LOGAN, Utah – University of Hawai’i officials announced Wednesday the hiring of Kevin Clune as its new defensive coordinator. Clune has spent the past five seasons at Utah State as the team’s linebackers coach.
During the 2013 season, Clune helped coach an Aggie defense that allowed just 17.1 points per game to rank first in the Mountain West and seventh in the nation. USU also ranked first in the MW and eighth in the nation in rushing defense (106.7 ypg), first in the MW and 12th in the nation in total defense (330.9 ypg), first in the MW and 15th in the nation in passing efficiency defense (113.2), second in the MW and 35th in the nation in sacks (2.43 pg), and second in the MW and 52nd in the nation in passing defense (224.1 ypg).
Furthermore, Utah State’s defense limited its opponents to just 75 first downs on 230 third-down attempts (.326) to rank first in the Mountain West and 11th in the nation. USU also ranked seventh in the nation in forcing three-and-outs on the year as it forced 78 three-and-outs on 173 drives, which averages out to 45.1 percent of the time and 5.57 per game. And in the red zone, USU allowed 31 scores in 45 red zone opportunities (.689) to rank first in the MW and sixth nationally. Overall, USU allowed only 19 touchdowns on 45 trips into the red zone (.422), which ranked second in the nation.
Utah State’s defense also ranked third in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation during the season with an average of 7.8 tackles for loss per game, and first in the MW and 19th in the nation with a turnover margin of plus 0.79 as it had 30 takeaways and 19 turnovers on the season, as those 19 turnovers ranked 40th nationally.
Overall, the 106.7 rushing yards allowed per game in 2013 by Utah State were its fewest since 1968, while its 17.1 points allowed per game ranked as the second-fewest since 1971. USU also held five of its final seven opponents to 14 or fewer points, while its 14 points allowed in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl are the fewest allowed in a bowl game in school history. Furthermore, USU allowed just one touchdown and 13 total points following 16 turnovers during the season. And finally, Utah State held each of its last four opponents to less than 100 yards rushing as a team, and USU was the only team in the nation not to allow a touchdown run of 10 or more yards during the season.
Individually, Clune coached three Aggie linebackers who earned all-Mountain West honors in 2013 as senior Jake Doughty was named to the first-team, while junior Zach Vigil and sophomore Kyler Fackrell were both named to the second-team.
Utah State concluded the 2013 season with a 21-14 win against 24th-ranked Northern Illinois in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl to finish the year with a 9-5 record and tie the 1960 and 1961 teams for the second-most wins in school history. With its win against Northern Illinois, Utah State posted back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in school history as it played in its third-straight bowl game, also a first at USU.
Utah State, who finished the 2013 season by winning six of its final seven games, also set the school record for conference wins as it posted a 7-1 league mark in its first season in the Mountain West to win the Mountain Division of the conference and advance to the inaugural Mountain West Championship game.
Utah State ended the year ranking tied for 37th nationally in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls with two votes each, marking the second time in as many years that USU has concluded the season ranked among the top teams in the nation as the 2012 team was ranked 16th in the final AP poll, 17th in the final coaches’ poll and 22nd in the final Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.
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