Utah State football adds games with BYU, plus Todd Orlando nominated for award
Ahead of your Thanksgiving break, here's some Utah State news to peruse either now or as you're trying to stay awake after stuffing yourself with turkey and mashed potatoes.
• Utah State announces two more games to BYU series. The Aggies will continue a home-and-home arrangement with the Cougars through at least 2018, though neither of the two games will be played on Thanksgiving weekend.
Utah State will host BYU in Logan at Romney Stadium on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. The Then the Aggies will head to Lavell Edwards Stadium for a Friday match-up on Oct. 3, 2018.
Although the Aggies have not had much on-field success against the Cougars in the past few decades, the game is annually one of the biggest draws in Logan. Utah State sold out Romney Stadium this year for BYU, and athletic director Scott Barnes managed to restructure the contract between the two schools to get a home-and-home series.
• Todd Orlando nominated for the Broyles Award. This annually goes to the top college football assistant coach in the country. Aggies defensive coordinator Orlando is one of 40 nominees. Obviously, that's a huge field, and Orlando's 40-in-1 long shot probably isn't all that great, but he's in the field, and statistics offer some insight into just how well Orlando has done taking over the defense.
Nationally, the Aggies are No. 7 in scoring defense, No. 12 in total defense, No. 14 in passing efficiency defense, No. 15 in rushing defense, and No. 35 in passing defense. Utah State has forced three-and-outs roughly 44.4 percent of the time, and has allowed only 14 red zone touchdowns in 34 possessions.
Orlando was one of the last assistants brought on board and essentially learned the defense the Aggies ran while adding his own spin. Keeping an already talented unit consistent this year has been one of the program's biggest achievements.
Also up for the award? Former USU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who boasts the No. 5 scoring defense and the No. 6 total defense playing in the Big 10. Without commenting on who is more deserving, Aranda's bigger stage this year may give him a more realistic shot of winning the award.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon