Utah State leads the Mountain West and is tied for second in the nation with 20 takeaways

LOGAN, Utah – Through the first eight weeks of the college football season, Utah State’s defense has forced 20 turnovers (10 fumbles, 10 interceptions), which ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for second in the nation behind California (21) and tied with Memphis (20).

USU also ranks tied for first in the Mountain West with UNLV and tied for third in the nation with its 10 fumble recoveries, trailing Bowling Green (12) and Memphis (11), and tied with Notre Dame (10).

Furthermore, the Aggies rank first in the MW and ninth in the nation with their 10 interceptions on the season, and sixth in the conference and 53rd nationally in turnover margin (+0.25).

In all, Utah State ranks among the top-40 teams in the nation in 14 different statistical categories.

With its 20 turnovers on the season, Utah State has now forced 130 turnovers in its last 70 games, including at least one turnover in 54 of its last 70 games. The Aggies have also recorded 63 interceptions in their last 57 games, including at least one pick in 31 of their last 57 games and multiple interceptions in 19 of their last 57 games. Overall, USU has forced three or more turnovers in 15 of its last 45 games.

Utah State is averaging 32.6 points per game to rank third in the Mountain West and 43rd in the nation. USU also ranks fifth in the MW and 54th nationally in passing offense (242.0 ypg), fifth in the MW and 63rd in the nation in completion percentage (.597), seventh in the conference and 63rd in the nation in total offense (400.9 ypg), eighth in the MW and 69th in the nation in rushing offense (158.9 ypg), ninth in the MW and 90th in the nation in passing efficiency (123.4), and 11th in the conference in sacks allowed (3.00 pg).

Utah State’s defense is allowing 194.6 passing yards per game to rank fifth in the Mountain West and 34th in the nation. USU also ranks fourth in the conference and 56th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (122.4), seventh in the MW and 74th in the nation in total defense (398.6 ypg), seventh in the MW and 83rd nationally in sacks (1.75 pg), seventh in the conference and 88th in the nation in scoring defense (29.4 ppg), and eighth in the MW in rushing defense (204.0 ypg).

Utah State’s defense has scored four touchdowns this year to rank tied for first nationally, along with Duke, Texas and Wisconsin. Senior CB Jalen Davis has scored three of those touchdowns as he had a 30- and a 50-yard interception return against BYU, and a 25-yard interception return against Idaho State, while freshman LB Maika Magalei returned a fumble 38 yards for a score against San José State. Overall, USU has scored 15 defensive touchdowns in its last 54 games.

On special teams, Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and fifth in the nation in kickoff return defense (14.9 ypr), first in the conference and 12th in the nation in punt returns (15.6 ypr), sixth in the MW and 86th in the nation in net punting (37.1 ypp), and eighth in the conference and 71st in the nation in kickoff returns (21.0 ypr).

USU also ranks second in the nation with four blocked kicks this year, trailing Hawai’i, which has blocked five, as the Aggies have blocked punts against Idaho State, Wake Forest, San José State and Colorado State, returning the one against CSU for a touchdown. USU’s four blocked punts rank first in the nation. The school record for blocks is six set in 2012 (3 FGs, 2 punts, 1 PAT). Overall, USU has blocked 14 kicks under Wells.

Individually, Davis is tied for first in the nation with his five interceptions, while his 11 passes defended (6 pass breakups, 5 interceptions) ranks tied for eighth in the nation, as he is averaging 1.4 passes defended per game. Davis also ranks first nationally with his three defensive touchdowns.

Senior QB Kent Myers ranks third in the Mountain West and 37th in the nation in completion percentage (.630). Myers also ranks fifth in the MW and 71st in the nation in completions (15.1 pg), seventh in the MW and 81st in the nation with his seven passing touchdowns, seventh in the MW and 83rd in the nation in total offense (183.1 ypg), seventh in the MW and 83rd in the nation in passing efficiency (120.5), eighth in the MW and 88th in the nation in passing yards (150.8 ypg), and tied for 10th in the conference and tied for 84th in the nation with his five rushing touchdowns.

Junior LB Louy Compton and junior QB DJ Nelson both rank first nationally with their two blocked kicks, while Nelson also ranks tied for second in the Mountain West and tied for seventh in the nation with his one punt return for a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman WR Jordan Nathan ranks first in the MW and ninth in the nation in punt returns (15.7 ypr).

Junior LB Suli Tamaivena ranks tied for second in the MW and tied for seventh nationally with his two fumble recoveries, fifth in the MW and 16th in the nation in tackles (9.8 pg), and tied for ninth in the MW in sacks (0.38 pg).

Sophomore NG Mohelika Uasike ranks tied for third in the MW and tied for 32nd nationally with his two forced fumbles.

Freshman WR Savon Scarver ranks fifth in the MW and 58th in the nation in kickoff returns (21.8 ypr).

Senior BS Dallin Leavitt ranks tied for fourth in the MW and tied for 44th in the nation with his three interceptions (0.38 pg), tied for seventh in the MW in passes defended (0.88 pg), and tied for 27th in the MW in tackles (6.1 pg).

Redshirt sophomore TE Dax Raymond ranks 10th in the MW in receptions (3.7 pg), senior RB LaJuan Hunt ranks tied for 10th in the conference and tied for 84th in the nation with his five rushing touchdowns and junior BS Gaje Ferguson ranks 15th in the MW in tackles (7.1 pg).

Junior LB Chase Christiansen ranks tied for 29th in the conference in tackles (6.0 pg).

Sophomore PK Dominik Eberle ranks first in the MW and second in the nation in field goal percentage (.933), second in the MW and 15th in the nation in field goals made (1.75 pg), and fifth in the MW and 27th in the nation in scoring (9.0 ppg).

And, junior P Aaron Dalton ranks fourth in the MW and 54th in the nation in punting (42.2 ypp).

The Aggies return to the friendly confines of Maverik Stadium this weekend to host Boise State on Saturday, Oct. 28, at 8 p.m. The game will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.

For 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.

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