No. 18 Utah State Faces Toledo In 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday Afternoon On ESPN
Dec. 9, 2012
LOGAN, Utah -
USU Game Notes vs. Toledo
Toledo Game Notes vs. USU
TOLEDO vs. #18 UTAH STATE
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
GAME THIRTEEN INFORMATION
Date: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012
Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. (MT)
Location: Boise, Idaho
Stadium: Bronco Stadium (38,000)
Surface: Blue FieldTurf
Series: First Meeting
Tom Hart (Play-by-Play)
Mike Bellotti (Analyst)
Quint Kessenich (Reporter)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
Utah State is playing in its second-straight Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (L, 24-23 vs. Ohio in 2011) and in its third bowl game in Boise (L, 35-19 vs. Cincinnati in 1997 Humanitarian Bowl), which is tied with Fresno State for the second-most bowl appearances all-time in Boise behind Boise State's four appearances.
Utah State is playing in consecutive bowl games for just the third time in school history as it played in the 1946 Raisin Bowl and 1947 Grape Bowl, and in the 1960 Sun Bowl and 1961 Gotham Bowl. Overall, this is USU's eighth bowl appearance in school history (1946 Raisin Bowl, 1947 Grape Bowl, 1960 Sun Bowl, 1961 Gotham Bowl, 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl) and USU is 1-6 in its previous seven bowl games.
Utah State is 15-3 in its last 18 games under head coach Gary Andersen, which is USU's best stretch since going 15-3 during the 1962-64 seasons. USU's three losses during its last 18 games have been by a combined six points as it lost to Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) and at BYU (6-3) this year. Prior to its current run, USU was 6-12 in its previous 18 games.
Utah State's current six-game winning streak is tied with Ball State, San Jose State and Vanderbilt for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation behind Notre Dame (12), Ohio State (12), Northern Illinois (12), Arkansas State (7) and San Diego State (7). That six-game winning streak is also tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in school history and longest since 1961.
Utah State has out-scored its opponents 131-6 in the first quarter this year allowing only field goals by San Jose State and UTSA, and USU is the only team in the country to not allow a first quarter touchdown on the year.
Utah State has a 244-54 scoring advantage in the first-half this season. In all, USU has held 10 of its 12 opponents scoreless in the first quarter and three opponents scoreless in the first half this season. Overall, USU had led at the half in all but one game this year (trailed BYU, 6-3), and has scored first in every game except at San Jose State (FG).
NO. 18 UTAH STATE PLAYS TOLEDO IN FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Utah State (10-2, 6-0 WAC), who is ranked 18th in the latest Associated Press Poll, 20th in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings, will conclude its 2012 season at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, Idaho against Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:30 p.m. (MT). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Tom Hart (play-by-play), Mike Belloti (analyst) and Quint Kessenich (reporter) on the call. Live streaming will also be available on ESPN3.com and the game can also be heard live nationally on ESPN Radio with Rich Cellini (play-by-play), Tom Ramsey (analyst) and Shelley Smith (reporter). Live stats will be available through NeuLion, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of USU's GameDay coverage.
UTAH STATE AT BRONCO STADIUM
Utah State will be playing in Bronco Stadium for the 12th time, including in its third bowl game, having played Cincinnati in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl and Ohio in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. USU has also faced Boise State at Bronco Stadium nine times (1975, 1982, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2010) as the two schools were members of the Big West Conference from 1996-2000.
UTAH STATE WILL WEAR A SPECIAL DECAL ON HELMETS FOR BOWL GAME
Utah State will be wearing a special decal during the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl as the No. 12 and the initials DB will appear inside a basketball on the back of its helmets in honor of Aggie junior basketball player Danny Berger who had a serious medical condition during practice on Tuesday (12/4). Berger was tended to on the court by USU assistant athletic trainer Mike Williams who performed CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and used an AED (automated external defibrillator) to revive Berger. Berger, who was life-flighted to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray, Utah was released from the hospital on Saturday (12/8).
UTAH STATE ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2012
Utah State has had one of its best overall seasons in school history in 2012 as it set the single-season school record for wins with 10, bettering the 1960 and 1961 teams that won nine games. USU also set a single-season school record with its six home wins, bettering the 1931, 1935 and 1972 teams that all won five home games. USU went 6-0 at home in 2012 for its first undefeated home season since 1982 (4-0) and just its fourth in the 45 years of the facility along with the 1968 (4-0) and 1972 (5-0) teams. USU also posted the school's first-ever 6-0 conference mark and won six league games for just the second time in school history joining the 1936 RMAC Championship team that went 6-0-1 in league play. USU also recorded its first ever road win against a ranked opponent when it posted a 48-41 overtime win at then No. 19 Louisiana Tech. And finally, USU has appeared in the Associated Press Poll in three-straight weeks in 2012 for the first time in school history, not to mention being ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll and Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings for the first time ever.
UTAH STATE WINS FIRST OUTRIGHT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SINCE 1936
Utah State won its first outright league championship since 1936 during the 2012 season and just its third in school history joining the 1921 and 1936 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championship (RMAC) teams. Overall, USU has now won or shared 11 league titles in school history (1921, 1936, 1946, 1960, 1961, 1978, 1979, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2012).
UTAH STATE BOWL HISTORY
Utah State enters the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl with a 1-6 bowl record all-time as it lost to San Jose State, 20-0, in the 1946 Raisin Bowl (Fresno, Calif.); lost to Pacific, 35-21, in the 1947 Grape Bowl (Lodi, Calif.); lost to New Mexico State, 20-13, in the 1960 Sun Bowl (El Paso, Texas); lost to Baylor, 24-9, in the 1961 Gotham Bowl (New York City); defeated Ball State, 42-33, in the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl II; lost to Cincinnati, 35-19, in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; and lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
UTAH STATE'S SENIOR CLASS HAS 25 WINS TO RANK SECOND ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY
With its 45-9 win against Idaho in its home and regular season finale, Utah State's senior class now has 25 wins over the last four years (2009-12) to rank as the second-winningest senior class in school history along with the 1963 team. The school record for wins by a senior class is 26 set in 1962 as that group won nine games in 1960 and 1961, and eight in 1962. Prior to the 1979 season, freshman were not eligible to play, meaning that seniors prior to 1982 only played three years.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State, who is ranked 18th in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll, 22nd in the latest ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll, and 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings, is 10-2 on the year and finished WAC play with a perfect 6-0 record after posting a 45-9 home win against Idaho in its regular season finale on Nov. 24. Offensively, USU is led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 254-of-376 passing for 3,144 yards (262.0 ypg) with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team with 1,277 rushing yards on 200 carries (106.4 ypg) with 12 touchdowns, and Williams leads the team with 43 catches for 663 yards (55.2 ypg) and five touchdowns. Defensively, junior linebacker Jake Doughty leads the team with 101 tackles (29-solo, 72-assist), including 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one interception and one fumble recovery. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 96 tackles (29-solo, 67-assist) with 9.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, one blocked kick and one forced fumble. And senior safety McKade Brady has 87 tackles (35-solo, 52-assist) with 2.0 tackles for loss and one forced fumble. As a team, USU is averaging 34.4 points and 460.5 yards of total offense per game (268.0-passing, 192.5-rushing) and allowing just 15.4 points and 322.7 yards of total offense (211.2-passing, 111.4-rushing).
UTAH STATE OFFENSIVELY DURING ITS LAST SIX GAMES
Utah State has played very well offensively during its last six games in wins at San Jose State (49-27), at home against New Mexico State (41-7), at UTSA (48-17), at home against Texas State (38-7), at No. 19 Louisiana Tech, and against Idaho (45-9). During its last six games, Utah State is averaging 44.8 points and 502.0 yards of total offense per game (284.8-passing, 217.2-rushing). USU is also 40-of-81 (.5494) on third downs during its last six games and averaging 7.3 yards per play. Individually, senior running back Kerwynn Williams has 97 carries for 740 yards (123.3 ypg) to go along with 20 receptions for 362 yards (60.3 ypg) during his last six games, while scoring 12 touchdowns (9-rushing, 3-receiving). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 126-of-1183 passing for 1,659 yards (276.5 ypg) with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions during his last six games, and also carried the ball 53 times for 298 yards (49.7 ypg) with seven touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Matt Austin has 20 receptions during the last six games for 342 yards (57.0 ypg) with two touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs has 19 receptions for 320 yards (53.3 ypg) with two touchdowns. Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett has 18 receptions in the last six games for 111 yards (18.5 ypg) with four touchdowns, while senior wide receiver Cameron Webb has 14 receptions for 166 yards (27.7 ypg) with one touchdown.
UTAH STATE DOMINATING THE FIRST-HALF IN ITS LAST FIVE GAMES
Utah State has been dominating the first-half of its last five games as it held a 28-0 lead against New Mexico State, a 27-3 lead at UTSA, a 35-0 lead against Texas State, a 17-3 lead at No. 19 Louisiana Tech, and a 21-6 lead against Idaho. During its last five games, USU is averaging 25.6 points in the first half to go along with 262.2 yards of total offense (179.8-passing, 82.4-rushing). Defensively, USU is allowing just 2.4 points and 156.4 yards of total offense (75.8-passing, 80.6-rushing) in the first half during its last five games.
UTAH STATE HAS NOT TRAILED IN ITS LAST FIVE GAMES
Through 12 games and 720 minutes of play this season, Utah State has led or been tied for all but 55:40 (92.3 %). USU began the season by never trailing against Southern Utah in a 34-3 win, and never trailed in its 27-20 overtime win against Utah. Against Wisconsin, USU led for the first 41:54 of that game before the Badgers took the lead late in the third quarter and neither team scored in the fourth quarter. USU then led for the entire game against Colorado State and trailed for just 3:21 during the second quarter against UNLV. Against BYU, USU led for the first 29:57 of the game before BYU scored a touchdown with three seconds remaining in the half. USU then trailed the entire second half. Against San Jose State, the Spartans scored a field goal and led for 4:10 before USU scored a touchdown on its first drive and never trailed the rest of the game. And in its last five games against New Mexico State, UTSA, Texas State, Louisiana Tech and Idaho, USU never trailed.
UTAH STATE SCORES 38-PLUS POINTS IN EACH OF ITS LAST SIX GAMES
With its 45-9 win against Idaho in its regular season finale, Utah State extended its own school record by scoring 38-plus points in six-straight games. During the first half of its last six games, USU has scored on 24 of its 36 possessions (.667) with 21 touchdowns and three field goals, while punting eight times, missing a field goal and throwing three interceptions.
UTAH STATE HAS BEEN EXPLOSIVE ON OFFENSE
Utah State has had 62 explosive plays this year (plays of 20-plus yards), including six rushes and eight passes of at least 50 yards. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team with 24 explosive plays (17-rushing, 7-receiving) and each of his last three receiving explosives have been for at least 50 yards (74, 76, 86). On the season, Utah State is averaging 5.2 explosive plays per game.
DID YOU KNOW?
Following Utah State's 45-9 home win against Idaho, head coach Gary Andersen is now 25-24 in his fourth year at USU and those 25 victories are tied for the sixth-most in school history along with Tony Knap (1963-66).
UTAH STATE RANKED 18TH IN ASSOCIATED PRESS POLL
Utah State football moved up two spots in the Associated Press (AP) Top 25 last week and is now ranked 18th in the nation. USU also moved up two spots in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll to be ranked 20th nationally, and up two spots in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Standings to be ranked 22nd nationally. In the AP poll, Utah State garnered 379 votes, up from 274 votes a week ago, when the Aggies were ranked 20th. In the coaches' poll, USU received 334 votes this week after getting 264 votes last week when it was ranked 22nd. With its national rankings, Utah State has now appeared in the Associated Press polls three-straight weeks for the first time in school history bettering the 1960 team that was ranked 18th and 19th nationally in back-to-back weeks. Prior to the 2012 season, the last time a Utah State team was nationally ranked was in 1978 when that Aggie team started the year with a 5-0 record and was 18th in the country in the United Press International (UPI) poll. As for the AP poll, it is the first time USU has been nationally ranked since finishing the 1961 season 10th in the country. Overall, it is just the sixth time in school history, including the third time this year, that USU has been nationally ranked in the weekly AP poll.
UTAH STATE'S RECORD AS AN ASSOCIATED PRESS NATIONALLY RANKED TEAM
Utah State is nationally ranked in the Associated Press (AP) Poll for just the sixth time in school history, including the third time this year, joining the 1960 team that was ranked 18th and 19th in consecutive week on Oct. 31 and Nov. 7, and the 1961 team that was ranked 10th on Dec. 4. All-time, USU is 3-1 when ranked in the AP poll as it defeated Wyoming (17-13) and Pacific (45-6) in 1960, lost to Baylor (24-9) in the 1961 Gotham Bowl, and defeated Idaho (45-9) in 2012.
UTAH STATE HAS SCORED TOUCHDOWNS ON ITS FIRST SERIES IN SEVEN GAMES THIS YEAR
Utah State has scored an offensive touchdown on its first series of the game seven times this year, including in five straight games before not scoring a touchdown on its first series against Idaho in its season finale. Against Louisiana Tech, Utah State scored a touchdown on its opening series of the game with its 1-play, 86-yard touchdown drive. USU also had a 6-play, 51-yard drive on its first series against Texas State, a 2-play, 5-yard touchdown drive on its first series at UTSA, a 1-play, 76-yard touchdown drive on its first series against New Mexico State, and a 13-play, 86-yard touchdown drive on its first series at San Jose State. USU also scored a touchdown on its first drive of the game against both Southern Utah (11-plays, 97-yards) and Colorado State (8-plays, 77-yards).
UTAH STATE HAS SCORED TOUCHDOWNS ON THE FIRST PLAY OF THE GAME TWICE THIS YEAR
Utah State has scored a touchdown on its first offensive play of the game twice in its last five outings including on an 86-yard screen pass from sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton to senior running back Kerwynn Williams at Louisiana Tech two games ago. Keeton and Williams also connected for a 76-yard touchdown on USU's first offensive play against New Mexico State. On the season, USU has had four one-play scoring drives, six two-play scoring drives, nine three-play scoring drives, seven four-play scoring drives, and seven five-play scoring drives for a total of 33 drives of five plays or less on the season out of a total of 58 scoring drives.
UTAH STATE HAS HAD 10 SCORING DRIVES OF AT LEAST 10 PLAYS THIS YEAR
Along with having 33 scoring drives of five plays or less, Utah State has also been able to control the clock at times and put together lengthy drives. On the season, Utah State has had 10 scoring drives of at least 10 plays, including a season-long 19-play, 85-yard touchdown drive at Colorado State. Utah State had 19 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2011; 15 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2010; and nine scoring drives of at least 10 plays in 2009 for a total of 53 scoring drives of at least 10 plays in Andersen's four years.
UTAH STATE BLOCKS SIXTH KICK OF THE YEAR AT LOUISIANA TECH
Utah State blocked its sixth kick of the season at Louisiana Tech as redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt in the second quarter. USU's first blocked kick of the season was by sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil who blocked a Utah punt that was recovered in the end zone by junior safety Clayton Christensen. The Aggies' second blocked kick of the year was by Nielsen who blocked an extra point in the Wisconsin game. USU's third blocked kick of the season was at BYU as junior defensive lineman Paul Piukala blocked a 34-yard field goal attempt. USU's fourth blocked kick of the year was against New Mexico State as redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt. And its fifth blocked kick of the year was at UTSA as junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright blocked a punt on UTSA's first series of the game.
UTAH STATE HAS FIVE INTERCEPTIONS IN ITS LAST TWO GAMES
Utah State has 12 interceptions on the season and five in its last two games as it recorded two against Louisiana Tech and three against Idaho. Those five picks in a two-game span are the most for USU since it had five against New Mexico State and Idaho in the final two games of the 2007 season. Those 12 interceptions in 2012 are its most since registering 13 in 2010. Furthermore, USU's three picks against Idaho are the most in a single game since it had three against Idaho in 2007.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has produced at least 500 yards of total offense six times this year, including in four of its last five games.
ANDERSEN NAMED WAC COACH OF THE YEAR
Fourth-year head coach Gary Andersen was named the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2012, becoming just the fourth coach in school history to earn conference coach of the year honors along with Bruce Snyder (1978), Chuck Shelton (1991) and John L. Smith (1997), who were all recognized by the Big West Conference.
ANDERSEN NAMED A FINALIST FOR EDDIE ROBINSON COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Fourth-year head coach Gary Andersen has been named a finalist for the 2012 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Andersen is one of nine coaches to be named to the final ballot along with Dave Doeren (Northern Illinois), Brian Kelly (Notre Dame), Urban Meyer (Ohio State), Will Muschamp (Florida), Bill O'Brien (Penn State), David Shaw (Stanford), Bill Snyder (Kansas State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M).
DAVIS NAMED CBSSPORTS.COM THIRD-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
Senior cornerback Will Davis was named a third-team All-American by CBSSports.com it was announced Monday (12/3). Davis is the first Aggie to be named an All-American since Kevin Robinson in 2007 as the duo are the only players in school history to be named to the CBSSports.com All-America team. Overall, Davis is the 32nd football player in Utah State history to earn All-America honors as it marks the 66th time an Aggie has been placed on one of the All-America teams.
BRADY NAMED CoSIDA FIRST-TEAM ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN
Senior safety McKade Brady was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I first-team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) it was announced Thursday (12/6). Brady is only the seventh football player in Utah State history to be named an academic All-American joining USU legend Merlin Olsen (1961), along with Dennis Ferguson (1970), Gary Anderson (1971), Randy Stockham (1974, 1975), Mike Perko (1981) and Steve Neeleman (1991). Stockham is the only football player in school history to earn the award twice. Overall, Brady is the only player from the state of Utah to make the list, while senior defensive lineman Travis Johnson from San Jose State joins Brady in representing the Western Athletic Conference as Johnson was named to the second-team. Brady will graduate from Utah State University this fall with a bachelor's degree in exercise science. He has a cumulative 3.57 grade-point average and has earned academic all-conference honors three times thus far in his career. Brady was also one of six players from the WAC and one of seven players from the state of Utah to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII team.
LARSEN NAMED FIRST-TEAM ALL-wAC FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE SEASON
Junior offensive center Tyler Larsen was named to the WAC's first team for the second year in a row in 2012, and was one of just six players in the conference to earn first team all-league honors for the second time. Overall, Larsen is the 33rd player in school history to be a two-time first-team all-league selection and the first since Kevin Robinson earned first-team all-Sun Belt Conference honors in 2004 and first-team all-WAC honors in 2007.
UTAH STATE HAS 17 PLAYERS NAMED TO VARIOUS ALL-WAC TEAMS
Utah State had 17 players earn various all-Western Athletic Conference accolades in 2012 as eight offensive and nine defensive players were recognized to rank as the second-most in the league behind San Jose State's 19 honorees. Overall, Utah State's eight first-team all-WAC selections are tied for the most in a single-season in school history along with the 1997 team, while its 17 total honorees rank second all-time behind the 18 all-conference picks in 1997. Utah State players to earn first-team all-WAC honors include senior cornerback Will Davis, junior linebacker Jake Doughty, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton, senior defensive tackle Al Lapuaho, junior offensive center Tyler Larsen, junior offensive tackle Eric Schultz and senior running back Kerwynn Williams, while senior wide receiver Matt Austin, senior safety McKade Brady, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, junior offensive guard Jamie Markosian, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen and sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil were all named to the second-team. USU also had three players earn honorable mention honors in senior tight end Kellen Bartlett, senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs and junior defensive tackle Connor Williams.
UTAH STATE RECOGNIZED BY AFCA FOR ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Utah State is one of 49 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams to be recognized by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) for academic success. USU was one of 31 institutions out of the 49 recognized who graduated 75 percent or more of their football student-athletes from its freshman class of 2005. USU was the only team from the Western Athletic Conference honored.
FACKRELL AND NIELSEN NAMED TO COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE AWARDS NaATIONAL FRESHMAN PERFORMER OF THE YEAR WATCH LIST
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen were both named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) 2012 National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List, which consists of 32 players. Overall, Fackrell and Nielsen were one of just three players at their respective positions to be named to the watch list.
DAVIS Named WAC DEFENSIVE Player of the Week FOR SECOND TIME THIS SEASON
Senior defensive back Will Davis was named the WAC's Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this year following his performance against Idaho as he had four tackles (3-solo) and an interception that he returned 59 yards for his first career touchdown, which was also USU's first since 2007. Against Idaho, Davis helped USU hold the Vandals to 210 yards of total offense (158-rushing, 52-passing) and the 52 passing yards allowed by USU are its fewest since limiting North Texas to just 45 passing yards in 1998. Overall, Davis is one of six Aggies this year to earn WAC Player of the Week honors 11 times joining sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton (9/10, 10/1, 10/29, 11/19), senior punter Tyler Bennett (9/10), senior running back Kerwynn Williams (9/24), redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell (10/8, 10/15), and redshirt sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz (10/22). Davis was also named WAC Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 5. Overall, USU's 11 WAC Player of the Week honors in 2012 ties the school record set during the 1997 season.
DAVIS HAS INTERCEPTIONS IN EACH OF HIS LAST FIVE GAMES
Senior cornerback Will Davis has now intercepted a pass in each of his last five games after returning an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, which was the first pick returned for a score by a USU player since Devon Hall returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown against Wyoming in 2007. Davis was also the first player this year to pick off Louisiana Tech's Colby Cameron, snapping a streak of 444 consecutive pass attempts without an interception, which was a single-season NCAA record. Prior to his current run, Davis did not have a single interception in his first 20 games at Utah State. For Davis, he is the first Aggie to intercept a pass in five-straight games since Robert Fuhriman intercepted a pass in five-straight games during the 1973 season. Davis' five interceptions this year are the most by an Aggie since Terrence Washington had five during the 2003 season.
WILLIAMS HAS THREE-STRAIGHT 100 YARD RUSHING GAMES
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams rushed for 110 yards on 17 carries in his last game against Idaho and has now rushed for 100 yards in each of his last three games as he had 162 yards on 20 carries against Louisiana Tech and 120 yards on 19 carries against Texas State. Overall, Williams is the first back to rush for 100 yards in three-straight games since Robert Turbin had five-straight 100-yard rushing games in 2011. For Williams, he now has six 100-yard rushing games this year and seven in his career.
DOUGHTY RECORDS DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLES IN BACK-TO-BACK GAMES
Junior linebacker Jake Doughty recorded 12 tackles (1-solo) in his last game against Idaho, marking the second-straight game he has recorded double-digit tackles after posting a career-high 18 stops (11-solo) two games ago against Louisiana Tech, which are the most tackles by a USU player since Bobby Wagner had 20 tackles against LTU during the 2011 season. Against LTU, Doughty also recorded his first career interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter and made the final tackle of the game in overtime to preserve the USU win. On the season, Doughty has four double-figure tackle outings.
FACKRELL TIES CAREER-HIGH WITH 11 TACKLES AGAINST IDAHO
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell tied his career-high with 11 tackles (1-solo) for the third time this year against Idaho, marking the fourth time that he has record double-figure tackles. Fackrell also had 0.5 sacks against Idaho to give him 3.0 on the season.
BARTLETT HAS TOUCHDOWN RECEPTIONS IN EACH OF HIS LAST FOUR GAMES
Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett recorded his fifth touchdown reception of the season and his career against Idaho. Overall, Bartlett has now caught a touchdown pass in each of his last four games, which is the longest streak for a Utah State player since Kevin Robinson (2004-07) caught touchdown passes in five-straight games during the 2005 season.
PLAYER NOTABLES AGAINST IDAHO
Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu recorded his first career interception in the first quarter and returned it 48 yards. Filimoeatu also record 0.5 sacks to give him 4.0 sacks on the year and 7.0 sacks in his career. Junior defensive tackle B.J. Larsen recorded his first career interception in the first quarter and returned it four yards. Larsen also recorded his third sack of the season and his career in the third quarter. Senior defensive tackle Al Lapuaho forced his first fumble of the season and the second of his career in the third quarter. Junior defensive tackle Connor Williams forced his first career fumble in the fourth quarter. Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson recovered his first career fumble in the fourth quarter. Redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen recorded 0.5 sacks in the game to give him 5.0 sacks on the season. Sophomore running back Joe Hill recorded his sixth rushing touchdown of the season and his career. Junior linebacker Zach Vigil had 0.5 sacks in the game to give him 5.5 sacks on the season and in his career. Junior safety Cameron Sanders tied his career-high with six tackles. Senior punter Tyler Bennett had three punts downed inside the 20, giving him 28 on the season on 57 kicks.
TEAM NOTABLES AGAINST IDAHO
For the second time this year along with the Southern Utah game, Utah State did not allow a touchdown as it held Idaho out of the end zone. Overall, it is the first time since 1994 that USU had two games were it did not allow a touchdown. USU also allowed just 52 passing yards against Idaho, which are its fewest since North Texas passed for just 45 yards against USU in 1998.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS AMONG THE TOP 15 NATIONALLY IN FIVE CATEGORIES
Utah State's defense continues to be listed with the best in the nation and currently ranks among the top 15 defenses in the nation in five different statistical categories, including being ranked first in the WAC and eighth in the nation in scoring defense (15.4 ppg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and eighth nationally in sacks (3.25 pg), second in the WAC and 12th in the country in rushing defense (111.4 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in total defense (322.7 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (107.0), and first in the WAC and 35th in the nation in passing defense (211.2 ypg).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS TIED FOR THIRD IN THE NATION IN RED ZONE EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense leads the WAC and ranks tied for third in the nation with Penn State in red zone efficiency as its opponents have scored on 25-of-39 (.641) red zone possessions this year. Of those 39 trips USU's opponents have made to the red zone, they have come away with just 13 touchdowns and 12 field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, five interceptions, one fumble and a loss on downs five times.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS TIED FOR SEVENTH IN THE NATION IN THREE-AND-OUTS
Utah State's defense ranks tied for seventh in the nation with an average of 5.08 three-and-outs per game on the season and has forced a three-and-out by its opposition 61 times on 164 drives, which averages out to 37.2 percent of the time.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS 19TH IN THE NATION IN THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY
Utah State's defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 32.7 percent of its third downs (67-205), which ranks first in the WAC and 19th in the nation.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE WAC IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Utah State's offense ranks second in the WAC and 26th in the nation in total offense (460.5 ypg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency (155.1), third in the WAC and 34th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.50 pg), third in the WAC and 36th in the nation in scoring offense (34.4 ppg), second in the WAC and 37th in the nation in rushing offense (192.5 ypg), and third in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing offense (268.0 ypg).
UTAH STATE RANKS 37TH IN THE NATION IN PUNT RETURNS
Utah State continues to excel on special teams and currently ranks third in the WAC and 37th in the nation in net punting (38.2 ypk), third in the WAC and 38th in the nation in punt returns (10.3 ypr), and fourth in the WAC and 57th in the nation in kickoff returns (22.0 ypr).
UTAH STATE PLAYERS IN THE WAC AND NATIONAL RANKINGS
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and 11th in the nation in all-purpose yards (163.0 ypg), first in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in rushing (106.4 ypg), third in the WAC and tied for 34th in the nation in scoring (8.5 ppg), seventh in the WAC in total offense (106.4 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in receiving (55.2 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency (156.7), second in the WAC and 17th in the nation in total offense (305.9 ypg), third in the WAC and 30th in the nation in passing (262.0 ypg), and ninth in the WAC in rushing (43.9 ypg). Senior wide receiver Matt Austin ranks ninth in the WAC in receiving (54.3 ypg). Senior cornerback Will Davis ranks first in the WAC and first in the nation in passes defended (1.75 pg), second in the WAC and tied for 11th in the nation in interceptions (0.42 pg), and tied for 38th in the WAC in tackles (4.7 pg). Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks tied for fourth in the WAC and tied for 85th in the nation in tackles (8.0 pg), tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 97th in the nation in sacks (0.46 pg), and tied for fifth in the WAC in tackles for loss (0.79 pg). Junior linebacker Jake Doughty ranks second in the WAC and tied for 69th in the nation in tackles (8.4 pg). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks tied for eighth in the WAC and tied for 92nd in the nation in tackles (7.9 pg). Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell ranks tied for eighth in the WAC in interceptions (0.17), tied for ninth in the WAC in tackles for loss (0.67 pg), and 11th in the WAC in tackles (7.0 pg). Sophomore safety Brian Suite ranks 22nd in the WAC in tackles (6.0 pg). Junior cornerback Nevin Lawson ranks tied for ninth in the WAC in passes defended (0.75 pg) and tied for 31st in the WAC in tackles (5.1 pg). Senior cornerback Terrence Alston ranks tied for ninth in the WAC in passes defended (0.75 pg). Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for ninth in the WAC in tackles for loss (0.67) and tied for 34th in the WAC in tackles (5.0 pg). Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams ranks tied for eighth in the WAC in sacks (0.42 pg). Redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for eighth in the WAC in sacks (0.42 pg). Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks fifth in the WAC and 43rd in the nation in punting (41.8 ypk). Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and tied for 36th in the nation in punt returns (8.8 ypr). And senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs ranks third in the WAC and 40th in the nation in kick returns (24.5 ypr), and ninth in the WAC in all-purpose yards (89.4 ypg).
DAVIS LEADS THE NATION IN PASSES DEFENDED
Senior cornerback Will Davis is leading the nation with 1.75 passes defended per game in 2012, and also ranks tied for 11th in the nation with 0.42 interceptions per game.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is averaging 305.9 yards of total offense per game this year which is more than six teams at the FBS level. Overall, Keeton is averaging more yards of total offense per game than Auburn (305.00), Colorado (302.75), Wake Forest (301.33), Hawai'i (297.42), Illinois (296.67) and Maryland (284.75).
WILLIAMS SETS SCHOOL RECORD FOR ALL-PURPOSE YARDS IN A CAREER
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams became Utah State's career leader in all-purpose yards against Louisiana Tech (11/17) as he had 303 all-purpose yards against the Bulldogs. Williams also added 149 all-purpose yards in his last game against Idaho and now has 6,659 all-purpose yards in his career (2,280-rushing, 836-receiving, 3,408-kick returns, 135-punt returns) bettering the previous school record of 6,479 all-purpose yards set by Kevin Robinson (2004-07). Williams also ranks second all-time in the history of the WAC in all-purpose yards and is just 32 yards shy of tying New Mexico's Terance Mathis (1985-87, '89) for the WAC's all-time record with 6,691 all-purpose yards. Nationally, Williams ranks 18th in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history. Williams is also the WAC's all-time leader in kick return yards with 3,408 and is the conference's active leader in career rushing yards with 2,280.
WILLIAMS RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN RUSHING
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has rushed for 2,280 yards during his Aggie career to rank eighth all-time in school history as he is just the ninth player in school history to rush for 2,000 yards. Williams is now 107 yards shy of tying Roger Grant (1990-91) for seventh-place with 2,387 yards. The school record for rushing yards is 4,053 set by Demario Brown (1996-99). Williams also ranks sixth in school history with a career rushing average of 6.3 yards per carry. Thus far this year, Williams has rushed for 1,277 yards becoming the 11th Aggie to rush for 1,000 yards in a single-season for the 16th time in school history.
WILLIAMS RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN RUSHING TOUCHDOWNS AND NINTH IN TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks eighth all-time at Utah State with 19 career rushing touchdowns and is now two rushing touchdowns shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for seventh-place with 21 career rushing touchdowns. The school record for rushing touchdowns is 40 set by Robert Turbin (2007-09, 2011) and Abu Wilson (1992, 1994-96). For his career, Williams has 25 touchdowns (19-rushing, 5-receiving, 1-kickoff return) to rank ninth all-time in school history and is now two touchdowns shy of tying Rick Parros (1976-79) for eighth all-time with 27 career touchdowns. Overall, Williams has 12 rushing touchdowns this year and four multi-touchdown rushing games, to go along with five receiving touchdowns.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 360-of-550 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 65.5 percent, which ranks first all-time in school history. Keith Myers (1976-77) entered the 2011 season as the school record holder at 60.7 percent.
KEETON RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES
After throwing two touchdown passes in his last game against Idaho, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton now ranks fourth all-time in school history with 38 touchdown passes. Keeton is now one touchdown pass shy of tying Brent Snyder (1987-88) for third all-time with 39 career touchdown passes. The school record for career touchdown passes is 60 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS NINTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETIONS
With his 17 completions in his last game against Idaho, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton now ranks ninth all-time at Utah State with 360 career completions and is 22 completions shy of tying Leon Jackson III (2004-07) for eighth-place with 382 career completions. The school record is 704 completions set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
KEETON RANKS EIGHTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN TOTAL OFFENSE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has 5,164 yards of total offense in his career to rank eighth all-time in school history. The school record for total offense is 8,791 yards by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002) and Keeton is now 302 yards of total offense shy of tying Matt Sauk (1996-97) for seventh-place with 5,466 yards.
KEETON RANKS NINTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN PASSING YARDS
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown for 4,344 yards to rank ninth all-time in school history and is now 378 yards shy of tying Travis Cox (2001-04) for eighth-place with 4,722 passing yards. The school record for passing yards is 9,168 set by Jose Fuentes (1999-2002).
BENNETT RANKS SECOND ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN PUNTING
Senior Tyler Bennett has a career punt average of 42.8 yards on 115 punts (4,927), which ranks second all-time in school history behind Jerry Arguello (1997-98) who averaged 43.5 yards per punt.
KEETON RANKS FIRST IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is completing 67.6 percent of his passes in 2012 as he is 254-of-376 passing and that completion percentage ranks first all-time in school history. The previous school record was held by Leon Jackson III who completed 65.4 percent of his passes in 2007 as he was 151-of-231 passing. In 2011, Keeton completed 60.9 percent of his passes (106-174) to rank third all-time at USU for a single-season.
KEETON SETS SINGLE-SEASON SCHOOL RECORDS FOR TOUCHDOWN PASSES AND TOTAL OFFENSE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27) and total offense (3,671) in 2012 breaking the previous record of 24 touchdown passes set by Jose Fuentes (2001) and the previous record of 3,343 yards of total offense set by Diondre Borel (2009).
KEETON RANKS SECOND IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN SINGLE-SEASON COMPLETIONS
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 254-of-376 passing thus far in 2012 and those 254 completions rank second all-time at Utah State for a single season. Overall, Keeton is now six completions shy of tying the school record of 260 completions set by Jose Fuentes (2001). Keeton also ranks ninth all-time at USU for passing attempts in a single season with 376 and is just two attempts shy of tying Matt Sauk (1997) for eighth all-time with 378 attempts and seven attempts shy of tying Patrick Mullins (1995) for seventh with 383 attempts.
KEETON RANKS FOURTH IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN SINGLE-SEASON PASSING YARDS
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has passed for 3,144 yards thus far in 2012 to rank fourth all-time at Utah State for a single season. Overall, Keeton is now four yards shy of tying Anthony Calvillo (1993) for third-place with 3,148 passing yards. The school record for single-season passing yards is 3,268 set by Jose Fuentes in 2002 and Keeton is 124 yards shy of that mark.
WILLIAMS RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME IN SCHOOL HISTORY FOR SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING AVERAGE
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams is averaging 6.26 yards per carry in 2012 to rank fourth all-time in school history for a single-season. On the year, Williams has carried the ball 200 times for 1,277 yards. The school record for rushing average is 8.4 yards per carry set by Tom Larscheid in 1960.
WILLIAMS RANKS THIRD AT UTAH STATE IN TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS FOR A SINGLE SEASON
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has scored 17 touchdowns (12-rushing, 5-receiving) in 2012 to rank third all-time at Utah State for a single-season and is just one touchdown shy of tying Robert Turbin's 18 total touchdowns scored in 2009. The single-season school record for total touchdowns is 23 set by Turbin in 2011.
WILLIAMS RANKS 10TH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN SINGLE-SEASON RUSHING YARDS
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has rushed for 1,277 yards on 200 carries thus far in 2012 to rank 10th all-time at Utah State for a single-season. Williams is now just 19 rushing yards shy of tying Robert Turbin (2009) for ninth-place all-time in school history for single-season rushing yards with 1,296. The single-season school record for rushing yards is 1,536 set by Demario Brown in 1999 and Williams is currently 259 yards short of that record.
WILLIAMS RANKS FOURTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN SINGLE-SEASON POINTS SCORED
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has scored 102 points in 2012 to rank fourth all-time at Utah State for a single-season. Willliams is now just three points shy of tying Jack Hill (1956) for third all-time with 105 points and just eight points shy of tying Robert Turbin (2009) for second all-time with 110 points. Turbin set the single-season school record for points scored with 138 in 2011.
WILLIAMS SETS SINGLE-SEASON SCHOOL RECORD FOR RECEIVING YARDS BY A RUNNING BACK
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams set a single-season school record for receiving yards by a running back in 2012 as he has caught 43 passes for 663 yards. The previous record for receiving yards by a running back was Jerry Hughes with 639 in 1972. Furthermore, Williams' 43 receptions this year rank second all-time at USU for a single season among running backs trailing Emmett White who had 48 receptions in 2001. Overall, Williams leads the team in rushing attempts (200), rushing yards (1,277), receptions (43) and receiving yards (663) in 2012, along with being first in rushing touchdowns (12), tied for first in receiving touchdowns (5) and first in total touchdowns (17).
KEETON TIES SINGLE-GAME RECORD FOR RUSHING YARDS BY A QUARTERBACK
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton rushed for a career-high 121 yards on a career-high tying 17 carries at Louisiana Tech, tying the single-game school record for rushing yards by a quarterback along with Tony Adams who set the school record against Colorado State during the 1972 season. For Keeton, it was his first career 100 yard rushing game, while he also tied his career-high with two rushing touchdowns for the third time in his career.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had a player rush for at least 100 yards 29 times in the last four years under current head coach Gary Andersen, including eight times this season. Prior to that, USU produced a 100 yard rusher 23 times in the previous eight seasons combined. Furthermore, USU has had a player rush for 200 or more yards twice in the past two seasons, but just once in the previous 10 seasons combined.
A LOOK AT TOLEDO
Toledo is 9-3 on the season and finished Mid-American Conference play in second-place in the West Division with a 6-2 league record following a 35-23 home win against Akron in its season finale on Nov. 20. The Rockets began the year with 24-17 overtime loss at Arizona before recording eight-straight wins with victories at Wyoming (34-31), against Bowling Green (27-15), against Coastal Carolina (38-28), at Western Michigan (37-17), against Central Michigan (50-35), at Eastern Michigan (52-47), against then No. 18 Cincinnati (29-23), and at Buffalo (25-20), before losing consecutive games to Ball State (34-27) and at Northern Illinois (31-24), before defeating Akron. Offensively, Toledo is led by junior quarterback Terrance Owens who is 209-of-333 passing for 2,677 yards (243.4 ypg) with 14 touchdowns and eighth interceptions. Junior running back David Fluellen leads the team with 1,460 rushing yards on 252 carries (132.7 ypg) with 13 touchdowns, and junior wide receiver Bernard Reedy has 82 catches for 1,051 yards (87.6 ypg) with six touchdowns. Defensively, senior linebacker Dan Molls leads the nation with 166 tackles (86-solo, 80-assist), while fellow senior linebacker Robert Bell has 93 tackles (47-solo, 46-assist). As a team, UT is averaging 32.9 points and 456.1 yards of total offense per game (258.6-passing, 197.5-rushing) and allowing 27.3 points and 464.1 yards of total offense per game (296.0-passing, 168.1-rushing). Overall, Toledo returns 12 starters (O-4, D-5, ST-3) and 48 lettermen from last year's team that went 9-4 overall and finished tied for first in the West Division of the MAC with a 7-1 league mark. UT then concluded its season with a 42-41 win against Air Force in the 2011 Military Bowl. Matt Campbell is in his first full year as the Rockets head coach and has a 10-3 overall record.
UTAH STATE AND TOLEDO SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and Toledo will be meeting for the first time in school history this weekend.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF OHIO
Utah State is a combined 4-3 (.571) against teams from the Buckeye State, with a 2-0 record against Bowling Green, 1-1 records against Ohio and Kent State, and an 0-1 record against Cincinnati.
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Utah State is 7-2 (.778) all-time against current members of the Mid-American Conference with a 2-0 record against Bowling Green, 1-0 records against Ball State, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, and 1-1 records against Kent State and Ohio. Teams currently in the MAC that USU has not faced include Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Miami (Ohio) and Toledo.
WAC VERSUS THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE IN BOWL GAMES
The Western Athletic Conference is 2-2 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference in bowl games, which includes USU's 24-23 loss to Ohio in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. In the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl, Northern Illinois defeated Fresno State, 40-17. In the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl, Idaho defeated Bowling Green, 43-42. And in the 2008 Independence Bowl, Louisiana Tech defeated Northern Illinois, 17-10.
Gary Andersen VERSUS THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE
Gary Andersen is 0-1 against teams from the Mid-American Conference as Utah State's head coach, losing to Ohio, 24-23, at the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Andersen never faced a team from the MAC while an assistant at Utah (1997-2002, 2004-08), or while the head coach at Southern Utah (2003).
DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER
Utah State is just 3-14 (.176) all-time in games played during the month of December, including a 1-5 bowl record. USU's game against Toledo will mark its first-ever game played on Dec. 15.
INSIDE THE ROSTERS
Utah State has 55 players in its program from the state of Utah, while Toledo has 59 players on its roster from the state of Ohio.
FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL FACT
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2012 marks the 15th-straight year that a bowl has been held in Boise. Overall, Toledo is the 22nd team to appear in a bowl game in Boise and one of 16 teams who have played a bowl game in Boise just one time. Teams who have appeared in multiple bowl games in Boise include Georgia Tech (ACC), Idaho (WAC),and Nevada (MWC). Teams who have played in three bowl games in Boise include Fresno State (MWC) and Utah State (WAC), while Boise State (MWC) has played a bowl game in its own stadium four times. All-time, the WAC is 3-5 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State is making its third appearance in a bowl game in Boise and all three of its opponents have been from the state of Ohio as it lost to Cincinnati, 35-19, in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; lost to Ohio, 24-23, in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl; and is facing Toledo in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
UTAH STATE CLAIMS BEEHIVE BOOT TROPHY FOR SECOND TIME IN LAST THREE YEARS
For the second time in the last three years, Utah State football holds possession of the historic Beehive Boot trophy, the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah, as a state-wide media vote was conducted and Utah State was declared the 2012 winner. The media vote was needed after all three in-state schools produced a 1-1 record in 2012 as USU defeated Utah (27-20 OT) and lost to BYU (6-3), while BYU lost to Utah (24-21). This is just the fourth-time in the Boot's 42-year history that a media vote was needed to declare the winner, also doing so in 1973, 1997 and 2010, and Utah State has been chosen as the holder of the trophy all four times. Overall, Utah State has now won the Beehive Boot trophy eight times: 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1982, 1997, 2010 and 2012.
UTAH STATE'S 2012 OFFENSE RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State's offense has emerged in 2012 as one of the best in school history as it is currently averaging 460.5 yards of total offense per game (268.0-passing, 192.5-rushing), which ranks second all-time in school history for a single-season behind the 1996 team that averaged 468.5 yards of total offense per game. Furthermore, USU's scoring average of 34.4 points per game in 2012 currently ranks second all-time in school history for a single-season trailing the 1961 team that averaged 38.7 points per game.
UTAH STATE'S 2012 PASSING OFFENSE AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State's passing offense in 2012 currently ranks among the best in school history completing 264-of-389 passes for 3,216 yards. The single-season school record for completions is 270 set in 2001, while the single-season school record for passing yards is 3,493 set in 1996. For USU in 2012, it is now just six completions and just 277 passing yards shy of tying the school record in each of those categories.
AGGIES DEFENSE RANKS AMONG THE BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Utah State is allowing just 15.4 points per game in 2012, which is the fewest by an Aggie defense since the 1963 team allowed 9.9 points per game and currently ranks as the sixth-fewest points allowed in a single-season in school history trailing the 1960 (6.5 ppg), 1961 (7.8 ppg), 1963 (9.9 ppg), 1964 (13.6 ppg) and 1965 (13.6 ppg) teams. In fact, the last Aggie defense to allow fewer than 20 points a game was in 1983 (19.5).
AGGIES WIN THIRD-STRAIGHT OVERTIME GAME
With its 48-41 overtime win at Louisiana Tech in its last game, Utah State improved to 6-4 all-time in overtime, including winning each of its last three. Under Andersen, USU is 3-1 in overtime games with wins against Louisiana Tech (48-41 OT), Utah (27-20 OT) and at Idaho (49-42 2OT), and a loss to Colorado State (35-34 2OT). All-time, USU is 4-2 in single-overtime games, 2-1 in double-overtime games, and 0-1 in triple overtime games.
UTAH STATE AT HOME
Utah State has won eight-straight home games and is 16-7 (.696) at home under fourth-year head coach Gary Andersen including an 8-6 (.571) WAC record. USU's current eight-game home winning streak is its longest since the 1966-68 teams also combined to win eight-straight home games, which ranks as the seventh-longest home winning streak in school history. The school record for consecutive home wins is 17 set from 1959-63. All-time, USU is 119-95 (.556) at Romney Stadium.
UTAH STATE ON THE ROAD
Utah State has won seven of its last nine road games dating back to 2011, including a 4-2 record this year. USU has also won six-straight WAC road games to rank as the longest winning streak on the road since the 1995-1997 teams combined to win six-straight Big West Conference road games. Overall, USU is 9-16 (.360) in road games fourth-year head coach Gary Andersen. USU's four road wins in 2012 are its most since going 4-3 on the road in 1980.
FORMER WALK-ONS PAYING DIVIDENDS AT UTAH STATE
Utah State has had great success with its walk-on program under current head coach Gary Andersen including a pair of middle linebackers who are now starting in junior Jake Doughty and sophomore Zach Vigil. Other former walk-ons who have started this season include senior safety McKade Brady, senior wide receiver Cameron Webb and sophomore safety Frankie Sutera. Other former walk-ons who have made contributions this year include junior defensive lineman B.J. Larsen and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jordan Nielsen, along with junior placekicker Josh Thompson.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had 66 players earn academic all-WAC honors and 84 players have graduated from Utah State University in Gary Andersen's first three years as head coach. In 2011, USU had a WAC-leading 18 academic all-conference honorees.
UTAH STATE ONE OF 22 TEAMS NATIONALLY WITH AT LEAST 10 WINS
Utah State is one of just 22 teams nationally with 10 or more wins on the season and USU is one of just four teams across the country who did not lose a league game in 2012 joining Ohio State (8-0) from the Big Ten and Kent State (8-0) and Northern Illinois (8-0) from the Mid-American Conference. Alabama, Ohio State, Northern Illinois and Notre Dame all have 12 wins this year, while Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Kansas State, Kent State, Oregon and Stanford all have 11 wins. Teams with 10 wins include Boise State, Clemson, Louisiville, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, San Jose State, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Tulsa and Utah State.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH SENIOR RUNNING BACK Kerwynn Williams
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams has had 100-yards receiving and rushing in the same game twice this year as he had 20 carries for 162 yards on the ground against Louisiana Tech to go along with 125 receiving yards on four receptions. Williams also had 113 yards rushing on 20 carries against UNLV to go along with a career-high 147 receiving yards on seven receptions. Overall, Williams is the first player in school history that has recorded multiple 100-yard rushing and receiving games in the same season, and just the fourth time it has ever happened as Robert Turbin accomplished the feat in 2009 and Emmett White did so as well during the 2000 season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS WITH SOPHOMORE QUARTERBACK Chuckie Keeton
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has thrown at least two touchdown passes in a game 10 times this year and 13 times in his career. Keeton also has rushed for a touchdown seven times this season and 11 times in his career. Furthermore, Keeton has thrown for at least 300 yards three times in his last four games, and five times in his career.
AGGIES WHO ARE MARRIED AND HAVE BEEN ON MISSIONS
Utah State has nine players on its team who are married (McKade Brady, Clayton Christensen, Havea Lasike, Nate Needham, Joe Summers, Brad Theurer, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 17 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Eric Bernston, Clayton Christensen, Jefferson Court, Derek Keller, B.J. Larsen, Jason Luke, Logan Malohifo'ou, Jeff Manning, Alex Marsaw, Nate Needham, Travis Parrish, Eric Schultz, Brad Theurer, Cameron Webb, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey and Daniel Wray).
AGGIES IN THE NFL
Utah State has eight former football players who are on NFL rosters for the 2012 season including Diondre Borel (Tampa Bay), Jarrett Bush (Green Bay), John Chick (Jacksonville), Curtis Marsh (Philadelphia), Donald Penn (Tampa Bay), Michael Smith (Tampa Bay), Robert Turbin (Seattle) and Bobby Wagner (Seattle).
AROUND THE NATION
Utah State head coach Gary Andersen is one of six head coaches across the country who have a son playing on his team in sophomore tight end Keegan Andersen. Andersen joins Army's Rich Ellerson, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, Miami of Ohio's Don Treadwell, New Mexico State's DeWayne Walker and Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville as the only other head coaches in the nation at the FBS level to have sons on their teams. Overall, there are 25 coaches at the FBS level who have sons playing on their respective teams.
Junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright is the first Utah State player to play on both sides of the ball since redshirt sophomore defensive back and current teammate Rashard Stewart did so during his freshman season in 2010.
Junior defensive lineman Connor Williams (Kanata, Ontario) is one of 46 Canadians currently on Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) rosters.
FAMOUS UTAH STATE ALUMNI
Merlin Olsen, Football, 1961 Outland Trophy Winner, NFL Hall of Fame. Wayne Estes, Basketball, First player ever to be named AP All-America before the end of the regular season as he was electrocuted and killed less than two hours after scoring a Nelson Fieldhouse record 48 points against Denver on Feb. 8, 1965. Jay Don Blake, Golf, 1980 NCAA Individual Champion, former member of the PGA Tour. Cornell Green, Basketball, Two-time All-American and school's career rebound leader, who went on to an NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys where he was named to the Pro Bowl seven times.
RECAPPING THE IDAHO GAME
Utah State (10-2, 6-0) capped its milestone season with its first 10-win campaign in school history and clinched its first outright conference championship since 1936 with a 45-9 drubbing of Idaho (1-11, 1-5) Saturday.
Utah State totaled just 250 total yards of offense, getting 133 on the ground and 117 through the air, but took advantage of several short fields set up by USU's stalwart defense that created four turnovers on the day. Utah State held Idaho to 210 yards of total offense, including 158 on the ground and just 52 in the air. In fact, those 52 passing yards by UI are the fewest by an Aggie opponent since 1998 when North Texas passed for just 45 yards.
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 149 all-purpose yards with 110 rushing and a touchdown, which was his third-straight 100-yard rushing game and sixth of the season. Williams also had four receptions for 39 yards with another touchdown, and set USU's single-season record for receiving yards by a running back in the game as he now has 663 yards on the season to lead the team.
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ended the day 17-of-25 passing for 133 yards with two touchdowns, marking the 10th time this year and 13th time in his career he has thrown multiple touchdown passes in a game.
After Utah State didn't score on its opening series of the game for the first time in six outings, senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu gave the Aggie offense great field position after snaring his first career interception and rumbling 48 yards giving USU's offense the ball at the Idaho 11, following a Vandal penalty. After a USU penalty, Keeton hit Williams for a 19-yard catch and run to the end zone for the 7-0 lead.
Junior defensive end B.J. Larsen recorded Utah State's second interception of the first quarter, his first career pick, setting up the offense in Idaho territory again. Keeton capped the 8-play, 23-yard drive with a 1-yard scamper to make the score, 14-0.
Utah State's third interception of the first half also resulted in its third touchdown of the game as senior cornerback Will Davis snared his fifth interception in as many games and returned it 59 yards for his first career touchdown to give USU a 21-0 second quarter lead.
Idaho scored its first points of the game on a 38-yard field goal by Trey Farquhar with 7:59 on the second quarter clock, and Farquhar drilled a 46-yarder as time expired in the half to make the score 21-6.
The Vandals' kicker continued his 9-0 scoring spurt with a 52-yarder on Idaho's first possession of the second half to make it 21-9 with 9:55 on the clock.
On Utah State's next possession, Williams darted 52-yards on its first play setting up a 3-yard touchdown pass from Keeton to senior tight end Kellen Bartlett to give USU a 28-9 advantage early in the third quarter.
Utah State then finished the game with 17 fourth quarter points as sophomore placekicker Nick Diaz booted a 45-yard field goal with 11:37 play, followed by a 14-yard touchdown run from Williams with 8:53 to go. USU then concluded its scoring with a 7-yard run by sophomore running back Joe Hill with 1:47 remaining to make the final score, 45-9.
Junior linebacker Jake Doughty had a game-high 12 tackles for his fourth double-figure tackle outing of the season, while redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell tied his career-high with 11 stops for his fourth double-figure tackle game this year.
UTAH STATE HEAD COACH Gary Andersen
Gary Andersen was named Utah State's 26th head coach on Dec. 4, 2008, and since that day Andersen and his staff have worked non-stop to create a culture of accountability and responsibility that would translate into success both on and off the field.
And over the past two years, Aggie fans have seen that plan pay dividends as USU has advanced to consecutive bowls games for the first time since the early 1960's and for just the third time in school history, while being nationally ranked for the first time since 1978 and appearing in the Associated Press polls for the first time since 1961.
Over the last two years, Utah State has won 15 of its last 18 games including each of its last six heading into the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, which is tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in school history and the longest since 1961, not to mention being tied for the seventh-longest active winning streak in the nation.
Furthermore, the 2012 Aggie team has already set the single season school record for wins (10) and home wins (6). USU also produced its first-ever 6-0 conference record in 2012 and won its first outright conference championship since 1936 and just its third in school history. USU also claimed ownership of the Beehive Boot, the symbol of gridiron supremacy in the state of Utah, for the second time in the last three years.
In his first four years at Utah State, Andersen has compiled a 25-24 (.510) record including a 16-13 (.552) WAC mark as those 25 wins rank tied for the sixth-most in school history. Furthermore, Andersen has coached 23 players who have earned first or second team all-WAC honors and six players who are currently on NFL rosters, including Michael Smith, Robert Turbin and Bobby Wagner who were all selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. That trio of Aggies drafted in 2012 is the most selections in one year since five USU players were chosen in 1980. Wagner, who was drafted in the second round (47) by the Seattle Seahawks, is the highest drafted Aggie since Rulon Jones was the 42nd overall pick in the second round in 1980 by the Denver Broncos.
In 2012, Utah State had a school-record tying eight players earn first-team all-WAC honors in senior cornerback Will Davis, junior linebacker Jake Doughty, redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrell, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton, senior defensive tackle Al Lapuaho, junior offensive center Tyler Larsen, junior offensive tackle Eric Schultz and senior running back Kerwynn Williams, while senior wide receiver Matt Austin, senior safety McKade Brady, junior cornerback Nevin Lawson, junior offensive guard Jamie Markosian, redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jordan Nielsen and sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil were all named to the second-team. USU also had three players earn honorable mention honors in 2012 in senior tight end Kellen Bartlett, senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs and junior defensive tackle Connor Williams as its 17 total honorees are the second-most in a single-season in school history.
Furthermore, Andersen was named the WAC's Coach of the Year in 2012 marking just the fourth time in school history that USU has had the conference's coach of the year. Andersen is also recognized as one of the best coaches in the country in 2012 as he is one of nine finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.
Other Aggies to earn first-team all-WAC honors under Andersen's tutelage include offensive linemen Philip Gapelu (2011) Larsen (2011), while those who have been named to the league's second-team include defensive end Levi Koskan (2011), tight end Tarren Lloyd (2011), defensive back Curtis Marsh (2010) and Turbin (2009).
During the 2012 season, Utah State established itself as one of the top defenses overall ranking among the top 15 in the nation in five different statistical categories, including being ranked first in the WAC and eighth in the nation in scoring defense (15.4 ppg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and eighth nationally in sacks (3.25 pg), second in the WAC and 12th in the country in rushing defense (111.4 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in total defense (322.7 ypg), first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (107.0), and first in the WAC and 35th in the nation in passing defense (211.2 ypg).
Utah State has been just as productive on the offensive side of the ball in 2012 as it currently ranks second in the WAC and 26th in the nation in total offense (460.5 ypg). USU also ranks second in the WAC and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency (155.1), third in the WAC and 34th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.50 pg), third in the WAC and 36th in the nation in scoring offense (34.4 ppg), second in the WAC and 37th in the nation in rushing offense (192.5 ypg), and third in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing offense (268.0 ypg).
Along with all of Utah State's success on the field under Andersen, there has been just as much success in the classroom as 66 Aggies have earned academic all-WAC honors, while another 84 have graduated from the University. Furthermore, Utah State had 18 football players earn academic all-WAC honorees this past year to rank first in the conference.
Andersen came to Utah State after five seasons as the assistant head coach, defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Utah, where he helped guide the Utes to a 13-0 record in 2008. Utah finished the season ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll after winning the BCS Sugar Bowl with a dominating 31-17 victory against Alabama.
In 2008, Andersen was named a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the top assistant coach in college football. He was also named a Rivals.com top 10 non-BCS recruiter in 2008 and tabbed as the No. 1 non-BCS recruiter by Rivals.com in 2005.
Overall, Andersen spent 11 seasons as an assistant coach at Utah after coaching for the Utes from 1997-2002 before becoming the head coach at Southern Utah in 2003 and then returning to Utah in 2004. During his tenure at Utah, Andersen was a part of seven winning bowl teams, including two BCS Bowls as Utah went 12-0 in 2004 and won the Fiesta Bowl, along with its perfect record and Sugar Bowl win in 2008.
During his tenure at Utah, Andersen coached 14 first-team all-conference players (three in 2008), including two Mountain West Conference Defensive Players of the Year in John Frank (1999) and Eric Weddle (2005 and 2006), as well as a consensus All-American in Weddle in 2006. Andersen also coached 10 Ute players drafted in the NFL in Richard Seals, John Frank, Lauvale Sape, Sione Pouha, Jonathan Fanene, Eric Weddle, Paul Soliai, Sean Smith, Brice McCain and Paul Kruger, in addition to several other players who made NFL rosters as free agents.
Andersen's coaching career began in 1988 as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator at Southeastern Louisiana, where he coached for one season before going to Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) from 1989-92 as the offensive line coach. His other coaching stints include Idaho State (1992-94, defensive line), Park City HS (1994-95, head coach) and Northern Arizona (1995-96, assistant head coach/defensive line/special teams).
A 1986 graduate of Utah, Andersen earned his bachelor's degree in political science. He played center for Utah from 1985-86 after garnering first-team junior college All-American honors in 1984 at Ricks College.
Andersen is married to the former Stacey Lambert, and they have three sons: Keegan (21) and twins Chasen and Hagen (17). Keegan is currently a sophomore tight end on Utah State's football team, while Chasen and Hagen are both seniors at Logan High School. Andersen's brother, Mark, is USU's director of football operations.