Utah State football ranks eighth in the nation in rushing defense

LOGAN, Utah – Following its 35-20 road win at No. 18 BYU, Utah State ranks among the top 30 teams in the nation in 14 different statistical categories, including ranking eighth in the nation in rushing defense.

Defensively, Utah State is allowing just 93.4 rushing yards per game to rank first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation. USU also ranks second in the MW and 23rd in the nation in sacks (3.00 pg), second in the MW and 27th nationally in passing efficiency defense (108.8), second in the MW and 37th in the nation in total defense (352.8 ypg), fourth in the MW and tied for 62nd nationally in scoring defense (24.6 ppg), and ninth in the MW and 91st nationally in passing defense (29.4 ypg).

Furthermore, Utah State’s defense ranks 13th in the nation in three-and-outs as it is averaging 5.20 per game. USU also ranks second in the Mountain West and 24th in the nation as its opponents are converting only 31.6 percent of its third downs into first downs (25-79).

Utah State’s defense also ranks first in the Mountain West and third in the nation with an average of 8.4 tackles for loss per game. USU also ranks second in the MW and fourth nationally with its nine interceptions, and first in the MW and 19th nationally with its six fumble recoveries, while its 15 forced turnovers this year ranks second in the MW and sixth nationally. And finally, USU ranks tied second in the MW and tied for 17th in the nation in turnover margin (1.0 pg).

Offensively, Utah State ranks sixth in the Mountain West and 80th in the nation in scoring at 26.4 points per game. USU also ranks third in the MW and tied for 46th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.60 pg), fifth in the MW and 61st in the nation in passing offense (236.0 ypg), sixth in the MW and 61st in the nation in completion percentage (.602), eighth in the MW and 79th nationally in rushing offense (150.4 ypg), eighth in the MW and 79th in the nation in passing efficiency (124.8), and eighth in the MW and 87th in the nation in total offense (386.4 ypg). USU also ranks second in the MW and 28th in the nation in time of possession (32:24).

On special teams, Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and 13th nationally in punt return defense (2.86 ypr) and fourth in the MW and 26th in the nation in kickoff return defense (18.17 ypr). USU also ranks seventh in the MW and 69th nationally in punt returns (7.7 ypr), eighth in the MW and 74th in the nation in net punting (37.1 ypk), and ninth in the MW and 91st in the nation in kickoff returns (19.3 ypr).

Utah State players who rank among the statistical leaders in the Mountain West and in the nation includes junior WR/PR JoJo Natson who ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fourth in the nation with one punt return for touchdown, and first in the MW and 13th in the nation in punt return average (13.3 ypr). Junior LB LT Filiaga ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fourth in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.40 pg), and tied for 31st in the MW in tackles (5.8 pg). Sophomore FS Devin Centers ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fourth in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.40 pg), tied for second in the MW and tied for 72nd in the nation in sacks (0.60 pg), and tied for 16th in the MW in tackles (7.2 pg). Sophomore LB Nick Vigil ranks second in the MW and tied for 14th in the nation in fumbles forced (0.40 pg), second in the MW and tied for 33rd in the nation in tackles (9.8 pg), and tied for eighth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.1 pg). Senior SS Frankie Sutera ranks tied for second in the MW and tied for 13th nationally in interceptions (0.60 pg), and tied for 42nd in the MW in tackles (5.0 pg). Junior WR Hunter Sharp ranks second in the MW and 29th in the nation in receiving yards (95.6 pg), sixth in the MW and 48th in the nation in receptions (5.6 pg), and ninth in the MW in all-purpose yards (101.8 pg). Senior DE B.J. Larsen ranks tied for second in the MW and tied for 72nd nationally in sacks (0.60 pg), and tied for fifth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.2 pg). Freshman CB Jalen Davis ranks tied for third in the MW in passes defended (1.0 pg), and tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 40th in the nation in interceptions (0.40 pg). Senior LB Zach Vigil ranks tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 79th in the nation in tackles (8.4 pg), and tied for fifth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.20 pg). Junior LB Torrey Green ranks tied for second in the MW and tied for 72nd nationally in sacks (0.60 pg), tied for fifth in the MW in tackles for loss (1.20 pg), and tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 37th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.20 pg). Junior CB Bryant Hayes ranks tied for third in the MW in passes defended (1.0 pg). Junior NG Travis Seefeldt ranks tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 37th in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.20 pg). Senior FS Brian Suite ranks tied for 10th in the MW in passes defended (0.8 pg). Sophomore RB Kennedy Williams ranks seventh in the MW and 81st nationally in kickoff return average (20.9 ypr). Senior P Jaron Bentrude ranks 10th in the MW and 99th in the nation in punting (38.8 ypk). And senior PK Nick Diaz ranks tied for eighth in the MW and tied for 79th in the nation in field goal percentage (.600), tied for ninth in the MW and tied for 98th in the nation in field goals (0.60 pg), and 10th in the MW in scoring among kickers (4.8).

Utah State (3-2, 0-0 MW) begins Mountain West play this weekend by hosting Air Force (4-1, 1-1 MW) in its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 8:15 p.m. The game will be nationally televised by ESPNU. USU is 1-1 all-time against AFA and this will be the Falcons first-ever trip to Romney Stadium.

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. By purchasing your bowl game tickets through USU you help us meet our bowl game commitment.

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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