LOGAN, Utah -
AGGIES HOST HAWAI'I IN MOUNTAIN WEST PLAY SATURDAY AFTERNOON
Game will be streamed live on WatchStadium.com.
HAWAI'I (3-7, 1-6 MW) vs. UTAH STATE (5-5, 3-3 MW)
Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 1 p.m. Logan, Utah Maverik Stadium (25,100)
GAME 11 INFORMATION
STREAMING: Spectrum Sports PPV (Stadium)
Play-by-Play: Robert Kekaula
Analyst: Rich Miano
RADIO: Aggie Sports Network
Play-by-Play: Scott Garrard
Analyst: Kevin Whimpey
Online: 1280thezone.com / Tunein.com
SOCIAL MEDIA: #AggiesAllTheWay
Live Stats: UtahState.Statbroadcast.com
AGGIE RADIO NETWORKS
Every Utah State football game can be heard live on the Aggie Radio Network. Scott Garrard serves as the play-by-play announcer, while former USU all-conference offensive lineman Kevin Whimpey (2012-14) will provide color analysis. Games can also be heard on the Internet (www.UtahStateAggies.com) by clicking on the `Listen Live' link, as well as on the TuneIn App.
Salt Lake City: KZNS (1280 AM/97.5 FM)
Logan: KBLU-LP (92.3 FM)
Cache Valley: KACH (1340 AM/105.5 FM)
Price: KRPX (95.3 FM)
Green River: KRPX (102.7 FM)
Moab: KRPX (100.3 FM)
Orangeville: KRPX (95.9 FM)
Utah State continues Mountain West play this weekend as it hosts Hawai'i on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m. USU is 8-6 all-time against the Rainbow Warriors, including a 4-2 home record.
With a win against Hawai'i, Utah State will be bowl eligible for the sixth time in the last seven years. USU played in five-straight bowl games from 2011-15 and won three-straight bowls from 2012-14, both of which are school records. All-time, USU has played in 11 bowl games.
Utah State is 22-16 (.579) all-time in the Mountain West, including a 12-7 (.632) home record, and has won 33 of its last 49 (.673) league games dating back to 2011.
Utah State is 5-0 all-time following a bye under head coach Matt Wells, with four of those games occurring at home. In fact, all five of USU's wins following a bye under Wells has been by double-digits as it is outscoring its opponents 166-68 (33.2-13.6).
Utah State is 13-3 with a freshman at quarterback over the last five seasons under Wells, including a 6-1 record in 2013, a 5-1 record in 2014 and a 2-1 record thus far this season.
Utah State's defense has forced 24 turnovers (14 fumbles, 10 interceptions) this year, which ranks tied for fourth in the nation with Florida Atlantic and Miami, Fla., and trailing Central Michigan (27), Washington State (27) and Wyoming (27). Last year, USU forced just 10 turnovers the entire season. USU also ranks second in the nation with its 14 fumble recoveries, trailing Bowling Green (15), and third in the Mountain West and 38th in the nation with its 10 interceptions on the season.
Utah State has scored six non-offensive touchdowns this year with three interception returns, two fumble returns and one blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Last year, USU had just one non-offensive touchdown all year.
Utah State has 38 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Hawai'i has 42 players on its roster from the Hawaiian Islands.
UTAH STATE HOSTS HAWAI'I IN FINAL HOME GAME OF THE SEASON
Utah State (5-5, 3-3 MW) continues Mountain West play this weekend as it hosts Hawai'i (3-7, 1-6 MW) in its final home game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed on Spectrum Sports PPV and available to watch on Stadium.com with Robert Kekaula (play-by-play) and Rich Miano (analyst) on the call. The Watch Stadium app is also available on both iOS and Android mobile devices. Live audio of the game is available at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
UTAH STATE ON SENIOR DAY
Prior to its home finale against Hawai'i, Utah State will honor its 18 seniors in CB Wesley Bailey, OL Preston Brooksby, WR Alex Byers, OL Andrew Chen, WR Jaren Colston-Green, CB Jalen Davis, TE Damion Hobbs, LB Alex Huerta, RB LaJuan Hunt, OL Jarom Ioane, BS Dallin Leavitt, RB Tonny Lindsey Jr., WR Connor McGuire, LB Patrick Lee Miranda, QB Kent Myers, LS Emmett Odegard, WR Braelon Roberts and DE Ian Togiai in a pre-game ceremony. USU is 68-39-3 (.632) all-time on Senior Day and has won four of its last six games on Senior Day.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 5-5 on the season and 3-3 in conference play following its 24-10 Mountain West road win at New Mexico two weekends ago. Offensively, USU is led by redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love, who is 77-of-145 (.531) passing for 983 yards (109.2 ypg) with five touchdowns and five interceptions. Senior RB LaJuan Hunt leads the team in rushing with 552 yards on 125 carries (4.4 ypc/55.2 ypg) with eight touchdowns, and junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver has 34 receptions for 372 yards (10.9 ypr/37.2 ypg) with four touchdowns. Defensively, junior LB Suli Tamaivena leads the team with 92 tackles, which includes 3.0 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, to go along with two fumble recoveries, while junior BS Gaje Ferguson has 72 tackles, which includes 1.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss. As a team, USU is averaging 29.9 points and 372.9 yards of total offense (223.6 passing, 149.3 rushing), and allowing 28.6 points and 406.2 yards of total offense (206.0 rushing, 200.2 passing).
UTAH STATE MILESTONES THAT EQUAL SUCCESS
Utah State has won 21 of its last 24 games when it has a 100-yard rusher, including a 3-0 record this season, and 26 of its last 28 contests when rushing at least 40 times in a game, including a 4-0 record this season.
Utah State has won 39 of its last 40 games dating back to 2011 when scoring at least 30 points, including a 4-0 record this season. In fact, USU had won 35 straight games when scoring at least 30 points before losing at Nevada, 38-37, last season.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has not allowed a single sack in its last two games and has only allowed one sack in its last three games. In its previous four games, USU allowed 18 sacks.
With its four forced turnovers at New Mexico, Utah State has now forced at least four turnovers in three games this year, not to mention at least three turnovers in four games and multiple turnovers in six games.
Utah State improved to 17-11 under head coach Matt Wells, including a 4-1 record this year, following a loss with its win at New Mexico.
With its win at New Mexico, Utah State has now won three-straight road games for the first time since 2012 as it is averaging 45.7 points and 473.3 yards of total offense (237.3 rushing, 236.0 passing). Defensively, USU is allowing just 16.0 points and 320.7 yards of total offense (249.3 rushing, 71.3 passing), and has forced 12 turnovers in those three road games.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST IN SCORING OFFENSE
Through the first 10 games of the season, Utah State is averaging 29.9 points per game to rank fourth in the Mountain West and 57th in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the MW and 66th in the nation in completion percentage (.587), sixth in the MW and 71st nationally in passing offense (223.6 ypg), ninth in the MW and 80th in the nation in rushing offense (149.3 ypg), ninth in the conference and 86th in the nation in sacks allowed (2.40 pg), ninth in the conference and 95th in the nation in total offense (372.9 ypg), and 10th in the MW in passing efficiency (119.3). USU also ranks second in the MW and 22nd nationally in red zone offense (90.3), as it has scored 28 times on 31 trips with 16 touchdowns and 12 field goals.
AGGIES RANK 39TH IN THE NATION IN PASSING DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is allowing 200.2 passing yards per game to rank fifth in the Mountain West and 39th in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the conference and 70th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (130.2), fifth in the conference and 78th in the nation in scoring defense (28.6 ppg), seventh in the MW and 77th in the nation in total defense (406.2 ypg), eighth in the MW and 82nd nationally in sacks (1.80 pg), and ninth in the MW in rushing defense (206.0 ypg).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS FOURTH NATIONALLY IN TURNOVERS FORCED
With its 24 forced turnovers thus far this year, which ranks tied for fourth nationally, Utah State has now forced 134 turnovers in its last 72 games, including at least one turnover in 55 of its last 72 games. USU has also recorded 63 interceptions in its last 59 games, including at least one pick in 31 of its last 59 games and multiple interceptions in 19 of its last 59 games. Overall, USU has forced three or more turnovers in 16 of its last 47 games.
UTAH STATE SECOND IN THE NATION WITH ITS FIVE DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS
Utah State's defense has scored five touchdowns this year to rank tied for second in the nation with Western Michigan and Wisconsin, and behind Texas (6). Senior CB Jalen Davis has scored three of those touchdowns as he had a 30- and a 50-yard interception return against BYU, and a 25-yard interception return against Idaho State, while freshman LB Maika Magalei returned a fumble 38 yards for a score against San José State and redshirt freshman LB David Woodward returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown at New Mexico. Overall, USU has scored 16 defensive touchdowns in its last 56 games.
UTAH STATE RANKS FIRST IN THE NATION WITH ITS FOUR BLOCKED PUNTS
Utah State ranks first in the nation with its four blocked punts this year, as the Aggies have blocked punts against Idaho State, Wake Forest, San José State and Colorado State, returning the one against CSU for a touchdown. USU's four blocked kicks on the season rank second in the Mountain West behind Hawai'i (5) and sixth in the nation. The school record for blocks is six set in 2012 (3 FGs, 2 punts, 1 PAT). Overall, USU has blocked 14 kicks under head coach Matt Wells.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE NATION IN KICKOFF RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and in the nation in kickoff return defense (15.4 ypr), first in the MW and 18th in the nation in punt returns (12.8 ypr), seventh in the MW and 69th in the nation in kickoff returns (20.9 ypr), and seventh in the MW and 73rd in the nation in net punting (37.6 ypp).
EBERLE LEADING THE NATION IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle leads the nation in field goal percentage (.938) as he has made 15-of-16 field goals. Eberle also ranks second in the Mountain West and 22nd in the nation in field goals made (1.50 pg), and is fourth in the MW and 46th in the nation in scoring (8.0 ppg).
DAVIS THIRD IN THE NATION WITH HIS FIVE INTERCEPTIONS
Senior CB Jalen Davis ranks tied for third in the nation with his five interceptions, while his 13 passes defended (8 pass breakups, 5 interceptions) rank second in the Mountain West and 22nd in the nation (1.3 pg). Davis also ranks first nationally with his three defensive touchdowns.
OTHER AGGIES IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NCAA RANKINGS
Junior LB Louy Compton and junior QB DJ Nelson both rank second in the nation with their two blocked kicks, while Nelson also ranks tied for second in the Mountain West and tied for ninth in the nation with his one punt return for a touchdown. Redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan ranks first in the MW and 18th in the nation in punt returns (11.9 ypr). Junior LB Suli Tamaivena ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 12th in the nation with his two fumble recoveries, and sixth in the MW and 28th in the nation in tackles (9.2 pg). Senior QB Kent Myers ranks first in the MW and 32nd in the nation in completion percentage (.632), sixth in the MW and 74th in the nation in completions (13.6 pg), ninth in the MW and 83rd in the nation in passing efficiency (121.2), ninth in the MW and 93rd in the nation in passing yards (136.0 ypg), and ninth in the MW and 93rd in the nation in total offense (165.0 ypg). Freshman WR Savon Scarver ranks sixth in the MW and 58th in the nation in kickoff returns (22.2 ypr). Senior BS Dallin Leavitt ranks tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 62nd in the nation with his three interceptions (0.3 pg), and tied for 29th in the MW in tackles (6.0 pg). Senior RB LaJuan Hunt ranks tied for fifth in the conference and tied for 56th in the nation with his eight rushing touchdowns (0.8 pg). Junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver ranks 10th in the MW with his four receiving touchdowns (0.4 pg). Redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond ranks 10th in the MW in receptions (3.7 pg). Redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love ranks ninth in the MW in completion percentage (.531) and 10th in the MW in passing efficiency (114.5). Junior BS Gaje Ferguson ranks 16th in the MW in tackles (7.2 pg). Junior LB Chase Christiansen ranks 37th in the conference in tackles (5.6 pg). And, junior P Aaron Dalton ranks fourth in the MW and 55th in the nation in punting (42.1 ypp).
Hawai'i is 3-7 on the season and 1-6 in Mountain West play following its 31-21 home loss to Fresno State last weekend. The Rainbow Warriors are led by junior QB Dru Brown, who is 210-of-345 passing for 2,399 yards (239.9 ypg) with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Senior RB Diocemy Saint Juste leads the team in rushing with 1,349 yards on 242 carries (5.6 ypc/134.9 ypg) with seven touchdowns, and sophomore WR John Ursua has caught 47 passes for 667 yards (14.2 ypr/111.2 ypg) with five touchdowns. Defensively, junior LB Jahlani Tavai has a team-best 98 tackles, which includes 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss, while junior DB Daniel Lewis has 61 tackles, which includes 2.0 tackles for loss. As a team, Hawai'i is averaging 25.3 points and 422.8 yards of total offense per game (181.8 rushing, 241.0 passing) and allowing 33.9 points and 457.9 yards of total offense (265.3 passing, 192.6 rushing). Hawai'i returns 14 starters (O-8, D-6) and 52 lettermen (O-20, D-30, S-2) from last year's team that went 7-7 overall and 4-4 in Mountain West play to finish second in the West Division. The Rainbow Warriors concluded their season with a 52-35 win against Middle Tennessee in the Hawaii Bowl. Nick Rolovich is 10-14 at Hawai'i in his second season as a collegiate head coach.
AGGIES AND RAINBOW WARRIORS SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Hawai'i will be facing one another for the 15th time this weekend, with USU holding an 8-6 advantage. USU won the last meeting between the two teams, 35-14, on Nov. 1, 2014, in Honolulu. USU also won the last meeting between the two teams in Logan, 47-10, on Nov. 2, 2013. The first meeting in the series was on Dec. 17, 1927, in Honolulu with UH winning, 21-20. Overall, USU is 4-2 all-time against the Rainbow Warriors at home.
UTAH STATE VS. HAWAI'I SERIES 23RD-MOST PLAYED IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Hawai'i will be meeting for the 15th time in series history this weekend, which is the 23rd-most played series in USU history.
UTAH STATE AND HAWAI'I AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and Hawai'i have spent 11 years as league foes as both schools were members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-11, and have been members of the Mountain West since 2013 when USU joined the league. As members of the WAC, USU went 2-5 against the Rainbow Warriors with a 1-2 home record and a 1-3 road mark. Since joining the Mountain West, USU is 2-0 against the Rainbow Warriors.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH HAWAI'I
Utah State defensive graduate assistant Gustavo Manzanares was a defensive back at San José State in 2008-09, when Hawai'i special teams coordinator Mayur Chaudhari was an assistant coach for the Spartans.
CONNECTIONS BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND HAWAI'I PLAYERS
There are 25 connections between Utah State and Hawai'i players. USU junior RB Eltoro Allen and UH freshman DB Damario Mclean both attended Elk Grove HS in Sacramento, Calif. Allen and UH junior DB Manu Hudson-Rasmussen both attended Riverside (Calif.) CC. USU junior OL Roman Andrus and UH junior WR Dylan Collie both attended Oak Ridge HS in El Dorado Hills, Calif. USU senior BS Dallin Leavitt, junior OL Quin Ficklin, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley and Andrus, along with UH's Collie, all transferred to their current schools from BYU. USU junior CB Deante Fortenberry and UH junior RB Elijah Dale both attended City College of San Francisco. USU junior LB Suli Tamaivena and junior WR Aaren Vaughns both attended Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) JC, along with UH sophomore DB Zach Wilson. USU junior OL KJ Uluave and UH senior OL John Wa'a, junior LB Rashaan Falemalu, sophomore DB Keala Santiago and freshman OL Ra Elkington all attended Kahuku HS in O'ahu. USU sophomore NG Christopher `Unga and UH senior TE Metuisela `Unga both attended Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) HS. USU freshman OL Chandler Dolphin, and UH senior LB Max Broman and senior WR Ammon Barker all attended Alta HS in Sandy, Utah.
FAMILY CONNECTIONS BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND HAWAI'I
Utah State sophomore NG Christopher `Unga, Hawai'i senior TE Metuisela `Unga and USU defensive administrative assistant Uani `Unga are all brothers.
IT ALL STARTED AT HAWAI'I ON NOVEMBER 5, 2011
Utah State's current run of success of having played in five bowl games in the last six seasons 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 2-5 on 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 QB, Chuckie Keeton, had been injured late in the second quarter. Keeton, who would miss the next four games, was replaced by junior QB 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.
UTAH STATE'S POLYNESIAN CONNECTION
Utah State's recruitment of Polynesian players continues to be a main focus under head coach Matt Wells as 16 Polynesians are on USU's 2017 roster in senior OL Jarom Ioane, senior DE Ian Togiai, junior LB Ofa Latu, junior NG Gasetoto Schuster, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, junior OL KJ Uluave, sophomore LB Sialao Mobley, sophomore LB Justus Te'i, sophomore NG Mohelika Uasike, sophomore NG Christopher `Unga, redshirt freshman OL Demytrick Ali'ifua, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata, freshman LB Maika Magalei, redshirt freshman OL Viliamu McMoore, redshirt freshman LS Brandon Pada, and freshman DE Nami Tuitu'u, while six more Polynesians are among USU's coaching staff in assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Frank Maile, defensive graduate assistant Aman Anand, defensive graduate assistant Gustavo Manzanares, defensive administrative assistant Uani `Unga, offensive administrative assistant Naufahu Tahi, and assistant AD for football operations Waqa Damuni.
CURRENT AGGIES vs. HAWAI'I
Utah State has four players on its current roster who played in the last meeting against Hawai'i in 2014 in senior CB Jalen Davis, senior RB LaJuan Hunt, senior QB Kent Myers and senior DE Ian Togiai. Myers was 14-of-15 (.933) passing for 186 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start as he set the school and Mountain West record for completion percentage. Myers, who also set the school record for consecutive completions to start a game with 12, also carried the ball five times for 13 yards. Hunt rushed for a career-high 145 yards on a career-best 34 carries, and caught two passes for 44 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown reception. Hunt's 34 carries are a freshman single-game school record. Davis also started and had six tackles, while Togiai had one tackle.
WELLS AND ROLOVICH TWO OF 21 FBS HEAD COACHES AT ALMA MATER
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is one of the 21 current FBS head coaches who are the head coaches at their alma mater, joining John Bonamego (Central Michigan), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State), Jim Harbaugh (Michigan), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Kliff Kingsbury (Texas Tech), Sean Kugler (UTEP), Tim Lester (Western Michigan), Mike Neu (Ball State), Barry Odum (Missouri), Mark Richt (Miami), Nick Rolovich (Hawai'i), Scott Satterfield (Appalachian State), David Shaw (Stanford), Kalani Sitake (BYU), Kirby Smart (Georiga) and Jeff Tedford (Fresno State).
Of the 21 head coaches listed above who are currently at their alma mater, the Mountain West leads all conferences with five.
HAWAI'I ONE OF NINE BOWL TEAMS ON UTAH STATE'S 2017 SCHEDULE
Utah State's 2017 schedule features nine teams who played in bowl games a year ago as Wisconsin played in the Cotton Bowl (W, 24-16 vs. Western Michigan); Wake Forest played in the Military Bowl (W, 34-26 vs. Temple); BYU played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Wyoming); Colorado State played in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 61-50 vs. Idaho); Wyoming played in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl (L, 24-21 vs. BYU); Boise State played in the Cactus Bowl (L, 31-12 vs. Baylor); New Mexico played in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (W, 23-20 vs. UTSA); Hawai'i played in the Hawaii Bowl (W, 52-35 vs. Middle Tennessee); and Air Force played in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl (W, 45-21 vs. South Alabama).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is 149-178-8 (.457) all-time against current members of the Mountain West with a 38-26-4 record vs. Wyoming, a 33-39-2 record vs. Colorado State, a 16-7 record vs. UNLV, a 17-20-1 record vs. San José State, a 12-17-1 record vs. Fresno State, an 11-13 record vs. New Mexico, an 8-6 record vs. Hawai`i, a 6-18 record vs. Nevada, a 5-17 record vs. Boise State, a 2-3 record vs. Air Force, and a 1-12 record vs. San Diego State.
UTAH STATE IN FIFTH SEASON IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST
Utah State is in its fifth 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 119 seasons of competition. USU joined the Mountain States/Skyline Conference in 1938 until 1961. USU then played as a football 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 for eight seasons from 2005-12.
SERIES NOTABLES BETWEEN UTAH STATE AND HAWAI'I
The following are series notables between Utah State and Hawai'i dating back to 1927 and encompassing the last 14 meetings.
Utah State has held Hawai'i to less than 15 points in each of the last two meetings and in seven games in series history, and USU is 7-0 in those games. USU has scored at least 35 points in three-straight games and has scored at least 30 points nine times in series history, and is 7-2 in those games.
Only two games in series history have been decided by one score, while 12 games have been decided by double digits, including seven games by at least 20 points.
Seven of Utah State's eight wins in the series have been by double digits, while five of Hawaii's six wins have been by double digits.
Utah State has controlled the time of possession in six of the last nine meetings.
The team with the most rushing yards has won six straight games in the series, while the team that controls the time of possession is just 4-5 in the last nine meetings.
The team that leads at the half has won eight of the last nine games, while the team that scores first has won seven of the last nine games.
Hawai'i has had 11 100-yard receivers, five 300-yard passers and three 100-yard rushers in the past nine meetings, while Utah State has had two 100-yard rushers, two 100-yard receivers and two 300-yard passers. In fact, USU has had a 100-yard rusher in each of the last two games in the series.
There has been just one shutout in series history, a 48-0 USU win in 1966, which ranks as the 21st-largest winning margin in school history.
FROM THE RECORD BOOKS
Here is a look at some of the top Utah State team and individual statistical performances against Hawai'i over the years.
In 14 games in series history, Utah State has scored 54 more points than Hawai'i, 433-379.
Utah State's defense held Hawai'i to 15 rushing attempts in 1996, the fewest allowed in a game in USU history.
Utah State's 428 rushing yards against Hawai'i in 1996 are tied for the seventh-most in a single-game in school history.
Utah State held Hawai'i to 115 yards of total offense in 1965, tied for the 13th-fewest in a single-game in school history.
Utah State held Hawai'i to minus four rushing yards in 1965 and 20 rushing yards in 1966, tied for the 10th-fewest and 22nd-fewest in a single-game in school history, respectively.
Kent Myers completed his first 12 pass attempts against Hawai'i in 2013, which is a school record. Myers completed 14-of-15 passes in that game, and that 93.3 completion percentage is a Utah State and Mountain West record.
Kevin Robinson set the school record for kickoff return average against Hawai'i in 2007 as he returned three kickoffs for 156 yards, for an average of 52.0 yards per return.
Darell Garretson threw for a USU freshman record 370 yards against Hawai'i in 2013, which also ranks as the 20th-most passing yards in a single-game in school history.
MacArthur Lane had an 84-yard run against Hawai'i in 1966, which is the ninth-longest run in school history.
Leon Jackson's 77-yard pass to Kevin Robinson against Hawai'i in 2007 ranks tied for the 26th-longest pass play in school history.
Kyler Fackrell's 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against Hawai'i in 2013 ranks as the third-longest in school history and tied for the third-longest in Mountain West history.
Jim Swindle's 90-yard interception return for a touchdown against Hawai'i in 1959 ranks tied for the fifth-longest in school history.
Kevin Robinson's 100-yard kickoff return against Hawai'i in 2007 ranks as the third-longest in school history.
Altie Taylor's 82-yard punt return against Hawai'i in 1966 ranks tied for the seventh-longest in school history.
Jake Thompson's 52-yard field goal against Hawai'i in 2013 ranks tied for the 10th-longest in school history.
Tom Larscheid's 172 receiving yards against Hawai'i in 1959 are the second-most by a USU underclassman in school history.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH UTAH STATE
Utah State produced 588 yards of total offense (323 passing, 265 rushing) at UNLV, which ranks as the third-most this season and 17th-most in school history. USU also had 596 yards against Idaho State and 589 yards at San José State earlier this season, marking the first time in school history that Utah State has had three games with at least 585 yards of total offense in the same year.
With its 52-28 Mountain West road win at UNLV, Utah State tied the single-season school record for 50-point games in a season with three, also doing so in 2015 under head coach Matt Wells, and in 1961. In fact, it was the eighth time under Wells that USU has scored 50-plus points in a game, which is the most under any Aggie head coach as E. Lowell Romney ranks second all-time with six games scoring 50-plus points. Under Wells, USU has scored 50-plus points four times at home and four times on the road, and this season marks the first time in school history that Utah State has scored 50-plus points twice on the road.
Utah State rallied from a double-digit deficit for the second time this season in its 52-28 Mountain West road win at UNLV. Against the Rebels, USU trailed by 14 points three different times in the game (14-0, 21-7, 28-14) before closing the contest with 38 unanswered points. USU also trailed by 14 points (21-7) against BYU earlier this season, before closing the game on a 33-3 run.
During the 2011 season, Utah State rallied from a double-digit deficit three times as it trailed Wyoming 12-0 before winning 63-19, trailed at Hawai'i 28-7 before winning 35-31, and trailed against San José State 20-7 before winning 34-33.
LAST MEETING vs. HAWAI'I
HONOLULU - Freshman QB Kent Myers threw for a career-high 186 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start and freshman RB LaJuan Hunt rushed for a career-high 145 yards to lead Utah State to a 35-14 road win at Hawai'i on Nov. 1, 2014.
Utah State (6-3, 3-1 MW) won its 12th-straight game in November and improved to 10-2 all-time in Mountain West play with the win against Hawai'i (2-7, 1-3 MW).
Myers completed his first 12 passes and finished the night 14-of-15 passing for 186 yards with three first-half touchdowns, all of which are career-highs, while Hunt carried the ball a career-high 34 times in posting the most rushing yards by an Aggie (145) since 2012 and the most by an Aggie freshman since 1992. Myers also set the Utah State and Mountain West record for completion percentage (.933) in a game.
Hunt added two receptions for 44 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown in the third quarter on a pass from senior WR Ronald Butler. Butler finished the game with a career-high six receptions for 79 yards with one touchdown, and was 1-of-1 passing for 44 yards and a touchdown, while junior WR Hunter Sharp had three receptions for 77 yards, including a pair of first quarter touchdowns.
Utah State finished the game with a season-high 465 yards of total offense, passing for 230 yards and rushing for another 235, its second-most in a game this season. Hawai'i had 454 yards of total offense (356 passing, 98 rushing), the most given up by USU this year.
Senior LB Zach Vigil led an Aggie defense that yielded a season-low 14 points as he finished the night with 12 tackles, including a career-high 3.0 sacks, while also forcing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. In all, Utah State's defense finished the game with 6.0 sacks and forced three turnovers as senior SS Frankie Sutera intercepted two passes and sophomore FS Devin Centers recovered a fumble that he returned 10 yards for a touchdown. With his 12 tackles, Vigil moved into 10th place all-time in school history with 329 career tackles.
Both teams produced touchdowns on its first two drives of the game as USU scored on a 6-yard pass from Myers to Sharp to open the contest and then scored on a 70-yard pass from Myers to Sharp on its second series. Hawai'i scored its first touchdown on an 8-yard run by Diocemy Saint Juste and then scored on a 1-yard pass from Ikaika Woolsey to Justin Vele to make the score 14-14 after the first quarter.
Utah State added two more touchdowns in the second quarter as Vigil's sack and forced fumble led to USU's third defensive touchdown of the season as Centers picked up the fumble and ran 10 yards for the score. Myers added his third touchdown pass of the first-half with 6:37 to play in the quarter as he connected with Butler for a 39-yard strike on a third-and-21 play to give the visitors a 28-14 halftime advantage.
The only points scored in the second half was on a 44-yard pass from Butler to Hunt to cap a 9-play, 98-yard drive that took 4:41 off the clock, a drive that was extended following a roughing the kicker penalty on Hawai'i as the Aggies were punting from their own end zone.
Woosley finished the game 26-of-46 passing for 356 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions for Hawai'i, while Stephen Lakalaka had 57 rushing yards on 11 carries.
LAST HOME MEETING vs. HAWAI'I
LOGAN, Utah - Quarterback Darell Garretson set a school record for passing yards by a freshman in helping Utah State (5-4, 4-1 MW) post a 47-10 Mountain West home win against Hawai'i (0-8, 0-6 MW) on Saturday, Nov. 2, 2013.
Garretson threw for 370 yards on 28-of-41 passing with three touchdowns, setting a school record for most yards by a freshman and is the first Aggie freshman to throw for 300 yards since Brett Stevens in 1985. Those 370 passing yards by Garretson are the most by an Aggie quarterback this year.
Utah State ended the game with 533 yards of total offense, its fourth game this season with 500-plus yards of total offense, getting a season-high 370 yards passing to go with 163 yards rushing. Senior RB Joey DeMartino led the rushing attack with 104 yards on a career-high 20 carries and a touchdown, for his fourth 100-yard rushing outing this season, including in each of his last two games.
Senior WR Travis Reynolds had a career-high 152 receiving yards on a career-high-tying eight catches with a third-quarter touchdown, as his 152 receiving yards are the most by an Aggie wide receiver since 2002. Sophomore WR JoJo Natson notched seven catches for 34 yards with a touchdown, which was USU's first of the game.
Sophomore LB Kyler Fackrell led the Utah State defense with nine tackles and snared an interception near the Hawai'i goal line and scampered 99-yards for a touchdown, for the third-longest interception return in school and Mountain West history. The linebacker duo of senior Jake Doughty and junior Zach Vigil had eight stops apiece. Junior safeties Brian Suite and Frankie Sutera also had interceptions.
Utah State also kicked four field goals in the game, getting three from junior PK Nick Diaz, while freshman PK Jake Thompson boomed a 52-yarder late in the first half, which is tied for the 10th-longest field goal in school history.
Hawai'i had 319 yards of total offense with 260 passing and 59 rushing, which is a season-low allowed by USU.
The Aggies scored their first touchdown of the afternoon on an 11-yard pass from Garretson to Natson and Diaz split the uprights for a 7-0 lead. Following a 33-yard field goal from Hawai'i, Diaz drilled a 40-yard field goal to give USU a 10-3 lead after the first quarter.
DeMartino darted in on a 4-yard scamper for a 17-3 lead just 33 seconds into the second quarter and Diaz added a 32-yard field goal to increase its lead to 20-3. With 50 seconds to go in the half, Thompson came on and booted a 52-yard field goal to give the Aggies a 23-3 advantage at intermission.
Hawai'i scored its only points of the second half on a touchdown on its first series of the third quarter before USU scored the final 24 points of the game.
Following UH's final score, Diaz split the uprights from 32-yards out with 9:51 to go in the period for a 26-10 lead, and Garretson connected with Reynolds for a 30-yard scoring strike at the 6:20 point of the third quarter to give the home team a 33-10 advantage. Later in the third, Fackrell returned an interception 99 yards for the third-longest interception return in school history.
Garretson hit freshman TE Wyatt Houston on a pass, catch and run for a 44-yard touchdown to cap the Aggies' scoring with 10:29 to play.
GAME 10 RECAP vs. NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Senior RB LaJuan Hunt rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and Utah State's defense forced four turnovers, as the Aggies captured another double-digit Mountain West victory on the road, 24-10, against New Mexico on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in front of 19,293 fans at Dreamstyle Stadium.
The Aggies (5-5, 3-3 MW) have won three consecutive games on the road by an average of 29.7 points per game. It is the first time since the 2012 season that Utah State has won three straight road games by double digits.
Hunt eclipsed the 100-yard plateau for the third time in his career and second time this season, doing so on just 14 carries against the Lobos (3-6, 1-5 MW). He averaged 8.4 yards per rush.
For the second consecutive game, Utah State did not allow a sack.
The Aggies held the ball for just 20:53, gaining 243 yards of total offense. Conversely, New Mexico had 340 yards of offense and crossed midfield on 10 of their 13 possessions, including four trips into the red zone, but did not score any points inside the 20-yard line.
Utah State's defense forced four fumbles in the first half - two each by sophomore DE Devon Anderson and sophomore LB Justus Te'i. The Aggies recovered three of them, including one by Anderson and Te'i, and the other by sophomore CB Cameron Haney.
Anderson finished with a career-best seven tackles, while Te'i's two forced fumbles were both inside the 10-yard line.
The Aggies led 14-3 at halftime courtesy of Hunt's two touchdowns.
The native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., gave Utah State a 7-0 advantage when he scored on a 1-yard run with 10 seconds left in the first quarter. Following a 42-yard field goal by New Mexico's Jason Sanders, Hunt hit paydirt again from 65 yards out - a career-long run - making it 14-3 with 1:44 remaining in the opening half.
Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle gave Utah State a 17-3 third-quarter lead after nailing a 28-yard field goal. The nation's leader in field goal percentage is now 15-of-16 on the year (93.8 percent).
Utah State's defense put the exclamation point on the victory when redshirt freshman LB David Woodward recovered a fumble and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to give the visitors a 24-3 lead with 8:56 to go in the game. It was the fifth defensive score of the season for Utah State and its sixth non-offensive touchdown. Woodward ended his day with a career-high five tackles.
Redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love was 13-of-24 passing for 114 yards, while junior WR Ron'quavion Tarver had two receptions for a team-best 40 yards. Junior WR Aaren Vaughns, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan, freshman WR Savon Scarver and Hunt also had two receptions each.
On special teams, junior P Aaron Dalton averaged 46.5 yards on six punts, including a season-long of 63 yards.
HUNT RUSHES FOR 100 YARDS AT NEW MEXICO
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt recorded his second 100-yard rushing game of the season, and the third of his career, in his last game at New Mexico as he rushed for a season-high 117 yards on just 14 carries (8.4 ypc) and two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 65 yards. In fact, his 65-yard touchdown run was his career-long rush.
Overall, it is the second time this year and third time in his career that Hunt has scored multiple rushing touchdowns in a game. It is also just the second time in his career he has scored at least one rushing touchdown in three straight games, also doing so as a sophomore in 2015.
Hunt now leads the team with eight rushing touchdowns on the season and has 15 rushing touchdowns in his career, which ranks second on the team behind senior QB Kent Myers, who has 19 career rushing touchdowns.
AGGIES DEFENSE HELD NEW MEXICO SCORELESS IN FOUR RED ZONE TRIPS
Utah State played its best red zone defense of the season in its last game at New Mexico as it allowed zero points on four Lobo trips inside the Aggies' 20-yard line. USU forced three turnovers (all fumbles) on four of those red zone opportunites, while UNM also missed a 47-yard field goal. USU also forced a fumble at its own 38-yard line in the first quarter and stopped the Lobos on a fourth-down play on its own 29-yard line in the first half.
Of New Mexico's seven first-half possessions, Utah State forced three turnovers and two punts, in addition to stoping the Lobos on a fourth-down play. New Mexico's only positive drive of the first half ended in a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter.
In fact, nine of New Mexico's first 11 drives of the game, including all seven in the first half, stalled in Utah State terriorty, with six of those drives getting to the 30-yard line or better.
In the game, New Mexico possessed the ball for 39:07, the most by an Aggie opponent since 2008, when Utah had the ball for 39:38. UNM also ran 32 more plays (79-48), had nine more first downs (21-12) and 97 more yards of offense (340-243).
FRESHMEN LINEBACKERS PLAY SEASON-HIGH SNAPS AT NEW MEXICO
Utah State had a pair of redshirt freshmen linebackers who played a season-high snaps at New Mexico in Kevin Meitzenheimer and David Woodward. Meitzenheimer had played in just 80 snaps on the season before appearing in a career-high 74 snaps against the Lobos, while Woodward had played in just 96 snaps this year before playing a season-high 39 snaps against UNM.
WOODWARD SCORES FIRST CAREER TOUCHDOWN IN NEW MEXICO GAME
Redshirt freshman LB David Woodward returned a fumble 70 yards for his first career touchdown in his last game against New Mexico. Woodward, who played a career-high 39 snaps in the game, also had a career-high five tackles in the game.
TE'I FORCES TWO RED ZONE FUMBLES AGAINST NEW MEXICO
Sophomore LB Justus Te'i forced two fumbles in the first half against New Mexico, both inside USU's 10-yard line, as the Lobos were driving for touchdowns. Those two forced fumbles are the first of his career. Te'i also recovered one of his forced fumbles for his first career fumble recovery. Te'i played 56 snaps against New Mexico, his second-most in a game this year.
PLAYER NOTABLES FROM NEW MEXICO GAME
Senior CB Jalen Davis had one pass breakup, giving him eight pass breakups this year and a school-record 30 in his career. Davis also had 1.0 tackles for loss, giving him 4.0 tackles for loss this year and 16.0 in his career. Junior BS Gaje Ferguson recorded his first career sack, giving him 2.0 tackles for loss this season and 4.0 in his career. Sophomore CB Cameron Haney recovered his first career fumble. Sophomore NG Christopher `Unga had 1.0 tackles for loss, giving him 3.5 tackles for loss this season and 4.0 in his career. Redshirt freshman LB Kevin Meitzenheimer had a career-high seven tackles in a career-best 74 snaps. Redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski had his first career pass breakup. Junior P Aaron Dalton had a season-long 63-yard punt and a 54-yard punt, and now has eight 50-yard punts this season and 25 in his career.Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle was 1-of-1 on field goal attempts as he made a 28-yarder. Overall, Eberle is now 15-of-16 on the season and 18-of-21 in his career on field goal attempts, including 7-of-7 this year and 9-of-9 in his career from 20-29 yards.
AGGIE TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON
#91 | Devon Anderson | DE | 6-1 | 285 | SO | Baltimore, Md. | Dodge City CC
Recorded two forced fumbles and recovered one of them in his last game at New Mexico. Also had a career-high seven tackles against the Lobos.
Has recorded five or more tackles in two of his last three games and has 15 tackles in his last four games. Had six tackles in his first six games with USU.
Ranks third on the team among defensive linemen with 21 tackles, which includes 1.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss, and is tied for the team lead with two forced fumbles.
HUNT RANKS 11TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior RB LaJuan Hunt has rushed for 1,570 yards on 384 carries (4.1 ypc) in his career to rank 11th all-time in school history. Hunt has three 100-yard rushing games in his career as he set a true freshman school record with 34 carries for 145 yards against Hawai'i in 2014, and rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries at UNLV, and 117 yards on 14 carries at New Mexico in 2017.
With his 384 carries, Hunt is now just 17 attempts shy of entering the top 10 all-time in school history. Hunt is also just two rushing touchdowns shy of entering the top 10 all-time at USU in that category, as well.
MYERS HAS 19 CAREER RUSHING TDs
Senior QB Kent Myers has 19 rushing touchdowns in his career, to rank ninth all-time in school history. Myers has five games with multiple rushing touchdowns as he had a career-high three against San José State in 2014 and two against both Colorado State and Nevada in 2016, and two against both Idaho State and San José State this year.
MYERS RANKS 19TH ALL-TIME IN RUSHING
Senior QB Kent Myers has rushed for 1,376 yards on 333 carries (4.1 ypc) during his career to rank 19th all-time in school history, including third all-time among quarterbacks, trailing Chuckie Keeton (2011-15), who ranks 14th all-time with 1,415 yards, and Diondre Borel (2007-10), who ranks 16th all-time with 1,398 rushing yards. Myers has one career 100-yard rushing game as he set a school record for quarterbacks with 191 yards on 16 carries against Colorado State in 2015.
MYERS RANKS AMONG TOP 10 QBS ALL-TIME IN GAMES PLAYED AND STARTED
Senior QB Kent Myers has started 33 games and played in 37 during his Utah State career, which ranks third and fifth all-time in school history for quarterbacks, respectively. Chuckie Keeton (2011-15) holds the school record for games started by a quarterback with 35, while Diondre Borel (2007-10) holds the school record for games played by a quarterback with 44.
MYERS THIRD ALL-TIME IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Senior QB Kent Myers is 533-of-872 (.611) passing for 6,072 yards with 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his career, and that completion percentage ranks third all-time in school history behind Darell Garretson (.631) and Chuckie Keeton (.629).
For his career, Myers has an interception percentage of just 0.025, which ranks third all-time in school history behind Chuckie Keeton (.022) and Anthony Calvillo (0.023), with his 38 touchdowns and 21 interceptions on 872 career attempts. Myers has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 19 of his last 29 games, and in 23 games in his career, and multiple touchdowns nine times in his career, which includes five games with three or more touchdown passes. In his career, Myers has 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions at home, and 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions on the road.
MYERS AMONG ACTIVE QUARTERBACK LEADERS IN THE NATION
Senior QB Kent Myers ranks among the top active quarterbacks in the nation in several categories and is one of just eight Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) quarterbacks with 6,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a career, along with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield (13,539 passing, 1,003 rushing), Louisville's Lamar Jackson (8,386 passing, 3,707 rushing), Ohio State's J.T. Barrett (8,938 passing, 3,037 rushing), Appalachian State's Taylor Lamb (9,306 passing, 1,853 rushing), South Florida's Quinton Flowers (7,174 passing, 3,345 rushing), Syracuse's Eric Dungey (6,472 passing, 1,239 rushing) and Conneticut's Bryant Shierreffs (6,375 passing, 1,029 rushing). Myers has passed for 6,054 yards and rushed for 1,374 yards in his career. Myers is also one of just 12 active FBS quarterbacks with 1,200 career rushing yards.
Other categories where Myers ranks among the top active FBS quarterbacks in the nation include being 14th in completion percentage (.611), 18th in touchdowns responsible for (57), 19th in total offense (7,448) and 24th in passing yards (6,072).
DAVIS EXTENDS SCHOOL RECORD FOR PASSES BROKEN UP
Senior CB Jalen Davis has 30 career pass breakups, breaking the previous record held by Donald Toomer (1991-94, 26). Davis also has 11 interceptions in his career, which is tied with Travis Clark (1987, `89), Chuck Detwiler (1966-68) and Ronnie McCloud (1974, `76-78) for the fourth-most in school history. Furthermore, his 227 career interception return yards ranks second all-time in school history behind Henry King (1965-66), who holds the school record for interceptions in a career with 18 and interception return yards in a career with 373.
DAVIS AMONG ACTIVE DEFENSIVE BACK LEADERS IN THE NATION
Senior DB Jalen Davis ranks among the top active defensive backs in the nation in several categories as he ranks sixth nationally with his 41 career pass breakups (30 passes defended, 11 interceptions), and seventh in the nation with his 11 career interceptions.
EBERLE FIRST ALL-TIME IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle is 15-of-16 on field goal attempts this year and his 93.8 conversion percentage ranks first all-time in school history for a single season, topping Russ Moody, who made 86.7 percent of his field goals in 1988, as he was 13-of-15. Eberle's only miss this season was a 38-yard attempt that was blocked by BYU (9/29). Those 15 made field goals this year rank tied for the eighth-most in a single-season in school history with Micah Knorr (1994).
Eberle is also 35-of-35 on extra point attempts this season and those 35 made PAT's rank tied for ninth all-time in school history for a single-season.
For his career, Eberle is now 18-of-21 on field goal attempts and his 85.7 conversion percentage also ranks first all-time in school history, topping Russ Moody, who made 84.6 percent of his field goals, as he was 22-of-26.
Thus far this year, Eberle is 5-of-5 on field goal attempts of at least 40 yards, including a career long of 52 yards. The last Aggie kicker to make at least five field goals of 40-plus yards in a single season was Nick Diaz in 2012, when he was 5-of-7. And, Brad Bohn was the last USU kicker to make more than five from that distance, when he was 6-of-10 from 40-plus yards back in 2000.
EBERLE CLOSING IN ON SINGLE SEASON SCORING RECORD FOR A KICKER
Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle has scored 80 points thus far this season with 35 extra points and 15 field goals. With his 80 points, Eberle is just 10 points shy of tying Natahn Morreale, who set the single-season school record for points scored by a kicker with 90 in 1993, as he made 19 field goals and 33 extra points.
Eberle is also just four made field goals shy of entering the USU top 10 all-time in school history.
EBERLE NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR LOU GROZA AWARD
Utah State sophomore PK Dominik Eberle has been named a semifinalist for the 2017 Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award. Eberle is one of 20 semifinalists, including three from the Mountain West and two from the Beehive State, to land on the list. Eberle currently leads the nation in field goal percentage (.938). He also ranks second in the Mountain West and 22nd in the nation in field goals made (1.50 pg), and is fourth in the MW and 46th in the nation in scoring (8.0 ppg). In the Aggies' 61-10 win at SJSU on Sept. 24, Eberle set the single-game school record for points by a kicker with 19, as he was 7-of-7 on extra points and 4-for-4 on field goals (23, 52, 20, 27). Those 19 points were also the second-most in Mountain West history by a kicker and the most by a non-senior.
TOMMERDAHL NOMINATED FOR BROYLES AWARD
Utah State special teams coordinator and running backs coach Mark Tommerdahl has been named a nominee for the 2017 Broyles Award. Tommerdahl is one of 56 coaches nationwide to be nominated for the award. Among the nominees are three other Mountain West assistant coaches in Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos, Fresno State defensive coordinator Orlando Steinauer and San José State linebackers coach Bojay Filimoeatu. The Broyles Award honors the top assistant college football coach in America and was established in 1996 to honor legendary Arkansas Head Coach Frank Broyles. Coach Broyles had a track record of producing some of the most successful assistant coaches in college football history. Under Tommerdahl's direction, the Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and fourth in the nation in kickoff return defense (15.4 ypr), and first in the conference and 15th in the nation in punt returns (12.8 ypr). USU also leads the nation with its four blocked punts this season, while its four blocked kicks overall rank third nationally. Tommerdahl has also coached sophomore placekicker Dominik Eberle to leading the nation in field goal percentage at 93.8 percent, as Eberle is 15-of-16 on field goal attempts this season.
ROBERTS NOMINATED FOR BURLSWORTH TROPHY
Utah State's Braelon Roberts has been nominated for the 2017 Burlsworth Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding football player from a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) school who began his career as a walk-on and has shown outstanding performance on the field. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound senior wide receiver is one of 63 players nominated from an FBS school. Each nominee must have begun his first season of participation without financial aid of any kind from his university's athletic department. Roberts is one of eight players from the Mountain West on the list and one of just two from the Beehive State, joining BYU's Brayden El-Bakri. The native of Dallas, Texas, has played in all 10 games of the season for the Aggies this year, starting five of them. Roberts has caught 13 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. For his career, Roberts has appeared in 38 games for Utah State, catching 45 passes for 459 yards and three touchdowns.
DAVIS NAMED MID-SEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Utah State senior CB Jalen Davis has been named a mid-season All-American by The Associated Press, ESPN, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated as he is the only Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) player with three defensive touchdowns on the season as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns against BYU and one against Idaho State.
Davis had a career-high three interceptions against BYU (9/29), which are the second-most in a single-game in school history and tied for the most in a single-game in Mountain West history, while the two pick-sixes are a school record. Following the BYU game, Davis was named the CBSSports.com National Player of the Week, the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Player of the Week and the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Davis is the school record holder with 30 pass breakups and ranks fourth all-time with his 11 career interceptions.
DAVIS NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR JIM THORPE AWARD
Utah State senior CB Jalen Davis is one of 13 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) players named as a semifinalst for the Jim Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the top defensive back in college football. Joining Davis on the list is Marcus Allen (Penn State), Quin Blanding (Virginia), DeShon Elliott (Texas), Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama), Grant Haley (Penn State), Derwin James (Florida State), Jeremy McDuffie (Duke), Parry Nikcerson (Tulane), Justin Reid (Stanford), Dominick Sanders (Georgia), Levi Wallace (Alabama) and Denzel Ward (Ohio State).
DAVIS NAMED CBSSPORTS.COM NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Utah State senior CB Jalen Davis was named CBSSports.com's National Player of the Week and the Mountain West's Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 2, 2017, following his performance in Utah State's 40-24 home win against BYU. Against the Cougars, Davis intercepted a career-high three passes and returned two of them for touchdowns from 30 and 50 yards, respectively. Davis also had a season-high five tackles, to go along with one pass breakup. Davis was also named the MW Defensive Player of the Week by College Sports Madness. For Davis, it is his first career Player of the Week honor from the conference.
Those three interceptions for Davis are tied with New Mexico State's Shamad Lomax for the most in a game at the FBS level this year, and tied for a Mountain West record as it is the 11th time in conference history a player has had three picks in a game. The last time an FBS player had more than three interceptions in a game was in 2006 when Middle Tennessee's Damon Nickson had four picks against Louisiana-Lafayette. Furthermore, Davis' three interceptions are the second-most in a game in school history, trailing Henry King, who had four picks against Pacific in 1966.
Davis' two interception returns for touchdowns are a single-game school record and the most at the FBS level this season, and tied with four other players for the most in Mountain West history. In fact, it is just the 18th time in conference history that a team has had two interceptions returned for a touchdown in a game.
Davis is the first FBS player to have three interceptions and return two of them for touchdowns since 2012, when Fresno State's Phillip Thomas accomplished the feat against Colorado.
DID YOU KNOW?
All five of Utah State's starting offensive linemen -- OC Quin Ficklin, RT Sean Taylor, LG Moroni Iniguez, RG Rob Castaneda, LT Roman Andrus -- played in their first career games at USU this season. In fact, Taylor is the only member of this group who was on the team last year, as he redshirted. This is the first time in school history that it has started five offensive linemen who had never played a game at USU, minus the Aggies' first-ever team in 1892. Furthermore, Andrus and Ficklin did not even play offensive line at their previous schools, as Andrus was a defensive end at Snow (Utah) JC and Ficklin was a fullback at BYU.
UTAH STATE COACHING CHANGES FOR 2017
Utah State's coaching staff had two changes during the offseason as fifth-year head coach Matt Wells hired David Yost as the offensive coordinator working with the quarterbacks, and Mark Tommerdahl as the special teams coordinator and running backs coach. Coaches who left the USU program following the 2016 season include assistant head coach/running backs/tight ends coach Mike Canales, who went to Tennessee, and linebackers coach David Kotulski, who went to Mercyhurst University.
UTAH STATE THE ONLY PROGRAM WITH NEW OFFENSIVE COORDINATORS FOUR YEARS IN A ROW WITH SAME HEAD COACH
Utah State is the only FBS program to have a new offensive coordinator in each of the past four seasons under the same head coach. In 2014, Kevin McGiven was the offensive coordinator. In 2015, Josh Heupel was the offensive coordinator. In 2016, Jovon Bouknight and Luke Wells were co-offensive coordinators. And in 2017, David Yost is the offensive coordinator. Kansas has had a new offensive coordinator in each of the past five seasons under different head coaches and Pittsburgh has had new offensive coordinators in each of the last four seasons under different head coaches.
WELLS' 33 WINS FOURTH-MOST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State head coach Matt Wells' 33 wins rank as the fourth-most in school history, while his 52.4 winning percentage (33-30) ranks seventh with a minimum of 15 games coached.
MORE ON UTAH STATE'S HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is in his fifth season in charge of the Aggie football program and is the longest tenured head coach since Mick Dennehy (2000-04) also spent five years at USU. In fact, Wells is tied with Dennehy and George P. Campbell (1902-06) as the sixth-longest tenured head coaches in 120 seasons of Utah State football.
Matt Wells coached in his third bowl game in 2015 to set the school record for most bowl games by a head coach. E. Lowell `Dick' Romney (1946, 1947), John Ralston (1960, 1961) and Gary Andersen (2011, 2012) all coached the Aggies in two bowl games, while Charlie Weatherbie (1993) and John L. Smith (1997) each coached one bowl game at USU.
Matt Wells, the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year, is one of just 21 coaches to lead his alma mater. He is also 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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State head coach Matt Wells is the first Aggie coach to win multiple games against BYU since Bruce Snyder (1976-82) posted wins against the Cougars in 1978 and 1982, which is a span of 10 head coaches.
AGGIES IN OVERTIME
Utah State is 6-5 all-time in overtime, winning three of its last four. All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-2 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple-overtime games. USU's last overtime game was a 21-14 loss at Arkansas State on Sept. 20, 2014.
UTAH STATE RANKS FOURTH IN THE NATION IN FIRST-TIME STARTERS
During the first 10 weeks of the 2017 season, Utah State has had 24 first-time starters, which ranks tied for fourth in the nation behind Ball State (31), Illinois (29) and Baylor (26), and tied with East Carolina and Western Kentucky. USU had 12 players make their first career at No. 9 Wisconsin in senior TE Damion Hobbs, junior OL Roman Andrus, junior OL Rob Castaneda, junior OL Quin Ficklin, redshirt junior OL Sean Taylor, junior LB Suli Tamaivena, junior NG Gasetoto Schuster, junior BS Aaron Wade, sophomore OL Moroni Iniguez, sophomore DE Jacoby Wildman, redshirt freshman DE Ritisoni Fata and redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan. USU then had four more players get their first career start against Idaho State in junior DE Adewale Adeoye, redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond, sophomore LB Dalton Baker and redshirt freshman CB Ja'Marcus Ingram. Two more Aggies made their first career start at San José State in junior RB Eltoro Allen and freshman LB Maika Magalei. Redshirt freshman OL Demytrick Ali'ifua made his first career start against Colorado State. Sophomore NG Christopher `Unga made his first career start against Wyoming. Redshirt freshman QB Jordan Love made his first career start at UNLV. Sophomore DE Devon Anderson and redshirt freshman DE Logan Lee both made their first career starts against Boise State. And redshirt freshman S Baron Gajkowski made his first career start at New Mexico.
HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Matt Wells has wasted little time putting his stamp on the Aggie football program in his first five seasons as head coach, as USU is 33-30, including a 22-16 Mountain West record. USU also played in its fifth-straight bowl game in 2015.
In his five years as head coach, Wells has led Utah State to three wins against top 25 opponents, one more than USU had overall prior to his tenure.
During the 2015 season, Wells mentored 12 players who earned all-Mountain West honors, which were the third-most in the conference. Wells also coached Kyler Fackrell, who was named a fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele.
Wells coached three players who participated in the 2016 NFL Combine in Fackrell, Hunter Sharp and Nick Vigil, while 10 players from the 2015 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Vigil (Cincinnati Bengals) and Fackrell (Green Bay Packers), who were both selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft.
Wells led Utah State to 10 wins in 2014 to rank as the second-most in school history behind the 2012 team that finished with an 11-2 record, including its third-straight bowl win with a 21-6 victory against UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
During the 2014 season, Wells mentored 15 players who earned 16 all-Mountain West honors, which were the most in the league and tied for the third-most in school history. Wells also coached two All-Americans as Zach Vigil was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, while Jalen Davis was named a True Freshman All-American by 247Sports. Vigil was also named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.
Wells was named the 2013 Mountain West Coach of the Year as he set the school record for wins by a first-year head coach as the Aggies went 9-5.
Wells led Utah State to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game after winning the Mountain Division with a 7-1 record in 2013. He also led USU to just its third-ever bowl victory as it posted a 21-14 win against No. 24 Northern Illinois in the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl.
During his first year as USU's head coach, Wells mentored 14 Aggies who earned various all-Mountain West honors, including three All-Americans as Tyler Larsen was named a second-team All-American by USA Today Sports, Nevin Lawson was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness, and Kyler Fackrell was named an honorable mention Sophomore All-American by College Football News.
Wells coached a school-record four players who participated in the 2014 NFL Combine in Larsen, Lawson, Maurice Alexander and D.J. Tialavea, while 11 players from the 2013 roster were invited to NFL camps, including Alexander (Los Angeles Rams) and Lawson (Detroit Lions), who were both selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Overall, Wells is the second USU coach and fifth in school history to garner conference coach of the year honors along with Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991), John L. Smith (1997) and Gary Andersen (2012). Wells is also the fourth individual to earn MW Coach of the Year honors in his first season, along with BYU's Gary Crowton (2001), Utah's Urban Meyer (2003) and Air Force's Troy Calhoun (2007).
Wells is one of just 19 FBS coaches to lead his alma mater and 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.
Prior to being named the head coach at his alma mater, Wells spent the previous two seasons as an assistant at Utah State, including serving as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012. In 2011, Wells coached USU's quarterbacks and was the team's recruiting coordinator.
During his six years at Utah State, Wells has been part of a USU program that played in five straight bowl games for the first time in school history, and won three-straight bowl games for the first time ever.
As offensive coordinator in 2012, Utah State concluded its most successful season in program history with a school-best 11-2 record. USU also won its first outright conference championship since 1936.
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