FACTS AND FIGURES
Where: Logan, Utah
Colors: Aggie blue and white
Record: 3-2 overall, 2-0 Mountain West (10-4 last season; 4-15 all-time vs. Boise State)
Last game: Beat Fresno State 56-14 in Fresno on Saturday.
Matt Wells, 42, is in his third season as the Aggies’ coach, owning a 22-11 record, already with the ninth-most wins in school history. A former quarterback at Utah State, he returned to Logan in 2011 as an assistant, being promoted from offensive coordinator after the 2012 season. He also has coached at Navy, Tulsa, Louisville and New Mexico.
For the third straight season, the Aggies are without dynamic quarterback Chuckie Keeton for an extended period of time. He’s missed 21 of Utah State’s last 29 games with knee injuries. He sprained his MCL on Sept. 19 at Washington, which will likely keep him out another week or two. Sophomore Kent Myers has relieved Keeton the last two seasons, and has been impressive this season (30-of-46 passes for 397 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions in two games). He also has 180 rushing yards.
At running back and receiver, the Aggies have co-No. 1s. Junior Devante Mays has been a big-play threat in the backfield, with 259 yards on 35 rushes, and sophomore LaJuan Hunt leads with 75 carries, picking up 235 yards on the ground. Both have three touchdowns. Senior receivers Devonte Robinson and Hunter Sharp have 16 catches apiece to lead the team — Robinson has 254 yards in five games, while Sharp has 236 in three.
The Aggies are averaging 26.4 points and 358.8 yards per game, seventh and ninth, respectively, in the Mountain West.
The 3-4 defense is led by two of the Mountain West’s best linebackers in senior Kyler Fackrell and junior Nick Vigil. Fackrell, the Mountain West preseason defensive player of the year, leads the team with eight tackles for loss, three sacks and two fumble recoveries. Vigil is ninth in the nation and tops in the FBS with 10.4 tackles per game (52 total).
Utah State has intercepted five passes, led by junior safety Devin Centers’ two. He’s tied with Fackrell for third on the team with 26 tackles. Sophomore cornerback Jalen Davis has a team-best five pass breakups.
The 19.2 points per game allowed are second-best in the Mountain West, behind Boise State, as is their total defense (297.4 ypg), which ranks 18th nationally.
Junior kickers Brock Warren and Jake Thompson have combined to make 6-of-6 field goal attempts, Warren having made five of them. Junior Andrew Rodriguez had an 88-yard punt return touchdown that proved to be the game-winner Sept. 3 against Southern Utah (a 12-9 win). Redshirt freshman punter Aaron Dalton is averaging 38.8 yards per punt (97th nationally). He’s had one blocked, while the Aggies also have blocked one.
DID YOU KNOW?
The field at Maverik Stadium is named after former Aggies great Merlin Olsen, who played in 14 Pro Bowls for the Rams from 1962 to 1975. He moved on to a broadcasting career, and acted in television shows like “Little House On The Prairie” and “Father Murphy.’’
Dave Southorn: 377-6420;Twitter: @IDS_Southorn