Utah State football: Little brother becomes pass-rushing star
Logan • Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil is proud to be known as the younger brother of one of the Aggies' most productive defensive players, but he distinguished himself Saturday.
Vigil was involved in four sacks of Wyoming passers, helping the Aggies to a 35-7 victory that gave them a division title in the Mountain West.
Zach Vigil, a junior, made six tackles in another steady game. His brother emerged as a star. Nick Vigil, a redshirt freshman from Fremont High School, entered the game with only a half-sack to his credit this year, but his 3.5-sack effort lifted him into a tie with Kyler Fackrell for USU's season lead.
"Opportunity," said USU coach Matt Wells, citing the reason for the breakout performance. "He's a really, really talented, young kid. He fits in our scheme in multiple places."
Two of Vigil's sacks kept Wyoming from scoring. He chased down quarterback Brett Smith for a 15-yard loss on a fourth-and-9 play from the USU 23 in the third quarter. Early in the fourth period, Wyoming returned a fumble to the Aggie 6. The Cowboys tried a trick play and Vigil caught Sam Stratton, who was trying to throw, for a 12-yard loss.
Vigil's other two sacks, including one he shared with linemen Jordan Nielsen, came on third-and-9 plays, as USU continually put Wyoming in long-yardage situations and was able to blitz relentlessly.
"We just ran what we usually do on third down," said Vigil, who noted how the attention given to his brother and Fackrell helped create some openings for him.
Vigil, who also was credited with a quarterback hurry and a shared tackle for loss, headlined a USU effort that led Wells to say, "Bottom line, it's the best defense in the Mountain West Conference."
The Aggies held Wyoming to 190 total yards and seven points, a week after Smith passed for 498 yards and seven touchdowns in an overtime win over Hawaii.
Next Saturday, USU will face Fresno State's productive offense. The Bulldogs had clinched the MW's West Division title before they lost 62-52 to San Jose State on Friday, despite quarterback Derek Carr's 519 passing yards and six touchdowns.
Behind the enemy's line
Eight players contributed to Utah State's 10 tackles for loss vs. Wyoming, totaling 55 yards. The most disruptive tacklers:
Player, pos. TFL Yds.
Nick Vigil, LB 4 39
Tay Glover-Wright, CB 2.5 8