USU football: Aggies tied for 15th in the nation in total defense
LOGAN — After limiting USC to just 282 yards of total offense in its last game, Utah State’s defense now ranks tied for 15th in the nation allowing just 285.0 yards per game.
Utah State’s defense also ranks second in the Mountain West and 12th in the nation in passing defense (152.0 ypg), first in the MW and 32nd in the nation in scoring defense (18.2 ppg), second in the MW and 45th in the nation in rushing defense (133.0), third in the MW and 44th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (116.9), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks (1.3 pg).
Utah State’s defense also ranks 10th in the nation as it is limiting its opponents to 24.6 percent on third down conversions (15-61).
Offensively, Utah State is averaging 40.5 points per game to rank third in the Mountain West and tied for 26th in the nation. USU also ranks first in the MW and 14th in the nation in passing efficiency (169.8), second in the MW and 30th in the nation in total offense (484.0 ypg), fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing offense (293.2 ypg), fifth in the MW and 57th in the nation in rushing offense (190.8 ypg), and tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 77th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.8 pg).
Utah State’s offense also ranks tied for 11th nationally in third down efficiency as it has converted 55.6 percent of its third downs (35-63). The Aggies are tied for ninth nationally with an average of 25.0 first downs per game and tied for 29th in the nation scoring on 18-of-20 (.900) red zone opportunities.
On special teams, Utah State currently ranks third in the Mountain West and 30th in the nation averaging 24.8 yards per kick return. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 50th in the nation in punt returns (9.1 ypr), tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 63rd in the nation in turnover margin (+0.30), and ninth in the MW and 71st in the nation in net punting (36.8 ypk).
USU also ranks among the top-10 teams in the nation in kickoff return and punt return defense as it is allowing 0.0 yards per punt return to rank tied for sixth in the nation and 16.7 yards per kickoff return to rank ninth nationally.
Individually, junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton ranks tied for second in the nation with Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater with 14 touchdowns passes, trailing Oregon State’s Sean Mannion who leads the nation with 15 touchdown passes. Keeton also ranks first in the Mountain West and 17th in the nation in passing efficiency (166.5), third in the MW and 10th in the nation in completions (25.8), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (318.5 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (275.5 ypg).
Other Aggies who rank among the statistical leaders in the Mountain West and in the nation include senior linebacker Jake Doughty who ranks second in the MW and tied for 16th in the nation in tackles (10.5 pg); sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell who ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 20th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.5 pg), fourth in the MW and tied for 35th in the nation in sacks (0.8 pg), and 10th in the MW in tackles for loss (1.12 pg); junior linebacker Zach Vigil who ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 20th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.5 pg), and seventh in the MW and tied for 49th in the nation in tackles (8.8 pg); senior safety Maurice Alexander who ranks 28th in the MW in tackles (6.5 pg); sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson who ranks second in the MW and 26th in the nation in punt returns (11.2 ypr), and ninth in the MW and tied for 48th in the nation in receptions (5.8 pg); senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen who ranks 10th in the MW in receiving (64.2 ypg); junior placekicker Nick Diaz who ranks eighth in the MW in field goals (0.8 pg), eighth in the MW in field goal percentage (75.0) and eighth in the MW in extra point percentage (95.0); and junior punter Jaron Bentrude who ranks 10th in the MW in punting (38.0 ypk).
Utah State (2-2, 1-0 MW) continues its 2013 season with its fourth road game in the first five weeks of the season in a Mountain West matchup at San Jose State (1-2, 0-0 MW) on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. MT. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. USU then returns home to host in-state foe BYU on Friday, Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.
For Aggie football ticket information, contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
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