Dec. 2, 2013
LOGAN, Utah -
UTAH STATE at #24 FRESNO STATE
GAME THIRTEEN INFORMATION Inaugural Mountain West Championship Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 Kickoff: 8:10 p.m. (MT) Location: Fresno, Calif. Stadium: Bulldog (41,031) Series: FS leads, 16-10-1 TV: CBS Andrew Catalon (Play-by-Play) Aaron Taylor (Analyst) Allie LaForce (Reporter) Radio: Utah State Sports Network Al Lewis (Play-by-Play) John Pappas (Analyst) Satellite Radio: Sirius Ch. 92/XM 192 Nate Kreckman (Play-by-Play) Mike Pritchard (Analyst) Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com Twitter Updates: /USUFootball YouTube: /USUAthletics Facebook: /USUFootball Tickets: (559) 278-DOGS (3647)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
With a victory against Fresno State, Utah State will win its second-straight outright league championship and its fourth in school history joining last year's team that won the Western Athletic Conference, and the 1921 and 1936 teams that won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Overall, USU has won or shared 11 league titles in school history (1921, 1936, 1946, 1960, 1961, 1978, 1979, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2012).
Utah State's current five-game winning streak is tied for the ninth-longest winning streak in school history and tied for the 11th-longest active winning streak in the nation. The 1961 team holds the school record with nine-straight wins.
Utah State's eight wins this season are tied for the fourth-most in school history, and with a win against Fresno State will tie the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history. USU's 2012 team set the single-season school record for wins with 11.
With a victory against Fresno State, Matt Wells will set the single-season school record for wins by a first year head coach, bettering the previous record set by Tony Knap whose Aggies went 8-2 in 1963.
Utah State is 4-2 on the road this year and has won 11 of its last 16 road games overall, including each of its last four. USU has also won 11 straight road games against league opponent dating back to 2011.
Utah State has won 24 of its last 31 games overall and those seven losses during its last 31 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.
True freshman quarterback Darell Garretson will make his sixth career start against Fresno State and is one of just 21 true freshmen at the FBS level to start at quarterback this year. Garretson has won his first five career starts, which is a USU school record bettering the previous record of four-straight wins to start a career set by Adam Kennedy in 2011, who ironically replaced an injured Chuckie Keeton just as Garretson has.
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the Mountain West and ninth in the nation with an average of 10.8 tackles per game, while senior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks second in the Mountain West and tied for 10th in the nation with an average of 1.42 passes defended per game.
UTAH STATE PLAYS NO. 24 FRESNO STATE IN INAUGURAL MOUNTAIN WEST CHAMPIONSHIP
Utah State (8-4, 7-1 MW) will play No. 24 Fresno State (10-1, 7-1 MW) in the inaugural Mountain West Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on CBS with Andrew Catalon (play-by-play), Aaron Taylor (analyst) and Allie LaForce (reporter) on the call. Satellite radio coverage will also be available on Sirius (Ch. 92) and XM (Ch. 192) with Nate Kreckman (play-by-play) and Mike Pritchard (analyst). Live audio of the game is also available on www.UtahStateAggies.com with Al Lewis (play-by-play) and John Pappas (analyst). 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 VERSUS RANKED OPPONENTS
Utah State is 2-50 all-time against Associated Press ranked teams, including a 1-39 road record. USU's last game against an AP top 25 team was on Nov. 17, 2011 when it posted a 48-41 overtime win at No. 19 Louisiana Tech. USU's other win against an AP top 25 opponent was on Nov. 2, 1991 when it defeated No. 25 Fresno State, 20-19, in Logan.
UTAH STATE ON NATIONAL TELEVISION
Utah State will be making its 11th appearances on national television this weekend as it has had games televised by ABC, ESPN, CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports 1 in 2013. USU also had two regionally televised games this year on ROOT Sports.
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 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 it 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 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 152 career starts between senior center Tyler Larsen (50), senior tackle Eric Schultz (44), senior guard Jamie Markosian (27), junior tackle Kevin Whimpey (24) and senior guard Sini Tauauve'a (7), 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).
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 8-4 on the season and won the Mountain Division of Mountain West with a 7-1 record following its 35-7 home win against Wyoming last weekend. Offensively, USU is led by senior running back Joey DeMartino who has carried the ball 180 times for 1,024 yards (85.3 ypg/5.7 ypc) with 12 touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has 51 catches for 832 yards (75.6 ypg/16.3 ypc) with four touchdowns, and freshman quarterback Darell Garretson is 97-of-154 passing for 1,127 yards (187.8 ypg) with nine touchdowns and four interceptions. Defensively, senior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 130 tackles (33-solo, 97-assist) including 10.0 for loss, while junior linebacker Zach Vigil has 107 tackles (37-solo, 70-assist) with 10.5 for loss, and sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has 76 tackles (33-solo, 43-assist) with 11.0 for loss. As a team, Utah State is averaging 33.9 points and 430.7 yards of total offense per game (241.2-passing, 189.5-rushing) and allowing 16.8 points and 321.4 yards of total offense per game (209.8-passing, 111.6-rushing). All-time, Utah State has a 514-512-31 (.501) record in 116 seasons.
UTAH STATE DURING ITS FIVE-GAME WINNING STREAK
During its current five-game winning streak, Utah State is averaging 33.6 points and 393.4 yards of total offense (204.4-passing, 189.0-rushing), while converting 48.8 percent of its third downs (40-82) and averaging 21.6 first downs per game. Defensively, USU is allowing just 10.2 points during its last five games and limiting its opponents to just 279.2 yards of total offense (192.2-passing, 187.0-rushing), while allowing its opponents to convert just 29.8 percent of its third downs (25-84) and average just 15.8 first downs per game. Furthermore, USU's opponents have scored just four touchdowns in 15 red zone opportunities (.267) during its last five games and have scored just seven times (.467) overall in the red zone. USU has also out-scored its opponents 92-23 in the first-half during its last five games. During its last five games, USU's defense has held four of those opponents to 10 or fewer points.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE HAS BEEN DOMINATE DURING ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State's defense has been dominate during its last two games in its 13-0 home win against Colorado State and its 35-7 home win against Wyoming. During its last two games, USU is holding its opponents to just 3.5 points and just 187.5 yards of total offense (154.5-passing, 33.0-rushing), while allowing its opponents to convert just 28.6 percent of its third downs (10-35). CSU entered its game against USU averaging 471.1 yards of total offense, including 214.8 yards on the ground, but was held to just 185 yards, including just 38 on the ground. Wyoming entered its game against USU averaging 498.5 yards of total offense, including 205.2 rushing yards, but was held to 190 total yards, including just 28 on the ground.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE HAS TRAVELED WELL IN 2013
Utah State's defense has played very well on the road in 2013 as it is allowing just 18.8 points and 356.8 yards of total offense (217.0-passing, 139.8-rushing) in six road games. USU has also limited its opponents to convert just 32.6 percent of its third downs (31-95) in six road games, while allowing just nine touchdowns on 23 red zone trips (.391).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE NOT ALLOWING POINTS FOLLOWING TURNOVERS
Utah State's defense has done an unbelievable job of not allowing points following turnovers this season as it has held its opponents to just 13 points following 12 USU turnovers this year. UNLV is the only team to score a touchdown on Utah State's defense this season following a turnover, while Air Force and Boise State each converted a field goal. Conversely, USU's offense has scored 59 points on 21 possessions following turnovers this year.
UTAH STATE'S RECORD WHEN IT HAS A PLAYER RUSH FOR 100 YARDS
Utah State has had six 100-yard rushers this season and a 100-yard rusher 36 times in the last five years, a span of 62 games. Prior to its current run, USU produced a 100-yard rusher just 23 times in its previous eight seasons. Overall, USU has won 14 straight games when it has had a 100-yard rusher with its last loss coming against Ohio in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Furthermore, Utah State is 8-0 this year 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 SENIOR CLASS IS WINNINGEST GROUP IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State's senior class now has 30 wins over the last four years (2010-13) to rank first all-time in school history. The previous school record was 26 set in 1962 and 2012.
UTAH STATE DURING ITS LAST 31 GAMES
Utah State has gone 24-7 during its last 31 games and those 24 wins during that time ranks tied for the third-most among any team in the Rocky Mountains or on the West Coast. Oregon has the most wins in the last 31 games among western teams with 27, followed by Stanford (25), Utah State (24), Boise State (24), Fresno State (21), BYU (21), USC (20), San Diego State (20), San José State (20), UCLA (19), Arizona State (19), Arizona (18), Oregon State (17), Washington (17) and Utah (15).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is bowl eligible for the third-straight year and has assured itself of back-to-back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1978-80. USU has never gone to three-straight bowl games and has played in back-to-back bowl games just three times in school history (1946-47, 1960-61, 2011-12).
UTAH STATE ONLY TEAM IN THE NATION WITH INTERCEPTIONS BY ITS FOUR STARTING LINEBACKERS
Utah State has gotten interceptions from each of its four starting linebackers this year and is the only team in the nation to accomplish this feat. Senior linebacker Jake Doughty intercepted a pass against Wyoming, junior linebacker Zach Vigil and redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil each intercepted a pass against Colorado State, and sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell intercepted a pass against Hawai'i. The only other teams who come close to this feat is Iowa and Oklahoma State who each start three linebackers who all have interceptions this season.
UTAH STATE HAS INTERCEPTED 14 PASSES IN ITS LAST EIGHT GAMES
After not intercepting a pass in each of its first four games of the season, Utah State has intercepted 14 passes in its last eight games. Against Wyoming, senior linebacker Jake Doughty intercepted a pass. Against Colorado State, junior linebacker Zach Vigil and redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil each intercepted a pass. At UNLV, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson intercepted a pass. Against Hawai'i, junior safeties Brian Suite and Frankie Sutera each intercepted a pass, along with sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell. Against Boise State, Lawson intercepted two passes, while Suite had one interception. Against BYU, senior cornerback Quinton Byrd intercepted a pass. And at San José State, senior safety Maurice Alexander, junior cornerback Jeremy Morris and Lawson each intercepted a pass.
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) and UNLV's Tim Cornett (29-115) are the only running backs to rush for 100 yards against the Aggies, while USU has allowed just eight rushing touchdowns in 12 games this year. Furthermore, USU has only allowed six rushes of 20 or more yards on the season as BYU had three, UNLV two and New Mexico one, with its longest rush allowed being 44 yards against BYU. Also, USU's longest rushing touchdown allowed this year was from seven yards against Boise State.
UTAH STATE CONTINUES TO OUT-SCORE OPPONENTS IN THE FIRST HALF
Utah State has a 229-111 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 22 of its last 27 games dating back to 2011 and is 19-3 in those contests when leading at the half, including a 7-1 record this year. USU has also led or been tied at the end of the first quarter in 19 of its last 27 games and is 17-2 in those contest, but 1-4 during its last 27 games when trailing at the end of the first period and at the end of the first half.
UTAH STATE HAS HELD 22 OF LAST 28 OPPONENTS WITHOUT A FIRST QUARTER TOUCHDOWN
Utah State has not allowed a first quarter touchdown in 22 of its last 28 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 six opponents (Weber State, San José State, New Mexico, Hawai'i, Colorado State, Wyoming) without a first quarter touchdown. Furthermore, USU has held six opponents this year (Weber State, San José State, New Mexico, Hawai'i, Colorado State, Wyoming) and 16 of its last 25 opponents without a first-half touchdown, while six of those 25 opponents have been held scoreless in the first-half.
UTAH STATE HAS BLOCKED EIGHT KICKS IN THE LAST TWO YEARS
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.
UTAH STATE HAS DONE A GREAT JOB WITH FIELD POSITION DURING ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State has taken full advantage of field position in its last two games. In its 13-0 win against Colorado State, CSU's average starting field position was its own 16 and USU's was its own 49. In its 35-7 win against Wyoming, UW's average starting field position was its own 24 and USU's was its own 38.
UTAH STATE SCORING DRIVES BREAKDOWN FOR 2013
Utah State has had 64 scoring drives on the season and the following is a breakdown of those scoring drives: 10-plus plays (21); five or fewer plays (22); three or fewer plays (7); one play (3); less than two minutes (21); over five minutes (7); 75-plus yards (22).
Utah State has had 57 explosive plays thus far in 2013 with 19 rushes and 38 receptions of at least 20 yards, which averages out to 4.75 explosive plays per game.
AGGIES PLAYING 13 GAMES IN EACH OF THE LAST THREE SEASONS
After not playing 13 games in each of its first 113 seasons, Utah State will have played 13 games in each of the past three seasons following this weekend.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson has scored two receiving touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and two punt return touchdowns this season and is the only player at the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) level to accomplish this feat.
VIGIL NAMED MOUNTAIN WEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week following his performance against Wyoming as he recorded a career-high 3.5 sacks and a career-best 4.0 tackles for loss as part of his seven total tackles in Utah State's 35-7 home win against Wyoming. Vigil, who also had one quarterback hurry in the game, accounted for minus 39 yards with his 4.0 tackles for loss. In all, Vigil helped the USU defense limit Wyoming to a season-low seven points and a season-low 190 yards of total offense as UW entered the game ranked No. 13 in the nation in total offense. Vigil was also named the College Sports Madness MW Defensive Player of the Week and an honorable mention national linebacker of the week by College Football Performance Awards. Overall, Vigil is the fifth Aggie and fourth defensive player to earn player of the week honors from the MW this year.
NATSON NAMED NATIONAL PUNT RETURNER OF THE WEEK
Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson was named the College Football Performance Awards National Punt Returner of the Week following his performance against Wyoming last weekend as he returned four punts for 93 yards, including one 64 yards for a touchdown. Natson also had a 34-yard punt return in the game. Overall, it is the second time this year that Natson has won this honor also doing so following his performance against New Mexico (10/19).
BENTRUDE NAMED HONORABLE MENTION NATIONAL PUNTER OF THE WEEK
Junior punter Jaron Bentrude earned honorable mention honors from College Football Performance Awards for National Punter of the Week for the second straight week following his performance against Wyoming as he punted six times for an average of 43.3 yards with a long of 50 yards and had five of his punts downed inside the 20, including one inside the five.
BENTRUDE PUNTING EXTREMELY WELL DURING HIS LAST TWO GAMES
Junior punter Jaron Bentrude has punted extremely well during his last two games as he has punted 15 times for an average of 40.1 yards with 13 of his punts downed inside the 20 and four of his punts downed inside the 10. Against Colorado State, he had a career-high eight punts downed inside the 20, with three of them downed inside the 10. Those eight punts downed inside the 20 resulted in CSU having an average starting field position of its own 16 during the game, while USU's average starting field position was its own 49. Overall, Bentrude punted nine times in the game for an average of 37.9 yards with a long of 53 yards. Against Wyoming, Bentrude punted six times for an average of 43.3 yards with a long of 50 yards and had five of his punts downed inside the 20, including one inside the five. On the season, Bentrude now has 28 punts downed inside the 20 and 12 downed inside the 10.
DEMARTINO HAS RUSHED FOR 100 YARDS FOUR TIMES IN HIS LAST FIVE GAMES
Senior running back Joey DeMartino recorded his fourth 100-yard rushing game in his last five outings in his last game as he rushed for 112 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown against Wyoming. Against Colorado State, he had a career-high 35 carries for 127 yards with one touchdown. At UNLV, DeMartino rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries and scored one touchdown. Against Hawai'i, he carried the ball 20 times for 104 yards and scored one touchdown. At New Mexico, DeMartino rushed for a career-high 144 yards on just 12 carries and tied his career-high with three rushing touchdowns (32, 38, 8). 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. DeMartino was also the first Aggie to score four touchdowns in a game (vs. UNM) since Robert Turbin did so against Colorado State in 2011. Overall, DeMartino has 12 rushing touchdowns this year and 13 in his career, to go along with six 100-yard rushing games. In his last five games, DeMartino is averaging 112.4 yards rushing with seven touchdowns as he has carried the ball 106 times for 562 yards (5.3 ypc).
DOUGHTY RECORDS 12TH CAREER DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLE OUTING IN WYOMING GAME
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty had 10 tackles in his last outing against Wyoming, giving him eight double-digit tackle games this year and 12 in his career. Doughty also recorded his first interception of the season and the second of his career against the Cowboys.
UTAH STATE TEAM NOTABLES VERSUS WYOMING
Utah State has now won 10 straight games during the month of November and 12 of its last 13 overall during the month of November... USU improved to 67-37-3 all-time on Senior Day... USU held Wyoming to just 28 net yards rushing, which is a season-low by a USU opponent and the fewest since limiting San Jose State to just four net yards rushing in 2012... USU also held the Cowboys to a season-low seven points and a season-low 190 yards of total offense
NOTABLES FROM THE WYOMING GAME
Aggies who made their first career start include junior wide receiver Ronald Butler and junior wide receiver Shaan Johnson... Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson tied his career-high with three touchdown passes to give him nine touchdown passes this season and in his career... Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen tied his career-high with six receptions... Freshman tight end Wyatt Houston recorded his second touchdown reception of the season and his career... Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall caught his fifth touchdown pass of the season and his career... Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson caught his second touchdown pass of the season and the third of his career... Senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i had a career-high seven tackles... Senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright had a career-high 11 tackles, including a career-high 2.5 for loss... Sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen recorded 0.5 sacks to give him 1.5 sacks this year and 6.5 sacks in his career... Redshirt freshman cornerback Marquan Ellison recovered his first career fumble.
REYNOLDS RANKS 25TH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RECEIVING YARDS
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds has 1,176 career receiving yards on 88 career receptions (13.4 ypc) to rank 25th all-time in school history. Overall, Reynolds is one of just 31 players in school history to record 1,000 career receiving yards. The school record for career receiving yards is 2,943 set by Kendal Smith (1985-88).
DEMARTINO RANKS 21ST ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING YARDS
Senior running back Joey DeMartino became the 26th player in school history to rush for 1,000 career yards against Colorado State (11/23) and now ranks 21st all-time at Utah State with 1,181 rushing yards on 209 carries (5.7 ypc). DeMartino is now just 12 rushing yards shy of tying David Fiefia (2000-03) for 20th-place with 1,193 career rushing yards, 13 rushing yards shy of tying Profail Grier (1993-94) for 19th-place with 1,194 career rushing yards, 54 rushing yards shy of tying Archie Gibson (1972-73) for 18th-place with 1,193 career rushing yards, 71 rushing yards shy of tying Demetrius Brown (1986-89) for 17th-place with 1,252 career rushing yards, and 132 yards shy of tying Michael Smtih (2009-11) for 16th-place with 1,313 career rushing yards. The school record for career rushing yards is 3,933 set by Abu Wilson (1992-96).
DEMARTINO RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RUSHING AVERAGE
Senior running back Joey DeMartino has a career rushing average of 5.7 yards per carry (1,181 yards on 209 attempts) to rank eighth all-time in school history. The school record for career rushing average is 7.1 yards per carry set by Michael Smith (2009-11).
VAN LEEUWEN RANKS 28TH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN RECEIVING YARDS
Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen became the 31st player in school history to record 1,000 career receiving yards against UNLV (11/9) and he now has 87 receptions for 1,114 career receiving yards (12.8 ypr) to rank 28th all-time in school history. Van Leeuwen is now 42 yards shy of tying Eric McPherson (1980-82) for 27th-place with 1,156 career receiving yards, 58 yards shy of tying Fred Fernandes (1979-83) for 26th-place with 1,172 career receiving yards, 62 yards shy of tying teammate Travis Reynolds (2010-13) for 25th-place with 1,176 career receiving yards, and 67 yards shy of tying Mike Lee (1992-93) for 24th-place with 1,181 career receiving yards. The school record for career receiving yards is 2,943 set by Kendal Smith (1985-88).
DOUGHTY RANKS 18TH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN TACKLES
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty has recorded 287 tackles (93-solo, 194-assist) during his career to rank 18th all-time in school history. Doughty is now four tackles shy of tying Kyle Gallagher (2007-11) for 17th-place all-time at USU with 291 tackles, and seven tackles shy of tying Tony D'Amato (1997-98) for 16th-place with 294 tackles. The school record for tackles is 446 set by Bobby Wagner (2008-11) and Del Lyles (1988-91).
NATSON RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PUNT RETURN AVERAGE
Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson has returned 31 punts for 351 yards this season, and that average of 11.3 yards per return ranks second all-time in school history. The school record for career punt return average is 14.1 yards per return set by Kevin Robinson (2004-07).
FACKRELL RANKS TIED FOR NINTH ALL-TIME IN CAREER INTERCEPTION RETURN YARDS
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell has intercepted four passes in his Utah State career for 125 yards, which ranks tied for ninth all-time in school history along with Rob Fuhriman (1972-74). Fackrell is also the only linebacker among USU's top 10 career leaders in this category. The school record for career interception return yards is 373 set by Henry King (1965-66).
DIAZ RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN FIELD GOAL PERCENTAGE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 24-of-32 (.750) on field goals during his Utah State career and that percentage ranks third all-time in school history behind Russ Moody (1988-89) who was 22-of-26 (.846) on field goal attempts and behind Doug Beach (1990-92) who was 22-of-29 (.759) on field goal attempts
DIAZ RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN FIELD GOALS MADE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 24-of-32 (.750) in field goals during his Utah State career and those 24 career field goals made rank eighth all-time in school history. Diaz is now two made field goals shy of tying Al Knapp (1973-74) for seventh all-time with 26 made field goals. The school record for made field goals in a career is 59 set by Brad Bohn (1997-2000). Diaz also ranks ninth all-time in school history with 32 field goal attempts and is two attempts shy of tying Michael Doyle (1970-72) for eighth all-time in school history in that category with 34. The school record for field goal attempts is 89 set by Brad Bohn (1997-2000).
DIAZ RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PAT PERCENTAGE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 88-of-89 on extra points during his Aggie career and his career PAT percentage of 98.9 percent ranks third all-time in school history, while his 88 extra points made and his 89 extra point attempts rank 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 extra points made is 107 set by Brad Bohn (1997-2000), and Bohn also holds the school record for extra point attempts with 119. Willie Beecher (1981-84) and Russ Moody (1988-89) both hold the school record for career PAT percentage at 1.000 percent.
DEMARTINO BECOMES 17TH PLAYER IN SCHOOL HISTORY TO RUSH FOR 1,000 YARDS IN A SEASON
Senior running back Joey DeMartino has rushed for 1,024 yards on 180 attempts (5.7 ypc) thus far in 2013 and is just the 17th player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single-season. Overall, USU has had a 1,000 yard rusher in each of the last three seasons as Kerwynn Williams rushed for 1,512 yards in 2012 and Robert Turbin rushed for 1,517 yards in 2011, while Turbin also rushed for 1,296 yards in 2009 giving USU a 1,000-yard rusher in four of the last five years. All-time, USU has only had back-to-back-to-back 1,000 yard rushers three times in school history from 1973-75, from 1999-2001, and during its last three years. In 1973, Archie Gibson rushed for 1,150 yards, while Louie Giammona had 1,534 rushing yards in 1974 and 1,454 rushing yards in 1975. In 1999, Demario Brown rushed for a single-season school record 1,534 yards, while Emmett White rushed for 1,322 yards in 2000 and 1,361 yards in 2001.
DEMARTINO ONE RUSHING TOUCHDOWN SHY OF ENTERING SINGLE SEASON TOP 10
Senior running back Joey DeMartino has scored 12 rushing touchdowns on the season and is just one rushing touchdown shy of tying Robert Turbin (2009), Emmet White (2000, 2001) and Tom Larscheid (1960) for ninth-place all-time at USU with 13 rushing touchdowns in a single season. The school record for single-season rushing touchdowns is 19 set by Turbin in 2011.
DEMARTINO RANKS NINTH ALL-TIME IN YARDS PER CARRY FOR A SINGLE SEASON
Senior running back Joey DeMartino has carried the ball 180 times for 1,024 yards thus far in 2013 for an average of 5.7 yards per attempt, which ranks ninth all-time in school history for a single season. The school record for rushing yards per attempt for a single season is 8.4 set by Tom Larscheid in 1960.
DOUGHTY RECORDS 100-PLUS TACKLES IN BACK-TO-BACK SEASONS
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty has recorded 130 tackles (33-solo, 97-assist) thus far in 2013 marking the 59th time in school history that a player has recorded 100 or more tackles in a single-season.Doughty concluded the 2012 season with 109 tackles and is one of just 15 players in school history to record multiple season with at least 100 tackles. Aggies with three seasons of 100-plus tackles include Bobby Wagner (2008-11), Jesse Busta (1999-2002), Brent Passey (1997-2000) and Del Lyles (1988-91), while Aggies with two seasons of 100-plus tackles includes Zach Vigil (2011-pres.), Jake Hutton (2005-08), Blake Eagal (1997-2000), Tony D'Amato (1997-98), Johndale Carty (1995-98), David Gill (1993-96), Jermaine Younger (1990-93), Al Smith (1984-86), James Jenkins (1983-85), Chuck Detwiler (1966-68) and Doughty.
DOUGHTY CLOSING IN ON SINGLE-SEASON TOP 10 IN TACKLES
Senior linebacker Jake Doughty has recorded 130 tackles (33-solo, 97-assist) thus far in 2013 and now is just eight tackles shy of tying Brian Longuevan (1974), Al Smith (1985), Donald Miller (1987) and Johndale Carty (1996) for eight-place on the USU single-season tackles list with 138. The single-season school record for tackles is 170 set by Tony D'Amato in 1998. Overall, Doughty has eight double-digit tackle games this year and 12 in his career,
VIGIL RECORDS 100-PLUS TACKLES IN BACK-TO-BACK SEASONS
Junior linebacker Zach Vigil has recorded 107 tackles (37-solo, 70-assist) thus far in 2013 marking the 60th time in school history that a player has recorded 100 or more tackles in a single-season.Vigil concluded the 2012 season with 105 tackles and is one of just 15 players in school history to record 100 or more tackles multiple times during a career. Overall, Vigil has six double-digit tackle outings this year and 11 in his career.
DIAZ RANKS SECOND IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN SINGLE-SEASON PAT'S MADE AND ATTEMPTED
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is currently 48-of-49 on extra points this season to rank second all-time in school history in both categories for a single season. Current senior placekicker Josh Thompson holds the single-season school records for extra points made (57) and attempted (58) set during the 2011 season. Diaz's extra point percentage of .979 this year is currently ninth all-time in school history for a single-season.
DIAZ RANKS TIED FOR NINTH IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN SINGLE-SEASON FIELD GOALS MADE
Junior placekicker Nick Diaz is 14-of-19 (.737) on field goals thus far in 2013 and those 14 made field goals are tied with Dane Kidman (2002), Brad Bohn (2000) and Doug Beach (1999) for eighth all-time at USU for a single season. Diaz is also one field goal attempt shy of tying Bohn (2000), Micah Knorr (1994) and Dene Garner (1985) for ninth all-time with 20 attempts in a single-season.
FACKRELL RANKS 10TH ALL-TIME IN SINGLE SEASON INTERCEPTION RETURN YARDS
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell currently ranks 10th all-time at Utah State in interception return yards for a single-season following his 99-yard interception return for a touchdown against Hawai'i (11/2). The single-season school record for interception return yards is 193 set by Henry King in 1965.
DID YOU KNOW?
Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson is 97-of-154 passing this season for a completion percentage of 63.0 percent. With three more completions, Garretson will qualify for USU's single-season completion percentage top 10 and his current completion percentage of 63.0 percent would rank fourth all-time in school history behind Chuckie Keeton who completed 69.4 percent of his passes this season to rank first all-time, Keeton who completed 67.6 percent of his passes in 2012, and Leon Jackson III who completed 65.4 percent of his passes in 2007.
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 37TH IN THE NATION IN SCORING OFFENSE
Utah State is averaging 33.9 points per game to rank fourth in the Mountain West and tied for 37th in the nation. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 37th in the nation in passing efficiency (141.7), fifth in the MW and 33rd in the nation in completion percentage (.633), sixth in the MW and 41st in the nation in rushing offense (189.5 ypg), sixth in the MW and 49th in the nation in total offense (430.7 ypg), seventh in the MW and tied for 60th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.9 pg), and 10th in the MW and 55th in the nation in passing offense (241.2 ypg).
UTAH STATE RANKS SEVENTH IN THE NATION IN SCORING DEFENSE
Utah State's defense is allowing just 16.8 points per game to rank first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 11th in the nation in total defense (321.4 ypg), first in the MW and 11th in the nation in rushing defense (111.6 ypg), first in the MW and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (109.2), first in the MW and 23rd in the nation in passing defense (209.8 ypg), and third in the MW and tied for 38th in the nation in sacks (2.4 pg).
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 20TH IN THE NATION IN TURNOVER MARGIN
Utah State currently ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for 20th in the nation with a turnover margin of plus 0.67 as it has 23 takeaways and 15 turnovers on the season, as those 15 turnovers rank 19th nationally.
UTAH STATE RANKS FIRST IN THE NATION IN PUNT RETURN DEFENSE
Utah State ranks first in the nation in punt return defense as it is allowing minus 1.33 yards per punt return. USU also ranks first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation in kickoff return defense as it is allowing 17.81 yards per kick return. USU also ranks fifth in the MW and tied for 33rd in the nation in kickoff returns (23.0 ypr), fifth in the MW and tied for 33rd in the nation in net punting (38.2 ypk), and fifth in the MW and 39th in the nation in punt returns (10.3 ypr).
UTAH STATE RANKS SEVENTH IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE DEFENSE, INCLUDING SECOND IN TDS ALLOWED
Utah State has allowed 25-of-36 (.694) scoring opportunities in the red zone this year to rank first in the Mountain West and seventh nationally. Overall, USU has allowed only 14 touchdowns on 36 trips into the red zone (.389), which ranks second in the nation, while its opponents have converted 11-of-12 field goals, while forcing four turnovers and taking the ball over on downs five times and having the half end once.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS SEVENTH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN CONVERSIONS
Utah State's defense is limiting its opponents to just 62 first downs on 199 third-down attempts (.312) to rank first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation. In 2012, USU held its opponents to just 32.9 percent conversions (73-of-222) on third downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS EIGHTH IN THE NATION IN FORCING THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State ranks eighth in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it has forced 66 three-and-outs on 149 drives, which averages out to 44.3 percent of the time and 5.50 per game.
UTAH STATE RANKS 21ST IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State has converted 94-of-199 third downs (.472) to rank first in the Mountain West and 21st in the nation. In 2012, USU converted 45.3 percent of its third downs (82-of-181).
UTAH STATE RANKS TIED FOR 47TH IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE OFFENSE
Utah State is 47-for-55 (.855) on red zone opportunities to rank sixth in the Mountain West and 47th nationally. Overall, USU has scored 37 touchdowns and converted 10-of-14 field goals in the red zone, while turning it over on downs three times and having the half end once.
UTAH STATE RANKS 12TH IN THE NATION IN TACKLES FOR LOSS
Utah State ranks third in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation with an average of 7.7 tackles for loss per game.
AGGIE SAFETIES AMONG TOP TACKLERS IN MOUNTAIN WEST AT POSITION
Senior free safety Maurice Alexander is averaging 6.2 tackles per game and junior strong safety Brian Suite is averaging 4.8 tackles per game and the duo ranks first and fourth, respectively, for tackles among safeties in the Mountain West.
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE MOUNTAIN WEST AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks second in the Mountain West and tied for 10th in the nation in passes defended (1.42 pg), and tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 42nd in the nation in interceptions (0.33 pg). Senior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks third in the MW and ninth in the nation in tackles (10.8 pg). Junior linebacker Zach Vigil ranks sixth in the MW and tied for 39th in the nation in tackles (8.9 pg), and tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 88th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.17 pg). Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks 30th in the MW in tackles (6.3 pg). Senior running back Joey DeMartino ranks fourth in the MW and 26th in the nation in rushing touchdowns (1.0 pg), and fifth in the MW and 48th in the nation in rushing (85.3 ypg). Senior safety Maurice Alexander ranks 31st in the MW in tackles (6.2 pg). Sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson ranks fourth in the MW and 22nd in the nation in punt returns (11.3 ypr). Junior placekicker Nick Diaz ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 41st in the nation in field goals (1.17 pg), third in the MW in extra point percentage (98.0), sixth in the MW and 66th in the nation in field goal percentage (73.7), and tied for ninth in the MW and tied for 63rd in the nation in scoring (7.5 ppg). And junior punter Jaron Bentrude ranks ninth in the MW and 82nd in the nation in punting (39.6 yak).
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.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has started three different quarterbacks this year in juniors Chuckie Keeton and Craig Harrison, along with freshman Darell Garreston, which ranks tied for the second-most in the nation along with Hawai'i, Nevada, Temple, Western Kentucky and West Virginia. Air Force leads the nation in most quarterbacks started with four. Of those seven schools who have started at least three quarterbacks this year, Utah State and Western Kentucky have the best record at 8-4, while West Virginia is 4-8, Nevada is 4-8, Air Force is 2-10, Temple is 2-10 and Hawai'i is 1-11.
A LOOK AT FRESNO STATE
Fresno State is ranked No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 24 in the Associated Press poll and No. 23 in the latest BCS Standings as it finished the regular season 10-1 overall and 7-1 in Mountain West play following its 62-52 road loss at San José State last weekend. Offensively, FS is lead by senior quarterback Derek Carr who is 388-of-552 passing for 4,462 yards (405.6 ypg) with 45 touchdowns and five interceptions. Junior running back Josh Quezada has rushed for 733 yards on 132 carries (66.6 ypg/5.6 ypc) with six touchdowns, and sophomore wide receiver Davante Adams has 113 receptions for 1,477 yards (134.3 ypg/13.1 ypr) with 22 touchdowns. Defensively, junior linebacker Karl Mickelsen leads the team with 87 tackles (60-solo, 27-assist), while sophomore linebacker Kyrie Wilson has 73 tackles (45-solo, 28-assist). As a team, Fresno State is averaging 47.3 points and 580.6 yards of total offense per game (410.3-passing, 170.4-rushing) and allowing 30.2 points and 436.9 yards of total offense per game (280.5-passing, 156.5-rushing). Overall, FS returns 15 starters (O-7, D-8) and 36 lettermen from last year's team that went 9-4 overall and finished in a tie for first-place in the Mountain West with a 7-1 mark. The Bulldogs concluded their 2012 season with a 43-10 loss to SMU in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. Tim DeRuyter is 19-5 in his second year as the Bulldogs head coach.
UTAH STATE-FRESNO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Utah State is 10-16-1 all-time against Fresno State, including a 2-12-1 road record, as the Bulldogs have won five straight games played in the series and eight of the last nine overall. USU is 0-10-1 in its last 11 games played in Fresno with its last road win against the Bulldogs occurring on Oct. 25, 1980 by a final score of 14-0. The first game played in the series was on Oct. 18, 1952 in Fresno with the Bulldogs winning, 27-21. The last time USU defeated FS was on Oct. 7, 2006 in Logan by a final score of 13-12.
TOP AGGIE PERFORMERS VERSUS FRESNO STATE
Rushing Yards: Rick Parros (1978), 253
Passing Yards: Brett Stevens (1984), 340
Receiving Yards: Kendal Smith (1985), 142
UTAH STATE AND FRESNO STATE AS CONFERENCE FOES
Utah State and Fresno State have spent 23 years as league foes as both schools were members of the Big West Conference from 1978-93 and members of the Western Athletic Conference from 2005-11. As Big West members, USU went 7-7-1 against the Bulldogs including a 2-5-1 road record. As members of the WAC, USU was 1-6-0 against FS including a 0-4-0 road record.
UTAH STATE-FRESNO STATE SERIES 11TH-MOST PLAYED IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State and Fresno State will be meeting for the 28th time in series history this weekend, which will be tied for 11th-most played series in USU history along with Pacific.
NOTABLES ON UTAH STATE VS. FRESNO STATE SERIES HISTORY
Even though Utah State has lost five-straight games to Fresno State, four of those five games have been decided by 11 or fewer points and two of those games were decided by four or fewer points. During its last five meetings with the Bulldogs, USU has lost by an average of just 8.8 points per game (34.2-25.4).
Matt Wells VERSUS FRESNO STATE
Matt Wells will be facing Fresno State for the first time as a head coach and for the fourth time as an assistant coach as he faced the Bulldogs once while at USU and twice at Tulsa.
FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Utah State has 12 players in its program from the state of California, which is the second-most on the team behind the 59 players in the program from Utah. Those players from the Golden State currently in USU's program include Ricky Ali'ifua (San Leandro), Andrew Chen (Calabasas), Joey DeMartino (San Diego), Nick Diaz (Redondo Beach), Torrey Green (Riverside), Joe Hill (Fullerton), Mark Hutchinson (Corona), Karris Johnson (San Ramon), Shaan Johnson (Cerritos), Alex Marsaw (Torrance), Paul Piukala (Oakland) and Jake Simonich (Danville).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE GOLDEN STATE
Utah State is 55-67-2 (.452) all-time against teams from California, including a 21-44-2 (.328) road record. Overall, USU is 21-7 versus Pacific, 15-20-1 against San Jose State, 10-16-1 versus Fresno State, 8-6 against Cal State Fullerton, 1-10 versus San Diego State, 1-0 against Cal State Northridge, 0-5 versus USC, and 0-1 against Stanford, St. Vincent's and UCLA.
Utah State has 59 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Fresno State has 83 players on its roster from California.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State offensive graduate assistant David Fiefia rushed for 116 yards on 16 carries at Fresno State in 2001. Overall, it was Fiefia's first of four 100-yard rushing games in his USU career.
AGGIES IN DECEMBER
Utah State is 4-13-0 all-time in games played during December and 1-0-0 all-time in known games played on Dec. 7.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH FRESNO STATE
Utah State head coach Matt Wells was an assistant coach at Navy (1997-2001) at the same time that Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter was an assistant coach for the Midshipmen as DeRuyter was the defensive coordinator at Navy from 1999-2000 and the secondary coach in 2001. USU assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mark Weber was the offensive line coach at Fresno State from 2004-05. And USU offensive graduate assistant Cole Popovich was a four-year starter (2004-07) at offensive guard for Fresno State earning Freshman All-American honors in 2004. Popovich earned his bachelor's degree from Fresno State in liberal studies in 2008.
MORE UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH FRESNO STATE
Utah State Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes played basketball at Fresno State from 1984-85 and averaged 7.4 rebounds during his senior year to lead the team. He also earned second-team all-Pacific Coast Athletic Association honors as a senior. Barnes also ranks seventh all-time in FS history with 92 career blocks and 10th all-time in shooting percentage at 51.9 percent. Barnes received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Fresno in 1986, as well as his master's degree in 1993 in physical education with an emphasis in athletic administration. His wife, Jody, is also a FS alum as she was a member of the track team.
UTAH STATE SETS SINGLE-SEASON ATTENDANCE RECORD AT ROMNEY STADIUM
Utah State had a school record three sellouts in 2013, marking the first time in the 46-year history of Romney Stadium that it has recorded three-straight sellouts, and concluded the season by setting a single-season school record for attendance with 139,576 fans for an average of 23,263 fans per game. The previous attendance record was set in 1996 when 129,206 fans attended six games at Romney Stadium for an average of 21,534 per game.
UTAH STATE AT ROMNEY STADIUM
With its 35-7 home win against Wyoming, Utah State has now won 12 of its last 14 home games overall and eight of its last nine home games against conference foes. Overall, USU is 124-98 (.559) all-time at Romney Stadium.
UTAH STATE HAS BEEN DOMINANT IN LEAGUE PLAY OVER LAST THREE YEARS
Utah State has won 18 of its last 19 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 SETS SINGLE-SEASON RECORD WITH SEVEN CONFERENCE WINS
Utah State's seven league wins in 2013 are a school record, bettering the six league wins set in 1936 and 2012.
FORMER WALK-ONS PAYING DIVIDENDS AT UTAH STATE
Utah State has had great success with its walk-on program in recent years including five players who are now starting in senior linebacker Jake Doughty, senior offensive guard Jamie Markosian, junior linebacker Zach Vigil, junior defensive end B.J. Larsen, and junior punter Jaron Bentrude. Other former walk-ons who have earned scholarships include senior safety Clayton Christensen, senior placekicker Josh Thompson, junior safety Frankie Sutera, sophomore defensive end Jordan Nielsen, freshman placekicker Jake Thompson, freshman quarterback Jordan Brown and freshman wide receiver Tyler Weese.
Todd Orlando NOMINATED FOR BROYLES AWARD
Utah State defensive coordinator and safeties coach Todd Orlando is a nominee for the 2013 Broyles Award. Orlando is one of 40 coaches nationwide to be nominated for the award. Among the nominees are three other Mountain West assistant coaches in Colorado State offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin, Fresno State offensive coordinator Dave Schramm and San José State offensive coordinator Jimmie Dougherty. 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. The award will be presented Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock, Ark.
BY THE NUMBERS
Utah State is limiting its opponents to just 321.4 total yards of offense per game, which currently ranks as the fewest total yards allowed by an Aggie defense since 1973. USU is also allowing just 111.6 rushing yards per game, which is the fewest allowed by an Aggie defense since 1968.
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 has thrown a total of just six interceptions thus far in 2013 to rank fourth in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation. Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson has thrown four interceptions in 154 attempts, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton threw two picks in 196 attempts, and junior quarterback Craig Harrison has not thrown a pick in 65 attempts.
LAST MEETING VS. FRESNO STATE
FRESNO, Calif. - Utah State football opened the game with a 14-0 first quarter lead, but could not hold on, falling to Fresno State, 31-21, on Oct. 15, 2011 in a Western Athletic Conference game at Bulldog Stadium.
The Aggies amassed 454 yards of total offense, including 260 on the ground, led by junior running back Robert Turbin's 145 yards rushing with one touchdown, his fifth-straight 100-yard rushing outing. Senior running back Michael Smith added 71 yards and a touchdown, while added 52 yards receiving with another score. Freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 16-of-32 passing for 204 yards with one touchdown.
Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner totalled eight tackles, his first game this season without double-digit tackles. Fellow senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher and sophomore cornerback Nevin Lawson had six stops apiece.
Fresno State's Robbie Rouse ran for 140 yards on 24 carries, while Derek Carr was 23-of-39 passing for 248 yards with two touchdownss. Josh Harper and Jalen Saunders had 61 yards receiving each, with Saunders and Isaiah Burse logging touchdown catches. Terrance Dennis had a game-high nine tackles to lead the Bulldog defense.
Utah State opened the scoring with a 47-yard pass play from Keeton to Smith, getting some nice blocks by the offensive line and wide receivers for a hole to burst through and dash to the end zone. Sophomore placekicker Josh Thompson's extra point made it 7-0 USU at the 12:20 mark of the first quarter.
After junior safety McKade Brady recovered a fumble to thwart a Fresno State drive at the Bulldogs' 6-yardline, the Aggies marched down the field and scored on Turbin's 59-yard dash down the sideline. Thompson's upright split put USU ahead 14-0 at the 6:10 mark of the first frame.
Fresno State countered to get on the board with a 23-yard pass play from Carr to Burse to pull the Bulldogs within 14-7 with 4:07 on the first quarter clock. After holding USU to a punt, Fresno State closed out the first quarter and overlapped into the second quarter, with Carr capping the drive with a 1-yard plunge. Kevin Goessling's second extra point of the night knotted the score at 14-all with 12:07 to play in the second quarter.
Sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams had a 52-yard return on the ensuing kick to give USU good field possession, then Smith again broke through a nicely created hole by his blockers and darted 46-yards for the score. Thompson hit the extra point for a 21-14 Aggie lead with 11:24 left in the first half. That would remain the score into halftime.
After the teams exchanged punts to open the second half, Fresno State closed the gap to 21-17 with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter with a 39-yard field goal.
Utah State drove down and was threatening to score, but the drive stalled to end the third quarter and the fourth frame opened with a blocked field goal attempt by Thompson.
The Bulldogs countered with an 80-yard dive, capped by a wild 23-yard pass play from Carr to Saunders for a 24-21 Fresno State lead. USU fumbled on its next possession, giving Fresno State a short field with only 23 yards to go, needing seven plays to reach payturf as Rouse darted in from 9-yards out for a 31-21 Bulldogs' lead with 8:05 left, for the final scoring.
Utah State tried a 53-yard field goal in the waning minutes, but freshman placekicker Jacob Haueter's kick hit the upright, and Fresno State ran out 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.
Nov. 2 (W, 47-10 vs. Hawai'i)
Kyler Fackrell - Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards National Linebacker of the Week.
Nick Diaz - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Placekicker of the Week.
Jake Thompson - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Specialist of the Week.
Nov. 9 (W, 28-24 at UNLV)
Nevin Lawson - Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Jake Doughty - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week.
Nov. 23 (W, 13-0 vs. Colorado State)
Jaron Bentrude - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Punter of the Week.
Jake Doughty - College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week.
Nov. 30 (W, 35-7 vs. Wyoming)
Nick Vigil - Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Sports Madness Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week; College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week.
Bruce Natson - College Football Performance Awards Punt Returner of the Week.
Jaron Bentrude - College Football Performance Awards Honorable Mention National Punter of the Week.
GARRETSON SETS FRESHMAN SCHOOL RECORD FOR PASSING YARDS AGAINST HAWAI'I
Freshman quarterback Darell Garretson had a career-game against Hawai'i as he set the freshman school record for passing yards with 370 as he was 28-of-41 passing with three touchdowns, all of which are career-highs, to go along with one interception. He also rushed six times for 22 yards against UH. Garretson's 370 passing yards against Hawai'i are also the most by an Aggie quarterback this year and ranks as the 20th-most in a single-game in school history. The previous freshman record for passing yards was held by Brett Stevens who threw for 340 yards against Fresno State in 1985. Overall, Garretson is the first Aggie true freshman to start at quarterback since Chuckie Keeton started his first ever USU game at defending national champion Auburn in 2011. Furthermore, Garretson is the first USU true freshman to win his initial start (at New Mexico on Oct. 19) since Riley Nelson helped USU to a 13-12 win against Fresno State on Oct. 7, 2006.
RECAPPING THE WYOMING GAME
LOGAN, Utah - Senior running back Joey DeMartino recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season to go over 1,000 yards for the year and freshman quarterback Darell Garretson threw three touchdowns passes in leading Utah State (8-4, 7-1 MW) to a 35-7 home win against Wyoming (5-7, 3-5 MW) here on Senior Day on Nov. 30, 2013.
With the win, Utah State claimed the Mountain Division Championship and won the inaugural Bridger's Battle trophy in the newly named series with Wyoming.
DeMartino rushed 20 times for 112 yards with one touchdown, for his fourth 100-yard outing in his last five games, as well as putting him over 1,000 yards for the season. Garretson finished the game 20-of-29 passing for 156 yards and tied his career-high with three touchdown passes, while getting intercepted once.
Behind DeMartino, senior running back Robert Marshall had 10 carries for 46 yards, all of them coming on the final drive, as the Aggies ate up the final 9:15 of the game clock to secure the win.
Senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen had six catches for 45 yards, while sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson had six catches for 14 yards with one touchdown, and returned four punts for 93 yards, including a 64-yard touchdown. Sophomore wide receiver Brandon Swindall had two catches for 32 yards and a touchdown, and freshman tight end Wyatt Houston had one reception that resulted in a 6-yard touchdown as USU had nine different players catch a pass in the game.
Defensively, senior cornerback Tay Glover-Wright had a career-high 11 tackles, including a career-best 2.5 for loss, to go along with two pass breakups. Senior linebacker Jake Doughty added 10 stops for his eighth double-digit tackle outing of the season and 12th of his career, while senior nose guard AJ Pataiali'i finished with a career-best seven tackles. Doughty also intercepted his first pass of the season and second of his career in the first quarter, setting up USU's first score of the game.
Redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil also had a career game for Utah State as he posted a career-high 3.5 sacks and 4.0 tackles for loss as part of his seven tackles, to go along with one quarterback hurry.
Brett Smith was 16-of-29 passing for 162 yards with one touchdown and one interception to lead Wyoming, while Shaun Wicks had 40 yards rushing on 12 carries. Marqueston Huff led the Cowboys defense with 20 tackles.
Utah State finished with 310 yards of total offense (156-passing, 154-rushing) and Wyoming had just 190 yards (162-passing, 28-rushing).
Utah State opened the scoring on a 6-yard pass from Garretson to Houston with 6:17 on the first quarter clock, following Doughty's interception which gave the home team the ball at the Wyoming 27.
The Aggies added a special teams touchdown at the 7:30 mark of the second quarter on a 64-yard punt return by Natson for a 14-0 USU lead. Late in the half, DeMartino darted in from a yard out with 53 seconds left, and the Aggies went into halftime leading 21-0.
Midway through the third quarter, Garretson hit Natson in the end zone from 6-yards out to put Utah State on top, 28-0, at the 6:00 mark. Before the third quarter expired, Garretson connected with Swindall for another 6-yard touchdown to increase its advantage to 35-0.
Wyoming got on the board with a 60-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Dominic Rufran with 13:38 left in the fourth quarter to make the final score 35-7.
UTAH STATE 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.
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