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GAME WEEK: USU at BYU, Aggie edition

By KSL.com | Posted - Sep. 27, 2011 at 1:40 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

QUICKLY -- Utah State (1-2, 0-0 WAC) will face off with BYU (2-2) on Friday, Sept. 30 with the Old Wagon Wheel on the line in a nationally televised game on ESPN... The Beehive State battle between the Aggies and Cougars from BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium (63,725) kicks off at 6 p.m. (MT)... ESPN's Joe Tessitore will handle play-by-play duties with Rod Gilmore providing analysis... The game will also be streamed online through WatchESPN.com (formerly known as ESPN3.com)... Friday's game can also be followed through "Listen Live" and GameTracker links at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

BYU (2-2) vs. Utah State (1-2)
Game 5 Notes
  • BYU (2-2) vs. Utah State (1-2)
  • Date: Friday Sept. 30, 2011
  • Time: 6:05 p.m. MT
  • Site: LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo, Utah (64,045/Grass)
  • TV: ESPN
  • Radio: KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/1160 AM and ksl.com
  • Series Record: BYU leads the series 43-34-3
  • Last Meeting: 2010 (Utah State 31, BYU 16)
  • Kickoff Weather: Sunny, temps in the lower 80s

FRIDAY'S STORYLINES -- Things to watch for in Friday's match-up between the Aggies and Cougars:

* Friday is the 81st meeting between USU and BYU both school's second-longest rivalry, both trailing their respective meetings with Utah (109 meetings between USU and UU / 87 meetings between BYU and UU).

* It is the fourth-straight meeting under Friday night lights and 14th meeting on a Friday since 1987.

* USU has lost 15 in a row in Provo, and the Aggies are seeking their first win there since 1978.

* The Aggies are in pursuit of their first two-game win streak in the series since 1973-74.

* Utah State is looking to improve to 2-0 vs. in-state foes this season, blasting Weber State, 54-17, on Sept. 10.

* BYU's stadium namesake LaVell Edwards, is a 1952 Utah State alum, and was a three-year letterman at quarterback for the Aggies from 1949-51, collecting unanimous all-Skyline Six conference honors in 1950 at linebacker... Edwards was inducted into USU Athletics' Hall of Fame earlier this month, on the weekend of Sept. 9-10.

* USU junior RB Robert Turbin needs:

-- One rushing TD for sole possession of No. 3 on USU's Career Rushing TD list, entering Friday's game with 29 rushing scores.
-- 43 rushing yards to tie for No. 7 on the Aggies' Career Rushing list, bring a career total of 2,163 yards into Friday's action. * Aggie junior RB/KR Kerwynn Williams needs:
-- 39 kick return yards to tie, 40 to break the WAC Career Kick Return Yards record, as Williams currently has 2,743 yards and the record is 2,782 yards by Cedric Johnson of UTEP in 1993-96.

FOLLOWING THE GAME AND THE AGGIES

ON TV -- Friday's Beehive State between the Aggies and Cougars will be nationally televised on ESPN (Comcast Ch. 35 Ch. 668 HD/DirectTv Ch. 206/Dish Network Ch. 140) with Joe Tessitore handling play-by-play duties while Rod Gilmore will handle analysis.

ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried live on the Aggie Sports Network: KVNU 610 AM, KVNU 102.1 FM (Cache Valley) and KLZX 95.9 FM in Logan; KZNS (97.5 FM only) in Salt Lake City; on KLZX 105.3 FM in Montpelier, Idaho... All Aggie football games are also on the Internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com by clicking on "Listen Live"... Legendary radio voice Al "Elevator Music Is Awesome" Lewis will handle the play-by-play duties, while former Aggie SID Craig "I Love Chili Even When It's Not Chilly" Hislop provides analysis (for the listeners, not Al).

ON THE INTERNET -- USU home football games are also streamed on the Internet through "Aggies All Access," by clicking on the "Live Aggies Video" link on the home page of www.UtahStateAggies.com... Fans can register and purchase month or season packages to watch... Friday's game will also be streamed online through WatchESPN.com (formerly known as ESPN3.com).

GAMETRACKER -- Fans can follow all USU Aggie home games through the USU web site at www.UtahStateAggies.com via GameTracker, a free service, which updates play-by-play and statistics throughout the game.... Friday's battle with BYU will also be available to follow through GameTracker.

COACHES SHOW ON THE ROAD -- The Gary Andersen radio show will rotate between The Copper Mill and Elements Restaurant on Thursday nights (6:05-7 p.m. on 610 AM KVNU) when the Aggies play on Saturday, with some exceptions, including the BYU and Hawai'i weeks... This week with the BYU game on Friday, the show will be on Wednesday... The show gives USU fans an opportunity to ask questions and interact with Coach Andersen and players.

Upcoming Coaches Shows: Sept. 28 (Wed.) at Elements / Oct. 6 at Copper Mill

UP NEXT -- The Aggies return to the friendly confines of Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium to host border-foe Wyoming on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. in USU's final non-conference home game as well as the Aggies' final home night game... It is the first meeting between the Aggies and Cowboys since 2007, and Wyoming's first visit to Logan since 2003.

UTAH STATE NOTE-ABLES

• Only three of USU's 12 games will be played on natural grass this year: at Auburn, at BYU and at New Mexico State.

• Seven of USU's 12 games are at night.

• Senior LB Bobby Wagner is a candidate for the: Butkus Award - nation's top linebacker Rotary Lombardi Award - nation's top college lineman Bronko Nagurski Award - nation's best defensive player Lowe's Senior CLASS Award - athletes who excel both on and off the field

• Junior RB Robert Turbin is a candidate for the: Doak Walker Award - honoring the nation's top college running back

• Junior RB/KR Kerwynn Williams is a candidate for the: Paul Hornung Award - most versatile player

• Sophomore OC Tyler Larsen is a candidate for the: Dave Rimington Trophy - nation's most outstanding center in college football

• Senior WR Eric Moats is a candidate for the: Allstate American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Good Works Team® - recognizing the selfless contributions to volunteerism and community service made by college football student-athletes across the nation.

ABOUT USU -- The Aggies enter Friday's Beehive State battle with a 1-2 mark, coming off a heartbreaking Homecoming loss to Colorado State Saturday, losing 35-34 in double overtime... Junior RB Robert Turbin scored a career-high four rushing touchdowns, including a 25-yard burst in the second overtime to bring Utah State within one, but he was stopped on his two-point conversion... Turbin finished the night with 115 yards on 24 carries for his 10th-career 100-yard rushing game and Utah State ended the game with 281 rushing yards on 52 carries... On the season, the USU offense is amassing 483.3 ypg, including 316.0 ypg on the ground and 167.3 ypg... The Aggie defense is averaging 269.7 ypg total, yielding 82.7 ypg rushing and 187.0 ypg passing... Turbin leads the Aggies with 121.7 ypg rushing with eight rushing TD's on the year... Freshman QB Chuckie Keeton averages 198.3 ypg of total offense with a 142.77 passing efficiency, throwing two TD's on the year... Junior WR Matt Austin leads USU's receivers, with 10 catches for 151 yards (15.1 ypc/50.3 ypg) with one TD on the season... Senior LB Bobby Wagner anchors the Aggies' defense, posting double-digit tackles in all three games this season, averaging 12.7 tackles per game... Fellow senior LB Kyle Gallagher adds 9.0 stops per game while senior S Walter McClenton adds 5.0 tackles per game... Senior DE/LB Levi Koskan and junior LB Maurice Alexander have 3.5 tackles for loss each while Koskan has a team-best 2.5 sacks... Junior RB/KR Kerwynn Williams averages 130.0 all-purpose yards per game, including 24.0 yards per kick return and 19.8 yards per punt return... Junior P Tyler Bennett has a 48.6 ypp average with a long of 62 yards, one of five over 50 yards and has six inside the 20.

ABOUT BYU -- The Cougars are 2-2 on the year, after rallying to beat Central Florida, 24-17, Friday night at home, as special teams, defense and the running game helped the Cougars... DB Joe Sampson intercepted a pass tipped by LB Kyle Van Noy at the BYU 3-yard line to save a potential game-tying touchdown with 3:10 left in the game... UCF got the ball back with just over one minute remaining but sacks by Van Noy and defensive end Mike Muehlmann sealed the victory for the Cougars... The back-and-forth finish to the game also featured wide receiver Cody Hoffman taking a kickoff 93 yards to the house for a TD to tie the score at 17-17 in the third quarter... On the season, sophomore QB Jake Heaps leads BYU, totalling 89-of-160 passing for 855 yards (213.8 ypg) with three TD's and five INT's on the season... Hoffman has been Heaps' primary receiver, with 14 catches for 182 yards (45.4 ypg/13.0 ypc), while Ross Apo has all three of BYU's receiving TD's, and is one of three receivers with 12 catches each... JJ DiLuigi leads the Cougar ground attack with 164 yards on 40 carries (4.1 ypc/41.0 ypg)... Daniel Sorensen leads the BYU defense with 5.5 tackles per game with 21 tackles total, while three others have 19 tackles each... Hebron Fangupo has a team-best 4.0 TFL's while three different players have one sack apiece and four players have one INT each.

AGGIES REMAIN HIGHLY RANKED IN FBS AND WAC STATISTICS -- Utah State football remains among the nation and conference's leaders in this week's Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Western Athletic Conference (WAC) statistics... The Aggies are fifth in the country and first in the conference in rushing offense, with 316.0 yards per game, while ranking 16th in the nation and second in the league in total offense with 483.3 ypg... USU is 14th in the FBS and first in the WAC in scoring offense, notching 42.0 points per game... Defensively, USU is 12th in the FBS and first in the WAC in total defense at 269.7 ypg, as well as ranking 16th in the nation and first in the league in rushing defense, yielding just 82.7 ypg... The Aggie defense is also 13th in the country and second in the conference in sacks with 3.33 pg... On special teams, USU remains tops in the WAC, but slid to fourth in FBS in net punting with 44.0 ypg after leading the country last week. Junior punter Tyler Bennett is third in the country and first in the conference individual punting at 48.5 ypp... Other Aggie individuals among the nation's leaders include junior running back Robert Turbin, who remains ranked 11th in the FBS and leads the WAC in rushing at 121.7 ypg... Turbin is third in the country and tops in the conference in scoring with 16.0 ppg... Freshman quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 50th in the FBS and third in the WAC in passing efficiency (142.77), while ranking 82nd in the country and seventh in the conference in total offense (198.3 ypg)... Junior Kerwynn Williams is sixth in the nation and first in the league in punt returns (19.8 ypr) while ranking 38th in the country and fifth in the conference in all-purpose yards (139.0 ypg)... Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner is sixth in the FBS and first in the WAC in tackles with 12.7 pg... Fellow senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher is tied for 43rd in the country and is fifth in the conference in tackles with 9.0 pg... Senior defensive end Levi Koskan is tied for 24th in the nation and fourth in the league in sacks with .83 pg, while junior linebacker Maurice Alexander is tied for 53rd in the country and fifth in the conference in sacks with .67 pg... Koskan and Alexander are both tied for 74th in the nation and tied for fifth in the league in tackles for loss (1.2 pg).

UTAH STATE-BYU BY THE NUMB3R5 -- A closer look at note-ables about Friday's match-up between the Aggies and Cougars:

- 0 Players with the name of Provo on USU's roster.
- 1 Players with the name of Logan on BYU's roster - freshman DB Logan Obering
- 1 Old Wagon Wheel Trophy on the line
- 1 BYU full-time coach with ties to USU (Inside LB coach Paul Tidwell's hometown is Logan and he played fullback at USU from 1973-76, lettering 1974-76, rushing for 149 yards with two TD's in 1976.
- 1 Member of USU Athletics' 2011 Hall of Fame Induction Class who has a stadium named after him in LaVell Edwards, who played football at USU before later becoming a legendary coach at BYU and is the namesake of BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- 2 Players from Logan on BYU's roster (sophomore WR JD Falslev and junior QB Riley Nelson).
- 3 Players from Provo on USU's roster (senior WR Austin Alder, senior OL Funaki Asisi and sophomore WR Travis Van Leeuwen).
- 43 Players from the state of Utah on Utah State's roster.
- 54 Players from the state of Utah on BYU's roster.
- 81 Number of times USU and BYU have played entering Friday.
- 127 Miles from USU's Romney Stadium to BYU's LaVell Edwards Stadium.
- 1922 First year USU and BYU played football.

UTAH STATE-BYU LAST TIME: 2010
UTAH STATE 31, BYU 16
Oct. 1, 2010 • Logan, Utah • Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium

LOGAN, Utah - A swarming, stout defense and two Derrvin Speight touchdowns paved the way for Utah State's 31-16 caging of the Cougars from BYU on Oct. 1. A national television audience and a wild audience saw USU beat BYU on Merlin Olsen Field at a packed Romney Stadium for the Aggies' first win over the Cougars since 1993, snapping a 10-game losing skid. With "Merlin Olsen Field" wording donning the field for the first time this season, the Aggies beat the Cougars for their largest win in the series since a 24-7 win in 1978. Part of the spirited crowd stormed the field while the clock ticked away the final seconds, rushing it from all sides, keeping with the rushing theme of the night, as Speight rushed for a career-high two TD's on a career-best 22 carries, part of Utah State's 59 rushes, the most in school history since at least 1990. The Aggie defense snared two interceptions, matched by two sacks, and held BYU to just 65 rushing yards, a new season-low, as was the 16 points. USU contained BYU, which had scored at least 30 pts in the last 21 games in the series, and the 16 points allowed by USU's defense to BYU is the fewest in the series since USU's 24-7 win on Oct. 7, 1978. Utah State's last win over BYU was a 58-56 shootout in 1993, but USU has had large leads in the series before, but were overtaken by BYU in years past. The Aggie offense continued to move the ball Friday night, getting a balanced 243 yards in the first half and 191 in the second for a 434 total, opening a 31-3 lead mid-way through the third quarter. Senior quarterback Diondre Borel started the scoring with a 79-yard TD pass, catch and run to junior wide receiver Xavier Martin at the 6:57 mark of the first quarter. Borel ended the night 10-of-13 passing for 192 yards, the fewest pass attempts for USU since 1991 when Ron Lopez was 9-of-13 in 46-21 Nov. 23, 1991 at NMSU. Speight totalled 91 yards, his second-most of his career behind 99 in his freshman season of 2007. Borel added 68 yards on the ground while sophomore Kerwynn Williams had a career-best 15 carries for 51 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Dontel Watkins had three catches for 28 yards, while Speight matched that in yards on two receptions and junior tight end Kellen Bartlett added 26 yards on two catches. Junior linebacker Bobby Wagner posted 11 tackles, his fourth-straight double-digit tackle outing. Fellow junior linebacker Kyle Gallagher added 10 stops, and junior safety Walter McClenton notched eight tackles. The senior duo of cornerback Chris Randle and safety Rajric Coleman each snared an interception, as Coleman added two pass break-ups, matched by redshirt-freshman cornerback Cameron Sanders, while senior cornerback Curtis Marsh posted a game-high three pass break-ups. Junior defensive end Levi Koskan and senior defensive end Devin Johnson each had a sack. USU's defense limited BYU quarterback Jake Heaps to 27-of-55 passing for 270 yards, but he did not have any TD's, and threw the two interceptions and was sacked twice. Utah State took a 10-0 lead on freshman placekicker Braeden Loveless' first career field goal, a 34-yarder with 27 seconds left in the first quarter. Borel scampered to payturf from 1-yard out for a 17-0 lead at the 6:54 mark of the second quarter. BYU got on the board with a 23-yard Mitch Payne field goal with 3:28 left in the half, but Speight scored his first TD of the night with 49 seconds on the first half clock and the PAT by Loveless sent USU into halftime with a 24-3 lead. Speight scored again from a yard out with 6:32 left in the third stanza, capping a 12-play, 69-yard Aggie drive to open a 31-3 advantage. BYU added a 1-yard scoring run by Bryan Kariya for the Cougars' first TD of the night with 3:44 to go in the third. Di Luigi scored from 3-yards out with 31 seconds left, but the Aggies blocked Payne's PAT attempt for the final margin. BYU attempted the onside kick twice, going offsides the first time before the ball went out-of-bounds on the second, and USU took one knee to spark the celebration and field-storming.

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