Dec. 19, 2011
LOGAN, Utah - Utah State football player Michael Smith has been named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week, in recognition for his performance in USU's heartbreaking loss to Ohio in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Saturday, for the period ending Sunday, Dec. 18, an award that is voted on by a state-wide media panel.
Smith, a senior running back from Tucson, Ariz. (Sunnyside HS/Eastern Arizona JC) ran for a career-high, a USU bowl record and the third-best Famous Idaho Potato Bowl rushing outing with 157 yards, scoring both of Utah State's rushing TDs in the Aggies' 24-23 loss to Ohio Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. It was Smith's third multi-TD outing this season and fourth of his career, as well as setting a career-high for the second-straight game, topping the 100-yard mark for the third time in his career. Smith's 63-yard TD run was the longest allowed by the Ohio defense this season and was also Smith's second longest TD run of the season behind a 77-yarder in the San Jose State game. It was Smith's fourth TD run of 46 or more yards this season and his seventh explosive (20+yards of the year).
Smith finished the season second on the team with eight rushing TD's, and was also second on the team with 870 yards on 114 for a team-leading 7.6 yards per carry average.
This is not only Smith's first USU weekly honor of the season, but the first of his Aggie career. It marks the fourth USU week in the last five and eighth overall this season for an Aggie football player to earn the weekly honor. Junior RB Robert Turbin collected the award three times (Sept. 12, Oct. 3 and Nov. 21) while freshman QB Chuckie Keeton was the recipient on Sept. 5 and Oct. 10, senior LB Bobby Wagner garnered the honor on Nov. 27, and junior QB Adam Kennedy earned the accolade on Dec. 5.
Utah State ended its historical season with a 7-5 record, its first seven-win season since 1993, after making its first bowl appearance since 1997.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on the USU football blog at usufootball.wordpress.com. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
NOMINEES FROM OTHER SPORTS FOR USU STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK INCLUDED:
MEN'S BASKETBALL - Sophomore guard Preston Medlin (Carrollton, Texas) scored 22 points to go along with four rebounds and oneassist to lead Utah State to an easy 78-53 home win against Seattle. Medlin, who played 33 minutes in the game, was 6-of-12 from the field, 3-of-5 from three-point range and 7-for-7 at the free throw line.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL - Junior guard Devyn Christensen led the Aggies with a season-high 18 points in Utah State's 73-65 home loss to Brigham Young last weekend. Christensen, who also had a season-high six rebounds to go along with two assists and one steal, was 6-of-10 (.600) from the field, 2-of-4 (.500) from three-point range and 4-for-4 at the free throw line.
2011-12 Utah State Athlete of the Week Winners
Aug. 29 - Shantel Flanary, Soccer
Sept. 5 - Chuckie Keeton, Football
Sept. 12 - Robert Turbin, Football
Sept. 19 - Brian McKenna, Cross Country
Sept. 26 - Marcus Fritz, Men's Tennis
Oct. 3 - Robert Turbin, Football
Oct. 10 - Chuckie Keeton, Football
Oct. 17 - Liz McArthur, Volleyball
Oct. 24 - Jennifer Flynn, Soccer
Oct. 31 - Brian McKenna, Cross Country
Nov. 7 - Molli Merrill, Soccer
Nov. 14 - Brockeith Pane, Men's Basketball
Nov. 21 - Robert Turbin, Football
Nov. 28 - Bobby Wagner, Football
Dec. 5 - Adam Kennedy, Football
Dec. 12 - Preston Medlin, Men's Basketball
Dec. 19 - Michael Smith, Football
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