Utah State Football Ranks Among Top Six Defenses In The Nation In Three Different Statistical Categories
Nov. 4, 2012
LOGAN, Utah - Following its 38-7 home win against Texas State where it allowed a season-low 158 yards of total offense, Utah State's defense continues to be ranked with the best in the nation and is now listed among the top six defenses in the nation in three different statistical categories, and among the top 20 defenses in five different statistical categories.
In all, Utah State ranks first in the Western Athletic Conference and fifth in the country in scoring defense (13.5 ppg). USU also leads the WAC and ranks fifth in the nation averaging 3.50 sacks per game, first in the WAC and sixth in the nation in rushing defense (94.6 ypg), first in the WAC and 13th in the nation in total defense (303.3 ypg), first in the WAC and 19th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (111.3), and second in the WAC and 38th in the nation in passing defense (208.7 ypg).
Furthermore, Utah State's defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 32.0 percent of its third downs (54-169), which leads the WAC and ranks 20th in the nation.
In the red zone, Utah State's defense continues to do a great job of not allowing teams to score, as its opponents are 19-of-29 (.655) inside the 20 to lead the WAC and rank ninth in the nation. Of those 29 trips USU's opponents have made to the red zone, they have come away with just 10 touchdowns and nine field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, three interceptions, one fumble and a loss on downs four times.
Utah State's defense has also played exceptionally well in the first-half this year as it is out-scoring its opponents 103-6 in the first quarter and has a 206-45 scoring advantage in the first-half this season as it has held eight of its 10 opponents scoreless in the first quarter and three of its opponents scoreless in the first half.
After producing a season-high 593 yards of total offense against Texas State in its last game, Utah State now ranks second in the WAC and 28th in the nation in total offense (463.0 ypg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in rushing offense (187.1 ypg), third in the WAC and 18th in the nation in passing efficiency (157.3), third in the WAC and 35th in the nation in passing offense (275.9 ypg), third in the WAC and 45th in the nation in scoring offense (32.0 ppg), and third in the WAC and 44th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.50 pg).
As for special teams, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 33rd in the nation in net punting (38.7 ypk), third in the WAC and 38th in the nation in punt returns (10.6 ypr), and fourth in the WAC and 67th in the nation in kickoff returns (21.1 ypr).
Offensively, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and 17th in the nation in all-purpose yards (150.4 ypg), second in the WAC and 32nd in the nation in rushing (100.5 ypg), fifth in the WAC and tied for 87th in the nation in scoring (7.2 ppg), and ninth in the WAC in total offense (100.5 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in total offense (307.7 ypg), third in the WAC and 17th in the nation in passing efficiency (158.8), third in the WAC and 27th in the nation in passing (267.1 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in rushing (40.6 ypg).
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks fourth in the WAC and tied for 78th in the nation in sacks (0.50 pg), fourth in the WAC in tackles for loss (0.90 pg), and sixth in the WAC in tackles (7.7 pg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks second in the WAC and tied for sixth in the nation in passes defended (1.70 pg), sixth in the WAC and tied for 67th in the nation in interceptions (0.30), and 39th in the WAC in tackles (4.7 pg). And senior safety McKade Brady ranks third in the WAC and tied for 87th in the nation in tackles (8.1 pg).
On special teams, senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks fourth in the WAC and tied for 31st in the nation in punting (42.4 ypk). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 40th in the nation in punt returns (8.8 ypr). And senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs ranks fourth in the WAC and 43rd in the nation in kick returns (23.5 ypr).
Other individuals who rank among the WAC's best statistically include senior wide receiver Matt Austin who ranks eighth in the WAC in receiving (54.9 ypg); junior linebacker Jake Doughty who ranks 10th in the WAC in tackles (7.1 pg); redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell who ranks 10th in the WAC in interceptions (0.20) and 14th in the WAC in tackles (6.6 pg); sophomore safety Brian Suite who ranks 19th in the WAC in tackles (6.2 pg); junior cornerback Nevin Lawson who ranks 32nd in the WAC in tackles (5.3 pg); senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu who ranks 34th in the WAC in tackles (5.0 pg); senior cornerback Terrence Alston who ranks eighth in the WAC in passes defended (0.80 pg); junior defensive lineman Connor Williams who ranks tied for fourth in the WAC and tied for 78th in the nation in sacks (0.50 pg); and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen who ranks seventh in the WAC and tied for 99th in the nation in sacks (0.45 pg).
Utah State (8-2, 4-0 WAC) is off to its best start to a season since the 1974 team also won eight of its first 10 games, while its 4-0 league record is its best since the 2000 team won its first four Big West Conference games. Its eight wins this year is also the most since 1974 and it is just the 10th time in school history USU has won at least eight games.
In all, Utah State has won a school-record nine-straight WAC games dating back to last season and is 13-3 in its last 16 games, which is its best stretch since the 1971, 1972 and 1973 teams combined to win 13 of 16 games as well.
Utah State will have its only bye of the season this week, before playing its final road game of 2012 at nationally ranked Louisiana Tech (8-1, 3-0 WAC) on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m., in a game that will be available to watch live via the internet on ESPN3.com. Overall, USU has won six of its last eight road games dating back to last season, including each of its last five.
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