Stephen Vilardo’s LA Bowl Preview by the Numbers

Posted on December 16, 2021

  By Stephen Vilardo, SportsPac12

The premiere Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl in SoFi Stadium is the first bowl game for Oregon State since the 2013 Hawaii Bowl. It had been the third-longest bowl drought in the nation.

While the Beavers are bowling for the first time in eight years, the Aggies are playing in the postseason for the ninth time in the last 11 seasons.

My matchup summary and game notes for each team appear below.

Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl
Utah State Aggies vs Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, December 18, 4:30 PT
SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, CA
ABC: Joe Testier, Jesse Palmer and Laura Rutledge

Bowl Records: Oregon State 11-6, Utah State 5-9
Series: Oregon State leads 3-0

The Aggies are coming off a 46-13 Mountain West Championship Game victory over San Diego State. It was the first conference title for the Aggies since winning the 2012 WAC title.

The Beavers enter the game having lost their regular season finale to Oregon 38-29. A stat to watch: Utah State is third in the nation with 7.89 TFL per game, Oregon State is allowing just 3.33 per game, third fewest in the country.

Utah State Aggies (10-3)

Utah State Aggies | John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

• USU is facing a Pac-12 team in a bowl game for the first time.

• Utah State went 1-5 last season, and are just the fourth team in FBS history to go from zero or one win to 10 wins the following season.

• USU is one of just 11 FBS teams to win a conference championship the year after winning one or zero games. (Northern Illinois also accomplished that in the MAC this season).

• All three FBS schools from the state of Utah have won 10 games this season (BYU, Utah and Utah State).

• The Aggies had a red zone TD rate of just 52.0%, 107th in the nation.

• Utah State went a perfect 7-0 away from home this season.

• Deven Thompkins set the USU record for receiving yards in a season (1,589) and tied the school record for consecutive 100-yard receiving games (6) this season.

• Logan Bonner set the Aggie record for passing touchdowns in a season (36) and tied the school record for passing touchdowns in a game (5) this year

• Logan Bonner is the first player in Utah State history to throw at least four touchdown passes in three-straight games.

• Bonner needs eight yards to break Jordan Love’s single-season school passing yardage record of 3,567.

• Deven Thompkins has caught 96 passes this season; with five receptions he will break the Aggie single-season record.

• Utah State is averaging 7.9 TFL per game, the third-most in the nation.

• USU averages 305.8 passing yards per game, the 15th-most in the country.

• Justin Rice ranks 27th in the nation with 8.85 tackles per game.

• Deven Thompkins’ 7.4 receptions per game are the ninth most in the nation.

Oregon State Beavers (7-5)

Oregon State Beavers | Brian Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

• OSU is 3-1 all-time in bowl games against current MWC teams.

• Oregon State is allowing just 3.3 TFL per game, the third-fewest in the nation. Only Michigan and Georgia are allowing less.

• The Beavers are converting on 50.68% of third downs, the sixth-highest rate in the nation.

• This season Oregon State allowed just 18.2 points per game in Reser Stadium; the Beavers allowed 33.7 away from Corvallis.

• Oregon State is 2-0 in Los Angeles since Jonathan Smith became head coach, with wins in 2018 at UCLA and this season at USC.

• The Beavers red zone TD rate of 72.2% is the ninth-best in the nation and second in the Pac-12 (UCLA 74.0%).

• OSU’s 39 red zone touchdowns rank second in the Pac-12, behind only Utah’s 48.

• Oregon State averaged a Pac-12-best 6.44 yards per play this season, the 23rd-best mark in the nation.

• This season, B.J Baylor is averaging 127.3 yards rushing in wins; in OSU losses that figure dips to 73.4

• B.J Baylor has picked up a first down on 5 of 7 carries on third down this season.

• A 100-yards rushing performance by B.J Baylor would move him into the top seven all-time in Beaver single season rushing totals.

• Chance Nolan has thrown five TDs with just one interception in the last three games. He has also thrown for 655 yards with a completion percentage of 68.2 over those three games.

• Avery Roberts leads the Pac-12 and is fifth in the nation with 10.7 tackles per game.

• Roberts has had at least five tackles in 25 of his 29 games played at Oregon State

• Trevon Bradford is two receptions shy of cracking the OSU top-list. He has 149 in his career.

• Jack Colletto is one of two FBS players to intercept a pass, score a touchdown via a rush and catch a score this season.

Follow Stephen on Twitter @StephenVilardo and his organization @SERCenter.

Visit his website at

—More from Stephen Vilardo—