linebacker Bobby Wagner tied a career-high with 17 tackles. NMSU opened a 14-0 first quarter lead on a 9-yard run by Matt Christian and a 32-yard pass from Christian to Todd Lee. Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 84 yards to the NMSU 10 and two plays later, Speight ran through a huge hole created by the USU offensive line into the end zone on the final play of the quarter for a 14-7 score. The southern Aggies opened the second half scoring with a Tyler Stampler 46-yard field goal, before the northern Aggies countered with a 44-yard upright split by senior placekicker Peter Caldwell for a 17-10 score. That score would remain until Borel scored on a 3-yard scamper to knot it at 17-all with 2:50 to go in the third stanza. Stampler's field goal from 48-yards gave NMSU a 20-17 lead, but Williams returned the ensuing kick 63 yards to the NMSU 25 and a facemask penalty on the play set USU up at the 12. On the next play, Borel ran the option for two yards before pitching to junior wide receiver Eric Moats, who dove over the goal line for the touchdown. Caldwell's extra point put USU ahead, 24-20, with 9:07 to play. The USU defense held NMSU to a three-and-out and the home team marched down the field and capped the drive with a 24-yard Caldwell field goal with 2:44 to play. New Mexico State drove to the USU 27, but Christian's fourth-down pass play was broken up by sophomore cornerback Quinton Byrd. Borel then took a safety in the end zone to run out the clock for the final margin. Utah State ended with 296 yards of total offense, including 186 rushing yards. New Mexico State had 346 yards of total offense, with 155 on the ground and 191 through the air, as Christian was 17-of-34 passing with one touchdown. Senior safety Rajric Coleman logged a season-high 12 tackles, while junior defensive end Quinn Garner registered a career-best 11 tackles, including one sack as part of his 1.5 tackles for loss. Fellow junior defensive end Levi Koskan also had two tackles for loss, including one sack, as part of his seven stops, while junior linebacker Kyle Gallagher added nine tackles.
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 PRODUCES ANOTHER LENGTHY SCORING DRIVE AT BYU
Utah State's 13-play, 86-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 17-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton to senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs against San Jose State in its last game was tied for its second-longest scoring drive in terms of plays this year, along with its 13-play scoring drive at BYU and behind its 19-play scoring drive at Colorado State. In all, USU has had five 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 48 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.
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).
RECAPPING THE SAN JOSE STATE GAME
Nine Aggies combined for a school-record 13 sacks, senior running back Kerwynn Williams scored three rushing touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton had four total touchdowns (3-pass, 1-rush) in leading Utah State to a convincing 49-27 WAC road win against San Jose State here Saturday.
Overall, the Aggies scored touchdowns on its first four possessions of the game to record its largest road win since a 34-7 victory at North Texas in 1999.
Utah State's defense set the tone for the game on the very first play as junior linebacker Jake Doughty sacked Spartan quarterback David Fales. Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen all had a career-high two sacks in the game.
Despite getting sacked on the first play of the game, San Jose State drove down to the Utah State 8-yardline before settling for a 25-yard field goal, marking the first time this year USU has allowed any points in the first quarter.
Utah State's first touchdown of the game came on a 17-yard pass from Keeton to senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs midway through the first quarter after driving 86 yards in 13-plays. On its next series, Keeton hit senior wide receiver Matt Austin with a 5-yard pass as USU drove 53 yards in just four plays. The Aggies' third touchdown came on the first play of its next series as Williams scored from 50 yards out. And USU's final touchdown of the first-half was on a 21-yard pass from Keeton to junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen as USU drove 50 yards in 6-plays.
San Jose State then scored 17 points on its final three possessions of the second quarter to make the halftime score 28-20 in favor of Utah State as the Aggies now hold a 116-42 scoring advantage in the first half this year, including a 68-3 margin in the first quarter.
Williams got Utah State going in the third quarter as he scored from 86 yards out to give the visitors a 35-20 advantage. That 86-yard burst by Williams was the eighth-longest rush in school history. On its next series, Keeton scored on a 28-yard run to cap an 8-play, 68-yard drive to make the score 42-20 with 9:55 to play in the third quarter.
San Jose State scored its only points of the second half late in the third quarter on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Noel Grisby, but the Spartans could not get any closer as Williams added his third touchdown run of the game from 12 yards out late in the fourth quarter to make the final score 49-27.
Williams finished the game with 176 rushing yards on just 15 carries (11.7 ypc) as he had scoring runs of 50, 86 and 12 yards. For Williams, it was his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and the fourth of his career.
Keeton was 26-of-35 passing for 273 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions as those 26 completions are a career-high. Keeton also had 47 yards rushing on six carries including his 28 yard touchdown run.
Austin had a team-high six catches for 93 yards, including his fourth touchdown reception of the season. In all, 10 Aggies caught passes in the contest.
For the game, Utah State had 485 yards of total offense (273-passing, 212-rushing) and averaged 8.2 yards per play, despite possessing the ball for just 21:36 and running just 59 offensive plays.
The Spartans finished with 471 yards of total offense (467-passing, 4-rushing), ran 92 plays (33 more than USU) and controlled the ball for 38:24.
Along with its school-record 13 sacks, Utah State also limited San Jose State to four net yards rushing to rank tied for the 14th-fewest rushing yards in a game in school history.
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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