Estimated read time: 33-34 minutes
For its annual Homecoming game, Utah State (1-6, 1-2 WAC) will host Fresno State (4-2, 1-1 WAC) on Saturday, Oct. 25... Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. (MT) at USU's Romney Stadium (25,513)... Saturday marks the second time in the last three years that the Bulldogs have been the Aggies' Homecoming opponent, after USU's thrilling 13-12 win in 2006... The battle between the Aggies and the Bulldogs will be televised by KJZZ (Comcast Ch. 14 in Cache Valley).
HOMECOMING TO CELEBRATE TRADITION: ONCE AN AGGIE, ALWAYS AN AGGIE
Utah State has won 63.6 percent of its games celebrating the navy and white tradition. The Oct. 25 date is the latest Homecoming game since 1996, when USU played on Oct. 26. Saturday is the sixth time that the Aggies have had Homecoming on Oct. 25 but the first since 1986's 7-6 win over UNLV and USU is 2-3 in the previous five games, having won two of the last three. The Aggies are 48-27-2 all-time in their Homecoming game, as last year's 23-20 loss to San Jose State snapped a two-game Homecoming winning streak, but the Aggies have won four of the last seven. This is the second time in the last three years and fifth time overall that Fresno State has been Utah State's Homecoming opponent. The Aggies are 2-2 vs. the Bulldogs in those previous four Homecoming games, including 2006's 13-12 thrilling USU victory. Here is a closer look at USU's last 10 Homecoming games:
USU continues its two-game homestand by hosting Hawai'i on Saturday, Nov. 1... Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Romney Stadium.
THREE OUT OF FOUR VS. RANKED OPPONENTS
USU's game on Oct. 3 vs. No. 8 BYU was Utah State's third ranked opponent in four games after playing 18th-ranked Oregon (L, 24-66) on Sept. 6, then 22nd-ranked Utah on Sept. 13 (L, 10-58) and then unranked Idaho on Sept. 20 (W, 42-17)... This season is the first time since 2001 that USU faced three ranked opponents in a span of four games, playing at No. 13 LSU (L, 14-31), then playing unranked Wyoming on Sept. 22 (L, 42-43) before taking on 6th-ranked Oregon on Sept. 29 (L 21-38) and at No. 18 BYU on Oct. 5 (L, 34-54)... USU played three ranked opponent this season for the second year in a row, after not playing three in one season since 2001.
USU IN OCTOBER / ON OCT. 25
Utah State has an eight-game losing streak in October and has lost 19 of its last 22 games in the Canadian Thanksgiving month (which was on Monday, Oct. 13)... USU won its first game of the month in 2006, edging Fresno State, 13-12, on Oct. 7, but has lost eight in row in October since... Saturday is the Aggies' first game on Oct. 25 since 2003 when USU beat Arkansas State, 49-0... Overall, USU is 8-5 on Oct. 25 since 1914, currently on a four-game winning streak on the date... The Aggies are 5-3 at home on Oct. 25 and USU is 1-0 vs. Fresno State on Oct. 25, winning 14-0 in 1980 at Fresno... USU is 2-3 on Homecoming on Oct. 25... Here's a look at how USU has fared on Oct. 25:
1919 - W, 19-0 vs. Montana State 1924 - W, 16-0 at Denver 1930 - W, 13-8 vs. Wyoming 1941 - L, 6-7 vs. Colorado State * 1947 - L, 12-20 at BYU 1952 - L, 7-21 vs. Colorado State * 1958 - W, 15-0 vs. Colorado State * 1969 - L, 0-40 vs. Memphis * 1975 - L, 0-31 at Arkansas 1980 - W, 14-0 at Fresno State 1986 - W, 7-6 vs. UNLV * 1997 - W, 63-17 at Idaho 2003 - W, 49-0 vs. Arkansas State
* = Homecoming OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN
Each week Utah State will select game captains. Those selected for the Fresno State game will be announced later in the week.
Life on the road has been tough for the Aggies, who have lost their last four road games and are 3-22 under head coach Brent Guy... The win at New Mexico State on Nov. 17, 2007 snapped a 13-game road losing skid, as two of USU's three road wins are at NMSU, with the 35-17 victory last year plus winning on the road in the 2005 season finale at New Mexico State, 24-21, along with the 24-19 win at Idaho on Nov. 24 of last year.
Utah State has just two home wins in its last 15 home games, as the win over Idaho on Sept. 20 snapped a seven-game home losing skein, after USU had last won on its home turf on Oct. 7, 2006 with a 13-12 win over Fresno State... The Aggies are 4-14 at home under head coach Brent Guy.
ABOUT UTAH STATE
USU won its first game of the season on Sept. 20 with a 42-17 win over Idaho to improve to 1-0 in WAC action before losing to San Jose State on Oct. 11, 30-7, and losing at Nevada, 44-17, on Oct. 18 to drop Utah State's WAC record to 1-2... USU is 1-6 overall... The Aggies are sixth in the WAC statistics and 91st in the NCAA in rushing offense (121.9 ypg) and eighth in the league and 90th in the nation in passing offense (186.9 ypg) to rank eighth in the conference and 100th in the country in total offense (308.7 ypg)... Defensively, USU is sixth in the WAC and 101st in the NCAA in rushing defense (192.3 ypg) and sixth in the league and 100th in the nation in passing defense (251.0 ypg) to rank eighth in the conference and 109th in the country in total defense (443.3 ypg)... The Aggies are ninth in the WAC and 101st in the NCAA in scoring offense (18.7 ppg) while ranking eighth in the conference and 114th in the country in scoring defense (39.4 ppg)... Individually, sophomore QB Diondre Borel is seventh in the WAC and 81st in the NCAA in passing efficiency (114.6) and is fifth in the conference and 74th in the country in total offense (183.1 ypg)... Defensively, senior LB Jake Hutton is sixth in the league and tied for 62nd in the nation in tackles with 8.1 pg... Sophomore P/K Peter Caldwell is fourth in the conference and 52nd in the country in punting (40.7 ypp) and is eighth in the league and tied for 98th in the nation in field goals (0.4 pg)... Junior K Chris Ulinski filled in for Caldwell in field goals on Saturday at Nevada, drilling a 42-yarder, as well as kicking off four times, booming his sixth touchback of the season and he has kept opponents inside the 25 a total of 13 times.
Sophomore PK/P Peter Caldwell now has 42 career PAT's, (42-of-42), remaining in a tie for first with Willie Beecher (64-of-64, 1981-84) and Russ Moody (44-of-44, 1988-89) as the only three USU kickers with a perfect career PAT percentage (1.000).
The USU defense has at least one interception in six straight games and 14 of the last 18 games dating back to last season... The Nevada game was the USU defense's fourth multi-turnover game this season and seventh in the nine games and 13th time in the last 18 games dating back to last season... The Aggie defense had four turnovers in a game for the first time since last year's season-finale at Idaho when USU had three INT's and one fumble recovery... Six different USU defenders now have an INT, compared to nine total last season... Redshirt freshman RB Robert Turbin's 40-yard rush in the BYU game was USU's fourth rushing TD of over 20 yards after having no rushing TD's of over 20 yards last season... Overall, that was the Aggies' fifth offensive TD of 20 yards or more this season compared to six all of last year... Turbin now leads USU with three rushing TD's this season, matching last season's for most by a running back (Derrvin Speight)... The 52-yard TD pass from sophomore QB Diondre Borel to senior WR Otis Nelson in the Nevada game was USU's longest offensive TD this season and was the second TD reception over 20 yards... The Aggies now have 10 TD receptions this season, compared to 11 for all of last year... USU now has seven different receivers with TD catches, compared to only five different receivers with scoring catches last year... Junior TE Zac Zimmerman caught his first career reception in the SJSU game... The Aggies have scored 131 points this season through seven games, compared to 140 points at this point last season... In the SJSU game, USU's defense held an opponent scoreless in the opening quarter for the first time since the last time the Aggies played at San Jose State, on Oct. 14, 2006, a span of 23 games... Sophomore P Peter Caldwell punted five times in the first quarter of the SJSU game, matching his combined punts from the previous two games (four vs. BYU, one vs. Idaho)... The Aggies' 10 punts in the SJSU game were the most since 11 at Clemson on Oct. 16, 2004.
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE
According to the NCAA, Utah State has the toughest schedule in the WAC for both games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams (ranked tied for 38th overall) and for all games including games against FBS and Football Championship Series teams (tied for No. 33 overall)... Fresno State has the weakest schedule in the WAC in both categories:
Rank Rank Team Cumulative Opposition Record Win Pct.
1 T-38 Utah St. 36-30 / .555
9 108 Fresno St. 26-42 / .382
<i>FBS and FCS:</i> WAC NCAA Rank Rank Team Cumulative Opposition Record Win Pct. 1 T-33 Utah St. 45-30 / .600 9 169 Fresno St. 34-42 / .447
ABOUT FRESNO STATE
The Bulldogs are 4-2 overall and 1-1 in WAC play and come to Logan after a bye week... Fresno State leads the WAC and ranks ninth in the nation in kick off returns (25.5 ypr)... The Bulldog offense is second in the conference and 23rd in the country in total offense (432.2 ypg), ranking second in the league and 12th in the nation in rushing offense (226.0 ypg) and sixth in the WAC and 70th in the NCAA in passing offense (206.2 ypg)... Defensively, Fresno State is seventh in the league and 103rd in the nation in rushing defense (196.3 ypg) and fifth in the conference and 69th in the country in passing defense (211.8 ypg), to rank seventh in the WAC and 97th in the NCAA in total defense (408.2 ypg)... The Bulldogs are second in the conference and 29th in the country in scoring offense (33.2 ppg) while ranking fourth in the league and 86th in the nation in scoring defense (28.2 ppg)... Individually, senior QB Tom Brandstater is fourth in the WAC and 32nd in the NCAA in passing efficiency (142.3) as well as fourth in the league and 67th in the nation in total offense (195.2 ypg)... For the defense, sophomore LB Ben Jacobs is fifth in the conference and 52nd in the country in tackles with 8.5 pg... Senior KR/CB A.J. Jefferson is second in the WAC and 18th in the NCAA in kickoff returns (27.6 ypr)... Redshirt freshman K Kevin Goessling ranks second in the league and tied for 19th in the nation in field goals with 1.5 pg, drilling 9-of-15 (.600), tying USU's sophomore K/P Peter Caldwell for fourth in the WAC in field goal percentage.
Fresno State has won four of the last five meetings with Utah State as USU's 13-12 win in 2006 snapped a three-game losing skid to Fresno State and the Bulldogs lead the all-time series by a 12-10-1 count and had claimed the previous three meetings since Utah State posted a 20-19 win against then 25th-ranked Fresno State in 1991... That victory is USU's only win against an AP ranked team in school history... After meeting four straight seasons from 1952-55, the teams played every year from 1978-91 and 1993 when both programs were members of the Big West Conference... The teams met in a non-conference game in 2001, before meeting in 2005 and last year as members of the WAC... The 2001 meeting was scheduled for Sept. 15, but the 9-11 tragedy happened on the Tuesday of that week so the Bulldogs and Aggies agreed to postpone the game until Dec. 1, where FS won 70-21, USU's 15th-largest losing margin (49 points) in school history... The Aggies are 8-2 at Logan against the Bulldogs, winning three of the last five meetings on USU's home field.
UTAH STATE-FRESNO STATE LAST TIME - Nov. 3, 2007 - FRESNO
Senior WR/KR Kevin Robinson became Utah State's career all-purpose record holder in the Aggies' 38-27 loss to Fresno State on Nov. 3 at Bulldog Stadium. Robinson passed former Aggie great Emmett White's 5,872 yards from 1998-2001 with a 29-yard kick return in the second quarter following Fresno State's third touchdown of the game. For the game, Robinson had 259 all-purpose yards and now has 6,058 career all-purpose yards. The Bulldogs avenged 2006's USU win at Logan and have now won four of the last five meetings as Fresno State now leads the all-time series 12-10-1. Fresno State bolted out of the gates with 14 first-quarter points before the Aggies got on the board with a 17-yard run by redshirt freshman FB Jacob Actkinson five seconds into the second stanza. It was Actkinson's career-long rush for his first career rushing TD after having his first receiving TD the previous week against La Tech. That would be the closest USU would get as Fresno State scored the next 17 points to take a 31-7 lead into halftime. The Aggies closed to 31-17 after a 44-yard pass from senior QB/P Leon Jackson III to Robinson, followed by a fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff and a 46-yard field goal by freshman K Peter Caldwell capped off the drive. On the following kickoff, Fresno State's A.J. Jefferson returned the kick 88 yards for a TD to put the Bulldogs up, 38-17 part way through the third quarter. Caldwell tacked on a 40-yard field goal to make the score 38-20, and Jackson hit junior TE Rob Myers with a 23-yard TD pass to pull within, 38-27. The Aggies' onside kick attempt was recovered by the Bulldogs who ran out the clock for the win. Utah State had 369 yards of total offense, one yard shy of the season-high 370 at Hawai'i on Oct. 6. Fresno State ended the day with 386 yards of total offense.
AGGIES-BULLDOGS LAST TIME AT LOGAN - Oct. 7, 2006
Freshman quarterback Riley Nelson guided Utah State to a thrilling 13-12 come from behind victory in his first collegiate start on Oct. 7, 2006 at Logan. Nelson found Fresno native Kevin Robinson on a 30-yard touchdown pass with just :55 left in the game to boost the Aggies to just their second victory in their last 13 games. The Aggies drove 80 yards in 11 plays on the game-winning drive just after Fresno State extended its 9-7 lead to 12-7 with a field goal at the 3:56 mark. Nelson was 9-of-19 passing for 120 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Nelson had played the last two series in USU's previous game against Idaho. Nelson was 6-of-6 passing for 57 yards, while rushing three times for 34 more yards on the final drive. He had rushes of 16 and 21 yards on the final series and converted three third-down plays on the drive. Utah State took an early 7-0 lead as Marcus Cross scored on a 54-yard reception late in the first quarter. The Aggies held Fresno State scoreless in the first half, marking the first time the opponents did not score before the break since 2003. Fresno State evened the score at the 9:04 mark of the third quarter on a 60-yard pass to Chastin West. Fresno State took the lead on a safety when an errant Utah State punt snap sailed back 30 yards into the endzone early in the fourth quarter. Leading 9-7, the visiting Bulldogs added a 29-yard field goal with 3:56 left in the game before USU's final drive. On the night Fresno State outgained Utah State 319 yards to 267 behind 138 rushing yards from Dwayne Wright. The Aggies countered with 93 rushing yards by Cross, as well as 76 on the ground by Nelson.
USU has 43 players on its roster from the state of California, the most from any state on the roster... One of those players' hometown is Fresno, in junior CB Kejon Murphy (Edison HS)... Murphy was high school teammates with the Bulldogs' sophomore DT Cornell Banks and sophomore LB Sonny McCree... The Utah State junior trio of S James Brindley, OT Brennan McFadden and K Chris Ulinski were high school teammates with Fresno State sophomore OG Andrew Jackson at Nevada Union HS in Grass Valley, Calif... Other California high school teammates and fellow hometown natives are: Aggie sophomore LB Jordan Glass (out for season with broken leg) and FS sophomore OT Kenny Wiggins of Elk Grove (Elk Grove HS), USU sophomore DE Nathan Royster and FS sophomore LB Nico Herron and freshman WR Jamel Hamler of San Leandro (San Leandro HS), USU sophomore TB Curtis Marsh (Royal HS) and FS sophomore SS Lorne Bell (Simi Valley HS) of Simi Valley and Aggie sophomore LB Kyle Gallagher (Douglass HS) and FS junior DL Wilson Ramos (Woodland HS) of Woodland... Fresno State sophomore QB Ryan Colburn is a native of Visalia, Calif., the same hometown as USU Senior Assoc. Athletic Director Jana Doggett and USU Academic Advisor/ Life Skills Coord. Amy Crosbie, wife of former USU QB and current USU Asst. AD/Business Manager Jeff Crosbie... USU offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey was 0-1-1 vs. Fresno State while an assistant coach at UTEP (1994-96)... In the last 13 meetings, Utah State is 3-9-1 vs. Fresno State... The three wins have been by a combined six points (13-12 in 2006, 20-19 in 1991 and 17-13 in 1987) and all three have been at home.
CURRENT AGGIE HIGHLIGHTS VS. THE BULLDOGS
Here is a look at how some current Aggies have fared against Fresno State in their careers: DL Ben Calderwood had a team and career-high nine tackles in 2006, the most by an Aggie lineman since 2003, earning WAC Player of the Week honors... LB Jake Hutton had a team-leading nine stops in 2005 but missed the 2006 meeting with an injury, but had three tackles last season... Then-LB Derrick Cumbee and LB Paul Igboeli had seven tackles apiece in 2006 against the Bulldogs, while Igboeli had a team-high 12 stops last year... S Caleb Taylor had seven tackles while fellow S James Brindley had an interception and a 31-yard return last year... RB Derrvin Speight led USU with 71 rushing yards and had four catches for 32 yards... RB Curtis Marsh had one catch for 15 yards and four rushes for one yard... WR Xavier Bowman had one catch for eight yards, while WR Otis Nelson also had one reception, for seven yards.
USU BESTS VS. FRESNO STATE
Here is a look at some of the top USU statistical individual performances against the Bulldogs over the years: Rick Parros had the fifth-highest single-game rushing outing in USU history with 252 yards against Fresno State in 1978... In 1980, Marvin Jackson had an 88-yard rush, tied for the fourth-longest rushing play in school history... Richard Gwynn holds the 10th-longest rush mark with an 80-yard run against FS in 1984... Jack Hill had a 90-yard kick return against Fresno State in 1955, tied for the 12th-longest kick return... Utah State's 70-21 loss at Fresno State in 2001 is the 15th-largest losing margin (49 points)... In addition to the 252 outing Parros had another one of his 14 career 100-yard rushing outings with 168 yards against Fresno State in 1979... Gwynn had the first of two career 100-yard games with 144 yards in 1984... Roger Grant logged one of his 11 100-yard games with 197 yards in 1990... In 1993, James Dye recorded his only 100-yard outing with 112 yards against FS... David Fiefia had the first of four 100-yard games with 116 yards in the Fresno State game in 2001... Brett Stevens had his only 300-yard passing game with 326 yards against the Bulldogs in 1984... The next year, Brent Snyder had the first of his school-record 10 300-yard outings with 335 yards against FS... In 1978, Jimmy Bryany had 125 receiving yards against the Bulldogs... Kendal Smith had 142 receiving yards against Fresno State in 1987, the single-game receiving mark for a USU freshman and the first of the 15 century-yard receiving games he would have, adding another one in 1988 with 101 against the Bulldogs... Kevin Curtis tallied one of his school-record 16 100-yard receiving games with 110 against Fresno State in 2001.
2008 RANKED OPPONENTS
There are currently three USU opponents in the Top 25:
- Utah (L 10-58 - Sept. 13)
- Boise State (Nov. 8)
- Brigham Young (L 14-34, Oct. 3)
RV. Oregon (L 24-66 - Sept. 6)
RV. Fresno State (Oct. 25)
If any upcoming opponent is ranked when USU faces them, it will mark the first time since 2001 that the Aggies will face four ranked opponents in the same season and if both are still ranked, it will mark the first time ever that USU has taken on five ranked opponents.
HEAD COACH BRENT GUY
Brent Guy (Oklahoma State, 1983) is in his fourth year as head coach after coming to Utah State from Arizona State where he was the defensive coordinator for four years. Guy was an assistant coach (linebackers) at Utah State from 1992-94 under then head coach Charlie Weatherbie. During that time, USU posted its only bowl victory in school history, claiming the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl. Guy was involved in eight bowl games in 19 years as a collegiate assistant coach. Previous stops include Oklahoma State (1986-91 - graduate assistant 1986-87, recruiting coordinator 1988, linebackers 1989-91), Utah State (1992-94 - linebackers), Oklahoma State (1995-97 - linebackers), Boise State (1998-2000 - defensive coordinator) and Arizona State (2001-04 - defensive coordinator) before being named the Aggies' 25th head coach in December of 2004. In his first year at USU, the Aggies were 3-8 overall and 2-6 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Utah State Head Coach
2005 3-8 2-6 2006 1-11 1-7 2007 2-10 2-6 2008 1-6 1-2 Total 7-35 6-21
Assistant Totals Record Notes Oklahoma State (1986-91, 95-97) 51-51-1 3 Bowls Utah State (1992-94) 15-19-0 1 Bowl Boise State (1998-99) 26-10-0 2 Bowls, 2 10-win seasons Arizona State (2001-04) 13-19-0 2 Bowls Totals (19 years) 118-103-1 8 Bowls, 10 winning seasons
GUY VS. FS
Aggie head coach Brent Guy is 1-7 all-time vs. Nevada, currently 0-3 as head coach and was 1-4 when an assistant coach, going 0-3 as a USU assistant and 1-1 when at Boise State... Here is a closer look:
1993 (Utah State Assistant) - L 14-30 at Fresno 1997 (Oklahoma State Assistant) - W 35-0 at Stillwater, Okla. 2005 (Utah State Head Coach) - L 21-53 at Fresno 2006 (Utah State Head Coach) - W 13-12 at Logan 2007 (Utah State Head Coach) - L 27-38 at Fresno
DID YOU KNOW?
Utah State offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey did not face Fresno State while he was head coach at North Texas.
AGGIE ASSISTANT COACHES
Utah State had one change on its coaching staff from last year, as Thomas Dunson joined the staff. Offensive Coordinator - Darrell Dickey (Kansas State, 1984, 2nd Year)... Former head coach at North Texas... Guided Mean Green to four consecutive conference championships from 2001-04. Wide Receivers - Greg Stevens (Eastern Oregon, 1992, 4th Year)... Former offensive coordinator at S.F. Austin... USU interim off. coord. for eight games. Running Backs - Shaun Johnson (Utah State, 1995, 3rd Year)... Former Aggie wide receiver, coached Division I-AA rushing leader at Brown in 2005. Tight Ends - Tracy Smith (LSU, 2003, 3rd Year)... Worked with LSU quarterbacks in 2005... Is son of former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Carl Smith. Offensive Line - Vance Vice (Oklahoma State, 1990, 4th Year)... As an Oklahoma State tight end was a key to Barry Sanders winning the Heisman in 1988. Def. Coord./LB - Mark Johnson (UC Davis, 1990, 4th Year)... Has coached at four different WAC schools (San Jose State, Boise State, Nevada and USU). Def. Line - Danilo Robinson (Utah State, 1997, 4th Year)... Holds USU single-game sacks record with five vs. San Jose State in 1995. Safeties - Jeff Copp (Boise State, 2001, 4th Year)... Was an all-conference defensive end while playing at Boise State. Cornerbacks - John Rushing (Washington State, 1995, 6th Year)... Was a freshman All-America corner at Washington State... Older brother of former USU WR Kevin Robinson. GA-Offense - Thomas Dunson (LSU, 2003, 1st Year)... Comes to USU after one season at Rice... Was on Darrell Dickey's staff at North Texas for three seasons (2004- 06). GA-Defense/Special Teams - Tony Flores (Utah State, 3rd Year)... Moved up from serving as a work study in the football office in 2005.
DID YOU KNOW?
USU head coach Brent Guy and offensive coordinator Darrell Dickey played against each other when Guy was a linebacker at Oklahoma State and Dickey was a quarterback at Kansas State... Oklahoma State won all four meetings during Guy and Dickey's tenures, winning 42-15 in 1979, 10-0 in 1980, 31-10 in '81 and 24-16 in '82... Oct. 20 marked the 25th anniversary of Guy and Dickey's last meeting of 1982 when Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State... In the 1982 Cowboy-Wildcat clash, Guy had 18 tackles, including one TFL and two pass break-ups while Dickey was 17-of-35 passing for 185 yards with two TD's and one INT.
The Aggie offense did not have a turnover in the Oregon game, marking the first time since Oct. 7, 2006 vs. Fresno State that USU did not have a turnover... The USU offense has had nine different players rush the ball (five different ball-carriers at UNLV, six at Oregon, five vs. Utah, eight vs. Idaho, six vs. BYU, six at SJSU and five at Nevada), as well as 15 different players with a reception (seven at UNLV, 10 at Oregon, seven vs. Utah, including OL Tariq Polley making the rare offensive lineman reception on a deflected pass, eight vs. Idaho, seven vs. BYU, eight at SJSU and seven at Nevada)... The Aggies had a season-high 580 yards of total offense against Idaho, including season-bests 356 rushing yards and 224 passing yards... Individually, USU had four of its top five rushing outputs in the Idaho game at the time, led by redshirt-freshman RB Robert Turbin's 123 yards to became USU's first 100-yard rusher since Marcus Cross had 127 at BYU on Sept. 23, 2006... USU's 580 yards of total offense was the most since 684 vs. Weber State on Nov. 17, 2001... It was the most against a Division I team since 595 at Boise State, Nov. 11, 2000... The 356 rushing yards was USU's first 300-yard rushing game since 322 vs. New Mexico State on Nov. 4, 2000... The 356 rushing yards were the most since 388 at Nevada on Nov. 20, 1999... Turbin now has two of the top three rushing outings after 74 vs. BYU... Senior WR Otis Nelson has a team-leading four TD passes on the season and six for his career after two TD catches at Nevada... Nelson has now caught a pass in 25 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the WAC... In the Nevada game, Nelson also surpassed his previous career high for receptions yards, passing the previous mark of 72, which he had done twice this season and three times previous in his career.
After forcing three turnovers in the Utah game, two against Idaho, two against BYU and four against Nevada, the Aggie defense has caused at least two turnovers seven times in last nine games and 13th time in the last 18 games dating back to last season... The USU defense has at least one interception in six straight games and 14 of the last 18 games dating back to last season... Junior LB Paul Igboeli snared his first career INT in the Utah game... USU's two interceptions in the Nevada game marked the third time in the last four games with multiple interceptions and fifth time in last nine games going back to last season... Six different players have one interception each, compared to a total of nine players all of last season... A total of 39 different players have recorded a tackle, including 20 with double-digit stops... The Aggie defense limited Idaho to 271 yards of total offense, the lowest total since 234, which was also vs. Idaho on Sept. 11, 2004... USU's two interceptions in the BYU game was the second game in a row with multiple interceptions and fourth time in last seven games dating back to last season... USU's defense held an opponent scoreless in the opening quarter for the first time since the last time the Aggies played at San Jose State, on Oct. 14, 2006, a span of 23 games... Senior LB Jake Hutton has at least eight tackles in five of the seven games this season.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
Utah State's game at Oregon marked the first time since Nov. 11, 2006 at Nevada that USU did not have a kickoff return of at least 20 yards... The Aggies remain perfect on the season in both PAT's (12-of-12))... The Utah game was the first time that USU did not have a punt return since at Idaho last season (Nov. 24, 2007)... In the Idaho game, USU only punted once, marking the first time since 2002 that the Aggies only had to punt once... USU fumbled a kickoff for the second time in three games after fumbling in the Utah and BYU games... The blocked field goal in the BYU game was the first time since Oct. 7, 2005 vs. San Jose State that the Aggies had blocked a field goal... Sophomore P Peter Caldwell punted five times in the first quarter of the SJSU game, matching his combined punts from the previous two games (four vs. BYU, one vs. Idaho)... The Aggies' 10 punts at SJSU were the most since 11 at Clemson on Oct. 16, 2004... The 57-yard kickoff return by Murphy in the Nevada game was a career-long and USU's longest kickoff return this season... Murphy also had a 15-yard punt return in the Nevada game, which also is USU's longest punt return this year... Junior K Chris Ulinski's 42-yard field goal in the Nevada game was the first of his USU career and also ties Caldwell for USU's longest FG of the season.
TONNEMACHER ON RIMINGTON TROPHY WATCH LIST
For the second year in a row, offensive center Ryan Tonnemacher has been named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, given annually to the nation's most outstanding center in college football.
Tonnemacher (pronounced Tawn-uh-mawker), a 6-3, 292-pound senior from Chandler, Ariz. (Hamilton HS), is one of 43 players named to the Watch List. Tonnemacher is one of four centers from the WAC to be recognized, as he's joined by John Estes from Hawai'i, Adam Korby of Idaho and Nevada's Dominic Green.
Tonnemacher is the only center from the state of Utah on this season's list.
As a junior last season, Tonnemacher started all 12 games at center, one of eight Aggies to start every contest. His 759 offensive plays tied him with offensive guard Shawn Murphy and offensive tackle Derek Hoke for most on the offense and were the fourth-most on the team.
Tonnemacher entered his senior season with a team-leading 24 consecutive starts after starting all 12 games in both 2006 and 2007. He is a three-year letterwinner after starting three games as a freshman in 2005.
A total of 17 centers were repeat selections from last year's preseason Watch List, including Tonnemacher, Korby and Green, as well as last year's winner, Jonathan Luigs from Arkansas. The Rimington Trophy has not had a repeat winner in its history.
HUTTON AND IGBOELI ON BUTKUS TROPHY WATCH LIST
Utah State linebackers Jake Hutton and Paul Igboeli were both named to the 2008 Butkus Award watch list, given annually to the top linebacker in college football, announced by the Butkus Foundation.
Hutton, a senior, and Igboeli, a junior, were one of 10 sets of teammates on the 66 player list. The Aggie duo were two of four Western Athletic Conference players on the watch list, joining Adam Leonard of Hawai'i and Josh Mauga of Nevada. Hutton and Igboeli are also two of the three players from Utah schools, joining Utah's Stevenson Sylvester.
Hutton, a native of Pocatello, Idaho (Highland HS), earned second-team all-WAC honors last year after he led USU and ranked eighth in the WAC as well as tied for 71st in the NCAA with 102 tackles, including 58 solo stops. The 58 solo tackles ranked tied for fifth in the league. His 58 solo tackles were also the most for an Aggie since Jesse Busta had 64 in 2002. Hutton registered a USU single-game season-best 16 stops at New Mexico State.
Igboeli (pronounced Ig-bo-lee), a Grand Prairie, Texas (South Grand Prairie HS) native was second on the team and 13th in the WAC with 95 tackles, including 51 solo stops, which ranked among the top 15 in league. He was tied for second on the team with eight tackles for loss and also tallied three pass break-ups and one fumble recovery. Igboeli posted two of USU's top five tackle outings on the year with 15 at New Mexico State and 12 at Fresno State. In 2006, Igboeli was the WAC Freshman of the Year.
Senior LB Jake Hutton entered his final season in Aggie blue and white with 218 career tackles, in need of 95 more to reach USU's top 10 list, as Blake Eagal currently holds the No. 10 spot with 313 career stops from 1997-2000... After five tackles in the Nevada game, Hutton currently has 275 career tackles, leaving him 38 shy of cracking the top 10.
Junior S James Brindley tied for the team lead with three interceptions last season but led the Aggies with 96 return yards, a mark that ranked fourth in the WAC and was good for ninth on USU's single-season list... Brindley's 32-yard interception return in the Idaho game gives him 130 interception return yards for his career, moving him to No. 8 on USU's career INT return yardage list... He needs five more to reach No. 7, currently held by Grant Matrinsen (1964-66), while Chuck Detwiler is No. 6 with 140 yards from 1966-68.
JUST KICKIN' IT
Sophomore P/K Peter Caldwell is 42-of-42 (1.000) on PAT's, one of three Aggie kickers with a perfect career PAT percentage... Caldwell is now 16-of-26 (.615) on field goals for his career, needing three more makes and attempts to reach USU's career top 10 field goals list.
A CHANGE IN ALTITUDE
There are nine Division I schools that are located in cities with an elevation of at least 4,000 feet about sea level... Utah State's home of Logan ranks seventh on the list with an elevation of 4,534 feet... This season the Aggies will play at only one of those other locations giving USU seven games this season at 4,000 feet above sea level after playing eight in 2006 and seven last year. USU will play at Reno, Nev. (#8 at 4,505 feet) against Nevada on Oct. 18... The Aggies will face two of the other teams on the list in #6 BYU (Oct. 3) and #9 Utah (Sept. 13).
School City, State Elevation
- Wyoming Laramie, Wyo. 7,220
- Air Force Colorado Springs, Colo. 6,010
- Colorado Boulder, Colo. 5,328
- Colorado St. Fort Collins, Colo. 5,003
- New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M. 4,957
- BYU Provo, Utah 4,550
- UTAH STATE LOGAN, UTAH 4,534
- Nevada Reno, Nev. 4,505
- Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 4,262
OH BROTHER WHERE ART THOUGH
Utah State's senior twin brother tandem of cornerback Joshua (#23) and safety Caleb Taylor (#39) are a brotherly duo that are one of just eight pairs brother teammates in Division I. The Taylors are one of three tandems who are twins... Below is the most recent listing of current brothers starting for the same college team, including San Jose State's brother tandem of Carl and Duke Ihenacho... Last Saturday's Utah State-San Jose State match-up is this season's only such regular-season occasion involving two teams from this list:
School Brothers (Positions) California Eddie (Jr., LB) and Sean Young (Sr., WR) Ole Miss John (Jr., OL) and Peria Jerry (Sr., DT) Rutgers Twin brothers Devin (Jr., CB) and Jason McCourty (Sr., CB)* San Jose St. Carl (Jr., DE) and Duke Ihenacho (So., LB) Temple Twin brothers Elijah (So., OLB) and Elisha Joseph (So., DT) UTAH STATE Twin brothers Caleb (Sr., FS) and Joshua Taylor (Sr., CB) Virginia Tech Cam (Jr., OLB) and Orion Martin (Sr., DE) Wyoming Marcell (So., CB) and Tashaun Gipson (Fr., CB)
*Devin McCourty redshirted his freshman season at Rutgers while his twin brother Jason did not redshirt, thus their different years in school. NUMBER CHANGES
Utah State had several jersey number changes prior to this season and/or from the media guide:
USU has 17 seniors on its roster which matches last season as the biggest senior class in head coach Brent Guy's three seasons at USU and the largest Aggie senior class since 1999's 21 seniors.
THREE "A" AGGIES
Out of the 17 seniors on the roster, 12 of them are three-year letterwinners.
Utah State will play in three different time zones this season: Central (at Louisiana Tech on Nov. 15), Mountain (all home games, at Boise State on Nov. 8) and Pacific (at UNLV on Aug. 30, at Oregon on Sept. 6, at San Jose State on Oct. 11 and at Nevada on Oct. 18).
While Utah State only plays in three different time zones this season, the Aggies have at least one player from five different time zones, Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific and Hawaiian-Aleutian.
Utah State has 23 players from the state of Utah on its roster.
Senior offensive tackle Derek Hoke is the tallest player on USU's roster at 6'9" - Hoke is one of seven players on the Aggie roster listed at 6'5" or taller... He is also unofficially, the second-tallest player in NCAA Division I this season, behind 6'10" Alejandro Villanueva of Army.
Utah State's bookends at offensive tackle, senior Derek Hoke on the left and sophomore Spencer Johnson on the right, are two of the combined tallest tackles in the country, with Hoke towering at 6'9" and Johnson at 6'5"... The Aggie duo's combined height of 13'2" unofficially trails the 13'5" Colorado tandem of Nate Solder (6'8") and Ryan Miller (6'7") and the 13'3" Wisconsin duo of Gabe Carimi (6'8") and Eric Vanden Heuvel (6'7").
In all 20 Aggie players have birthdays from the time camp opened on Aug. 1 to the end of the season... Two Aggies have a birthday on a football game day: senior RB Chris Forbes (Sept. 13 vs Utah) and senior DE Gregg Clark (Oct. 11 at San Jose State).
SEVEN 2008 OPPONENTS WENT BOWLING
USU will face seven teams that went to a bowl game last year, including a stretch a four weeks in a row.
Oregon (Sept. 6) - Sun Bowl vs. South Florida - W, 56-21 Utah (Sept. 13) - San Diego Co. Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl vs. Navy - W, 35-32 BYU (Oct. 3) - Las Vegas Bowl vs. UCLA - W, 17-16 Nevada (Oct. 18) - New Mexico Bowl vs. New Mexico - L, 22-0 Fresno State (Oct. 25) - Roady's Truckstop Humanitarian Bowl vs. Georgia Tech - W, 40-28 Hawai'i (Nov. 1) - Allstate Sugar Bowl vs. Georgia - L, 41-10 Boise State (Nov. 8) - Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl vs. East Carolina - L, 41-38
USU is one of four WAC teams to play three non-conference games against a team that was in bowl game last year, joining Boise State, Fresno State and Hawai'i.
2008 OPPONENTS IN THE POLLS
Utah State will face three teams ranked in the top 25, though the four different polls have different teams, with the two constants in all four major polls, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and AP, with BYU and Oregon the constants, while Fresno State is ranked in both the USA Today and ESPN polls but not by Sports Illustrated and is among others receiving votes in the AP poll, while Hawai'i is only in the Sports Illustrated poll and is also among others receiving votes in the AP poll... Other USU opponents in the others receiving votes list include Utah and Boise State.
Utah State and Nevada are the only two WAC teams to play more than one preseason Top 25 team in the AP poll, the "official" poll of college football... The Aggies tangle with No. 16 BYU (Oct. 3) and 21st-ranked Oregon (Sept. 6), while the Wolf Pack of Nevada plays sixth-ranked Missouri and No. 12 Texas Tech... Four other conference teams play one AP Top 25 team: Boise State (No. 21 Oregon), Fresno State (No. 13 Wisconsin), Hawai'i (No. 5 Florida) and Louisiana Tech (No. 14 Kansas).