Utah State football ranks 13th nationally in scoring defense

LOGAN, Utah – Following the 12th week of the college football season, Utah State now ranks among the top 40 teams in the nation in 19 different statistical categories, including ranking 13th in the nation in scoring defense.

Defensively, Utah State is allowing just 19.4 points per game to lead the Mountain West and rank 13th nationally. USU also ranks first in the MW and fourth in the nation in sacks (3.55 spg), trailing Utah (4.70 spg), Clemson (3.80 spg) and Washington (3.64 spg). Furthermore, USU ranks first in the MW and 12th nationally in rushing defense (109.7 ypg), first in the MW and 23rd nationally in passing efficiency defense (110.9), third in the MW and 36th in the nation in total defense (360.0 ypg), and ninth in the MW and 95th nationally in passing defense (250.3 ypg).

Utah State’s defense also ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for second nationally with its 28 forced turnovers, trailing Florida International (31) and tied with Louisiana Tech, Michigan State, Temple and TCU. USU ranks first in the MW and tied for third nationally with its 18 interceptions, trailing Louisville (22) and Ole Miss (19). USU also ranks first in the MW and sixth in the nation in turnover margin (1.18 pg), trailing Michigan State (1.80 pg), Georgia (1.60 pg), Oregon (1.50 pg), TCU (1.40 pg), and Ole Miss (1.30 pg). And USU ranks third in the MW and 25th nationally with its 10 fumble recoveries.

Furthermore, Utah State ranks first in the Mountain West and third in the nation with an average of 8.1 tackles for loss per game, trailing Clemson (10.0 pg) and Utah (8.6 pg). USU also ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for sixth nationally with its four defensive touchdowns, trailing Washington (7), Temple (6), Georgia Tech (6), Western Kentucky (5) and Florida International (5), and tied with UAB, Arizona State, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Memphis, North Carolina, North Texas, Ole Miss, Syracuse and UCLA. USU also ranks 14th in the nation in three-and-outs as it is averaging 5.18 per game. And USU ranks second in the MW and 38th in the nation in opponents third down conversations at 36.7 percent (66-180).

Offensively, Utah State ranks seventh in the Mountain West and 77th in the nation in scoring at 26.9 points per game. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 22nd in the nation in completion percentage (.635), fourth in the MW and 34th in the nation in passing efficiency (140.9), sixth in the MW and 72nd in the nation in passing offense (222.5 ypg), tied for seventh in the MW and tied for 53rd in the nation in sacks allowed (1.91 pg), eighth in the MW and 62nd nationally in rushing offense (165.5 ypg), and eighth in the MW and 71st in the nation in total offense (387.9 ypg).

On special teams, Utah State ranks third in the Mountain West and 17th in the nation in kickoff return defense (18.17 ypr) and third in the MW and 19th nationally in punt return defense (3.88 ypr). USU also ranks sixth in the MW and 27th in the nation with its two blocked kicks, fourth in the MW and 57th in the nation in net punting (37.8 ypk), sixth in the MW and 43rd nationally in punt returns (9.3 ypr), and sixth in the MW and 76th in the nation in kickoff returns (20.1 ypr).

Utah State players who rank among the statistical leaders in the Mountain West and in the nation includes sophomore LB Nick Vigil who ranks first in the MW and tied for seventh in the nation in fumbles forced (0.40 pg), third in the MW in tackles for loss (1.20 pg), tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 76th in the nation in sacks (0.61 pg), and sixth in the MW and tied for 45th in the nation in tackles (9.1 pg). Senior LB Zach Vigil ranks second in the MW and 15th in the nation in tackles (10.4 pg), third in the MW in tackles for loss (1.36 pg), and third in the MW and 68th in the nation in sacks (0.59 pg). Sophomore FS Devin Centers ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for sixth in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.27 pg), and 34th in the MW in tackles (5.7 pg). Senior SS Frankie Sutera ranks first in the MW and third nationally in interceptions (0.64 pg), tied for eighth in the MW in passes defended (0.82 pg), and 37th in the MW in tackles (5.5 pg). Junior WR Hunter Sharp ranks second in the MW and 23rd in the nation in receiving touchdowns (7), second in the MW and 32nd in the nation in receiving yards (79.8 pg), sixth in the MW and 56th in the nation in receptions (5.3 pg), and 10th in the MW in all-purpose yards (95.6 pg). Junior WR/PR JoJo Natson ranks first in the MW and tied for second in the nation with two punt returns for touchdown, first in the MW and 13th in the nation in punt returns (12.1 ypr), and eighth in the MW in all-purpose yards (98.8 pg). Senior DE B.J. Larsen ranks second in the MW and tied for 47th in the nation in sacks (0.64 pg), and seventh in the MW in tackles for loss (0.95 pg). Junior LB LT Filiaga ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 28th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.20 pg), and tied for 25th in the MW in tackles (6.1 pg). Senior FS Brian Suite ranks tied for eighth in the MW in passes defended (0.82 pg), and tied for 41st in the MW in tackles (5.2 pg). Freshman CB Jalen Davis ranks 47th in the MW in tackles (4.9 pg). Sophomore RB Kennedy Williams ranks fifth in the MW and 73rd nationally in kickoff return average (21.6 ypr). Senior P Jaron Bentrude ranks sixth in the MW and 69th in the nation in punting (41.0 ypk). And senior PK Nick Diaz ranks second in the MW and tied for 15th in the nation in field goal percentage (.846), seventh in the MW and 63rd in the nation in field goals (1.0 pg), and seventh in the MW in scoring among kickers (6.2 ppg).

Utah State (8-3, 5-1 MW) continues Mountain West play this weekend with its regular season home finale against San Jose State (3-6, 1-4 MW) on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7:30 p.m., in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPN2. USU is 15-20-1 all-time against the Spartans, including a 9-8 home record.

Utah enters its game against the Spartans having won four-straight games and six of its last seven games overall. USU has also won eight-straight home games and is 11-2 all-time in Mountain West play.

For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone 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 by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

– USU –

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