No. 18 Utah State Faces Toledo in 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012
Toledo vs. #18 Utah State, 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: https://twitter.com/USUFootball
WHAT TO WATCH FOR...
• 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 Nielsenand 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 National Freshman Performer of the Year Watch List
Redshirt freshman linebacker Kyler Fackrel land 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.
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 William sranks 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).
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).
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.
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