Nov. 17, 2013
LOGAN, Utah - Following its second and final bye week of the 2013 season, Utah State now ranks among the top 30 teams in the nation in 20 different statistical categories, including ranking 17th in the nation in scoring defense.
Defensively, Utah State is allowing just 19.4 points per game to rank first in the Mountain West and 17th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 19th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (115.0), first in the MW and 20th in the nation in total defense (348.2 ypg), first in the MW and 20th in the nation in rushing defense (127.3 ypg), first in the MW and 44th in the nation in passing defense (220.9 ypg), and fourth in the MW and tied for 52nd in the nation in sacks (2.1 pg).
Furthermore, Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 52 first downs on 164 third-down attempts (.317) to rank first in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it has forced 50 three-and-outs on 110 drives, which averages out to 45.5 percent of the time and 6.25 per game. And in the red zone, USU has allowed 25 scores in 33 opportunities (.758) to rank first in the MW and tied for 25th nationally. Overall, USU has allowed only 14 touchdowns on 33 trips into the red zone (.424), to go along with 11 field goals on 11 attempts, while forcing four turnovers, taking over the ball on downs three times and having the half end once.
Offensively, Utah State is averaging 35.9 points per game to rank fourth in the Mountain West and 27th in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the MW and 26th in the nation in total offense (466.7 ypg), fourth in the MW and 30th in the nation in completion percentage (.639), third in the MW and 31st in the nation in passing efficiency (145.7), sixth in the MW and 34th in the nation in passing offense (268.5 ypg), fifth in the MW and 35th in the nation in rushing offense (198.2 ypg), and fifth in the MW and tied for 48th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.7 pg).
Utah State has also converted 82-of-166 third downs (.494) to rank second in the Mountain West and 19th in the nation. In red zone opportunities, USU is 41-for-46 (.891) to rank fifth in the MW and tied for 22nd nationally. Overall, USU has scored 32 touchdowns and converted 9-of-12 field goals in the red zone, while turning it over on downs once and having the half end once.
Utah State also ranks second in the Mountain West and tied for 31st in the nation with a turnover margin of plus 0.60 as it has 19 takeaways and 13 turnovers on the season.
On special teams, Utah ranks fourth in the MW and 38th in the nation in kickoff returns (22.9 ypr), fourth in the MW and 67th in the nation in punt returns (8.0 ypr), and ninth in the MW and 55th in the nation in net punting (37.4 ypk). USU also ranks first in the nation in punt return defense as it is allowing -0.50 yard per punt return, and first in the Mountain West and 13th in the nation in kickoff return defense as it is allowing 18.06 yards per kick return.
Utah State players who rank among the statistical leaders in the Mountain West and in the nation include senior cornerback Nevin Lawson who ranks first in the MW and third in the nation in passes defended (1.7 pg), and tied for third in the MW and tied for 22nd in the nation in interceptions (0.40 pg); senior linebacker Jake Doughty who ranks third in the MW and seventh in the nation in tackles (10.8 pg); junior linebacker Zach Vigil who ranks fifth in the MW and tied for 33rd in the nation in tackles (9.0 pg), tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 49th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.20 pg), and tied for eighth in the MW in fumbles forced (0.20 pg); sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell who ranks tied for eighth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.00 pg), tied for eighth in the MW in fumbles forced (0.20 pg), 10th in the MW in sacks (0.40 pg), and 28th in the MW in tackles (6.6 pg); senior running back Joey DeMartino who ranks fifth in the MW and 34th in the nation in rushing touchdowns (1.0 pg), eighth in the MW and 60th in the nation in rushing (78.5 ypg), and 10th in the MW in scoring (6.6 ppg); senior safety Maurice Alexander who ranks tied for eighth in the MW in fumbles forced (0.20 pg) and 32nd in the MW in tackles (6.0 pg); senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds who ranks sixth in the MW and 39th in the nation in receiving (81.8 ypg); senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright who ranks sixth in the MW and 49th in the nation in kickoff returns (23.1 ypr); sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson who ranks fourth in the MW and 36th in the nation in punt returns (8.4 ypr); junior placekicker Nick Diaz who ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 39th in the nation in field goals (1.20 pg), sixth in the MW in extra point percentage (97.7), sixth in the MW and 61st in the nation in field goal percentage (75.0), and eighth in the MW and 55th in the nation in scoring (7.8 ppg); and junior punter Jaron Bentrude who ranks 11th in the MW and 85th in the nation in punting (39.4 ypk).
Utah State (6-4, 5-1 MW) returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 23 when it hosts Colorado State (6-5, 4-2 MW) in a Mountain West game at 1:30 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network (Comcast Ch. 269/753HD, Dish Network Ch. 158, DirecTV Ch. 221).
For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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