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Sun Devil Football Lifts Lid on 2022 Season on Thursday

Aug 30, 2022

THE GAME -  Sun Devil Football will lift the lid on the 2022 season this Thursday, Sept. 1 against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The game is slated for a 7 p.m. AZT kickoff on the Pac-12 Network (Roxy Bernstein and Lincoln Kennedy on the call) and will be carried over the airwaves on KTAR 620 AM (Tim Healey, Jeff Van Raaphorst, Kevin Turner).

ON THE JACKS/SEASON OPENERS -  The Sun Devils lead the all-time series against the Lumberjacks, 22-14-4. The two teams last played in 2016 - a 44-13 Sun Devil victory. ASU has won all six matchups against the Lumberjacks since 2000. Prior to that, the school had not faced since 1950.

ASU has won 22 straight home openers dating back to 1999, excluding the unusual circumstances of 2020 that didn't see ASU open at home until December. That streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation behind Florida (32), Oklahoma State (26).

ASU is 79-28-2 all-time in season openers and 61-15-1 when Opening Day is played at home. ASU has won 19 straight Opening Day games when played at Sun Devil Stadium.

KICKING OFF

  • ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 30 of 43 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back to a span from 2013-17.
  • ASU has rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in 18 straight regular season games. It is the longest streak of rushing for over 100 yards as a team since the last 10 games of 1995, all 11 in 1996 and the first two of 1997 - a 23-game stretch over three seasons. The 18-game streak is the eighth-longest active streak in the nation.
  • The Sun Devils were the only team in the FBS to not allow a 50-yard play last season, extending the program's active streak of games without a 50-yard play allowed to an FBS-leading 15 games. The next closest team in Illinois at 12 games.
  • The Sun Devils have reached double digit scoring at home in 75 straight HOME games - tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation
  • ASU is one of just three FBS teams to rank in the Top-35 nationally in fewest plays over 30 yards allowed in EACH of the last four seasons. Coincidentally, the other two teams in the category are the Pac-12's Cal and Utah.
  • ASU held opponents to 400 yards or less in 11 of 13 games last season. Under Herm Edwards, ASU has held opponents to the 400 or less mark for total offensive yards on 25 occasions over 43 games (58.1 percent of the time). For comparison, ASU accomplished the feat just 24 times in the 65 previous games (36.9 percent) from 2013-2017.
  • ASU has outscored opponents 847-451 in points off takeaways since 2012.  Since 2012, ASU has scored 63.7 percent of the time following an opponent turnover (142 of 223) while finding the end zone 105 times in that span (47.1 percent). Conversely, opponents have scored just 48.4 percent of the time following an ASU turnover since 2012 (76 of 157) with 58 touchdowns (36.9 percent).

AN ASU VICTORY WOULD...

  • Be the 23rd consecutive victory in a HOME opener for the Sun Devils, currently the fourth-longest active streak in the nation (2020 excluded due to unusual circumstances across country and ASU not having a home opener until December)
  • Improve ASU to 80-28-2 on Opening Day in history and 62-15-1 on Opening Day at home
  • Be ASU's 20th consecutive Opening Day win when the game is at Sun Devil Stadium.

SMART DEVILS

  • Arizona State University recorded a multiyear Academic Progress Rate (APR) average of 995 over a four-year period (2017-18 to 2020-21), an all-time ASU high and first in the Pac-12, the first time leading the conference.  ASU's single year overall APR score for 2020-21 is 994, which is the highest score in Arizona State history. Sun Devil Football earned a multiyear APR of 983, which is an all-time high for the program.
  • The Sun Devils saw nine players (four draftees and five undrafted free agents) sign NFL contracts after last season. All nine of those players earned their undergraduate degrees while at ASU.
  • The 2022 roster will feature 14 Sun Devils who are working toward graduate degrees.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • 129 all-purpose yards for X Valladay to reach 4,000 for his career (currently at 3,871).
  • 7 tackles for Khoury Bethey to reach 300 for this career (currently at 293).

BY THE NUMBERS

75 - The Sun Devils have reached double digit scoring at home in 75 straight HOME games - tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the nation. ASU has won 22 straight home openers dating back to 1999, excluding the unusual circumstances of 2020 that didn't see ASU open at home until December. That streak is the fourth-longest active streak in the nation behind Florida (32), Oklahoma State (26). ASU is 79-28-2 all-time in season openers and 61-15-1 when Opening Day is played at home. ASU has won 19 straight Opening Day games when played at Sun Devil Stadium.

30 - ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 30 of 43 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back to a span from 2013-17. The Sun Devils have allowed just 120 offensive touchdowns (2.8 per game/43 games) since Herm Edwards assumed the reins in 2018 - among the Top-25-fewest among FBS programs. For reference, ASU gave up 109 offensive touchdowns alone between 2016 and 2017 (4.4 per game/25 games). Since 2019, ASU has allowed an opponent scoring drive just 108 times on 357 drives, a 30.3 score percentage that is the 32nd-lowest in the FBS. ASU was third in the FBS in allowing just 7.1 second-half points per game.

18 - B.J. Green created a QB pressure (19 total) on 18.3 percent of his pass rush snaps last year, which was tops among any defensive lineman in the Pac-12 with at least 100 pass rushing snaps, ahead of NFL first round draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux (17.6). It was the 31st-highest percentage of any player in the FBS and 2nd among all interior defensive linemen behind only Ohio State's Tyleik Williams (18.4 percent) His pass rush productivity rating (a formula accounting for sacks/hits/pressures divided by play count) was 11.5 - the highest of any player in the Pac-12 with 100+ pass-rush snaps. This mark was good for 22nd in the nation and second of all interior linemen (again behind only Williams - 11.8). 

15 - ASU was the only team in the FBS to not allow a 50-yard play last year. The Sun Devils extended their streak to 15 straight games without allowing a 50-yard play, the longest active streak in the FBS - three more than Illinois (12) ASU has allowed just seven plays over 50 yards to opponents since the 2018 season over 43 games. The .17 50+ yard plays per game allowed are second-fewest in the FBS in that time behind only Washington (.12 per game on 5 plays over 43 games). ASU ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in 50+ yards played allowed each year from 2014-17. ASU is one of just three teams in the country to rank in the Top-35 in fewest plays over 30 yards allowed in EACH of the last four seasons (Cal, Utah).

2 - The Sun Devils lay claim to two of the top-seven FBS players in returning snap counts this season in Khoury Bethley and Merln Robertson. Bethley returns the second-most career snaps played in the FBS at 2,693 while Robertson sits seventh at 2,488. Bethley played more snap than any safety in the FBS last season (1,037) - the most by any FBS safety since 2016. Bethley's 219 career solo tackles are the most of any returning FBS player. Robertson has been credited with just 24 missed tackles in his career, which is the second-fewest of any FBS linebacker with over 2000 snaps played over the last four seasons (USF's Dwayne Boyles on 23 on 2,121 snaps – over 300 fewer than Robertson).

0 - No player in the FBS enters this season with more career rushing yards than Sun Devil Football's X Valladay (3,281).Valladay has 68 explosive runs (10+) yards since 2019 - the 22nd most among all FBS running backs from 2019-21 He eclipsed 1,000 yards in two seasons, including a 1,265-yard effort in 2019 which was the third-most in single-season program history. He earned Second Team All-MWC after rushing for 1,070 yards in 2021. Valladay put together 14 100-yard performances with the Cowboys, including a 204-yard game in the Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State in 2019.
 

#10THINGS (Twitter-Friendly Notes)

1. Khoury Bethley (2,693) and Merlin Robertson (2,488) return the second and seventh-most career snaps among all FBS players entering this season.

2. ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 30 of 43 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back in a span from 2013-17.

3. The Sun Devils have rushed for over 100 yards in 18-straight regular season games - good for the eighth-longest active streak in the FBS and longest at ASU since a 23-game streak from 1995-97.

4. ASU has gone 15 games without allowing a 50+-yard play - the longest active streak in the FBS and three more than the next closest (Illinois).

5. The Sun Devils have scored double digits at Sun Devil Stadium in 75 straight games, tied for the sixth-longest active streak in the FBS in double-digit scoring in home games.

6. B.J. Green created a QB pressure (19 total) on 18.3% of his pass rush snaps , which was tops among any defensive lineman in the Pac-12 with at least 100 pass rushing snaps, ranking ahead of NFL first round draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux (17.6).

7.  ASU has held opponents to 400 yards or less in 25 of 43  games under Edwards. It accomplished that just 24 of the previous 65 games dating back to 2013.

8. Nesta Jade SIlvera was credited with 24 defensive stops on the season, third among defensive interior players in the ACC and two shy of the league lead despite playing over 100 snaps fewer than the two players ahead of him

9. ASU was third in the FBS last season in allowing just 7.1 second-half points per game against its FBS opponents, pitching three second-half shutouts - its most since 2007.

10. Since 2019, ASU has held opponents to a 26.0 scoring drive percentage in the second half of games (44 of 181) - the 7th-lowest in the FBS.

RUSH HOUR

  • ASU has rushed for at least 100 yards as a team in 18 straight regular season games. It is the longest streak of rushing for over 100 yards as a team since the last 10 games of 1995, all 11 of 1996 and the first two of 1997 - a 23-game stretch over two seasons. The 18-game streak is the eighth-longest active streak in the FBS.
  • Despite playing significantly fewer games than the teams ahead of it, ASU's 50 rushing touchdowns since the beginning of 2020 are 20th among all FBS teams. ASU has accomplished the feat in 17 games, where none of the 20 teams ranked ahead of ASU have fewer than 23 games over the last two years.
  • Arizona State's 34 rushing touchdowns last season were the most it has had since 2013 (36).
  • The 33 touchdowns were eighth most in the FBS in the regular season
  • As a team, ASU was stuffed at or behind the line of scrimmage just 6.2 percent of the time during the regular season - ninth-lowest among Power Five schools. The team picked up a first down or touchdown on 32.2 percent of its rushes - good for 9th in the Power Five during the regular season.
  • The team had 89 explosive runs (runs over 10 yards) - 10th in the Power Five during the regular season.
  • ASU had 10-straight games dating back to 2020 with over 150 rushing yards before that streak was ended against Utah last season, where the team finished two yards shy at 148. It was the longest such streak since a 12-game run over 150 yards over the final nine games of 1975 and first three of 1976.
  • ASU has gone over the 200-yard mark on the ground in 10 of its last 19 games dating back to 2019. ASU has gone over 250 yards rushing in 7 of the last 16 games. In the Herm Edwards era,  ASU has rushed for 200 or more yards 15 times and 250+ yards 12 times.
  • ASU finished the regular season 24th nationally with 202.3 yards per game.

TAKING OFFENSE

  • During the 2021 regular season against FBS opponents in non-garbage time, ASU had a +1.09 yards per play advantage between its offensive yards gained per play and defensive yards allowed per play. The net positive was 20th-highest in the nation.
  • ASU's offense average 6.30 yards per play on the regular season (against FBS opponents in non-garbage time) - good for 34th in the FBS.
  • Against FBS opponents in the regular season, the Sun Devils pick up at least four yards per play on 61.3 percent of plays (18th in the FBS) and gained at least seven yards on 35.8 percent of plays (20th in the FBS).
  • ASU's offense earned 53.2 percent of the total yards available during last regular season - the 33rd-best tally in the FBS.
  • According to CFB-Graphs.com, ASU's Expected Points Added (EPA) per offensive play average was .158 - good for 14th in the FBS in the regular season. ASU's .234 EPA on rushing plays were second in the country. The analytic site credits ASU's offense with a positive play 49.0 percent of the time - the fifth-best ratio in the nation.
  • ASU was 18th in the nation in averaging 9.4 points per fourth quarter against FBS teams. in the regular season
  • ASU earned at least one first down on 80.2 percent of its drives during the regular season against FBS teams in non-garbage time - good for 9th in the FBS.
  • The team had a drive earn zero or negative yards just 5.7 percent of the time during the regular season, the sixth-lowest total in the nation.

THIRD TIMES THE CHARM

  • ASU had a third-down conversion rate of 44.0 against FBS opponents in the regular season, good for 29th in the country.
  • With Southern Utah included, ASU's third-down conversion rate still sits at 43.8 percent - still good for 31st in the FBS during the regular season.
  • This was a marked improvement for the Sun Devils over the past decade-plus. ASU was also 21st in the shortened season in 2020 (46.67). For perspective, ASU finished in the Top-25 in third-down conversions just once from 2009-2019 (23rd in 2017).  It finished 47th or worse in every other year in that span at 75th or worse in six of those.
  • The team was especially deadly on third-and-short, converting 84.0 percent of its opportunities (21-of-25) with one or two yards to go on third down - third in the FBS during the regular season.

A HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR

  • ASU has forced 59 offensive turnovers overall since 2019, 15th among all FBS teams despite playing significantly fewer games than most schools in 2020.
  • ASU has outscored opponents 847-451 in points off takeaways since 2012.
  • Since 2012, ASU has scored 63.7 percent of the time following an opponent turnover (142 of 223) while finding the end zone 105 times in that span (47.1 percent).
  • Conversely, opponents have scored just 48.4 percent of the time following an ASU turnover since 2012 (76 of 157) with 58 touchdowns (36.9 percent).
  • With two last year, ASU has 20 interception returns for touchdowns since the 2012 campaign - a tally good for second in the Pac-12 (Utah, 21) and sixth in the FBS in that time span.

GETTING DEFENSIVE

  • ASU was the final team in country to not allow an opponent play over 40 yards last year, a streak that came to a close against Washington State.  Still, ASU's four total 40-yard plays were the second-fewest in the nation.
  • The team had the third-fewest 30+ yard plays allowed with just 13.
  • ASU was the only team in the FBS to not allow a 50-yard play on the year.
  • ASU extended its streak to 15 games without allowing a 50-yard play, the longest active streak in the FBS - three more than Illinois (12)
  • ASU has allowed just seven plays over 50 yards to opponents since the 2018 season over 43 games. The .17 50+ yard plays per game allowed are second-fewest in the FBS in that time behind only Washington (.12 per game on 5 plays over 43 games). ASU ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in 50+ yards played allowed each year from 2014-17.
  • The last time ASU gave up a 50-yard play was a rush by UCLA's Britain Brown in 2020, giving ASU a streak of 15 straight games without a 50-yard play allowed. It last gave up a 50-yard passing play in the 2019 Sun Bowl against Florida State, marking 16 straight games without a passing play over 50 yards.
  • The Sun Devils were 13th in the FBS and tops in the league in allowing just 326.0 yards of offense per game.
  • ASU had nine  occurrences this season in which it has held an opponent to less than 100 yards rushing AND/OR less than 100 yards passing (6 games under 100 yards rushing/3 games under 100 yards passing). The nine total sub-100 stat lines in one category or the other were the most since 1996 (also 9 - 5 games under 100 yards rushing, 4 under 100 yard passing).
  • The three games holding opponents under 100 passing yards marked the first time that had happened since doing it thrice in 1996.
  • In non-garbage time against FBS opponents, ASU allowed just 5.21 yards per play last season, good for 23rd in the country.
  • In non-garbage time against FBS opponents, teams gained 7 or more yards on a play just 18.5 percent of the time (11th-lowest in the FBS) and 10 or more yards just 8.9 percent of the time (16th in the FBS).
  • ASU held opponents to 400 yards or less in 11 of 13 games last season. Under Herm Edwards, ASU has held opponents to the 400 or less mark for total offensive yards on 25 occasions over 43 games (58.1 percent of the time). For comparison, ASU accomplished the feat just 24 times in the 65 previous games (36.9 percent) from 2013-2017.
  • ASU is one of just three teams in the country to rank in the Top-35 in fewest plays over 30 yards allowed in EACH of the last four seasons (Cal, Utah)
  • Since 2018, ASU has allowed just 57 TOTAL 30-plus yard plays (1.3 per game/43 games)). For perspective, from 2014-17, ASU gave up 38, 44, 40, 40 such plays, respectively ranked 116th, 124th, 117th and 119th. ASU has given up just nine this season - good for second in the FBS.

KEEP 'EM OFF THE BOARD

  • ASU was 22nd in the FBS and tops in the Pac-12 in allowing just 20.8 points per game.
  • With second-half shutouts over UNLV, UCLA and Wisconsin,  it was the first time ASU has held three opponents without a second-half point in a season since 2007.
  • ASU was third in the FBS in allowing just 7.1 second-half points per game against its FBS opponents. ASU outscored teams 192-92 in the second half of games last year and 110-42 in the fourth quarter.
  • Since 2019, ASU has allowed an opponent scoring drive just 108 times on 357 drives, a 30.3 score percentage that is the 32nd-lowest in the FBS.
  • Since 2019, ASU has held opponents to a 26.0 scoring drive percentage in the second half of games (44 of 181) - the 7th-lowest in the FBS.
  • The Sun Devils have allowed just 120 offensive touchdowns (2.8 per game/43 games) since Herm Edwards assumed the reins in 2018 - among the Top-25-fewest among FBS programs. For reference, ASU gave up 109 offensive touchdowns alone between 2016 and 2017 (4.4 per game/25 games).
  • ASU has allowed just 52 second-half touchdowns to opponents since 2018 - 7th fewest in the FBS.
  • ASU has held opponents to less than 30 points in 30 of 43 games under Herm Edwards, notable as it DID allow 30+ in 32 of 43 previous games dating back to a span from 2013-17.
  • ASU finioshed 22nd in the FBS and tops in the Pac-12 in allowing just 20.8 points per game. In 2020, ASU was first in the Pac-12 in allowing just 23.2 points per game (32nd nationally). In 2019, ASU was 35th in the country, allowing 22.4 points per game. The Sun Devils allowed just 25.5 points per game in 2018, good for 53rd nationally. These totals are notable as ASU was 103rd nationally at 32.8 points per game allowed in 2017 and had finished 99th or worse in three consecutive seasons prior.

NO FLY ZONE

  • The Sun Devils have forced three or more interceptions in 5 of the last 17 games dating back to 2019. ASU recorded multiple interceptions five times last season and 12 times in the Herm Edwards era.
  • ASU finished 8th in the FBS last season with 16 interceptions.
  • The Sun Devils have emphasized "cat" coverage under Herm Edwards - man coverage where its players are simply asked to guard their "cat". Last season, ASU was lock down with there being an open target allowed just 44.8 percent of the time - the 21st-lowest tally in the FBS.
  • Other teams earned a first down or touchdown through the air just 34.6 percent of the time against ASU during the regular season - 21st in the FBS.
  • Opponents had an NFL quarterback rating of just 73.4 during the regular season - 8th-lowest in the FBS.
  • Three times this season, ASU has held an opponent under 100 passing yards - the most in a season since 1996.
  • ASU's coverage forced incompletion rate of 10.5 percent during the regular season - 19th in the FBS.
  • Since 2020, ASU has allowed an explosive passing play (15+ yards) just 12.3 percent of the time (80 on 652 attempts) - good for 23rd in the FBS.
  • Since Herm Edwards' arrival in 2018, the Sun Devil secondary has allowed just 18 total passing plays over 40 yards. For perspective, it had 12 alone in 2017, 22 in 2016 and 24 in 2015 – the latter two ranked second to last and last, respectively, in the nation.

IN THE TRENCHES

  • LaDarius Henderson was the 11th-highest graded guard overall on offense in the Pac-12 (71.3) during the regular season.
  • He allowed just 10 quarterback pressures in the regular season- tied for fourth-fewest among Pac-12 offensive guards and among the Top 50 fewest among all guards in the FBS and was tied for 38th among FBS guards with just one sack allowed on the year
  • Henderson played all but 12 snaps on offense for the entire season (of ASU's 808 snaps).
  • A resilient athlete, Ben Scott started in all 13 games at right tackle for ASU and played on 794 of the Sun Devils' 808 offensive plays on the season
  • His 83.0 run blocking score was 28th among all offensive tackles in the FBS last season with at least 500 snaps played
  • Had a negative grade on just 10.9 percent of his run-blocking plays on the season - sixth lowest in the Pac-12
  • The duo played a pivotal role in ASU averaging 202.3 rushing yards per game during the regular season, which was good for 24th in the FBS and the most for a full season at ASU since 2012 (205.4) – and just the eighth time ASU has rushed for over 200 yards per game since joining the Pac-12 in 1978
  • Only six of ASU's sacks allowed during the regular season eason were credited solely to the offensive line, according to Pro Football Focus - the 10th-lowest tally in the FBS.
  • All told, the ASU offensive linemen alone allowed just 65 quarterback pressures during the regular season - 10 fewer than any other Pac-12 school and 17th-fewest in the FBS.
  • As a team, only 30 pressures during the regular season came unblocked, good for the 16th-lowest total in the FBS.
  • ASU allowed a pressure on just 26.8 percent of quarterback dropbacks this year as a team during the regular season, the 21st-lowest total in the FBS.
  • ASU quarterbacks were knocked down just 26 times during the regular season - 10th-lowest in the FBS.
  • ASU allowed just 21 sacks during the regular season - tied for 36th-fewest in the FBS and notable as - outside of 2018 (12th in FBS with only 16 allowed) and excluding the shortened 2020 season – ASU finished outside the Top-100 seven times (2012-17, 2019)  in the last decade and have not been in the Top 75 in any season since AT LEAST 2005 (when the NCAA sacks allowed records start becoming more difficult to locate).
  • Since the start of the 2020 season, the Sun Devil defensive line (only down linemen and ends) has forced a quarterback pressure on 34.7 percent of opponent passing plays - the 32nd-highest in the FBS in that span. This feat is made more impressive considering ASU has blitzed just 22.9 percent of snaps in that time - 18th-lowest nationally.

GREEN LIGHT GO

  • B.J. Green was the team's highest graded pass rusher last season, earning a score of 75.7 on pass rush snaps. He played 117 snaps on the year, of which 104 were as a pass rusher.
  • Green created a QB pressure (19 total) on 18.3 percent of his pass rush snap on the year, which was tops among any defensive lineman in the Pac-12 last year with at least 100 pass rushing snaps, ranking ahead of NFL first round draft pick Kayvon Thibodeaux (17.6).
  • It was the 31st-highest percentage of any player in the FBS and second among all interior defensive linemen behind only Ohio State's Tyleik Williams (18.4 percent)
  • His pass rush productivity rating (a formula accounting for sacks/hits/pressures divided by play count) was 11.5 - the highest of any player in the Pac-12 with 100+ pass-rush snaps
  • This mark was good for 22nd in the nation and second of all interior linemen (again behind only Williams - 11.8)
  • Green "won" 22.1 percent of his pass rushing snaps on the year (a formula using pressures and defeated defenders, subtracting unblocked pressures and divided by pass rushing snaps), a total good for 32nd in the FBS among all players with at least 100 pass rushing stats and second among all interior lineman (Florida State's Dennis Briggs. Jr. - 24.8)

MERLIN'S MYSTICS

  • Merlin Robertson was named a captain in the preseason while also finding his name on the Butkus Award Watch List. and as an honorable mention linebacker by the Pac-12 Conference
  • Last season among Pac-12 linebackers with 400+ snaps, Robertson was the sixth-highest graded one (65.9).
  • According to Pro Football Focus, Robertson has been credited with just 24 missed tackles in his career, which is the second-fewest of any FBS linebacker with over 2000 snaps played over the last four seasons (USF's Dwayne Boyles on 23 on 2,121 snaps – over 300 fewer than Robertson).
  • Robertson 37 starts in his career, playing in 40 games and collecting 230 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks and six interceptions.
  • He has played 2,488 career snaps – the second-most of any returning linebacker in the FBS this season (Troy's Carlton Martial) and seventh most of any returning defensive player in the FBS.

X GON' GIVE IT TO YA

  • In four seasons with Wyoming, X Valladay compiled 3,281 yards and 19 touchdowns on 626 carries and finished career as the second-leading rusher in program history
  • He returns as the FBS active leader in career rushing yards this season finished his Cowboys' career with 51 catches for 584 yards and two touchdowns
  • Valladay has 68 explosive runs (10+) yards since 2019 - the 22nd most among all FBS running backs from 2019-21
  • He eclipsed 1,000 yards in two seasons, including a 1,265-yard effort in 2019 which was the third-most in single-season program history
  • He earned Second Team All-MWC after rushing for 1,070 yards in 2021
  • Valladay put together 14 100-yard performances with the Cowboys, including a 204-yard game in the Arizona Bowl victory over Georgia State in 2019

SILVERA IS GOLD

  • A consistent presence over his four years at Miami, Nesta Jade Silvera has played in 41 games during his caree and became a starter at defensive tackle his junior year and has started 18 games over the past two seasons in the ACC
  • Silvera most recently appeared in 11 games during the 2021 season, starting eight of them
  • In 2021, he was the fourth-highest graded interior lineman in the ACC last season among linemen with at least 200 snaps (74.1), playing 405 snaps on the year. He was the third-highest graded interior lineman in the league in run defense (77.0)
  • SIlvera was credited with 24 stops on the season, third among defensive interior players in the ACC last year - two shy of the league lead despite playing 80-150 fewer snaps than the two players ahead of him... 21 of those stops came on run defense - the highest tally in the league and 25th among all interior linemen in the FBS
  • He was extremely productive from his interior position, collecting 38 tackles and 5.5 tackles for loss while also recovering a fumble. He also enjoyed a breakout junior season when he started 10 games and saw action in all 11 games for the Hurricanes in 2020 as he earned All-ACC Honorable Mention recognition after leading all interior defensive linemen in total tackles (35) and tackles for loss (8.0).

GO D.J., THAT'S MY D.J.

  • D.J. Taylor was named 2022 Athlon Sports Preseason All-America Selection as a kick returner.
  • During the 2021 campaign, he appeared in 12 games, collecting 716 all-purpose yards - good for 10th in the FBS last season
  • He yielded 525 kick return yards on 24 attempts last season, including an electrifying 60-yard return against Washington State
  • Taylor added 191 punt return yards on 14 attempts, averaging 13.6 yards per return
  • He was incredible in the season opener against Southern Utah, returning three punts a total of 87 yards, highlighted by a 47-yard return. He also eclipsed 40 punt return yards in victories over UNLV and Colorado
  • Despite playing just three games in 2020 and just 14 games total, Taylor has the 21st-most return yards of any FBS player over the last two seasons (995) with 14 players ahead of him with over 20 games
  • His 25.1 yards per kickoff return in his career are 11th-most in the FBS in the past two seasons

NEVERENDING KHOURY

  • Khoury Bethley played more snaps than any safety in the nation in 2021 (1,037) and the most by any FBS safety since 2016. It was the ninth-most safety snaps in a single season over the last decade.
  • His 2,693 career snaps are the most of any returning FBS safety this season and the seventh-most of all FBS safeties over the previous four seasons. It is the second-most snaps of any returning defensive player in the FBS this season, regardless of position.
  • He enters the season tops among all returning FBS defensive backs and fifth among active players with 293 career tackles. His 219 solo tackles are the most of any returning player in the FBS - 19 more than Troy's Carlton Martial (200).
  • We was credited with 38 defensive stops in 2021, third-most among all FBS safeties. His 85.3 grade from PFF as a pass rusher was ninth among FBS safeties.

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONES'

  • In 2021, Emory Jones made his first-career start at quarterback for Florida against FAU (Sept. 4) and appeared in all 13 games, starting 12.
  • He was named SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week following his performance vs. Tennessee and was named to the Davey O'Brien Great 8 Watch List following his performance against Vanderbilt.
  • His accumulation of 550 total yards against Samford was the best single game performance by a Gator in program history.
  • He threw for 2,734 yards with 19 touchdowns as a starting quarterback in the SEC and rushed for 758 yards with 4 touchdowns as well.
  • Averaged 5.4 yards per rush and 1,272 total rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in his career with the Gators.

CASE IN POINT

  • Named a team captain and played in 10 games in 2021 and enters 2022 season with 27 games of experience, Case Hatch makes the plays that don't always show up in the stat sheet.
  • He played 155 of his 190 snaps on the season as a run blocker, recording a run-blocking score of 77.1 on the year - the highest grade of any tight end in the Pac-12 and the 19th-highest grade among all FBS tight ends with at least 150 run blocking snaps.
  • He received a positive run blocking grade on 16.8 percent of his snaps - the ninth-best tally among all FBS tight ends.
  • He played 136 snaps on special teams, serving on all return and coverage units.