Oct. 22, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
UTAH STATE at UTSAWHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME NINE INFORMATION Date: Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 Kickoff: 12:04 p.m. (MT) Location: San Antonio, Texas Stadium: Alamodome (65,000) Surface: Field Turf Series: First Meeting TV: ESPN3 Jonathan Yardley (Play-by-Play) Forest Conoly (Analyst) Radio: Utah State Sports Network Al Lewis (Play-by-Play) Craig Hislop (Analyst) Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com Twitter Updates: /USUFootball YouTube: /USUAthletics Facebook: /USUFootball Tickets: 210-458-8872
Utah State's 6-2 start to the season is its best since 1978 when that Aggie team won seven of its first nine games. Furthermore, USU is 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 2000 when that team won its first four Big West games.
Utah State has now won at least six games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1996 and 1997 campaigns, and for just the 11th time in school history. The last time USU won at least seven games in back-to-back years was in 1978 and 1979. Overall, it is the 20th time in school history that USU has won at least six games.
Utah State's 11-3 record in its last 14 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 14 games have been by a combined six points against Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) this season.
Utah State's seven-straight WAC wins ties the school record for most league wins in a row along with the 1979 and 1980 teams that combined for seven-straight Big West Conference wins. All-time, USU is 20-37 (.351) in WAC play.
Utah State has won five of its last seven road games dating back to 2011, including a 2-2 record this year as it lost at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14), won at Colorado State (31-19), lost at BYU (6-3), and won at San Jose State (49-27). USU ended the 2011 season with road wins at Hawai`i (35-31), Idaho (49-42 2OT), and New Mexico State (24-21). Overall, USU is 7-16 (.304) in road games under Andersen.
Utah State has 55 players in its program from the state of Utah, while UTSA has 95 players on its roster from the state of Texas.
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 82-3 in the first quarter this year and 144-42 in the first-half. Overall, USU had led at the half in seven of its eight games this year (trailed BYU, 6-3).
Utah State is 5-10 in October under Andersen and 8-5-0 all-time in games played on Oct. 27.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES WAC PLAY AT UTSA
Utah State (6-2, 2-0 WAC) continues its 2012 season with a Western Athletic Conference road game at UTSA (5-2, 1-1) on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 12:04 p.m. (MT). The game will be available to watch live via the internet on ESPN3 with Jonathan Yardley (play-by-play) and Forest Conoly (analyst) on the call. Live audio and streaming of the game is also available at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's GameDay coverage.
UTAH STATE BOWL-ELIGIBLE FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT SEASON
With its 6-2 record thus far in 2012, Utah State is bowl-eligible for the second time in as many seasons. 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 RECORDS SIXTH WIN IN OCTOBER FOR EIGHTH TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY
With its 41-7 win against New Mexico State, Utah State recorded its sixth win in the month of October for just the eighth time in school history joining the 1956, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1978 teams. Furthermore, USU's sixth win this year was on Oct. 20th and is the earliest in school history bettering the 1960 team that won its sixth game on Oct. 22.
UTAH STATE ONE OF 30 TEAMS IN THE NATION WITH SIX WINS
Utah State is one of 30 teams in the nation with six wins on the season after posting a 41-7 home win against New Mexico State in its last game. Ohio State leads the nation with eight wins, while Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Kent State, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State, Northern Illinois, Notre Dame, Ohio, Oregon, Rutgers, Toledo and Tulsa all have seven wins. Schools with six wins thus far this year include, Boise State, Clemson, Duke, Georgia, Kent State, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, Northwestern, Oregon State, South Carolina, Texas Tech, USC, Wisconsin and Utah State.
ANDERSEN EIGHTH WINNINGEST COACH IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Following Utah State's 41-7 home win against New Mexico State in its last outing, head coach Gary Andersen is now 21-24 in his fourth year at Utah State and is tied with Phil Krueger (1973-75) for the eighth-most wins in school history.
UTAH STATE OFFENSIVELY DURING ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State has played very well offensively during its last two games in wins at San Jose State (49-27) and at home against New Mexico State (41-7). During its last two games, Utah State is averaging 45.0 points and 500.5 yards of total offense per game (266.5-passing, 234.0-rushing). USU is also 13-of-26 on third downs during its last two games and averaging 8.2 yards per play. Individually, senior running back Kerwynn Williams has 28 carries for 258 yards (129.0 ypg) and added seven receptions for 124 yards (62.0) during his last two games, while scoring six touchdowns (4-rushiing, 2-receiving). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 42-of-61 passing for 530 yards (265.0) with five touchdowns and no interceptions during his last two games. Keeton has also carried the ball 13 times for 128 yards (64.0) with three touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs has seven receptions for 126 yards (63.0 ypg) with three touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Matt Austin and senior tight end Kellen Bartlett also have seven receptions apiece in USU's last two game.
DIAZ NAMED WAC SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore redshirt placekicker Nick Diaz was named the Western Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time in his career following his performance in Utah State's 41-7 home win against New Mexico State. Diaz, who made two field goals and five extra points against NMSU, connected on his first-ever field goal attempt from 53 yards and added a 48-yarder later in the fourth quarter. The 53-yarder was the eighth-longest in school history and the longest for the Aggies since 2008. Overall, it is the second time this year that USU has had a WAC Special Teams Player of the Week as senior punter Tyler Bennett won the award on Sept. 10. Overall, Diaz is the fifth Aggie this year to earm WAC Player of the Week honors for the seventh time joining sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton (9/10, 10/1), senior running back Kerwynn Williams (9/24), redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell (10/8, 10/15) and Bennett.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 6-2 on the year and 2-0 in WAC play after posting a 41-7 home win against New Mexico State in its last outing. Offensively, USU is led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 170-of-254 passing for 2,015 yards (251.9 ypg) with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team with 795 rushing yards on 131 carries (99.4 ypg) with seven touchdowns, and Williams leads the team with 30 catches for 425 yards (53.1 ypg) and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 70 tackles (28-solo, 42-assist), including 1.0 tackles for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 65 tackles (25-solo, 40-assist) with 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And junior linebacker Jake Doughty has 58 tackles (13-solo, 45-assist) with 2.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and one fumble recovery. As a team, USU is averaging 29.2 points and 439.4 yards of total offense per game (255.0-passing, 184.4-rushing) and allowing just 13.9 points and 322.0 yards of total offense (220.4-passing, 101.6-rushing).
UTAH STATE WINS SIXTH-STRAIGHT HOME GAME
Utah State has now won six-straight home games, following its 41-7 win against New Mexico State in its last outing. That six-game home winning streak is the longest for USU since the 1966-68 teams combined to win eight-straight home games. Overall, USU is now 14-7 at home under Andersen, including a 6-6 WAC mark.
UTAH STATE SCORES 40-PLUS POINTS IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
Following its 41-7 home win against New Mexico State, Utah State has now scored 40-plus points in back-to-back games as it won at San Jose State, 49-27, in its previous outing. The last time USU scored 40-plus points in back-to-back games was during the 2003 season when it defeated Arkansas State, 49-0, and Middle Tennessee, 41-20, in consecutive home games. The last time USU scored 40-plus points in three-straight games was during the 1990 season.
UTAH STATE HAS TWO ONE-PLAY SCORING DRIVES AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Utah State had a pair of one-play scoring drives in its last game against New Mexico State, including on the first offensive play of the game as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton hooked up with senior running back Kerwynn Williams for a 76-yard touchdown pass on a screen play. Keeton also scored on a 76-yard touchdown run on USU's first offensive play of the second quarter. Overall, it is USU's third one-play scoring drive of the season as Williams scored on a 50-yard touchdown run on the first play of a series at San Jose State. USU has also had three two-play scoring drives this year, five three-play scoring drives, three four-play scoring drives, and three five-play scoring drives for a total of 17 drives of five plays or less on the season out of a total of 36 scoring drives.
UTAH STATE BLOCKS FOURTH KICK OF THE YEAR AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Utah State blocked its fourth kick of the season in its last game against New Mexico State as redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell blocked a 42-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. And USU's third blocked kick of the season was at BYU as junior defensive lineman Paul Piukala blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt.
UTAH STATE HAS HAD SIX SCORING DRIVES OF AT LEAST 10 PLAYS THIS YEAR
Utah State had its sixth scoring drive of at least 10 plays in its last game against New Mexico State as it drove 69-yards in 10 plays in the second quarter, culminating with a 3-yard touchdown run by senior running back Kerwynn Williams. Utah State had 19 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2011; 15 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2010; and nine scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2009 for a total of 49 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in Andersen's four years.
UTAH STATE HAS BEEN TIED OR HELD THE LEAD FOR MOST OF THE SEASON
Through eight games and 480 minutes of play this season, Utah State has led or been tied for all but 55:40 (88.4 %). 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. 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. And in its last game against New Mexico State, USU never trailed.
DID YOU KNOW?
Redshirt freshman linebacker La'Bradford Harold turns 20 years old on Saturday, Oct. 27, when Utah State plays at UTSA.
DAVIS, DIAZ AND KEETON ALL EARN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS
Senior cornerback Will Davis, redshirt sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz and sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton all earned honorable mention honors at their respective positions from College Football Performance Awards this past week following Utah State's 41-7 home win against New Mexico State. Davis had a season-high eight tackles, including a career-high two for loss, to go along with his first career interception that he snared in NMSU's endzone and returned 35 yards. Davis also registered one pass breakup in the game. Diaz was 5-of-5 on extra points and 2-of-3 on field goals against NMSU as he made field goals from 53 and 48 yards, while his 44-yard attempt in the fourth quarter was blocked. The 53 yard field goal, which was his first-ever field goal attempt, was the eighth-longest in school history and the longest for USU since 2008. Keeton was 16-of-26 passing for 257 yards with two touchdowns against NMSU, including a career-long 76-yard pass on USU's first offensive play of the game. Keeton also rushed seven times for 81 yards and tied his career-high with two rushing touchdowns, including a career-long 76 scoring run.
KEETON AND WILLIAMS RECORD CAREER-LONG PLAYS AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton and senior running back Kerwynn Williams both had career-long plays in their last game against New Mexico State, with two happening on the same play as the duo teamed up for a 76-yard pass play on USU's first offensive play of the game, as the pass was a career-long for Keeton along with a career-long reception for Williams. Keeton also recorded a career-long 76 yard rush against NMSU.
KEETON ACCOUNTS FOR FOUR TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton accounted for four touchdowns in Utah State's 41-7 home win against New Mexico State in its last game as he had two touchdown passes and a career-high tying two touchdown runs as he also had two in his first-ever collegiate game at defending national champion Auburn. Overall, Keeton now has three rushing touchdowns this year and seven in his career.
WILLIAMS SCORES A PAIR OF TOUCHDOWNS AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had a rushing touchdown and receiving touchdown in the same game for the first time in his career in his last outing against New Mexico State. The last USU player to have a rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game was Michael Smith at Fresno State on Oct. 15, 2011. Overall, Williams now has seven rushing touchdowns this year and 14 in his career, to go along with three career receiving touchdowns. He also has three 100-yard rushing games this year and four in his career.
KEETON HAS ANOTHER 200 YARD PASSING GAME
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton completed 16-of-25 passes for 257 yards with two touchdowns in his last game against New Mexico State, marking the sixth time this year and ninth time in his career that he has thrown for at least 200 yards. Furthermore, he has thrown at least two touchdown passes in six games this year and in nine games in his career.
DIAZ MAKES EIGHTH-LONGEST FIELD GOAL IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Redshirt sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz waisted little time putting his name in the Utah State record book as he made his first-ever field goal attempt from 53 yards, which ranks tied for eighth all-time in school history with Jim Murphy (1967) and the longest by a USU kicker since Chris Ulinski connected from 56 yards at home against New Mexico State in 2008. Diaz also made his second career field goal from 48 yards, before his 44-yard attempt in the fourth quarter was blocked. On the season, Diaz is also a perfect 12-of-12 on extra points.
DOUGHTY RECORDS SECOND CAREER DOUBLE-FIGURE TACKLE GAME
Junior linebacker Jake Doughty had 10 tackles in his last game against New Mexico State, marking the second time this year he has recorded double-digit tackles, along with his career-high 13 tackle outing against UNLV.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST NEW MEXICO STATE
Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs' 49-yard touchdown reception was his team-leading fifth of the season and seventh of his career. Freshman running back Kelvin Lee had career-highs in both rushing attempts (5) and rushing yards (46). Junior CB/QB Devonta Glover-Wright had career-highs in both rushing attempts (5) and rushing yards (39). Glover-Wright also tied his career-high with two tackles. Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell blocked his first career kick, a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil recorded his fifth sack of the season. Senior cornerback Will Davis recorded his first career interception in the second quarter that he returned 35 yards. Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu forced his second career fumble. Filimoeatu also had a career-high three quarterback hurries. Sophomore linebacker Tavaris McMillian recorded his first career sack. Junior defensive lineman A.J. Pataiali'i recovered his first career fumble. Redshirt freshman linebacker Michael Okonkwo recorded his first career sack. Okonkwo also had a career-high two tackles. Sophomore safety Frankie Sutera tied his career-high with five tackles. Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb had a career-long 44 yard punt return in the third quarter. It is USU's longest punt return since Oct. 20, 2007 when Kevin Robinson had a 70-yard punt return for a touchdown at home against Nevada.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE NATION IN SACKS PER GAME
Utah State's defense continues to be among the best in the nation and currently ranks first in the WAC and fourth in the country averaging 3.75 sacks per game, trailing Tulsa (4.38), Arizona State (4.00) and USC (3.86). USU also leads the WAC and ranks seventh in the nation in scoring defense (13.9), second in the WAC and 13th in the nation in rushing defense (101.6 ypg), second in the WAC and 21st in the nation in total defense (322.0 ypg), first in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in pass efficiency defense (114.9), and third in the WAC and 51st in the nation in passing defense (220.4 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 16-of-25 (.640) inside the 20 this season to lead the WAC and rank 11th in the nation. Of those 25 trips USU's opponents have made to the redzone, they have come away with just eight touchdowns and eight field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, two interceptions, one fumble and a loss on downs four times.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 11TH IN THE NATION IN THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State's defense ranks 11th in the nation with an average of 4.75 three-and-outs on the season and has forced a three-and-out by its opposition 38 times on 110 drives, which averages out to 34.5 percent of the time.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 21ST IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 32.86 percent of its third downs (46-140) which leads the WAC and ranks 21st in the nation.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE WAC IN TOTAL OFFENSE
After producing 516 yards of total offense in its last game, Utah State now ranks second in the WAC and 41st in the nation in total offense (439.4 ypg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and 46th in the nation in rushing offense (184.4 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 26th in the nation in passing efficiency (149.5), fourth in the WAC and 47th in the nation in passing offense (255.0 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 57th in the nation in scoring offense (29.2 ppg), and fourth in the WAC and 59th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.75 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 38TH IN THE NATION IN PUNTING
As of Oct. 21, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 38th in the nation in net punting (38.8 ypk), third in the WAC and 37th in the nation in punt returns (10.9 ypr), and fourth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in kickoff returns (21.3 ypr).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
As of Oct. 21, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and 18th in the nation in all-purpose yards (152.5 ypg), second in the WAC and 31st in the nation in rushing (99.4 ypg), fifth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in scoring (7.5 ppg), ninth in the WAC in total offense (99.4 ypg), and 10th in the WAC in receptions (3.8 pg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 19th in the nation in total offense (296.5 ypg), fourth in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in passing efficiency (151.2), fourth in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing (251.9 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in rushing (44.6 ypg). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks third in the WAC and 30th in the nation in punting (42.6 ypk). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 45th in the nation in punt returns (8.4 ypr). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks third in the WAC and 55th in the nation in tackles (8.8 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks third in the WAC and tied for 78th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.06 pg), fourth in the WAC and tied for 54th in the nation in sacks (0.62 pg), and fifth in the WAC and 88th in the nation in tackles (8.1 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks 10th in the WAC in tackles (7.2 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks 12th in the WAC in tackles (6.9 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranks tied for 14th in the WAC in tackles (6.6 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks tied for 27th in the WAC in tackles (5.5 pg). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks 31st in the WAC in tackles (5.4 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks third in the WAC and tied for 11th in the nation in passes defended (1.62 pg), and tied for 36th in the WAC in tackles (4.8 pg). Senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks tied for fourth in the WAC in passes defended (1.00 pg). Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams ranks tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks (0.50 pg). And redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks (0.50 pg).
AGGIES DEFENSE RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State is allowing just 13.9 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 17 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.
Kerwynn Williams RANKS AMONG BEST ALL-AROUND PLAYERS IN WAC HISTORY
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks as one of the best all-around offensive players in Western Athletic Conference history as he has 5,923 all-purpose yards to rank second all-time at Utah State and fifth all-time in the WAC. Kevin Robinson (2004-07) is USU's all-time leader in all-purpose yardage with 6,479 yards, while New Mexico State's Terance Mathis is the WAC's all-time leader with 6,691 all-purpose yards. Williams is also the WAC's all-time leader in kick return yards with 3,392 and is the conference's active leader in career rushing yards with 1,798.
Kerwynn Williams NEARING CAREER TOP 10 LIST IN RUSHING AND RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has rushed for 1,798 yards during his Aggie career and is now just 125 yards shy of tying Jay Van Noy (1946-49) for 10th all-time in school history with 1,923 career rushing yards. Williams also has 14 career rushing touchdowns and is just one shy of tying Michael Smith (2009-11) for 10th all-time in school history with 15.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 276-of-428 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 64.5 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) entered the 2011 season as the school record holder at 60.7 percent. Thus far in 2012, Keeton is completing 66.9 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).
KEETON RANKS 10TH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
With his two touchdown passes against New Mexico State in his last game, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has now thrown 27 touchdown passes in his career to rank 10th all-time in school history and is now two touchdown passes shy of tying Travis Cox (2001-04) for ninth-place with 29. Keeton is also 15 completions shy of tying Ron Lopez (1990-91) for 10th all-time in school history with 291 career completions and 68 yards of total offense shy of tying Abu Wilson (1992, 1994-96) for 10th all-time in school history with 3,933 yards of total offense.
KEETON NEARING SINGLE-SEASON TOP 10 LIST IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown 16 touchdown passes on the season and is now just one touchdown pass shy of tying Diondre Borel (2009) and Ron Lopez (1991) for ninth all-time at USU for single-season touchdown passes with 17. The single-season school record is 24 touchdown passes set by Jose Fuentes in 2001.
BENNETT RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN PUNTING
Senior Tyler Bennett has a career punt average of 43.3 yards on 102 punts (4,417), which ranks second all-time in school history behind Jerry Arguello (1997-98) who averaged 43.5 yards per punt. In 2012, Bennett has punted 44 times for an average of 42.6 yards. He has also had eight punts of 50-plus yards, while 23 have been downed inside the 20-yardline.
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.
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?
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
A LOOK AT UTSA
UTSA is 5-2 on the season and 1-1 in WAC play following its 52-24 home loss to San Jose State last weekend. The Roadrunners began the year with a 33-31 road win at South Alabama, followed by a home win against Texas A&M-Commerce (27-16), a road win at Georgia State (38-14), a home win against Northwestern Oklahoma State (56-3), a road win at New Mexico State (35-14), and a road loss at Rice (34-14). Offensively, UTSA is led by junior quarterback Eric Soza who is 81-of-138 passing for 1,077 yards (179.5 ypg) with 11 touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore running back David Glasco II leads the team with 330 rushing yards on 55 carries (47.1 ypg), and sophomore wide receiver Kam Jones has 13 catches for 226 yards (32.3 ypg) with one touchdown. Defensively, senior linebacker Brandon Reeves leads the team with 55 tackles (19-solo, 36-assist), while sophomore safety Triston Wade has 44 tackles (23-solo, 21-assist). As a team, UTSA is averaging 32.4 points and 380.7 yards of total offense per game (216.6-passing, 164.1-rushing) and allowing 23.4 points and 314.0 yards of total offense per game (214.3-passing, 99.7-rushing). Overall, UTSA returns 22 starters (O-11, D-9, ST-2) and 49 lettermen from last year's team that went 4-6 as an FCS Independent. Larry Coker is 9-8 in his second year as the Roadrunners head coach and 69-23 in eight years as a collegiate head coach.
UTAH STATE AND UTSA
Utah State and UTSA will be meeting for the first time ever this weekend.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF TEXAS
Utah State is 8-15-1 (.354) all-time against teams from the state of Texas including a 5-0 record against West Texas, a 4-3 record against North Texas, a 2-0 record versus UTEP, a 1-0 record against both Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin, 0-3 records against Baylor and Texas, an 0-2-1 record against TCU, an 0-2 record versus Texas Tech, and 0-1 records against Houston and Texas A&M. The last time USU played a team from the state of Texas was on Sept. 19, 2009 when it lost at Texas A&M, 38-30.
AGGIES FROM THE STATE OF TEXAS
Utah State has three players on its active roster from the state of Texas in junior running back Robert Marshall (Dallas/A. Maceo Smith HS), sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton (Houston/Cypress Creek HS) and redshirt freshman linebacker La'Bradford Harold (Crowley/Crowley HS).
FIRST TIME STARTERS IN 2012
Eight 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.
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).
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).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Gary Andersen's first three years as head coach. In 2011, USU had a WAC-leading 18 academic all-conference honorees.
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.
FACKRELL FOURTH FRESHMAN IN SCHOOL HISTORY TO EARN WAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell was named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8 and Oct. 15 and 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.
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.
WILLIAMS RECORDS EIGHTH-LONGEST RUSH IN SCHOOL HISTORY AGAINST SAN JOSE STATE
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.
RECAPPING THE NEW MEXICO STATE GAME
Utah State (6-2, 2-0 WAC) became bowl eligible for the second-straight year with a 41-7 rout against New Mexico State (1-6, 0-2 WAC) at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium Saturday.
Utah State becomes bowl eligible in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1960 and 1961. USU has also now won seven-straight Western Athletic Conference games, its longest conference winning streak since the 1979 and 1980 teams won seven Big West games in a row, and its 6-2 start is its best since the 1978 team won seven of its first nine games.
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 16-of-26 passing for 257 yards and two touchdowns, the first on a 76-yard screen pass to senior running back Kerwynn Williams on USU's first play from scrimmage. Williams ended the day with three catches for 94 yards, while adding 13 carries for 82 yards with a touchdown.
Keeton also rushed seven times for 81 yards with two touchdowns, including a career-long 76 yard run on USU's first possession of the second quarter to give the home team a 21-0 lead as USU amassed 256 rushing yards with three touchdowns.
Utah State also totalled 260 yards through the air as sophomore quarterback Craig Harrison completed his lone pass of the afternoon for three yards.
Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs had four catches for 94 yards, with 49 yards coming on a scoring strike from Keeton for USU's second touchdown of the first quarter.
Junior linebacker Jake Doughty led the USU defense with 10 tackles, while senior cornerback Will Davis tallied eight stops, including two tackles for loss and also snared his first career interception that he returned out of NMSU's endzone for 35 yards. Freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell also had eight tackles and blocked a 42-yard New Mexico State field goal attempt, USU's fourth blocked kick this season.
Utah State connected on two field goals, as sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz boomed a career-long 53-yarder early in the third quarter and added a 48-yarder at the start of the fourth stanza. The 53-yard field goal was USU's longest since a 56-yarder by Chris Ulinski in 2008, which also came at home against New Mexico State. Diaz's field goal is tied for the eighth-longest in school history.
New Mexico State quarterback Andrew Manley was 19-of-37 for 177 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Manley connected with Austin Franklin for a 6-yard touchdown at the 8:15 mark of the third quarter for the visitor's only score of the afternoon.
New Mexico State finished with 321 yards of total offense (189-passing, 132-rushing).
Davis Cazares posted a game-high 12 tackles and blocked a Diaz field goal attempt in the fourth quarter to pace the visitor's defense.
Williams and Jacobs' long catch and run scoring plays gave USU the early 14-0 lead as the navy Aggies have now out-scored their opposition, 82-3, in the first quarter.
Utah State took a 28-0 lead into halftime, as Williams added a 3-yard run with 39 seconds before intermission to improve the northern Aggies to a 144-42 first-half scoring advantage this season.
Diaz's 53-yarder put USU ahead 31-0 before NMSU got on the board with the scoring pass. Keeton's 9-yard run came with 1:01 to go in the third quarter and Diaz capped the scoring with his 48-yard upright split with 12:13 left in the game.
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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