Oct. 27, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. Hawai'i
UH Game Notes vs. Utah State
HAWAI'I at UTAH STATE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME NINE INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013
Kickoff: 2 p.m. (MT)
Location: Logan, Utah
Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field
at Romney Stadium (25,513)
Series: Series tied, 6-6
TV: CBS Sports Network
Dave Ryan (Play-by-Play)
Adam Archuleta (Analyst)
Evan Washburn (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
Utah State is in its 116th season of football and is 510-512-31 (.499) all-time. USU has nine nationally televised games on ABC, ESPN, CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 in 2013 and two more that will be broadcast regionally on ROOT SPORTS.
The Last Meeting
November 5, 2011
Kennedy Spearheads Aggie Rally To Wild, 35-31, Win Over Hawai'i Saturday
Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy, the Utah State football team, the Aggies' fans and the USU record books will remember, remember the fifth of November for a long time thanks in part to rallying from a 28-7 halftime deficit for a wild 35-31 win over the Warriors of Hawai`i Saturday at a rainy Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
Utah State has won 14 of its last 15 league games dating back to 2011, and won a school record 13 straight conference games before falling to Boise State, 34-23, on Oct. 12, 2013.
Utah State has won nine of its last 11 home games overall and five of its last six home games against conference foes. Overall, USU is 121-98 (.553) all-time at Romney Stadium.
Utah State has won 20 of its last 27 games overall, starting with its 35-31 road win at Hawai'i on Nov. 5, 2011 and those seven losses during its last 27 games have been by a combined 41 points as it lost to Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) in 2012, and at Utah (30-26), at USC (17-14), against BYU (31-14) and against Boise State (34-23) in 2013.
Utah State has won each of its last seven games during the month of November and nine of its last 10 overall during the 11th month of the year. The last time USU lost a game in November was during the 2011 season at home to Idaho, 28-6.
Utah State has had sellouts in each of its first three home games this year, marking the first time in the 46-year history of Romney Stadium that it has recorded three-straight sellouts. Prior to 2013, USU had never recorded three sellouts in the same season at Romney Stadium.
True freshman quarterback Darell Garretson will make his second career start against Hawai'i and is one of just 15 true freshman at the FBS level to start at quarterback this year.
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation with an average of 11.1 tackles per game, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks sixth in the Mountain West and tied for 40th in the nation with 9.1 tackles per game. Overall, Doughty has five double-digit tackle games this year and nine in his career, and Vigil has five double-digit tackle outings this year and 10 in his career.
Utah State has 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Hawai'i has 44 players on its roster from the Hawaiian Islands.
After playing four of its first five games of the year on the road, Utah State is concluding the 2013 campaign by playing five of its final seven games at home, including three of its last four.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY AGAINST HAWAI'I
Utah State (4-4, 3-1 MW) continues its 2013 season with a Mountain West home game against Hawai'i (0-7, 0-5 MW) on Saturday, Nov. 2 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) with Dave Ryan (play-by-play), Adam Archuleta (analyst) and Evan Washburn (reporter) on the call. Live audio of the game is also available on www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will also be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's Game Day coverage.
UTAH STATE ON CBS SPORTS NETWORK
Utah State will be making its fourth of five appearances on the CBS Sports Network this weekend when it hosts Mountain West foe Hawai'i. USU's first three games on the CBS Sports Network included its first-ever MW game at Air Force (W 52-20), along with home games against BYU (L, 31-14) and Boise State (L, 34-23). USU's final game scheduled to be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network will be against Colorado State (Nov. 23).
UTAH STATE IN FIRST SEASON IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
Utah State is in its first year as a member of the Mountain West and has been a Division I-A/Bowl Championship Series football playing school in each of its 116 seasons of competition. USU joined the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1938 until 1961. USU then played as an independent from 1962-77 when the Aggies became members of the Pacific Coast Athletic Association in 1978. The PCAA changed its name to the Big West Conference in 1988. Following the 2000 season when the Big West no longer sponsored football, USU spent two years as an independent (2001-02) and two years in the Sun Belt Conference (2003-04) before joining the Western Athletic Conference in 2005 for eight seasons.
UTAH STATE ONE OF THE MOST EXPERIENCED TEAMS IN THE NATION
Utah State entered this season tied with Army and trailing South Alabama as the second most experienced team at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview as USU returned 13 seniors and seven juniors who have started games, in addition to three seniors and 12 juniors listed on its depth chart.
UTAH STATE ENTERED 2013 WITH FOURTH-MOST EXPERIENCED OFFENSIVE LINE IN THE NATION
Utah State entered the 2013 season returning all five of its starters on the offensive line from a year ago and had the fourth-most experienced offensive line in the nation according to Phil Steele's College Football Preview before losing senior guard Kyle Whimpey to a knee injury against San Jose State. Overall, USU's current offensive line has 132 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (46), senior tackle Eric Schultz (40), senior guard Jamie Markosian (23), junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (20) and senior guard Sini Tauauve'a (3), while Kyle Whimpey had started 18 straight games before his injury.
WELLS IS THE 11TH-YOUNGEST HEAD COACH AT THE FBS LEVEL
First-year Utah State head football coach Matt Wells is the 11th-youngest head coach at the FBS level at 40 years of age (8-10-73). Wells is also just the second USU graduate to be appointed its head football coach joining Chris Pella who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85. Wells was a three-year letterwinner at quarterback/safety for USU from 1994-96.
WELLS IS ONE OF 12 HEAD COACH AT THE FBS LEVEL WHO PLAYED AT SAME SCHOOL
First-year Utah State head coach Matt Wells is one of just 12 coaches at the FBS level who played college football at the same school he is currently the head coach at joining Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Ruffin McNeill (East Carolina) Paul Haynes (Kent State), Don Treadwell (Miami, Ohio), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Bill Blankenship (Tulsa), Sean Kugler (UTEP) and Frank Beamer (Virginia Tech).
DID YOU KNOW?
With its 45-10 win at New Mexico, Utah State's senior class now has 26 wins over the last four years (2010-13) to rank tied for first all-time in school history along with the 1962 and 2012 senior classes. A win against Hawai'i this weekend will make the 2013 senior class the winningest group of players in school history.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 4-4 on the season and 3-1 in Mountain West play following its 45-10 road win at New Mexico in its last game. Offensively, USU is led by senior running back Joey DeMartino who has carried the ball 86 times for 606 yards (75.8 ypg/7.0 ypc) with eight touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has 34 catches for 537 yards with three touchdowns, and freshman quarterback Darell Garretson is 24-of-37 passing for 260 yards (130.0 ypg) with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 89 tackles (23-solo, 66-assist), including 5.5 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 73 tackles (23-solo, 50-assist) with 6.5 for loss, and sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has 50 tackles (24-solo, 26-assist) with 9.0 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 35.5 points and 461.6 yards of total offense per game (253.4-passing, 208.2-rushing) and allowing 20.0 points and 345.1 yards of total offense per game (212.1-passing, 133.0-rushing).
INJURY BUG HITS UTAH STATE
The injury bug hit Utah State hard during a two-week period in September and October as starting senior offensive guard Kyle Whimpey and junior starting running back Joe Hill both suffered season-ending knee injuries against San José State (9/27/13), while junior starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton (knee) and senior starting tight end D.J. Tialavea (foot) suffered season-ending injuries against BYU (10/4/13). Between Whimpey, Hill, Keeton and Tialavea, the foursome had combined for 69 career starts and 102 career games played in while at Utah State.
UTAH STATE WINS 10TH STRAIGHT LEAGUE ROAD GAME AT NEW MEXICO
Utah State extended its current school record by winning its 10th straight league road game with its 45-10 victory at New Mexico in its last outing. The previous school record for consecutive conference road wins was six from 1995-97 when USU was a member of the Big West. Overall, USU has won 10 of its last 15 road games including a 3-2 road record this season.
UTAH STATE SNAPS TWO-GAME LOSING STREAK AT NEW MEXICO
Utah State snapped its two-game losing streak with a 45-10 road win at New Mexico in its last outing, avoiding its first three-game losing streak since 2010, a span of 40 games.
UTAH STATE POSTS SEASON-HIGH RUSHING YARDS AT NEW MEXICO
Utah State rushed for a season-high 337 yards in its last outing at New Mexico as its 42 rushing attempts are the fourth-most this year. On the season, USU is 4-0 when it rushes at least 40 times in a game and 0-4 when it has less than 40 rushing attempts in a game.
UTAH STATE RECORDS SEASON HIGH SIX SACKS AT NEW MEXICO
Utah State recorded a season-high six sacks at New Mexico in its last game as senior defensive tackle Connor Williams had 1.5 sacks, junior linebacker Zach Vigil, sophomore nose guard Travis Seefeldt and freshman defensive tackle Ricky Ali'ifua each posted 1.0 sacks, and junior defensive tackle B.J. Larsen had 0.5 sacks.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO STOP THE RUN
Utah State continues to do a great job stopping the run this season as Boise State's Jay Ajayi (22-109) is the only running back to rush for 100 yards against the Aggies, while USU has allowed just seven rushing touchdowns in eight games this year.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO OUT-SCORE OPPONENTS IN THE FIRST HALF
With its 31-3 halftime lead at New Mexico in its last game, Utah State now has a 168-91 scoring advantage in the first 30 minutes of play this year. Last season, USU had a 254-60 scoring advantage in the first half.
UTAH STATE AT THE HALF
Utah State has led at the half in 19 of its last 23 games dating back to 2011 and is 16-3 in those contests, including a 4-1 record this year. USU has also led or been tied at the end of the first quarter in 16 of its last 23 games and is 14-2 in those contest when leading at the end of the first period, but 0-4 during its last 23 games when trailing at the end of the first period and at the end of the first half.
UTAH STATE HAS HELD 19 OF LAST 24 OPPONENTS WITHOUT A FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN
Utah State has not allowed a first quarter touchdown in 19 of its last 24 games dating back to the 2011 season as USU was the only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team in the nation not to allow a first quarter touchdown during the 2012 season. This year, USU has held three opponents (Weber State, San José State, New Mexico) without a first quarter touchdown. Furthermore, USU has held three opponents this year (Weber State, San José State, New Mexico) and 13 of its last 21 opponents without a first-half touchdown, while four of those 21 opponents have been held scoreless in the first half.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had three 100-yard rushers this season and a 100-yard rusher 33 times in the last five years. Prior to its current run, USU produced a 100-yard rusher just 23 times in its previous eight seasons. Overall, USU has won 11 straight games when it has had a 100-yard rusher with its last loss coming against Ohio in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
NATSON NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson was named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week on Oct. 21 following his career night at New Mexico in his last game as he returned a career-high five punts for a career-best 102 yards, including his first career touchdown on a 65-yard punt return just before the half to give USU a 31-3 halftime advantage. Natson, who also had punt returns of 15, 11 and nine yards against the Lobos, is the first Aggie to return a punt for a touchdown since 2007 when Kevin Robinson returned a 70-yard punt for a score against Nevada.
DEMARTINO RUNS FOR CAREER-HIGH 144 YARDS AT NEW MEXICO
Senior running back Joey DeMartino rushed for a career-high 144 yards on just 12 carries (12.0 ypc) and tied his career-high with three rushing touchdowns from 32, 38 and eight yards in his last game against New Mexico as he now has three career 100-yard rushing games, and two multi-touchdown games, all this season. DeMartino also caught a career-high three passes for a career-best 41 yards against the Lobos, including a career-long 21 yard reception for his first career receiving touchdown. Overall. DeMartino is the first Aggie to score four touchdowns in a game since Robert Turbin did so against Colorado State in 2011.
DEMARTINO CONTINUES TO RUN THE BALL WELL
Senior running back Joey DeMartino continues to play well for Utah State as he has carried the ball 83 times for 602 yards (7.3 ypc/86.0 ypg) with eight rushing touchdowns in his last seven games. Against New Mexico, he rushed for a career-high 144 yards on 12 carries (12.0 ypc) and tied his career-high with three rushing touchdowns. Against Boise State, he rushed for 37 yards on 11 carries and scored one touchdown in the first half. Against BYU, he rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries. Against San José State, he recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game as he carried the ball a career-high 17 times for 120 yards (7.1 ypc). Against USC, he rushed for 72 yards on nine carries (8.0 ypc), including a 55-yard run. Against Weber State, he recorded his first-ever 100-yard rushing game as he carried the ball eight times for 105 yards (13.1 ypc) with a career-long rush of 60 yards, while scoring a career-high three rushing touchdowns. Overall, DeMartino has eight rushing touchdowns this year and nine in his career.
GARRETSON WINS FIRST CAREER START AT QUARTERBACK FOR UTAH STATE
Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson had a solid outing in his first career start at New Mexico as he was 15-of-23 passing for 144 yards with one touchdown. Overall, Garretson is the first Aggie true freshman to start at quarterback since Chuckie Keeton started his first ever game at USU against defending national champion Auburn in 2011. Furthermore, Garretson is the first USU true freshman to win his initial start since Riley Nelson helped USU to a 13-12 win against Fresno State on Oct. 7, 2006.
REYNOLDS PLAYING WELL DURING HIS LAST SIX GAMES
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds continues to play well for Utah State as he has 32 catches for 508 yards (15.9 ypc/72.6 ypg) during his last seven games with three touchdowns. Against New Mexico, he caught four passes for 42 yards. Against Boise State, Reynolds caught five passes for a career-high 142 yards. Against BYU, he caught four passes for 47 yards. Against San José State, he had a career-high eight receptions for 77 yards (9.6 ypr). Against USC, he had five receptions for 70 yards (14.0 ypc), including a career-long reception of 42 yards. He also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass against the Trojans. Against Weber State, he had 71 receiving yards on two catches (35.5 ypc). And against Air Force, he had four catches for 59 yards with one touchdown.
REYNOLDS HAS CAUGHT AT LEAST ONE PASS IN EACH OF HIS LAST 17 GAMES
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds extended his streak of catching at least one pass in a game to 17 during his last outing at New Mexico as he caught four passes for 42 yards. The last time Reynolds did not catch a pass in a game was at Wisconsin on Sept. 15, 2012. Overall, Reynolds' streak of catching a pass in 17 straight games is the longest by an Aggie since tight end Kellen Bartlett (2008-12) caught at least one pass in the final 19 games of his career.
REYNOLDS RECORDS FIRST CAREER-HIGH 100-YARD RECEIVING GAME AGAINST BOISE STATE
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds recorded his first career 100-yard receiving game against Boise State as he caught five passes for 142 yards, which are the most receiving yards by an Aggie since Kerwynn Williams had seven catches for 147 yards against UNLV in 2012. Furthermore, Reynolds' 142 receiving yards against Boise State are the most by an Aggie wide receiver since Kevin Curtis had 177 receiving yards on 13 catches against Middle Tennessee in 2002.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST NEW MEXICO
Aggies who made their first career start against New Mexico include freshman quarterback Darell Garretson and sophomore offensive lineman Logan Malohifo'ou... Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright had career-highs in rushing attempts (7) and rushing yards (36)... Freshman tight end Wyatt Houston caught his first career pass for 23 yards... Junior linebacker Zach Vigil recorded one sack giving him 1.5 sacks this year and 7.0 in his career... Senior defensive end Connor Williams recovered his first career fumble and posted 1.5 sacks in the game giving him 2.0 sacks this year and 12.0 in his career... Junior defensive end B.J. Larsen posted 0.5 sacks and now has 1.5 sacks this year and 5.5 for his career... Senior defensive end Paul Piukala forced his first career fumble... Sophomore defensive tackle Travis Seefeldt and redshirt freshman defensive end Ricky Ali'ifua both recorded their first career sacks... Junior defensive tackle Elvis Kamana-Matagi tied his career-high with three tackles... Junior punter Jaron Bentrude scored his first career touchdown on a 72-yard run on a fake punt... Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is now 9-of-13 on field goals this year, including 6-of-8 from 20-to-29 yards. In his career, Diaz is now 19-of-26 on field goals, including 9-of-12 from 20-to-29 yards.
MARSHALL PLAYING WELL FOR UTAH STATE DURING HIS LAST TWO GAMES
Senior running back Robert Marshall has been very productive for Utah State in his last two games as he carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards at New Mexico and carried the ball a career-high 19 times for a career-best 69 yards against Boise State, to go along with one reception for 14 yards. Those 19 carries by Marshall are a season-high for a Utah State player and the most by an Aggie since Kerwynn Williams had 20 carries at No. 19 Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17, 2012. During his last two games, Marshall has 33 carries for 130 yards (3.9 ypc).
DOUGHTY RECORDS CAREER-HIGH 19 TACKLES AGAINST BOISE STATE
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty recorded a career-high 19 tackles against Boise State as he now has five double-digit tackle outings this year and nine in his career. Those 19 tackles by Doughty are the most by an Aggie since Bobby Wagner had 20 tackles against Louisiana Tech in 2011, and the third-most in the MW this season trailing San José State's Keith Smith who has had 21 and 20 tackles. During his last five games, Doughty has recorded 59 tackles to go along with 6.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks and one forced fumble.
VIGIL TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 12 TACKLES AGAINST BOISE STATE
Junior linebacker Zach Vigil recorded tied his career-high with 12 stops, including a season-high 2.0 tackles for loss, against Boise State. Overall, Vigil now has five double-digit tackle games this year and 10 in his career. During his last five games, Vigil has 51 tackles to go along with 4.0 tackles for loss, 1.0 sacks, and two fumble recoveries.
LAWSON NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior cornerback Nevin Lawson earned his first-ever Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week honor following a career-night against Boise State as he intercepted a career-high two passes and returned one 65 yards for his first career touchdown. Lawson also had a career-high five passes defended against the Broncos with three pass breakups and two interceptions to go along with a career-high tying nine tackles, which included one tackle for loss. That pick six by Lawson is the first by an Aggie since Will Davis returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown against Idaho in 2012. Furthermore, Lawson's two interceptions are the most in a single game by a USU player since Robert Watts and Antonio Taylor both intercepted two passes at UNLV on Sept. 25, 2004. Overall, Lawson now has three interceptions this year and five in his career.
UTAH STATE OFFENSIVE NOTABLES
Utah State has seven players who have caught at least 10 passes this year and six players who have at least two touchdown receptions... USU has also had at least seven players catch at least one pass in every game this season, eight players catch a pass in five games this year, nine players catch at least one pass in three games this year, and 10 players catch at least one pass in two games this year... USU has produced at least 500 yards of total offense three times in eight games this year and eight times in its last 14 games dating back to last season... USU has also rushed for at least 200 yards in seven of its last 13 games and passed for at least 300 yards in six of its last 14 games dating back to the 2012 season.
UTAH STATE DEFENSIVE NOTABLES
Utah State has had a player record 10 or more tackles in a game eight times this season and USU's three linebackers of senior Jake Doughty, junior Zach Vigil and sophomore Kyler Fackrell have combined for 11 double-digit tackle games thus far this year... After not intercepting a pass in each of its first four games of the season, Utah State has intercepted seven passes in its last four games as senior cornerback Nevin Lawson intercepted two passes against Boise State, while junior safety Brian Suite had one interception. Senior cornerback Quinton Byrd intercepted a pass against BYU, and senior safety Maurice Alexander, junior cornerback Jeremy Morris and Lawson each intercepted a pass at San José State.
UTAH STATE BLOCKS SECOND PUNT IN AS MANY GAMES AGAINST BOISE STATE
Utah State redshirt freshman cornerback Devin Centers has blocked two punts this year in games against BYU and Boise State, giving USU eight blocked kicks during the last two years as the Aggies had two blocked punts, three blocked field goals and one blocked extra point in 2012. Current Aggies who blocked kicks a year ago include junior linebacker Zach Vigil, senior defensive lineman Paul Piukala, sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell, senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright, and sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen who blocked two kicks.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Utah State ranks 21st in the nation with its two blocked kicks on the season... USU ranks 14th in the nation with eight recovered fumbles on the season... USU is 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. In 2012, USU averaged 20.9 first downs per game.
DID YOU KNOW?
Senior free safety Maurice Alexander is averaging 6.6 tackles per game and junior strong safety Brian Suite is averaging 5.0 tackles per game and the duo ranks first and third, respectively, for tackles among safeties in the Mountain West.
UTAH STATE RANKS 35TH IN THE NATION IN SCORING OFFENSE
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 RANKS 19TH IN THE NATION IN TOTAL DEFENSE
Utah State's defense 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).
UTAH STATE RANKS 39TH IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURNS
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).
UTAH STATE RANKS AMONG TOP FIVE NATIONALLY IN KICKOFF AND PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State 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 Mountain West and third in the nation, and just 16.13 yards per kickoff return to rank first in the MW and fifth nationally.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 11TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting 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. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS 32ND IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 61-of-130 third downs (.469) to rank third in the Mountain West and 32nd in the nation. In 2012, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE RANKS FIFTH IN THE NATION IN FORCING THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State 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.
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 21ST IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 33-for-37 (.892) on red zone opportunities to rank tied for fourth in the Mountain West 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.
KEETON RANKS 12TH IN THE NATION IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Despite missing the last three games, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton still ranks 12th in the nation with 18 touchdown passes. 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).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation in tackles (11.1 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil 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 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 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 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 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 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 ranks fourth in the MW and 31st in the nation in punt returns (9.1 ypr). Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall ranks ninth in the MW and 76th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (0.5 pg). Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds ranks 11th in the MW and 82nd in the nation in receiving (67.1 ypg). Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 47th in the nation in kickoff returns (23.4 ypr). Junior placekicker Nick Diaz 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 ranks 11th in the MW and 85th in the nation in punting (39.4 ypk).
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 517-of-777 passing during his Utah State career with a completion percentage of 66.5 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) ranks second all-time at 60.7 percent.
KEETON RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second all-time in school history with 56 touchdown passes and is just four touchdown passes shy of tying the school record of 60 touchdown passes set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has 7,114 yards of total offense (5,961-passing, 1,153-rushing) in his career to rank third all-time in school history. The school record for total offense is 8,791 yards by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002) and Keeton is now 982 yards of total offense shy of tying Diondre Borel (2007-10) for second-place with 8,096 yards of total offense.
KEETON RANKS TIED FOR SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETIONS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for second all-time at Utah State with 517 career completions along with Diondre Borel (2007-10). The school record is 704 completions set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS SIXTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING YARDS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown for 5,961 yards to rank sixth all-time in school history and is now 112 yards shy of tying Eric Hipple (1976-79) for fifth-place with 6,073 passing yards, 144 yards shy of tying Brent Snyder (1987-88) for fourth-place with 6,105 passing yards, and 265 yards shy of tying Tony Adams (1970-72) for third-place with 6,226 passing yards. The school record for passing yards is 9,168 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS SEVENTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING ATTEMPTS
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has attempted 777 passes during his career to rank seventh all-time in school history and is now 52 pass attempts shy of tying Anthony Calvillo (1992-93) for sixth-place with 829 career pass attempts. The school record for pass attempts is 1,270 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS 21ST ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton has rushed for 1,153 yards (252 carries, 4.6 ypc) during his Aggie career to rank 21st all-time in school history. Keeton is now 40 yards shy of tying current USU offensive graduate assistant David Fiefia for 20th-place with 1,193 yards rushing. The school record for rushing yards is 3,933 set by Abu Wilson (1992, 1994-96). Overall, Keeton is just the 25th player in school history to rush for 1,000 career yards and just the second quarterback along with Diondre Borel (2007-10) who holds the school record with 1,398 yards by a quarterback.
KEETON'S 18 TOUCHDOWN PASSES RANKS TIED FOR NINTH IN SCHOOL HISTORY FOR A SEASON
Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw 18 touchdown passes in 2013 to rank tied for ninth all-time at USU, while his completion percentage of 69.4 percent ranks first all-time. Keeton set numerous single-season school records in 2012 including touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), total offense (3,992), completion percentage (.676) and completions (275), while ranking seventh in passing attempts (407). The previous school record for touchdown passes was 24 set by Jose Fuentes in 2001. Fuentes also had the previous school record for passing yards of 3,268 set in 2002 and completions of 260 set in 2001. The previous record for total offense was 3,343 yards set by Diondre Borel in 2009, while Leon Jackson III held the previous school record for completion percentage at 65.4 percent set in 2007.
DIAZ RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PAT PERCENTAGE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 73-of-74 on extra points during his Aggie career and his career PAT percentage of 98.6 percent ranks fourth all-time in school history, while his 73 extra points made and 74 extra point attempts both rank fourth all-time at USU. Diaz is also 19-of-26 (.731) on field goal attempts during his career and that 73.1 percentage ranks third all-time in school history. Senior placekicker Josh Thompson is 70-of-72 on career extra points and that career percentage of .972 ranks fifth all-time at USU, while his 70 extra points made ranks sixth and his 72 extra point attempts ranks seventh. The school record for field goal percentage is 84.6 percent set by Russ Moody (1988-89) as he was 22-of-26 on field goal attempts during his career.
DIAZ AND THOMPSON BOTH RANK AMONG BEST KICKERS IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz was a perfect 40-of-40 on extra points in 2012 marking the seventh time in school history that an Aggie kicker has not missed an extra point with a minimum of 20 made PAT's. Diaz also ranks second all-time at USU for a single-season in extra points made (40) and third in extra point attempts (40), while ranking eight in single-season field goal percentage (.769) as he was 10-of-13 on field goals. The single-season school record for extra points made and attempted were both set in 2011 by senior placekicker Josh Thompson who was 57-of-58 on extra points. This year, Diaz is 33-of-34 on extra points as his 33 PAT's made rank tied for eighth all-time in school history, while his 34 PAT attempts rank tied for 10th all-time.
A LOOK AT HAWAI'I
Hawai'i is 0-7 on the season and 0-5 in Mountain West play following its 35-28 home loss to Colorado State last weekend. The Rainbow Warriors began the year with a 30-13 home loss to USC, followed by a 33-14 road loss at Oregon State, a 31-9 road loss at Nevada, a 42-37 home loss to No. 25 Fresno State, a 37-27 home loss to San Jose State, and a 39-37 road loss at UNLV. Offensively, UH is led by senior quarterback Sean Schroeder who is 113-of-198 passing for 1,486 yards (247.7 ypg) with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Redshirt freshman running back Steven Lakalaka has carried the ball 78 times for 313 yards (44.7 ypg/4.0 ypc) with three touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Chris Gant has 30 catches for 562 yards (80.3 ypg/18.7 ypr) with five touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Brenden Daley leads the team with 52 tackles (31-solo, 21-assist) and 9.5 tackles for loss, while fellow senior linebacker Art Laurel has 51 tackles (30-solo, 21-assist) with 8.0 tackles for loss. As a team, UH is averaging 23.6 points and 374.6 yards of total offense per game (299.3-passing,75.3-rushing) and allowing 35.3 points and 466.1 yards of total offense per game (289.9-passing, 176.3-rushing). Overall, Hawai'i returns 16 starters (O-7, D-8, S-1) and 44 lettermen from last year's team that went 3-9 overall and 1-7 in league play. Norm Chow is 3-16 in his second year as the head coach of Hawai'i.
AGGIES AND RAINBOW WARRIORS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Hawai'i will be facing one another for the seventh time in series history this weekend, with each team winning three of the previous six meetings. USU won the last meeting between the two teams, 35-31, on Nov. 5, 2011 in Honolulu. The first meeting between the two teams was on Dec. 17, 1927 in Honolulu with UH winning, 21-20. Hawai'i also won the last meeting between the two teams in Logan, 45-7, on Oct. 23, 2010 and the last time USU defeated UH at home was on Nov. 1, 2008 by a final score of 30-14.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS HAWAI'I
Rushing Yards: MacArthur Lane (1966), 192
Passing Yards: Diondre Borel (2009), 344
Receiving Yards: Tom Larscheid (1959), 172
UTAH STATE-HAWAI'I SERIES 23RD-MOST PLAYED IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Hawai'i will be meeting for the 13th time in series history this weekend, which will be tied with Arizona State for the 23rd-most played series in USU history.
UTAH STATE AND HAWAI'I AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and Hawai'i have spent seven years as league foes as both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005 to 2011. The Rainbow Warriors then joined the Mountain West in 2012.
Matt Wells VERSUS HAWAI'I
Matt Wells will be facing Hawai'i for the first time as a head and for the second time as an assistant coach as he was on staff at USU in 2011 when the Aggies played at Hawai'i.
AGGIES FROM HAWAI'I
Utah State has four players on its roster from Hawaii in sophomore linebacker Jarom Baldomero (Kailua/Iolani HS), redshirt freshman linebacker Dustin Hoover (Waimea/Hawaii Prep Academy), junior nose guard Elvis Kamana-Matagi (Maui/King Kekaulike HS) and junior safety Brian Suite (Honolulu/Punahou HS).
UTAH STATE-HAWAI'I CONNECTIONS
Hawai'i junior quarterback Jeremy Higgins was a freshman at Utah State during the 2010 season and appeared in two games for the Aggies as he carried the ball one time for minus two yards against Hawai'i.
AGGIES AND RAINBOW WARRIORS FROM THE SAME HIGH SCHOOLS
Utah State and Hawai'i have several players on their rosters who went to the same high school as USU has four players from the Hawaiian Islands on its roster, while Hawai'i has five players from the state of Utah on its roster. USU freshman quarterback Jordan Brown and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Austin Albrecht are from the same high school in Utah (Alta HS) as UH running back Max Broman. USU sophomore offensive lineman Taani Fisilau is from the same high school in Utah (Cottonwood HS) as UH offensive lineman Elijah Tupai. USU redshirt freshman linebacker Bridger Peck, freshman wide receiver Hayden Weichers, and freshmen offensive linemen Joe Malanga and Brandon Taukeiaho are all from the same high school in Utah (Bingham HS) as UH linebacker Drake Miller. USU senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i and senior offensive lineman Sini Tauauve'a are from the same high school in Utah (Hunter HS) as UH tight end Harold Moleni. USU junior safety Brian Suite is from the same high school in Honolulu as UH running back Steven Lakalaka.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has won two of its last four games following a bye week, including a 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech (11/17/12) during its last game following a bye.
IT ALL STARTED AT HAWAI'I ON NOV. 5, 2011
Utah State's current run of success with having won 20 of its last 27 games can be directly traced back to its 35-31 come-from-behind win at Hawai'i on Nov. 5, 2011. Prior to that win at Hawai'i, USU was currently 2-5 during the 2011 season and had gone 14 years without a winning season. Against Hawai'i on Nov. 5, 2011, USU was trailing 28-7 at the half and its starting freshman quarterback, Chuckie Keeton, had been injured late in the second half. Keeton, who would miss the next four games, was replaced by junior quarterback Adam Kennedy who led USU to a dramatic come-from-behind 35-31 win at Hawai'i that night, followed by four more wins to make USU bowl eligible for the first time since 1997. Kennedy, who redshirted during the 2012 season after hurting his shoulder in relief of Keeton during USU's first game of the year, is now the starting quarterback at Arkansas State and was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week on Oct. 14. Keeton, who has gone on to become one of the best quarterbacks in USU history, was hurt against BYU (10/4/13) this year with a season-ending knee injury. Starting with its win at Hawai'i on November 5, 2011 until this weekend's meeting in Logan, USU has won 20 of its last 27 games and had only lost five total games by 13 points prior to Keeton getting hurt against BYU and USU losing consecutive games (by 28 points) for the first time since Oct. 15 and Oct. 22, 2011, its last two games prior to its memorable win at Hawai'i that same year.
UTAH STATE'S POLYNESIAN CONNECTION
Utah State's recruitment of Polynesian players continues to be a main focus under first year head coach Matt Wells as 17 Polynesians are on USU's 2013 roster in freshman defensive end Ricky Ali'ifua, sophomore linebacker Jarom Baldomero, sophomore offensive lineman Taani Fisilau, redshirt freshman linebacker Dustin Hoover, freshman offensive lineman Jarom Ioane, junior nose guard Elvis Kamana-Matagi, sophomore offensive lineman Logan Malohifo'ou, junior long snapper Nate Needham, senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i, senior defensive end Paul Piukala, junior safety Brian Suite, senior offensive lineman Sini Tauauve'a, freshman offensive lineman Brandon Taukeiaho, senior tight end D.J. Tialavea, junior offensive lineman Bill Vavau, senior offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey, and junior offensive lineman Kyle Whimpey, while four more Polynesians are among USU's coaching staff in offensive line coach Frank Maile, offensive graduate assistant David Fiefia, offensive administrative assistant Naufahu Tahi, and assistant AD for football operations Waqa Damuni.
CURRENT AGGIES VERSUS HAWAI'I
The following is a look at what current Utah State players have done against Hawai'i. Junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 5-of-12 (.417) passing for 53 yards with no touchdowns and one interceptions, and has rushed for 54 yards on three carries in one game. Senior running back Joey DeMartino has one carry for three yards in two games. Senior running back Robert Marshall has two rushes for 16 yards in two games. Junior running back Joe Hill has one carry for 23 yards and one tackle in one game. Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen has one reception for nine yards in two games. Senior tight end D.J. Tialavea has returned two kickoffs for 30 yards in two games. Senior cornerback Nevin Lawson has eight tackles, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery in two games. Senior cornerback Quinton Byrd has six tackles in two games. Senior defensive end Connor Williams has five tackles in two games. Senior linebacker Jake Doughty has five tackles in two games. Junior cornerback Rashard Stewart has one pass breakup in two games. Junior linebacker Tavaris McMillian has two tackles in one game. Senior placekicker Josh Thompson has kicked off one time for 58 yards and is 5-for-5 on extra points in one game, and junior placekicker Nick Diaz has kicked off two times for an average of 64.0 yards
UTAH STATE PLAYING SIX HOME GAMES IN 2013
Utah State's 2013 schedule marks the fourth-straight season, the fifth time in the last six years, and the sixth time in the last 17 years that it will play six home games. Overall, the Aggies have had six home games on the slate a total of only just 10 times: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1978, 1952.
AGGIES IN THE NFL
Eight former Utah State football players are currently on NFL rosters including Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), Will Davis (Miami), Chuck Jacobs (San Francisco), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle), Bobby Wagner (Seattle), and Kerwynn Williams (San Diego).
Senior defensive end Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario, Canada/Holy Trinity HS) is one of just 32 players from Canada currently playing college football at the FBS level. Overall, USU is one of just 18 FBS teams with a Canadian player on its roster.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is 7-3 all-time in known games played on Nov. 2, but hasn't played a game on Nov. 2 since 1996 when it defeated North Texas at home, 21-13. Furthermore, USU is playing three home games in the month of November for just the fifth time in school history along with the 1935, 1974 and 1978 teams, while the 1972 team played four home games in November.
LAST MEETING VS. HAWAI'I
Junior quarterback Adam Kennedy rallied Utah State from a 28-7 halftime deficit for a wild 35-31 win at Hawai`i on Nov. 5, 2011 at a rainy Hawaiian Airlines Field at Aloha Stadium.
Utah State's comeback from a 28-7 deficit was its largest since 2001, rallying from a 27-0 deficit against Idaho State and was the Aggies' largest comeback against an FBS team since at least 1990 according to available records.
Kennedy replaced freshman starting quarterback Chuckie Keeton who suffered a neck injury at the end of the first half and was 8-of-12 passing for 163 yards with his first two touchdown passes of his Aggie career, including a 71-yard strike to senior wide receiver Stanley Morrison to pull USU within 31-28 with 12:39 left in the fourth quarter.
The Kennedy-led Aggie offense also guided the winning drive that was capped by junior running back Robert Turbin's game-winning score from 1-yard out with 14 seconds to play.
It was Utah State's first win at Hawai'i since 1966 as USU had lost its last three games on the Islands.
Turbin scored two rushing touchdowns as part of his 96 yards on the ground, as his 1-yard game-winning score was joined by a 48-yard dash to open USU's second-half scoring. Morrison finished with 105 yards, one of three Aggie receivers to snare a touchdown catch.
Senior Matt Austin had a 9-yard catch from Keeton on USU's second possession of the game that gave the Aggies a 7-0 lead. Austin finished with three receptions for 51 yards.
Junior wideout Chuck Jacobs had three catches for 50 yards, both then career highs, including a 37-yard strike from Keeton.
The Aggie defense was steadfast and resolute throughout the night, holding off three Hawai`i fourth-down attempts, and keeping the UH offense in check in the second half.
Junior safety McKade Brady posted a game-high 13 tackles (nine solo, four assists). Sophomore cornerback Nevin Lawson and junior cornerback Jummane Robertson added three pass break-ups each, while junior defensive end Bojay Filimoeatu had two tackles for loss, including one sack. Senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher added 1.5 tackles for loss with half a sack, as part of his six tackles, matching Lawson's half-dozen tackles. Senior defensive end Levi Koskan added a sack, while junior defensive lineman Havea Lasike added half a sack, combining with Gallagher.
Hawai'i was led by Bryant Moniz who was 27-of-43 passing for 227 yards, 111 yards below his season average, throwing for two scores, but was sacked by the USU defense three times. Moniz added a team-high 75 yards rushing on 12 carries, with two of them being touchdown scampers. Jeremiah Ostrowksi had eight catches for 76 yards and one score, while Billy Ray Stutzmann added six catches for 36 yards and Justin Clapp had five receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown. Corey Paredes led the UH defense with 10 tackles.
LAST MEETING VS. HAWAI'I IN LOGAN
Hawai'i pulled away from a 7-7 second-quarter tie with 38 unanswered points and joined Mother Nature in raining on Utah State's Homecoming festivities with a 45-7 win at a cold, wet Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium on Oct. 23, 2010.
Senior quarterback Diondre Borel scored the Aggies' lone points on a 35-yard scamper in the second quarter.
Utah State's offense was limited to 181 total yards, including 123 passing and 58 rushing. Sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams had 39 yards rushing, while sophomore wide receiver Dontel Watkins had three receptions for 59 yards.
Hawai'i amassed 389 yards through the air on Byrant Moniz's 25-of-41 passing with one touchdown, but was intercepted by the USU defense twice. Greg Salas had nine catches for 158 yards and a touchdown, while Kealoha Pilares had seven receptions for 98 yards. Alex Green had career highs of 172 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries, as the Warriors ended the game with 605 yards of total offense. Corey Paredes led the UH defense with game highs of 10 tackles and two interceptions.
Junior linebacker Kyle Gallagher led USU with eight tackles, while junior safety Walter McClenton and junior linebacker Bobby Wagner added six stops each. Senior safety Rajric Coleman and senior cornerback Curtis Marsh each snared an interception.
Hawai'i took a 7-0 lead at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter, capping a 12-play, 91-yard drive that ate up 7:36 of the clock after senior punter Peter Caldwell had pinned the Warriors at their own 9-yard line following a career-long 66-yard punt.
The score would remain 7-0 in the Warriors' favor until 10 seconds into the second stanza, as Borel scored on his 35-yard scamper, breaking through a hole created by the offensive line, and outrunning the Hawai'i defense to the end zone.
Hawai'i took the lead for good with a 17-yard touchdown run by Green with 9:27 in the first half, and UH led, 14-7, at intermission.
The rain began to fall harder at the end of the first half, but it didn't slow Hawai'i down, as David Graves scored on a 6-yard fumble recovery, and Green scored on a 36-yard scamper, and it was quickly 28-7. Scott Enos hit a 22-yard field goal with 2:14 left in the third frame and Moniz hit Salas with an 18-yard touchdown pass to open the fourth-quarter scoring. Green capped the scoring with a 60-yard dash to the end zone with 11:07 on the clock.
UTAH STATE WEEKLY PLAYER HONORS
Sept. 7 (W, 52-20 at Air Force)
Chuckie Keeton - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week; Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award Honorable Mention Honors; one of eight Manning Award Stars of the Week, Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award National Player of the Week.
Zach Vigil - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Sept. 14 (W, 70-6 vs. Weber State)
Joey DeMartino - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Running Back of the Week.
Chuckie Keeton - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week.
D.J. Tialavea - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Tight End of the Week.
Sept. 21 (L, 14-17 at USC)
Kyler Fackrell - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week.
Sept. 27 (W, 40-12 at San José State)
Nick Diaz - College Football Performance Awards National Specialist of the Week; one of three Lou Groza Award Stars of the Week.
Kyler Fackrell - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Oct. 4 (L, 31-14 vs. BYU)
Keegan Andersen - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Tight End of the Week.
Oct. 12 (L, 34-23 vs. Boise State)
Nevin Lawson - Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention Defensive Back of the Week.
Oct. 19 (W, 45-10 at New Mexico)
Bruce Natson - Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards Punt Returner of the Week.
Joey DeMartino - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Running Back of the Week.
RUNNING BACK UNIVERSITY
Utah State is the only school in the nation who has had three running backs selected in the NFL Draft during the last two seasons as Robert Turbin (Seattle, 4/111) and Michael Smith (Tampa Bay, 7/212) were both chosen in 2012, while Kerywnn Williams (Indianapolis, 7/230) was selected in 2013. Linebacker Bobby Wagner (Seattle, 2/47) was also taken in the 2012 NFL Draft and cornerback Will Davis (Miami, 3/93) was selected in 2013 giving Utah State five NFL Draft picks during the past two years.
UTAH STATE COMING OFF BACK-TO-BACK BOWL APPEARANCES
Utah State played in consecutive bowl games for just the third time in school history in 2012 after appearing in each of the last two Famous Idaho Potato Bowls, including just its second-ever bowl win in 2012 as it defeated Toledo, 41-15. USU's only other bowl win was at the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl when it defeated Ball State, 42-33. USU has never played in three-straight bowl games.
UTAH STATE BOWL HISTORY
Following its 41-15 win against Toledo in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Utah State now has a 2-6 bowl record all-time as it lost to San Jose State, 20-0, in the 1946 Raisin Bowl (Fresno, Calif.); lost to Pacific, 35-21, in the 1947 Grape Bowl (Lodi, Calif.); lost to New Mexico State, 20-13, in the 1960 Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas); lost to Baylor, 24-9, in the 1961 Gotham Bowl (New York City); defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl II; lost to Cincinnati, 35-19, in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; and lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, along with its win in 2012 against Toledo.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH
There are nine Division I schools that are located in cities with an elevation of at least 4,000 feet about sea level and Utah State ranks sixth on the list with an elevation of 4,710 feet. USU is the fifth-highest Mountain West Conference school. This season the Aggies will play at three other locations on the list (Air Force, New Mexico and Utah), giving USU nine games this season at 4,000 feet above sea level.
School Location Elevation
UTAH STATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2012
1. Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. 7,220
2. Air Force Colorado Springs, Colo. 6,620
3. Colorado Boulder, Colo. 5,360
4. Colorado State Fort Collins, Colo. 5,190
5. New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 5,100
6. UTAH STATE LOGAN, UTAH 4,710
7. BYU Provo, Utah 4,630
8. Nevada Reno, Nev. 4,610
9. Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 4,357
Utah State had its best season in school history in 2012 as it set the single-season school record for wins with 11, bettering the 1960 and 1961 teams that won nine games. USU also set a single-season school record with its six home wins, bettering the 1931, 1935 and 1972 teams that all won five home games. USU went 6-0 at home in 2012 for its first undefeated home season since 1982 (4-0) and just its fourth in the 45 years of play at Romney Stadium along with the 1968 (4-0) and 1972 (5-0) teams. USU also posted the school's first-ever 6-0 conference mark and won six league games for just the second time in school history joining the 1936 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championship team that went 6-0-1 in league play. USU also recorded its first ever road win against a ranked opponent when it posted a 48-41 overtime victory at then No. 19 Louisiana Tech. USU also appeared in the Associated Press (AP) poll in four-straight weeks in 2012 for the first time in school history, not to mention being ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings for the first time ever. And finally, USU finished the 2012 season nationally ranked - 16th in the AP poll, 18th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll and 22nd in the BCS Standings - for just the third time in school history joining the 1961 team that finished the year ranked 10th nationally in both the AP and United Press International (UPI) polls and the 1972 team that finished 19th in the UPI poll.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State returns 18 starters (O-8, D-7, S-3) and 49 letterwinners (O-23, D-22, S-4) from last year's team that finished with a 11-2 record and won the Western Athletic Conference with a perfect 6-0 mark. USU ended its season with a 41-15 win against Toledo in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and was ranked 16th nationally by the Associated Press. Highlighting Utah State's returners is senior center Tyler Larsen who is a two-time first-team all-WAC honoree. Joining Larsen as returning all-conference players from 2012 are senior linebacker Jake Doughty (first-team), sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell (first-team), junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton (first-team), senior offensive tackle Eric Schultz (first-team), senior cornerback Nevin Lawson (second-team), senior offensive guard Jamie Markosian (second-team), sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen (second-team), junior linebacker Zach Vigil (second-team) and senior defensive tackle Connor Williams (honorable-mention). Along with the players mentioned above, USU also returns four other starters on offense (WR-Travis Reynolds; TE-D.J. Tialavea; OT-Kevin Whimpey; OG-Kyle Whimpey), two other starters on defense (NG-Elvis Kamana-Matagi; S-Brian Suite) and three special teams starters (PK/H-Jaron Bentrude; PK-Nick Diaz; LS-Nate Needham).
WHAT UTAH STATE MUST REPLACE FROM 2012
Utah State lost seven players who earned all-WAC honors in 2012 as cornerback Will Davis, defensive tackle Al Lapuaho and running back Kerwynn Williams all earned first-team honors, wide receiver Matt Austin and safety McKade Brady earned second-team honors, and tight end Kellen Bartlett and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs earned honorable mention honors. Davis also earned third-team All-American honors from CBSSports.com, fourth-team All-American honors from Phil Steele, and honorable mention All-American honors from SI.com. Williams was also an honorable mention All-American by SI.com. Other starters lost include punter Tyler Bennett.
AGGIES WHO ARE MARRIED AND HAVE BEEN ON MISSIONS
Utah State has 12 players on its team who are married (Clayton Christensen, Craig Harrison, Tyler Larsen, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Nate Needham, AJ Pataiali'i, Bridger Peck, Joe Summers, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 24 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Ricky Ali'ifua, Jarom Baldomero, Eric Bernston, Brock Bird, Jordan Brown, Clayton Christensen, Jefferson Court, Dayton DeLoach, Jarom Ioane, Derek Keller, B.J. Larsen, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Alex Marsaw, Nate Needham, Travis Parrish, Eric Schultz, Brayden Stembride, Joe Summers, Brandon Taukeiaho, Tyler Weese, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey and Daniel Wray).
Utah State had 21 football players earn academic all-WAC honors during the 2012-13 academic year, which ranked first in the WAC. Over the past four years, USU has had 87 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 94 players have graduated from Utah State University.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
With its 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech on Nov. 17, 2012, Utah State improved to 6-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last three. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State was one of just 13 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to win 10 or more football games and 20-plus basketball games during the 2012-13 academic year as the Aggies went 11-2 on the gridiron and 21-10 on the hardwood. Other FBS schools in the 20-10 club include Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Kansas State, Kent State, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon and UCF.
RECAPPING THE NEW MEXICO GAME
Senior running back Joey DeMartino rushed for a career-high 144 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the Aggie defense held the nation's second-ranked rushing offense to less than half of its season average, in Utah State's 45-10 Mountain West road win at New Mexico on Oct. 19, 2013.
Utah State evens its record at 4-4 with the win and improves to 3-1 in MW play, while New Mexico falls to 2-5 on the season and 0-3 in the league with the loss. USU also won its 10th straight conference game on the road, extending its school record.
Utah State finished the game with a season-high 337 rushing yards as part of its 492 yards of total offense as it also passed for 155 yards.
Utah State's defense limited New Mexico to just 300 yards of total offense, including a season-low 160 yards on the ground. UNM entered the game ranking second in the nation with an average of 349.3 rushing yards per game.
True freshman quarterback Darell Garretson finished the game 15-of-23 passing for 144 yards with one touchdown in his first career start, while DeMartino recorded his third-career 100-yard rushing game as he finished the contest with 144 yards on just 12 carries and tied his career-high with three rushing touchdowns. DeMartino also had a career-high three receptions for a career-best 41 yards, including his first career touchdown reception.
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds finished with four receptions for 42 yards and extended his streak with at least one reception to 17 straight games.
Defensively, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson and senior linebacker Jake Doughty each had six tackles for USU, while senior defensive tackle Connor Williams had a team-high 1.5 sacks as USU notched a season-high six sacks against the Lobos.
New Mexico running back Kasey Carrier ran for just 69 yards on 14 carries after entering the game ranking first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation with an average of 138.7 rushing yards per game. Clayton Mitchem finished 6-of-10 passing for 76 yards for UNM.
Utah State got on the board early as DeMartino scored on an 8-yard run on its first offensive play of the game following a Mitchem fumble on New Mexico's third offensive play that was recovered by Williams inside the Lobo's 10 yard-line.
DeMartino scored Utah State's second touchdown of the game on its next possession on a 21-yard pass from Garretson to make the score 14-0, and junior placekicker Nick Diaz added a 24 yard field goal late in the quarter to give the visitors a 17-0 advantage after one period.
Following a 32-yard New Mexico field goal, DeMartino scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 32-yard run after he rushed for 42 yards on the first play of the drive to extend USU's lead to 24-3.
Utah State scored its final touchdown of the half on a 65-yard punt return by sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson to give the Aggies a 31-3 lead at intermission. For Natson, it was his first-career kick return for a score and the first time USU returned a punt for a touchdown since 2007.
DeMartino scored his fourth and final touchdown of the game on USU's first series of the third quarter as he ran in from 38 yards out to cap a 4-play, 74-yard drive for a 38-3 Aggie lead.
Utah State's final touchdown came midway through the fourth quarter as junior punter Jaron Bentrude kept the ball on a rugby punt and raced 72 yards down the right sideline to push USU's lead to 45-3.
New Mexico concluded the scoring with a 2-yard run by Carrier with 6:21 to play in the game to make the final score 45-10.
HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Aggie alumnus Matt Wells was named Utah State's 27th head football coach on Dec. 20, 2012 after serving as the team's offensive coordinator in 2012, and quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator in 2011.
The 39-year old Wells, who is now the 11th-youngest head coach at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level, replaces Gary Andersen who accepted the head coaching position at the University of Wisconsin. Dating back to 1919, Wells is just the second Utah State graduate to be appointed its head football coach joining Chris Pella who graduated from USU in 1965 and coached the Aggies from 1983-85.
Wells, a former Aggie quarterback and three-year letterwinner from 1994-96, was a member of two conference championship teams as a student-athlete as he was a redshirt freshman in 1993 when Utah State tied for first in the Big West Conference and defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the Las Vegas Bowl for its first-ever bowl win. As a senior in 1996, Wells helped USU to another share of the Big West Conference title.
Wells has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach during the 2012 campaign. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
Utah State concluded its most successful season in school history in 2012 as it went 11-2 and set school records for wins (11) and home wins (6), while being nationally ranked in the Associated Press poll for three-straight weeks for the first time in school history. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936 during the 2012 campaign and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 teams that both won Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference titles. All-time, Utah State has won or shared 11 league championships.
During his two years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a Utah State team that went to back-to-back bowl games for just the third time in school history, while posting an 18-8 record. Furthermore, USU's 41-15 win against Toledo in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was the school's second-ever bowl victory.
As offensive coordinator this past season, Wells directed an Aggie offense that set single-season school records for total points (454), total offense (6,108 yards), completions (285) and total yards per game (469.8), while ranking second in points per game (34.9) and total passing yards (3,445).
Nationally, Utah State's 2012 offense ranked second in the Western Athletic Conference and 23rd in the country in total offense (469.8 ypg), second in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (153.21), second in the WAC and 25th in the nation in rushing offense (204.8 ypg), third in the WAC and 31st in the nation in sacks allowed (1.38 pg), third in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in scoring offense (34.9 ppg), and third in the WAC and 39th in the nation in passing offense (265.0 ypg).
Under Wells, Utah State finished the 2012 season scoring 38 or more points in each of its final seven games, bettering the previous school record of 38-plus points in three-straight games accomplished six times and most recently in 2000.
Utah State also finished the 2012 season winning its final seven games, which is tied for the fourth-longest active winning streak in the nation and tied for the third-longest winning streak in school history.
In 2012, Wells coached current Aggie junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton who earned first-team all-WAC honors after setting single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completion percentage (.676), completions (275) and total offense (3,992 yards). Keeton also earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors four times in 2012, which is a single-season school record.
As the quarterbacks coach in 2011, Wells helped Utah State's offense establish then-school records for total offense (5,945 yards), rushing yards (3,675), total points (437) and total touchdowns (60).
Under Wells' tutelage during his first two seasons at Utah State, Keeton has emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and currently ranks first in school history in career completion percentage (.656), fourth in career touchdown passes (38), seventh in career total offense (5,485 yards), and ninth in career passing yards (4,573) and completions (381).
In 2012, Utah State had four offensive players earn first-team all-conference honors, while two others were named to the league's second-team.
Utah State, who officially joined the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013, will return 18 starters (8-offense, 7-defense, 3-special teams) and 49 letterwinners (23-offense, 22-defense, 4-special teams) from a group that has won 16 of its last 19 games.
Wells, who has been a part of six bowl teams and two conference championships during his coaching career, came to Utah State after two coaching stints at New Mexico, serving as the Lobos' wide receivers and kickoff return unit coach in 2010 and its wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator from 2007 to 2008. In 2009, Wells served as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator at Louisville.
Prior to his first stint at New Mexico, Wells spent five years (2002-06) as the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator at Tulsa and five years at the U.S. Naval Academy (1997-2001) as its quarterbacks coach, fullbacks coach and wide receivers coach, while also serving as the junior varsity head coach and offensive coordinator for three years.
Wells, a native of Sallisaw, Okla., received his bachelor's degree in business marketing from Utah State in 1996, graduating cum laude. He and his wife Jen have two daughters, Jadyn (10) and Ella (7), and one son Wyatt (4). His brother, Luke, is Utah State's co-offensive coordinator, tight ends coach, and recruiting coordinator.