Utah State football ranks sixth in the nation in rushing defense

LOGAN, Utah – Following the 11th 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 sixth in the nation in rushing defense.

Defensively, Utah State is allowing just 96.1 rushing yards per game to rank first in the Mountain West and sixth in the nation, trailing Penn State (85.6 ypg), Louisville (87.4 ypg), Alabama (89.8 ypg), Clemson (90.0 ypg) and Wisconsin (94.3 ypg). USU also ranks first in the MW and tied with Washington for third in the nation in sacks (3.80 spg), trailing Utah (4.78 spg) and Clemson (3.89 spg). Furthermore, USU ranks first in the MW and 14th nationally in scoring defense (19.2 ppg), first in the MW and 22nd nationally in passing efficiency defense (110.4), third in the MW and 36th in the nation in total defense (356.0 ypg), and 10th in the MW and 102nd nationally in passing defense (259.9 ypg).

Utah State’s defense also ranks first in the Mountain West and tied for second nationally with its 27 forced turnovers, trailing Louisiana Tech (28) and tied with TCU and Ole Miss. USU ranks first in the MW and tied for third nationally with its 17 interceptions, trailing Louisville (22) and Ole Miss (19), and tied with Louisiana Tech. USU also ranks first in the MW and tied for fifth in the nation in turnover margin (1.30 pg), trailing TCU (1.78 pg), Michigan State (1.56 pg), Oregon (1.50 pg) and Georgia (1.44 pg), and tied with Ole Miss. And USU ranks third in the MW and 18th nationally with its 10 fumble recoveries.

Furthermore, Utah State ranks first in the Mountain West and third in the nation with an average of 8.3 tackles for loss per game, trailing Clemson (10.1 pg) and Utah (8.8 pg). USU ranks first in the MW and tied for fourth nationally with its four defensive touchdowns, trailing Washington (7), Temple (6) and Western Kentucky (5), and tied with UAB, Florida International, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Texas, Ole Miss, Syracuse and UCLA. USU also ranks 10th in the nation in three-and-outs as it is averaging 5.60 per game. And USU ranks second in the MW and 27th in the nation in opponents third down conversations at 35.2 percent (58-165).

Offensively, Utah State ranks seventh in the Mountain West and 78th in the nation in scoring at 26.8 points per game. USU also ranks fourth in the MW and 24th in the nation in completion percentage (.636), fourth in the MW and 35th in the nation in passing efficiency (141.8), tied for fifth in the MW and tied for 45th in the nation in sacks allowed (1.80 pg), fifth in the MW and 66th in the nation in passing offense (229.7 ypg), ninth in the MW and 75th nationally in rushing offense (154.8 ypg), and ninth in the MW and 76th in the nation in total offense (384.5 ypg).

On special teams, Utah State ranks second in the Mountain West and 16th nationally in punt return defense (3.88 ypr) and fourth in the MW and 27th in the nation in kickoff return defense (18.62 ypr). USU also ranks fifth in the MW and 25th in the nation with its two blocked kicks, fifth in the MW and 61st in the nation in net punting (37.6 ypk), seventh in the MW and 51st nationally in punt returns (9.0 ypr), and seventh in the MW and 86th in the nation in kickoff returns (19.7 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 sixth in the nation in fumbles forced (0.44 pg), third in the MW in tackles for loss (1.22 pg), tied for third in the MW and tied for 52nd in the nation in sacks (0.65 pg), and sixth in the MW and 63rd in the nation in tackles (8.7 pg). Senior LB Zach Vigil ranks second in the MW and 14th in the nation in tackles for loss (1.40 pg), second in the MW and 17th in the nation in tackles (10.4 pg), and second in the MW and tied for 46th in the nation in sacks (0.65 pg). Sophomore FS Devin Centers ranks tied for first in the MW and tied for fifth in the nation in fumbles recovered (0.30 pg), and 32nd in the MW in tackles (5.7 pg). Senior SS Frankie Sutera ranks second in the MW and sixth nationally in interceptions (0.60 pg), ninth in the MW in passes defended (0.80 pg), and 37th in the MW in tackles (5.4 pg). Junior WR Hunter Sharp ranks second in the MW and 19th in the nation in receiving touchdowns (7), second in the MW and 21st in the nation in receiving yards (87.0 pg), tied for sixth in the MW and tied for 48th in the nation in receptions (5.4 pg), and eighth in the MW and 89th in the nation in all-purpose yards (104.4 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 15th in the nation in punt returns (12.4 ypr), and 10th in the MW and 79th in the nation in receptions (4.7pg). Senior DE B.J. Larsen ranks fifth in the MW and 64th in the nation in sacks (0.60 pg), and ninth in the MW in tackles for loss (0.95 pg). Junior LB LT Filiaga ranks 25th in the MW in tackles (6.1 pg). Senior FS Brian Suite ranks tied for 46th in the MW in tackles (5.1 pg). Sophomore RB Kennedy Williams ranks fourth in the MW and 82nd nationally in kickoff return average (20.9 ypr). Senior P Jaron Bentrude ranks ninth in the MW and 75th in the nation in punting (40.7 ypk). And senior PK Nick Diaz ranks second in the MW and tied for 19th in the nation in field goal percentage (.846), seventh in the MW and 60th in the nation in field goals (1.10 pg), and seventh in the MW in scoring among kickers (6.4 ppg).

Utah State (7-3, 4-1 MW) continues Mountain West play this weekend at home against New Mexico (3-6, 1-4 MW) on Saturday, Nov. 15 at 2 p.m., in a game that will be nationally televised on ESPNews. USU is 9-11 all-time against the Lobos, including a 5-3 home record.

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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