USU football: Utah State football ranks eighth in the nation in scoring defense

By Doug Hoffman

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Oct. 8 2012 4:30 p.m. MDT

Utah State football now ranks eighth in the nation in scoring defense following its 6-3 loss at BYU this past weekend.

In all, Utah State’s defense ranks first in the Western Athletic Conference and eighth in the nation allowing just 12.8 points per game. USU also ranks first in the WAC and 16th in the nation in pass efficiency defense (103.9), second in the WAC and 16th in the nation in total defense (297.3 ypg), second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in passing defense (184.5 ypg), second in the WAC and 23rd in the nation in rushing defense (112.8 ypg), and second in the WAC and 43rd in the nation in sacks per game (2.33).

USU’s opponents are 10-of-16 (.625) inside the 20 this season. Of those 16 trips USU’s opponents have made to the redzone, they have come away with four touchdowns and six field goals, to go along with two missed field goals, one faked field goal attempt, one fumble, one interception and a loss on downs.

Utah State’s defense is allowing its opponents to convert just 30.5 percent of its third downs (32-105), which leads the WAC and ranks 15th in the nation. USU’s defense is also allowing just 16.67 first downs per game to rank third in the WAC and tied for 17th in the nation.

Through six games, Utah State has out-scored its opponents 54-0 in the first quarter and has allowed just two first-half touchdowns as it holds an 88-22 scoring advantage in the first half this season.

Offensively, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 51st in the nation in total offense (419.0) and third in the WAC and 63rd in the nation in rushing offense (167.8). USU also ranks fourth in the WAC and 38th in the nation in passing efficiency (143.6), fourth in the WAC and 49th in the nation in passing offense (251.2 ypg), and fifth in the WAC and 88th in the nation in scoring offense (24.0 ppg). USU also ranks fifth in the WAC and 65th in the nation in sacks allowed per game (1.83).

As for special teams, Utah State ranks third in the WAC and 41st in the nation in net punting (38.6 ypk), third in the WAC and 41st in the nation in punt returns (10.6 ypr), and fourth in the WAC and 52nd in the nation in kickoff returns (22.2 ypr).

Offensively, senior running back Kerwynn Williams ranks first in the WAC and tied for 26th in the nation in all-purpose yards (139.7 ypg), first in the WAC and 40th in the nation in rushing (89.5 ypg), and eighth in the WAC in total offense (89.5 ypg). Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks second in the WAC and 29th in the nation in total offense (285.7 ypg), fifth in the WAC and 37th in the nation in passing efficiency (145.6), fifth in the WAC and 42nd in the nation in passing (247.5 ypg), and 10th in the WAC in rushing (38.2 ypg).

Defensively, sophomore linebacker Zach Vigil ranks fifth in the WAC and tied for 88th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.08 pg), sixth in the WAC and tied for 90th in the nation in tackles (8.2 pg), and tied for ninth in the WAC and tied for 88th in the nation in sacks (0.5 pg). Senior safety McKade Brady ranks second in the WAC and tied for 49th in the nation in tackles (8.8 pg).

On special teams, senior punter Tyler Bennett ranks third in the WAC and tied for 25th in the nation in punting (43.2 ypk), junior placekicker Josh Thompson ranks sixth in the WAC and tied for 77th in the nation in field goals (0.80 pg), and senior wide receiver Cameron Webb ranks third in the WAC and 53rd in the nation in punt returns (7.2 ypr).

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