BSU opponent scouting report: Utah State

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comOctober 9, 2013 

Facts & figures

Where: Logan, Utah (population 48,879)

Founded: 1888

Enrollment: 28,796

Colors: Navy blue, white, pewter gray

Nickname: Aggies

Record: 3-3, 2-0 Mountain West

Last game: Lost to BYU 31-14 in Logan.

Coach

Matt Wells, 40, is in his first season at Utah State, taking over for Gary Andersen, who went 26-24 in four seasons before taking the head coaching job at Wisconsin. Wells is a former Utah State quarterback (1993-96), served as the Aggies' quarterbacks coach in 2011 and added offensive coordinator responsibilities last season. Prior to returning to his alma mater, Wells also coached at New Mexico, Louisville, Tulsa and Navy.

Offense

The Aggies are 37th nationally in passing (275.2 yards per game) and 41st in rushing (200.3 ypg). However, the offense took a major hit when dual-threat quarterback Chuckie Keeton was lost for the season Friday when he tore two ligaments in his knee. Prior to the game, a loss against BYU, Keeton was second in the nation in TD passes, 11th in completion percentage, and had rushed for 224 yards. The Aggies have seven receivers with at least 10 catches (and four with at least 20). Wells said this week that starting running back Joe Hill (53 carries, 252 yards in five games) is out for the season, also with a knee injury. Joey DeMartino (63 carries, 425 yards, four TDs) is the new featured back. Four seniors start on the offensive line.

Defense

The base is a 3-4 that has been among the Mountain West's best thus far, allowing 19.3 points per game. The linebacking corps is a strength, with the team's top three tacklers all part of the group, paced by inside linebacker Jake Doughty's 64 stops. While they only have nine sacks, the Aggies have thrived on creating turnovers, with 11 thus far, including seven fumble recoveries, which are No. 6 in the nation. Their 335.8 yards per game allowed is No. 1 in the Mountain West, as is their 132.2 yards per game allowed on the ground.

Special teams

The punt cover team has allowed a negative-0.33 yards per return, which is third in the nation. The 16.7 yards per kickoff return allowed is eighth nationally. Kick returner Devonta Glover-Wright is averaging 24.0 yards per return. Kicker Nick Diaz has hit 7-of-9 field goals this season, with one of them blocked.

Did you know?

Pro football’s all-time passing leader played for the Aggies. Anthony Calvillo, who has played in the Canadian Football League since 1994, played for Utah State in 1992 and 1993. He has thrown for 79,816 yards in his career — so far.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420; Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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