Estimated read time: 27-28 minutes
UTAH STATE at NEW MEXICO STATE
Saturday, Oct. 10 - 6 p.m. (MT)
Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343), Las Cruces, N.M.
QUICKLY -- In its Western Athletic Conference opener, Utah State (1-3, 0-0 WAC), will take on New Mexico State (2-3, 0-1 WAC) on Saturday, Oct. 10... Kickoff from NMSU's Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343) is at 6 p.m. (MT)... Saturday's battle of the Aggies will be televised live on NMSU's Aggie Vision and Fox Sports Arizona while on tape delay on Altitude (Comcast Ch. 61 in Cache Valley).
CONFERENCE OPENERS -- Utah State has started conference play with a victory five out of the last eight years... USU broke a three-game losing skid in conference openers by winning last year's WAC opener, part of victories in eight of its last 12 league-lifters... After opening league play at home for the past three years, USU is beginning conference action on the road for the first time since 2005, when the Utah State led off at Idaho... The clash of the Aggies had been USU's season-finale in three of the last four years, coincidentally the four years that both USU and NMSU have been in the WAC... Utah State faced Idaho in four of its last five league-openers, taking on San Jose State the other time... This is the first time that USU has opened conference play against New Mexico State since leading off Big West Conference action in back-to-back-seasons of 1996 and 1997... USU beat NMSU, 53-21, at Las Cruces in 1996 and 38-7 at Logan in 1997... Here's a closer look at USU's last 12 overall conference openers, in which USU is 8-4, including 2-1 in its last three road league-openers:
FOLLOWING THE GAME
ON TV -- Saturday's battle of the Aggies will be televised live on NMSU's Aggie Vision and Fox Sports Arizona while on tape delay on Altitude (Comcast Ch. 61 in Cache Valley).
ON THE AIR -- All Utah State football games are carried live on KVNU 610 AM and KLZX 95.9 FM in Logan; 1230 AM in Salt Lake City; on KLZX 105.3 FM in Montpelier, Idaho, and on the Internet at www.UtahStateAggies.com by clicking on "Listen Live"... Al Lewis handles the play-by-play duties and Craig Hislop provides analysis.
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 in the right hand column on the home page of www.UtahStateAggies.com.
GAMETRACKER -- Fans can follow Friday's USU-BYU game plus 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.
COACHES SHOW ON THE ROAD -- The Gary Andersen radio show will rotate between the A&W Restaurant and Firehouse Pizza on Thursday nights (6:05-6:45 p.m. on 610 AM KVNU) when the Aggies play on Saturday... This week's show is on Wednesday, Sept. 30... The show gives USU fans an opportunity to ask questions and interact with Coach Andersen and players.
Oct. 15, Oct. 29 - A&W Restaurant (710 N Main, Logan, UT) / Oct. 8, Oct. 22 - Firehouse Pizzeria (880 S Main, Logan, UT)
UP NEXT -- Utah State returns home to host Nevada in a WAC battle on Saturday, Oct. 17... Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at USU's Romney Stadium.
UTAH STATE NOTE-ABLES
CUE WILLIE: AGGIES ON THE ROAD AGAIN -- The Aggies are making Willie Nelson proud by heading on the road again, USU's fourth road game in its first five... This is the first time since 2003 that the Aggies have played four of their first five games on the road... It is 22nd time overall with a matching or bigger stretch of road games to open the season:
USU IN OCTOBER / ON OCT. 10 -- Utah State has a 10-game losing streak in October and has lost 21 of its last 24 games in the Canadian Thanksgiving month (which is on Monday, Oct. 12)... USU won its first game of the month in 2006, edging Fresno State, 13-12, on Oct. 7, but has lost 10 in row in October since... Saturday is the Aggies' first game on Oct. 10 since a 1998 loss at Washington... USU has lost two in a row on Oct. 10, but the Aggies are 7-4 on the date overall, including 4-2 on the road... Here's a look at how USU has fared on Oct. 2:
USU VS. NMSU IN OCTOBER -- Saturday is the first time that Utah State has played New Mexico State in a month other than November since 1998, after playing in November for the last nine meetings... This is the earliest meeting between the pair of Aggies since Sept. 26, 1992, a span of 15 match-ups.
USU-NMSU SERIES -- Utah State leads the all-time series by a 27-6 count, USU's largest advantage against a WAC opponent... USU holds a 15-2 margin in games at Las Cruces, while posting a 12-3 ledger at Logan as well as 0-1 at a neutral site... USU ran up 19 consecutive wins from 1968-98 before the southern Aggies posted a 14-6 win at Logan in 1999... Since then USU has won six of eight meetings, losing only 26-21 at Las Cruces in 2003 and 42-20 at home in 2006 during that stretch... Last year's large win of 47-2 and the 2007 winning score of 35-17 broke tradition, as 2007's 18-point margin of victory was the same as the combined scoring difference in the previous four match-ups... The two teams met in the 1960 Sun Bowl, with New Mexico State rallying from a 13-7 Utah State halftime lead to win, 20-13, in one of Utah State's six bowl games.
New Mexico State:
Overall: 27-6-0 / Home: 12-3-0 / Away: 1-2-0 / Neutral: 0-1-0
AGGIE-AGGIE NOTE-ABLE -- USU's 27 victories in the series are its fifth-most against any opponent trailing only the 34 wins vs. Wyoming, 33 vs. Brigham Young, 30 vs. Colorado State and 28 vs. Utah... USU's 81.8 winning percentage in the series is its best against any Division I opponent it has faced more than two times in history... USU does not have any players on its active roster from the state of New Mexico, the only state in the WAC union that the Aggies don't have a player from... New Mexico State does not have any Utah natives on its roster, but maroon Aggie senior DT Chris Romero went to Snow College, where he was teammates with navy Aggies junior S Joey Schrader, junior LS Dustin Akana, junior OL Preston Erickson and redshirting senior DT Casey Davis... Northern Aggie senior WR Nnamdi Gwacham and southern Aggie freshman WR David Quiroga and senior LB Jason Scott are all from Chino Hills, Calif., with all three going to Ayala HS... USU junior OL Ty Rogers (out for season with broken leg) and NMSU junior OL Joel Buschmann were high school and offensive line teammates at Columbine HS in the Denver, Colo, area, leading the Rebels to a 10-2 record in 2005, losing in the second round of the playoffs to eventual state champion Douglas County HS... USU sophomore LB Maxim Dinka Mba and NMSU freshman K Jordan Davenport, but Dinka went to Plano HS while Davenport went to Plano West HS... Northern Aggie freshman OL Chris Friesen and southern Aggie sophomore RB Donavan Roberts are both from Mansfield, Texas, but Friesen went to Summit HS and Roberts went to Mansfield HS... USU offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was head coach at San Jose State in 2000, when NMSU secondary coach R. Todd Littlejohn was defensive backs/special teams coach there... Littlejohn was wide receivers coach at Utah State in 1998-99... Utah State's defensive coordinator/safeties coach Bill Busch was an assistant at NMSU, coaching the secondary from 1997-2000... Baldwin and USU TE coach T.J. Woods coached at New Mexico with NMSU offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier in 2007, as the trio helped the Lobos to the New Mexico Bowl.
NMSU'S WALKER FAMILIAR WITH USU -- New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker was an assistant coach at Utah State in 1993, coaching the cornerbacks and helping lead the navy-clad Aggies to the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl 42-33 win over Ball State, USU's last bowl win... Walker was on the same 1993 USU coaching staff with former USU head coach Brent Guy, now defensive coordinator at Louisville, who coached linebackers; Jim Zorn, who was the offensive coordinator and now the head coach of the Washington Redskins; Gary Patterson, who was USU's secondary coach and is now head coach at TCU; head coach of USU was Charlie Weatherbie, now head coach at Louisiana-Monroe.
WHITE'S NCAA RECORD BREAKING DAY CAME VS. NMSU - On Nov. 4, 2000, Utah State running back Emmett White produced one of the greatest single-game performances in NCAA history. The then Aggie junior not only broke the NCAA single-game all-purpose yardage record, he demolished it. The national record of 435 yards held by Brian Pruitt of Central Michigan vs. Toledo in 1994, was broken by an astonishing 143 yards as White accumulated 578 yards against New Mexico State. White rushed 34 times for a school-record 322 yards, added 134 yards on seven receptions (only player in USU history to have 100 yards rushing and receiving in one game), had one punt return for two yards and four kickoff returns for 120 yards. That added up to 578 yards on 46 touches of the football that November night in Las Cruces. Not only did White amass all of those yards, he scored four touchdowns, including the game-winner, a nine-yard run, with just :28 left in the game as USU won the contest 44-37.
OTHER USU BESTS VS. NEW MEXICO STATE -- Here is a look at some of the other top USU statistical individual performances against the southern Aggies besides White's NCAA performance, over the years: Roger Grant has 205 yards rushing in 1991 for the 21st-best rushing performance, while Demario Brown has the No. 22 spot with 204 yards against NMSU in 1998 and Abu Wilson is tied for 23rd with 203 yards in the 1994 meeting with NMSU... Kevin Alexander has the 14th-best receiving total with 205 yards in 1995... Glen Crawford has the 12th-longest rushing play in school history with a 78-yarder in 1985... As a team, USU had its seventh and eighth-best total offense outings with 619 and 605 yards against NMSU in 2000 and 1996, respectively, as well as tied for the 19th-best outing with 544 in 1964... The navy-clad Aggies had the 12th-best passing offense day against their maroon counterparts in 1997 with 393 yards... In 1991, USU had its 19th-best rushing total with 332 yards... Defensively, USU had its eighth-best total defense total in the 1964 meeting with NMSU with 100 yards... That same year USU only allowed 18 passing yards to NMSU, the seventh-best total... In 1985, the maroon Aggies had one yard rushing, good for No. 11 on the navy Aggies' best rushing defense performances... The 1964 USU win over NMSU, a 76-0 rout, is the fifth-biggest winning margin in school history... Last season, Rob Myers had four catches for 117 yards with two TD's, and is USU's last 100-yard receiver.
UTAH STATE-NEW MEXICO STATE BY THE NUMBERS -- A closer look at note-ables about Saturday's battle of the Aggies:
0 Players from the state of New Mexico on USU's roster and the number of players from the state of Utah on NMSU's roster.
1 USU coach with ties to NMSU (Def. coord./safeties coach Bill Busch was secondary coach at NMSU from 1997-2000)
2 NMSU coaches with USU ties (head coach DeWayne Walker was cornerbacks coach at USU in 1993 and secondary coach R. Todd Littlejohn was wide receivers coach at USU in 1998-99).
2 Consecutive wins over NMSU by USU.
6 USU's losses to NMSU in the all-time series.
8 Consecutive seasons that USU and NMSU have faced each other counting Saturday's game.
27 Victories by USU in the series, the fifth-most against any opponent.
81.8 USU's winning percentage in the series vs. NMSU, Utah State's best against any Division I opponent it has faced more than two times in history.
578 All-purpose yards by USU's Emmett White in 2000, setting the NCAA record at the time.
711 Miles from USU's Romney Stadium to NMSU's Aggie Memorial Stadium.
1960 First year USU and NMSU played football.
USU HAS ENCHANTING RECORD VS. STATE OF NEW MEXICO-- Utah State is a combined 35-17 vs. teams from the "Land of Enchantment" state, with a 27-6 mark vs. New Mexico State and an 8-11 ledger against New Mexico, last playing in 2003... The navy-clad Aggies have a 4-10 mark on New Mexico soil, with a 1-2 record at New Mexico State and 3-8 at New Mexico.
USU-NMSU LAST TIME
UTAH STATE 47, NEW MEXICO STATE 2
November 22, 2006 • Logan, Utah • Romney Stadium
Behind a tenacious defense and a season-high scoring offense led by five rushing touchdowns, Utah State blasted New Mexico State, 47-2, on Nov. 22 at Romney Stadium in the season and WAC final for both teams. Utah State ends its season with a 3-9 overall and 3-5 WAC ledger, marking the first time since 2005 that the Aggies have three wins in a season. USU has won three WAC games in a season for the first time in the Aggies' four seasons in the league. It is also the first time since 2003 that USU has won three conference games and just the third time in the 2000's The home team scored 21 first quarter points and had a 28-zip halftime lead, and the 28 first half points were USU's most in a first half since Oct. 25, 2003 vs. Arkansas State. The skunk was run out of the stadium on a defensive safety early in the fourth quarter, but the navy Aggies tacked on nine points after that, including a 56-yard field goal by junior PK Chris Ulinski. Ulinksi's field goal is the second-longest in the WAC this season behind the 58-yarder by Kevin Goessling of Fresno State as time expired to beat USU, 30-28, on Oct. 25. It also is the fourth-longest field goal in the NCAA this season. The 56-yarder is tied for the third-longest in USU school history, tying Micah Knorr's 56-yard boot against Northern Illinois in 1995. Dene Garner has the top two longest FG's in the school record books with a 59-yarder against the same NMSU Aggies as well as a 58-yarder against SJSU in 1985. USU's 47 points is the most under head coach Brent Guy and the most since it scored since 49 points against Arkansas State in 2003. In their final games as USU Aggies, seniors LB Jake Hutton and DT Ben Calderwood anchored the USU defense which held NMSU to negative seven yards rushing and 156 yards of total offense. Hutton tied a game-high with 10 tackles while Calderwood only had three tackles, but they were all sacks for a total loss of 30 yards. Calderwood added a fumble recovery to boot. It was the first time USU has held an opponent to negative rushing yards since Sept. 19, 1998 at Colorado when it held the Buffaloes to negative two rushing yards. The negative seven rushing yards is the sixth-best rushing defense output in school history. The Aggie offense had five different players score rushing TD's, led by freshman RB Ronald Scott's 64-yard scamper. It was a season-long rush for USU and the longest since a 69-yard run by Travis Davis vs. Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 1, 2003. Scott ended with a game-high 73 yards rushing while sophomore QB Diondre Borel added 53 yards including a 6-yard TD run. Redshirt-freshman RB Robert Turbin added 50 yards and TD while freshman RB Marquis Butler tallied 43 yards and another score. Borel was 14-of-24 passing for 118 yards while senior QB Sean Setzer was 4-of-5 for 51 yards including a 10-yard TD pass to junior WR Xavier Bowman. Senior WR Otis Nelson led USU with 53 yards receiving on three catches, ending his Aggie career with at least one catch in 30 consecutive games, the third-longest active in the WAC, behind NMSU's A.J. Harris (45) and Chris Williams (31). Utah State had 17 seniors play their final game in a USU Aggie uniform, and were recognized with a pre-game ceremony.
CLASH OF THE AGGIES' LAST TIME AT LAS CRUCES --
UTAH STATE 35, NEW MEXICO STATE 17
November 17, 2007 • Las Cruces, N.M. • Aggie Memorial Stadium
For the first time in 17 games, Utah State had the bigger number on the scoreboard, as the navy and white clad Aggies beat their fellow Aggies of New Mexico State, 35-17, at NMSU's Aggie Memorial Stadium in Western Athletic Conference football action. USU's first win of the season snapped a 16-game losing streak. Utah State's last win was a 13-12 victory over Fresno State on Oct. 7, 2006. The Aggies also snapped a 13-game road losing streak, as Utah State's last road win was also against New Mexico State, 24-21, on Nov. 26, 2005. USU has now won five of the last seven match-ups with NMSU and the navy Aggies lead the all-time series, 26-6, including 15-2 at Las Cruces, winning the last two and 14 of the last 15. The 35 points scored in the win were the most points scored in a USU win under head coach Brent Guy, topping the 31 in a 31-24 win over UNLV on Sept. 24, 2005, Guy's first season, and the second game of his tenure. It was the most points scored in an Aggie win since a 41-20 win over Middle Tennessee on Nov. 1, 2003. Junior TE Rob Myers had four catches for 117 yards and two TD's, a 26-yarder and a 24-yarder. Senior QB/P Leon Jackson III was 14-of-20 for 189 yards and fellow senior, WR/KR Kevin Robinson had a kick return for a TD after NMSU had pulled to 21-17 at the 11:45 mark of the fourth quarter. Robinson's 82-yard kick return for TD was his 28th career TD overall, tying Kendal Smith (1985-88) for No. 5 on USU's career TD list. Robinson now leads the NCAA this season with three kick returns for a TD and now has four returns for a TD (three kick returns + one punt return) and is the only player in the country with that many. Freshmen tailbacks Derrvin Speight and Curtis Marsh combined for 145 yards with 78 and 67 yards respectively, as Marsh scored on a 7-yard scamper in the first quarter. Utah State was out-gained by New Mexico State in total offense, 455-355, but USU had a plus-one advantage in turnovers, with two interceptions compared to only losing one fumble. Junior CB Marquise Charles and sophomore DL Alan Bishop made the interceptions, as Bishop recorded his first career oskie. Junior LB Jake Hutton had a career-high 16 tackles while sophomore LB Paul Igboeli also had a career-high with 15. Freshman LB Kyle Gallgher added 10 stops.
ABOUT USU -- The navy-clad Aggies are 1-3 overall, with all three losses coming to top 25-ranked offensive teams... USU is led by the offensive tandem of junior QB Diondre Borel and sophomore RB Robert Turbin... Borel is 69-of-122 passing (56.6 pct.) for 984 yards with five TD's and just one INT... Turbin has 420 yards on 60 carries (7.0 ypc) with three TD's, averaging 105 ypg... Borel is third on the team with 149 yards rushing (2.4 ypc) with four TD's, trailing junior RB Michael Smith, who has 155 yards on 23 carries (6.7 ypc) with two TD's... Sophomore WR Stanley Morrison has 13 catches for 288 yards (22.2 ypc) with one TD, while Turbin has 11 receptions for 190 yards (17.3 ypc) and two TD's... A total of seven USU receivers have five or more catches... Defensively, sophomore LB Bobby Wagner has 44 tackles (11.0 pg) with three TFL's... Senior S James Brindley adds 38 stops with two interceptions and four pass break-ups, leading the team in both.
IN THE STAT RANKINGS -- USU has several players amongst the WAC and NCAA statistical leaders, as well as in the team stats:
-- USU is third in the WAC and 31st in the NCAA in rushing offense (194.0 ypg), while ranking third in the conference and 35th in the county in passing offense (253.3 ypg) to rank fourth in the league and 17th in the nation in total offense (447.3 ypg).
-- Defensively, USU is eighth in the WAC and 110th in rushing defense (200.5 ypg), eighth in the league and 109th in the nation in passing defense (272.0 ypg) to rank ninth in the conference and 116th in the country in total defense (472.5 ypg).
-- Junior QB Diondre Borel is second in the WAC and 17th in the NCAA in total offense (283.3 ypg), as well as ranking fourth in the league and 53rd in the nation... He also is tied for 13th in the WAC in scoring (6.0 ppg) and 18th in rushing (37.3 ypg).
-- Sophomore RB Robert Turbin is second in the WAC and 17th in the NCAA in rushing (105.0 ypg) as well as second in the conference and 35th in the country in all-purpose yards (152.5 ypg)... He also is tied for fifth in the league and tied for 56th in the nation in scoring (7.5 ypg) as well as 10th in the WAC in total offense (105.0 ypg).
-- Sophomore LB Bobby Wagner leads the WAC and ranks tied for 10th in the NCAA in tackles (11.0 pg).
-- Senior S James Brindley is third in the conference and tied for 35th in the country in tackles (9.5 pg) as well as third in the league and tied for 31st in the nation in interceptions with two (0.5 pg).
-- Junior P Peter Caldwell leads the WAC and is eighth in the NCAA in punting (45.0 ypp).
-- Senior PK Chris Ulinski is tied for fifth in the league and tied for 63rd in the nation in field goals (1.0 pg) as well as fourth in the conference in field goal percentage (.800, 4-of-5).
ABOUT NMSU -- The maroon-clad Aggies have opened the season with a loss-win pattern... NMSU is led by sophomore QB Jeff Fleming, who is 46-of-85 passing (54.1 pct) for 429 yards with two TD's and five INT's... Redshirt-freshman QB Trevor Walls is 23-of-42 passing (54.8 pct) for 208 yards with two TD's and two INT's... Junior RB Seth Smith leads the southern Aggies with 468 yards rushing but has no TD's... Senior RB Marquell Colston and Fleming have two rushing TD's each... Sophomore WR Todd Lee is NMSU's leading receiver with 16 catches for 195 yards (12.2 ypc) with one TD... Defensively, senior LB Ross Conner leads the maroon-clad Aggies with 37 tackles, while fellow senior LB Jason Scott adds 33 stops and junior FS Stephon Hatchett had 30 tackles.
LAST GAME NOTES -- Utah State at #20 BYU - Oct. 2, 2009 - Provo, Utah
-- Making his 36th-straight start and 36th career start overall was senior LB Paul Igboeli, which leads Utah State in both... Senior S James Brindley made his 25th career start, while junior OT Spencer Johnson made his 23rd-career start, ranking second and third, respectively... Junior QB Diondre Borel is second for consecutive starts with his 13th-straight start Friday.
-- The Aggies have scored on their opening drive for the fifth game in a row, going back to last season's final game.
-- Junior QB Diondre Borel has now scored a rushing TD in six-straight games... It was Borel's fourth rushing TD this season and ninth of his career.
-- USU has scored first in three of its four games this season... The Aggies are now 0-3 when getting on the scoreboard first.
-- BYU's 18-play, 8:07 scoring drive in the first quarter was the longest by a USU opponent since at least 2004.
-- Friday marked the first time this season that USU did not have double-digit scoring in the first stanza... The Aggies have scored in the first quarter in six straight games dating back to last season.
-- Junior P Peter Caldwell boomed three punts of 50+ yards in the same game for the first time in his career and it was the second game in a row with at least two of over 50 yards and was the fifth time in his career.
-- The Aggies trailed at the half for the second time this season and is now 0-2 when behind at the break.
-- Junior CB Rajric Coleman snared his first Aggie career interception.
-- Senior CB Kejon Murphy snagged his first interception of the season and third of his career.
-- USU has at least one interception in three of its four games this season and two picks in both of the last two games... Four different Aggies now have interceptions on the season, led by Brindley's two oskies.
-- Borel rushed and threw for a TD in the same game for the third straight game and the fifth time in his career.
-- Senior WR Xavier Bowman caught his first TD of the season and fourth of his career.
-- USU has topped the 300-yard total offense mark for the fourth game this season... It was the 10th in a row dating back to the last six games of last year.
-- USU is now: - 1-3 on the season
- 33-43-3 all-time vs. BYU, losing the last 10 in a row.
- 15-25-1 vs. BYU at Provo, dropping the last 15
- 146-208-14 vs. teams from the Mountain West.
- 74-121-7 vs. teams from the state of Utah.
- 3-10-1 on Oct. 2.
TURBO TURBIN JOINING ELITE COMPANY -- With his career-high 148 yards vs. Utah, sophomore running back Robert Turbin logged his second-career 100-yard outing, joining the 123 total vs. Idaho last season as a freshman... Turbin became the seventh Aggie running back to post 100 yards as a freshman... However, he joined rare company with his 100-yard outing as a sophomore, becoming just the fourth Aggie to do so... The other three: Demario Brown (4,053 yards), Abu Wilson (3,933) and Rick Parros (3,537), are numbers 1-2-3 on USU's career rushing list, respectively.
USU's FRESHMAN 100-YARD RUSHERS SINCE 1976: Rick Parros (1976), Travis Clark (1986), Abu Wilson (1992), Demario Brown (1996), John Roberts (1998), Jerod Walker (2005), Robert Turbin (2008).
USU's FRESHMAN/SOPHOMORE 100-YARD RUSHERS SINCE 1976: Rick Parros (1976-77), Abu Wilson (1992-94*), Demario Brown (1996-97), Robert Turbin (2008-09). * - Wilson redshirted in 1993 with injury
BOREL CLOSING IN ON SCHOOL RECORD -- Junior quarterback Diondre Borel has 781 yards (231 att.) for his career, closing in on the USU career record for rushing yards by a quarterback of 814 yards held by Leon Jackson III (355 att., 2004-07).
Rushing Yards by a Quarterback
Game: 121, Tony Adams (12 attempts) vs. Colorado State, 1972; 93, Diondre Borel (12 attempts) vs. Idaho, 2008
Season: 632, Diondre Borel (179 att.), 2008
Career: 814, Leon Jackson III (355 att.), 2004-07; 781, Diondre Borel (215 att.), 2008-pres.
HEAD COACH COACHING POSITION -- In addition to his head coaching duties, USU head coach Gary Andersen is also the position coach for the defensive tackles... Andersen is one of six Division I (FBS) coaches doing so. OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION -- Upon extensive research by USU media relations' Duke of the Archives Tyler Hutchison, it was found that Utah State's last back-to-back 300-yard passing games was in 2002 and the last consecutive games with 500+ yards of total offense was in 2000 until the Aggies did so in both categories against Texas A&M and Southern Utah... USU had four 300-yard passing outings in a row in 2002... The Aggies haven't had three-straight games with 500 yards of total offense since at least 1957.
OH CAPTAIN, MY CAPTAIN -- Utah State football head coach Gary Andersen announced the Aggies' 2009 captains, after a vote by the team... All three of the defensive captains are seniors, while the offensive captains consist of a senior, a junior and a sophomore... Representing the defense will be the senior trio of safety James Brindley, linebacker Paul Igboeli and cornerback Kejon Murphy... The offensive captains are senior center Brennan McFadden, junior quarterback Diondre Borel and sophomore running back Robert Turbin.
TURBIN AMONG NATION'S LEADERS FOR 50+ YARD SCORING PLAYS -- Sophomore RB Robert Turbin has three scoring plays of 50 yards or more with a school-record 96-yard rush at Utah (Sept. 3), a 50-yard TD rush at Texas A&M (Sept. 19) and a 77-yard TD reception vs. Southern Utah (Sept. 26)... Turbin is one of six Division I players with three or more:
50 + yard scoring plays
- Ryan Mathews, Fresno State - 5 (69, 68, 60, 60, 55 - all rushing)
- Chris Owusu, Stanford - 4 (three kickoff returns for TDs (85, 94 and 91) and 64-yard TD reception)
- Darius Marshall, Marshall - 3 (80, 61, 69 - all rushing)
- C.J. Spiller, Clemson - 3 (96-yard kickoff return, 63-yard pass reception, 77-yard punt return)
- Robert Turbin, Utah State - 3 (96-yard rush, 50-yard rush, 77-yard reception)
- Duke Calhoun, Memphis - 3 ( 85, 80 and 61 - all receiving)
DOUBLE-DIGIT TACKLERS -- With James Brindley's 14 tackles and sophomore linebacker Bobby Wagner's career-high 12 stops in the season-opener at Utah and Wagner's 13 tackles at Texas A&M, Utah State has had at least one defender post double-digit tackles in five-straight games and the 22 times in the last 26 games dating back to last season... It was the ninth time during those 26 games that USU had two players with double-digit tackle totals.
BOOMSKI ULINSKI -- Chris Ulinksi's WAC-leading 21 touchbacks in 2008 were three more than USU's three previous years combined total of 18 consisting of nine in ‘07 (by Ulinski), one in ‘06 and eight in ‘05, especially impressive since kickoffs were moved back from the 35-yard line to the 30-yard line prior to the 2007 season... Ulinski has 39 career touchbacks, currently nine two in 2009.
BAND OF BROTHERS -- Utah State has two sets of brothers on its roster: The Igboeli brothers - senior LB Paul and junior CB Washington (Grand Prairie, Texas / Grand Prairie HS), and the Erickson brothers - junior OL Preston and freshman OL Parker (Sandy, Utah / Alta HS).
SEVEN OF UTAH STATE'S 2009 OPPONENTS WENT TO BOWL GAME -- A total of seven of Utah State's 2009 opponents went to a bowl game... The list includes five Western Athletic Conference teams in addition to two non-conference foes, including Utah who was selected to a Bowl Championship Series (BCS) game and won the Sugar Bowl... The WAC tied a conference record by having five teams selected to a bowl game, last happening in 1992... There were six bowl eligible teams and only San Jose State did not get selected, while Boise State, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Louisiana Tech and Nevada were all selected for postseason play.
- NEW MEXICO BOWL - Albuquerque, N.M. - Colorado St. 40, Fresno St. 35
- POINSETTIA BOWL - San Diego, Calif. - #11 TCU 17, #9 Boise St. 16
- HAWAI'I BOWL - Honolulu, Hawaii - Notre Dame 49, Hawai'i 21
- INDEPENDENCE BOWL - Shreveport, La. - Louisiana Tech 17, No. Illinois 10
- HUMANITARIAN BOWL - Boise, Idaho - Maryland 42, Nevada 35
- LAS VEGAS BOWL - Las Vegas, Nev. - Arizona 31, #16 BYU 21
- SUGAR BOWL - New Orleans, La. - #6 Utah 31, #4 Alabama 17
JUST KICKIN' IT -- A new streak started with USU's first successful PAT at Utah on Sept. 3 by senior PK Chris Ulinski, who made both of his attempts... After making his first 57 in a row, Peter Caldwell missed his final attempt of last season in the Aggies' 47-2 win over New Mexico State... Caldwell is tied for sixth on USU's career PAT made list with 57 and fourth on the career PAT percentage list (57-of-58, .970)... Caldwell is also 23-of-33, .700, for career field goals, ranking seventh on the career field goals made list, eighth on the attempts list and fifth on the FG percentage list.
- Sophomore RB Robert Turbin had three rushing TD's vs. Louisiana Tech last season, becoming the first USU RB to have three rushing TD's in one game since Emmett White had three on Nov. 17, 2001 against Weber State... The last three-rushing TD outing against a Division I team was also by White, against Arkansas State on Oct. 28, 2000.
- Turbin's eight rushing TD's last season put him five shy of USU's career top 10 list, trailing three players with 13 each in Jerry Cox (1973-74), Jerry Hughes (1971-72) and Altie Taylor (1966-68).
- Junior QB Diondre Borel smashed USU's single-season rushing yards by a QB record with 632 yards... The previous record was 338 by Leon Jackson III in 2007... His 632 yards rushing puts him over two-thirds of the way to Jackson's career record of 814 yards from 2004-07.
- Borel's 1,705 passing yards is the most by a USU QB since Travis Cox's 1,908 yards in 2004... Borel's total offense sum of 2,337 yards is No. 13 on USU's single season total offense list, becoming the 17th Aggie overall in school history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau and the first since Cox with 2,844 in 2003.
- Borel's single-game rushing high was 93 yards, 28 yards shy of the USU single-game record for a QB of 121 yards, held by Tony Adams from 1972.
- Borel was one of seven quarterbacks in the country to lead their respective teams in both rushing and passing, and Borel was the only sophomore on the list:
- Julian Edelman Kent State SR
- Juice Williams Illinois JR
- Colt McCoy Texas JR
- Dan LeFevour Central Michigan JR
- Joe Webb UAB JR
- Matt Grothe South Florida JR
- DIONDRE BOREL UTAH STATE SO
- Lombardi Award Watch List member, senior LB Paul Igboeli is closing in on the USU and WAC career tackles top 10 lists, currently with 253 stops... He is closing in on Al Smith (1984-86) for No. 10 on the Aggies' career list, as well as Bryce McGill (1999-2003) from Fresno State on the WAC list.
- Senior S James Brindley is currently No. 2 on USU's career interception return yards with 226 yards on eight career INT's, needing two to crack the top-10 list. 111 / 117 -- USU is taking the field for the 111th season of football in 117 years. The Aggies beat Utah, 12-0, in 1892, but then did not field a team until 1896, when they again only played one game but then played every year since with the exceptions of 1918 when to World War I and influenza cancelled the season and 1943 due to World War II.