Utah State Football Ranks 19th In The Nation In Total Defense
Following its bye week, Utah State now ranks among the top 40 teams in the nation in 12 different statistical categories, including ranking 19th in the nation in total defense.
 
Following its bye week, Utah State now ranks among the top 40 teams in the nation in 12 different statistical categories, including ranking 19th in the nation in total defense.
 
 

Oct. 27, 2013

LOGAN, Utah - Following its bye week, Utah State now ranks among the top 40 teams in the nation in 12 different statistical categories, including ranking 19th in the nation in total defense.

Defensively, Utah State is limiting its opponents to just 345.1 yards of total offense per game to rank first in the Mountain West and 19th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 22nd in the nation in scoring defense (20.0 ppg), first in the MW and 31st in the nation in passing defense (212.1 ypg), second in the MW and 27th in the nation in rushing defense (133.0 ypg), second in the MW and 38th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (119.8), and tied for third in the MW and tied for 56th in the nation in sacks (2.1 pg).

Furthermore, Utah State's defense has held its opponents to just 40 first downs on 130 third down attempts (.308) to rank first in the Mountain West and 11th in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it has forced 49 three-and-outs on 107 drives, which averages out to 45.8 percent of the time and 6.13 per game.

Offensively, Utah State is averaging 35.5 points per game to rank fourth in the Mountain West and 35th in the nation. USU also ranks third in the MW and 40th in the nation in passing efficiency (142.9), fifth in the MW and 29th in the nation in rushing offense (208.2 ypg), fifth in the MW and 31st in the nation in completion percentage (.641), fifth in the MW and 38th in the nation in total offense (461.6 ypg), tied for fifth in the MW and 44th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.6 pg), and eighth in the MW and 48th in the nation in passing offense (253.4 ypg)

Utah State is also averaging 24.1 first downs per game thus far this year to rank fourth in the Mountain West and tied for 22nd in the nation, while converting 61-of-130 third downs (.469) to rank third in the MW and 32nd in the nation. In red zone opportunities, USU is 33-for-37 (.892) on the season to rank fourth in the MW and tied for 21st nationally. Overall, USU has scored 26 touchdowns and converted 7-of-10 field goals in the red zone, while turning it over on downs once and having two field goals blocked.

 

 

On special teams, Utah State currently ranks fourth in the Mountain West and 39th in the nation averaging 23.2 yards per kick return. USU also ranks second in the MW and tied for 28th in the nation in turnover margin (+0.62), sixth in the MW and 58th in the nation in punt returns (8.4 ypr), and ninth in the MW and 52nd in the nation in net punting (37.5 ypk). USU also ranks among the top five teams in the nation in both kickoff return and punt return defense as it is allowing -0.33 yards per punt return to rank second in the MW and third in the nation, and just 16.13 yards per kickoff return to rank first in the MW and fifth nationally. Utah State also ranks first in the MW and 14th in the nation with its eight recovered fumbles thus far this year, and fifth in the MW and 21st in the nation with its two blocked kicks on the season.

Individually, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton still ranks 12th in the nation with his 18 touchdown passes despite missing the last three games with a season-ending knee injury. Keeton also ranks first in the Mountain West and 17th in the nation in passing efficiency (157.1), second in the MW and eighth in the nation in points responsible for (20.0 pg), second in the MW and ninth in the nation in completion percentage (.694), fifth in the MW and 16th in the nation in completions (22.7 pg), fifth in the MW and 27th in the nation in total offense (271.5 ypg), and seventh in the MW and 44th in the nation in passing (231.3 ypg).

Other Aggies who rank among the statistical leaders in the Mountain West and in the nation include senior linebacker Jake Doughty who ranks third in the MW and eighth in the nation in tackles (11.1 pg); junior linebacker Zach Vigil who ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 65th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.25 pg), sixth in the MW and tied for 40th in the nation in tackles (9.1 pg), and tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 58th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.25 pg); sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell who ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 65th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.25 pg), tied for eighth in the MW in sacks (0.5 pg), 10th in the MW in tackles for loss (1.1 pg), and 34th in the MW in tackles (6.2 pg); senior cornerback Nevin Lawson who ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 43rd in the nation in interceptions (0.38 pg), and sixth in the MW in passes defended (1.12 pg); senior running back Joey DeMartino who ranks sixth in the MW and 34th in the nation in rushing touchdowns (1.0 pg), and eighth in the MW and 62nd in the nation in rushing (75.8 ypg); senior safety Maurice Alexander who ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 65th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.25 pg), and tied for 26th in the MW in tackles (6.6 pg); senior defensive tackle Connor Williams who ranks tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 58th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.25 pg); sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson who ranks fourth in the MW and 31st in the nation in punt returns (9.1 ypr); sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall who ranks ninth in the MW and 76th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.5 pg); senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds who ranks 11th in the MW and 82nd in the nation in receiving (67.1 ypg); senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright who ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 47th in the nation in kickoff returns (23.4 ypr); junior placekicker Nick Diaz who ranks seventh in the MW and 55th in the nation in field goals (1.1 pg), eighth in the MW in extra point percentage (97.1), eighth in the MW and 80th in the nation in field goal percentage (69.2), and tied for 10th in the MW and 72nd in the nation in scoring (7.5 ppg); and junior punter Jaron Bentrude who ranks 11th in the MW and 85th in the nation in punting (39.4 ypk).

Utah State (4-4, 3-1 MW) returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 2 when it hosts Hawai'i (0-7, 0-5 MW) in a Mountain West game at 2 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221).

For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

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