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WHAT TO WATCH FOR...• Utah State will wear all white for its Homecoming game this week against UNLV, in its first-ever
White Out'. All Aggie fans are encouraged toWear Your Fighting White to the Game'.• Utah State's 3-1 start to the season is its best since 1978 when that Aggie team won its first five games of the year.
Date: Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
Kickoff: 6 p.m. (MT)
Location: Logan, Utah
Stadium: Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium (25,513)
Series: Utah State leads, 12-7
Trey Bender (Play-by-Play)
Jay Taylor (Analyst)
Radio: Utah State Sports Network
Al Lewis (Play-by-Play)
Craig Hislop (Analyst)
Live Stats: UtahStateAggies.com
Twitter Updates: /USUFootball
• For the second-straight week, Utah State will be playing a future conference opponent in Mountain West member UNLV on Saturday, Sept. 29 after winning at Colorado State last weekend, 31-19. USU officially joins the Mountain West on July 1, 2013.
• Utah State has won each of its last four home games and is 12-7 (.632) at home under head coach Gary Andersen including a 7-1 (.875) non-conference record. USU's current four-game home winning streak is its longest since the 1990 team also won four-straight home games. The last time USU won five home games in a row was during the 1981-82 seasons. All-time, USU is 117-95 (.552) at Romney Stadium.
• Utah State is 49-30-2 (.617) all-time during Homecoming, with two of those games being played against UNLV as USU defeated the Rebels, 7-6, in 1986 and then posted a 31-6 win against UNLV in 1990.
• Utah State has out-scored its opponents 51-0 in the first quarter this year and has not allowed a first-half touchdown on the season. Overall, the only points scored against the Aggies thus far in the first half has come on three field goals, one each by Southern Utah, Utah and Wisconsin.
• Utah State has won eight of its last nine regular season games and eight of its last 10 games overall with its only losses during that stretch coming against Ohio (24-23) in the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and at No. 22 Wisconsin (16-14) this season. USU has also won four of its last five road games dating back to 2011.
• During the last two years, nine of Utah State's last 11 games have been decided by one score, while seven of its last 10 games had the winning points scored in the final minute of regulation or in overtime. Overall, USU has won six of its last eight games decided by one score dating back to the 2011 season.
• Utah State is 5-9 in September under Andersen and 5-4 all-time in games played on Sept. 29.
UTAH STATE HOSTS UNLV IN ANNUAL HOMECOMING GAME
Utah State (3-1, 0-0 WAC) will host UNLV (1-3, 1-0 MWC) in its 82nd Homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. The game, which is USU's only home game during a five-week stretch, will be carried live on ESPN3 with Trey Bender (play-by-play) and Jay Taylor (analyst) on the call. Live audio of the game will be available at www.UtahStateAggies.com. Live stats will be available through GameTracker, while Twitter updates - @USUFootball - will also be a part of Utah State's gameday coverage.
AFCA TO HOLD FIFTH-ANNUAL COACH TO CURE MD EFFORT THIS WEEKEND
The American Football Coaches' Association (AFCA) will hold its fifth annual Coach to Cure MD effort with the games of September 29. More than 100 FBS schools, including the coaching staffs from both Utah State and UNLV, will be wearing a Coach to Cure MD patch to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999."
UTAH STATE-UNLV SERIES HISTORY
Utah State and UNLV will be meeting for the 20th time in series history this weekend, with USU owning a 12-7 advantage including a 6-3 record at home. The first game played in the series was on Sept. 25, 1971 in Logan with USU winning, 27-7. The last time the two teams played one another was on Aug. 30, 2008 in Las Vegas with the Rebels winning, 27-17. The last time UNLV played in Logan was on Aug. 30, 2007, winning 23-16. The last time Utah State defeated UNLV was on Sept. 24, 2005 in Logan, 31-24. Overall, USU has won nine of the last 12 games played in the series despite losing each of the last two meetings.
UTAH STATE AND UNLV MEMBERS OF BIG WEST CONFERENCE FROM 1982-95
When Utah State joins the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013 it will be the second time that USU and UNLV will be league foes as the two schools were conference rivals for 14 years (1982-95) as members of the Big West Conference. As Big West members, USU went 8-5 against the Rebels with a 4-2 home record and a 4-3 road mark.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH UNLV
Utah State assistant head coach, running backs coach and tight ends coach Mike Sanford spent five years (2005-09) as UNLV's head coach and led the Rebels to a 2-1 record against Utah State winning in 2007 in Logan (23-16) and in 2008 in Las Vegas (27-17), while losing in 2005 in Las Vegas (31-24). UNLV assistant head coach and outside linebackers coach Kraig Paulson spent three years at Utah State (2000-02) as Utah State's defensive coordinator and secondary coach.
UTAH STATE CONNECTIONS WITH THE STATE OF NEVADA
Utah State has two players on its active roster from the state of Nevada in senior running back Kerwynn Williams (Las Vegas/Valley HS) and redshirt freshman running back Ladale Jackson (Las Vegas/Silverado HS).
UTAH STATE VERSUS THE STATE OF NEVADA
Utah State is 17-24 (.415) all-time against teams from the state of Nevada with a 12-7 record against UNLV and a 5-17 record against Nevada. The last time USU played a team from `The Silver State' was on Nov. 26, 2011 in Logan when USU defeated the Wolf Pack, 21-17.
EIGHTH AND FINAL YEAR IN THE WESTERN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Utah State is entering its eighth and final year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference as it will officially join the Mountain West Conference on July 1, 2013. In its first seven years in the WAC, USU has posted an 18-37 (.327) mark. Prior to joining the WAC, Utah State was a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04 and spent two years as a independent (2001-02). USU was also a member of the PCAA/Big West Conference (1978-2000), the Mountain States Conference/Skyline (1938-61), and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (1916-37).
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.
A LOOK AT UTAH STATE
Utah State is 3-1 on the year after winning at Colorado State, 31-19, in its last outing. USU began the year by posting a 34-3 home win against Southern Utah, followed by a 27-20 overtime win at home against Utah and a 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Offensively, USU is led by sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton who is 85-of-121 passing for 879 yards (219.8 ypg) with seven touchdowns and three interceptions. Senior running back Kerwynn Williams leads the team in rushing with 406 yards on 69 carries (101.5 ypg) with three touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Matt Austin has 15 catches for 238 yards (59.5 ypg) and three touchdowns. Defensively, senior safety McKade Brady leads the team with 33 tackles (10-solo, 23-assist), including 1.0 tackle for loss. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has 29 tackles (11-solo, 18-assist) with 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one blocked kick and one fumble recovery. And senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu has 25 tackles (10-solo, 15-assist) with 3.5 tackles for loss to go along with one sack. As a team, Utah State is averaging 26.5 points and 424.2 yards of total offense per game (219.8-passing, 204.5-rushing) and allowing just 14.5 points and 274.8 yards of total offense (171.0-passing, 103.8-rushing).
UTAH STATE WINS FIRST NON-CONFERENCE ROAD GAME SINCE 2004
Utah State's 31-19 road win at Colorado State was its fourth road win in its last five outings dating back to 2011, but it was the Aggies first non-conference road win dating back to Sept. 25, 2004 when it won at UNLV, 31-21. Since that win in Las Vegas, USU had lost 19 straight non-conference road games. Furthermore, USU's 12-point road win was its largest since it won at New Mexico State by 18 points (35-17) on Nov. 17, 2007.
UTAH STATE AVOIDS BACK-TO-BACK DEFEATS
With its 31-19 road win at Colorado State, Utah State improved to 11-10 (.524) following a loss under head coach Gary Andersen and has lost back-to-back games just twice during its last 17 outings.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE PITCHES A SHUTOUT IN THE FIRST-HALF AGAINST THE RAMS
Utah State played outstanding defense in the first-half of its last game against Colorado State as it held the Rams to just four first downs and 61 yards of total offense as USU lead 17-0 at the break. The last time USU held an opponent scoreless in the first-half was during the 2009 season against San Jose State.
UTAH STATE DEFENSE RECORDS SEASON-HIGH FIVE SACKS AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State's defense recorded season-highs with five sacks and 10 tackles for loss in its last game against Colorado State. Those five team sacks are the most for an Aggie defense since it had five sacks against Louisiana Tech in 2009.
UTAH STATE SCORES ON 19-PLAY DRIVE AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State recorded one of the longest scoring drives in school history against Colorado State as it went 85-yards in 19-plays that took 7:46 off the clock. Those 19-plays are the most in a drive since Nov. 3, 1990 against New Mexico State when USU drove 59-yards on 20-plays for a touchdown. Furthermore, the time of the drive against CSU (7:46) was USU's longest since 2007 when it had an 8:23 scoring drive against San Jose State.
UTAH STATE PRODUCTIVE ON OFFENSE AGAINST COLORADO STATE
Utah State had a very productive game offensively against Colorado State with 440 yards of total offense, including 262 on the ground, which was just three yards shy of its season-high of 265 rushing yards in its season-opener against Southern Utah. Utah State also converted a season-best 10 third downs in the game on 17 attempts.
PLAYER NOTABLES FROM THE COLORADO STATE GAME
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams recorded his second career 100-yard rushing game as he finished with a career-high 205 yards on a career-best 21 carries to go along two rushing touchdowns, also a career-high. Williams also had a career-long 58 yard rush. Overall, Williams has three rushing touchdowns this year and 10 in his career. Senior wide receiver Matt Austin tied his career-high with six catches. He also had his third receiving touchdown of the season and the ninth of his career. Sophomore running back Joe Hill scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. Junior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen recorded a career-high four catches. Senior safety McKade Brady tied his season-high with 10 tackles. Overall, it is his fifth-career double digit tackle outing. Sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil had career-highs in tackles for loss (3) and sacks (2). Senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs had a career-long 55 yard kick return. Junior linebacker Cade Cowdin had a season-high five tackles. Senior punt Tyler Bennett had one punt of 50-plus yards to give him four punts of 50 or more yards this year.
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has eight players on its team who are married (McKade Brady, Clayton Christensen, Nate Needham, Joe Summers, Brad Theurer, Josh Thompson, Kevin Whimpey, Kyle Whimpey), while 16 Aggies have served a two-year LDS Church Mission (Eric Berntson, 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 and Kyle Whimpey).
THREE AGGIES EARN COLLEGE FOOTBALL PERFORMANCE HONORS FOLLOWING COLORADO STATE GAME
Utah State's Tyler Bennett, Zach Vigil and Kerwynn Williams all earned national recognition from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) following Utah State's 31-19 road win at Colorado State this past weekend as the trio garnered honorable mention honors at their respective positions. It is the second-straight week that Vigil and Williams have garnered recognition from CFPA as Vigil was named an honorable mention national linebacker of the week and Williams was named an honorable mention all-purpose performer of the week following USU's 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Bennett is also being honored for the second time this year after garnering the WAC's Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 10 following USU's 27-20 overtime win against Utah. Bennett had three punts against Colorado State for an average of 47.0 yards, including a 54-yarder for his fourth 50-yard punt of the season. Bennett also had two punts downed inside the 20-yardline. Vigil had seven tackles (6-solo, 1-assist) to go along with a career-high three tackles for loss and a career-best two sacks against Colorado State this past weekend. Williams had 227 yards of total offense against Colorado State as he rushed for 205 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, all career-highs, and added three receptions for 22 yards. Williams had touchdown runs of 26 and 58 yards in the game, with the 58-yarder being a career-long. Overall, it was Williams's second-career 100-yard rushing game and first-career multi-touchdown game.
WILLIAMS NAMED WAC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams was named the WAC's Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 24 following his performance against Colorado State in leading the Aggies to a 31-19 road win. Against the Rams, Williams had 227 yards of total offense as he rushed for 205 yards on 21 carries with two touchdowns, all career-highs, and added three receptions for 22 yards. Williams had touchdown runs of 26 and 58 yards in the game, with the 58-yarder being a career-long. Overall, it was Williams's second-career 100-yard rushing game and first-career multi-touchdown game. Furthermore, Williams's 205 rushing yards rank tied as the 22nd-most in a single game in school history.
VIGIL NAMED COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS WAC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second straight week, sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil has garnered national recognition as he was named College Sports Madness' Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his performance in USU's 31-19 road win at Colorado State. Last week, Vigil was named an honorable mention national Linebacker of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) following Utah State's hard-fought 16-14 loss at No. 22 Wisconsin. Vigil had seven tackles (6-solo, 1-assist) to go along with a career-high three tackles for loss and a career-best two sacks against Colorado State this past weekend. Overall, Vigil ranks second on the team in tackles (29), is first in both tackles for loss (5.5) and sacks (3.0), is tied for second in quarterback hurries (2), and has one blocked kick, one forced fumble and one pass breakup on the season.
WILLIAMS' 205 RUSHING YARDS AGAINST COLORADO STATE AMONG BEST IN SCHOOL HISTORY
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had one of the best rushing days in school history in his last outing against Colorado State as his 205 rushing yards on 21 carries ranks tied for the 22nd-best single-game rushing performance in school history and the best since Robert Turbin rushed for 208 yards at Idaho in 2011.
KEETON RANKS FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN COMPLETION PERCENTAGE
Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton is 191-of-295 passing during his brief Utah State career with a completion percentage of 64.7 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. Thus far in 2012, Keeton is completing 70.2 percent of his passes (85-121), which would also be a single-season school record bettering the mark set last year by Adam Kennedy (.691).
BENNETT TIED FOR FIRST ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN PUNTING
Senior Tyler Bennett has a career punt average of 43.5 yards on 82 punts (3,565) which ranks tied for first all-time in school history along with Jerry Arguello (1997-98).
Kerwynn Williams RANKS FIFTH ALL-TIME AT UTAH STATE IN ALL-PURPOSE YARDAGE
Senior running back Kerwynn Williams had 227 all-purpose yards in his last game against Colorado State and now has 3,913 all-purpose yards in his career to rank fifth in school history. Williams is now 1,290 yards shy of tying Louie Giammona (1973-75) for fourth-place with 5,203 all-purpose yards.
THOMPSON SETS SCHOOL RECORDS IN KICKING IN 2011
Junior placekicker Josh Thompson set new Utah State single-season extra point records in 2011 with 57 makes in 58 attempts. Thompson also ranked fifth in school history in extra point percentage (.983). All-time, Thompson ranks fourth at USU in extra point percentage (.984), sixth in extra points made (65) and seventh in extra points attempted (66).
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State has had a player rush for at least 100 yards 23 times in the last three-plus years under current head coach Gary Andersen. 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.
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE RANKS AS ONE OF THE BEST IN THE NATION
As of Sept. 23, Utah State's defense ranks second in the WAC and 11th in the nation in total defense (274.8 ypg). USU also leads the WAC and ranks 18th in the nation in passing defense (171.0 ypg), ranks first in the WAC and 20th in the nation in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), is first in the WAC and 21st in the nation in pass efficiency defense (102.1), ranks second in the WAC and 21st in the nation in rushing defense, and is second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in sacks per game (2.8). USU also ranks first in the WAC in opponent's third-down conversions at 24.2 percent (16-66) and is second in the WAC in first downs allowed (15.25).
UTAH STATE'S DEFENSE LIMITING POINTS ALLOWED IN THE RED ZONE
Utah State's defense has done a great job of not allowing teams to score once it enters the red zone as USU's opponents are just 6-of-10 (.600) inside the 20 this season with just two touchdowns and four field goals, to go along with one missed field goal, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.
UTAH STATE RANKS SECOND IN THE WAC IN RUSHING OFFENSE
As of Sept. 23, Utah State ranks second in the WAC and 37th in the nation in rushing offense (204.5 ypg) and third in the WAC and 55th in the nation in total offense (424.2 ypg). USU also ranks fifth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in passing efficiency (143.90), fifth in the WAC and 72nd in the nation in passing offense (219.8 ypg), and sixth in the WAC and 76th in the nation in scoring offense (26.5 ppg). USU also ranks fourth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in sacks allowed per game (1.5).