USU football: Utah State football ranks statistically among best defenses in the nation

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Sept. 17 2012 8:40 a.m. MDT

Following solid performances in each of its first three games of the 2012 season, Utah State’s ranks as one of the best defenses in the nation as it has out-scored its opponents 41-0 in the first quarter and has not allowed a touchdown in the first half.

On the season, Utah State leads the Western Athletic Conference and ranks 11th nationally in passing defense allowing 153.3 yards per game. USU also leads the WAC and ranks 14th nationally in pass efficiency defense (94.5); first in the WAC and 14th in the nation in total defense (256.0 ypg); first in the WAC and 15th in the nation in scoring defense (13.0 ppg); third in the WAC and 27th in the nation in rushing defense (102.7 ypg); and fourth in the WAC and 52nd in the nation in sacks allowed (1.7 pg). USU also ranks first in the WAC in opponent’s first downs per game (14.3) and in opponent’s third-down conversions (.170).

Utah State’s defense has also been successful in not allowing teams to score once it enters the red zone as its opponents are just 3-of-7 (.429) inside the 20 this season. The Aggies opponents have made one touchdown and two field goals, to go along with one missed field goal, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.

Offensively, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 57th in the nation in total offense with 419.0 yards per game. USU also ranks third in the WAC and 37th nationally in passing efficiency (150.20); fourth in the WAC and 49th in the nation in rushing offense (185.3 ypg); fourth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in passing offense (233.7 ypg); fourth in the WAC and 52nd in the nation in sacks allowed (1.7 pg); and fifth in the WAC and 86th in the nation in scoring offense (25.0 ppg).

Individually, sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 27th in the nation in total offense (288.3 ypg); third in the WAC and 35th in the nation in passing efficiency (152.4); fourth in the WAC and 50th in the nation in passing yards per game (233.7); and sixth in the WAC in rushing yards per game (54.7).

Senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks fourth in the WAC and 90th in the nation in rushing yards per game (67.0), eighth in the WAC in all-purpose yards per game (98.0) and 10th in the WAC in total offense per game (676.0).

Sophomore running back Joe Hill ranks sixth in the WAC and tied for 68th in the nation in scoring (8.0 ppg) and 10th in the WAC in rushing yards per game (39.7).

Senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks second in the WAC and 41st in the nation in punt return average (9.4 ypr).

Junior cornerback Devonta Glover-Wright ranks sixth in the WAC and 68th in the nation in kickoff return average (19.8 ypr).

Senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks fourth in the WAC and tied for 44th in the nation in punting (42.0 ypp).

Senior linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu ranks tied for third in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.17 pg) and tied for 15th in the WAC in tackles per game (7.0).

Redshirt freshman defensive end Jordan Nielsen ranks tied for fifth in the WAC and tied for 58th in the nation in sacks per game (0.67) and tied for ninth in the WAC in tackles for loss (1.0).

Utah State (2-1) travels to Colorado State this weekend to play the Rams on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. CSU is 1-2 on the season following a 40-20 loss at San Jose State last weekend.

For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or call 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. Tickets can also be purchased 24 hours a day on the USU website.

Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.

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