FootballScoop is proud to announce that Bill Busch and Kendrick Shaver (Utah State) are the 2012 FootballScoop Defensive Backs Coaches of the Year presented by ProGrass.
Gary Andersen's Utah State team posted the best season in school history this fall, climbing all the way to No. 18 in the AP poll, notching a school-record 10 wins and claiming the final WAC football championship. A defensive backfield headed by associate head coach and safeties coach Bill Busch and cornerbacks coach Kendrick Shaver is a key reason why.
Busch is in his 23rd year of coaching and fourth year at Utah State with mutliple stays at Nebraska and stops at Nebraska - Kearney, Wisconsin, Northern Arizona, New Mexico State and Utah under his belt. Shaver just completed his first decade in coaching and joined the Utah State staff in 2011. He got his start in the high school ranks in Missouri and previously coached at Eastern Kentucky, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northern Colorado.
The Utah State defensive backs spearheaded a defense that ranked in FBS's top 15 in rushing defense, pass efficiency defense, total defense and scoring defense. The Aggies ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense with a 15.4 points against average. Utah State only permitted two opponents to score more than 20 points this season; both times came in wins over San Jose State and Louisiana Tech, who average 35 and 52 points per game, respectively.
The Aggies' secondary allowing opposing passers to complete under 55 percent of their passes with 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Opposing passers attempted 436 passes for 2,535 yards, meaning Utah State allowed just 5.8 yards per attempt, tied for the 11th best mark in the country. Those numbers combined to create a 107.02 opposing passer rating, which placed 15th in the country.
Utah State was one of 20 teams that allowed a dozen or less touchdown passes this season. The Aggies allowed only nine passes of 30 or more yards, tied for seventh nationally, and they were one of 15 teams to not allow a pass of 60 yards or more. Busch and Shaver's units proved themselves to be sure tacklers, evidenced by the fact that Utah State ranked 13th nationally with only 134 plays of 10 or more yards surrendered, and placed fifth in the country with just 11 plays of 30 yards or more allowed. This was a defense that gave out no free passes.
Head coach Gary Andersen added, "I think that with a brand new coordinator, Bill and Kendrick did a tremendous job of meshing with Coach (Dave) Aranda. They have some talented young men there in the back end. They are great teachers of the fundamentals on the practice field. They are great teachers in the meeting room. Their expectation is to play at a very high level every single week and their kids have wrapped their arms around that. This is well-deserved for both of them and I'm proud of them. It's about the kids. The kids got it done."
The Utah State defense saw seven players snag interceptions this fall, led by cornerback Will Davis. Davis' five picks tied for the 11th most in the country. He was one of 26 players in FBS to record 100 or more return yards, one of which was taken back for a touchdown.
Four of Utah State's top eight tacklers came from the secondary, led by safety McKade Brady's 87 stops and safety Brian Suite's 72 tackles.
In addition to doing everything else well, Utah State also played outstanding red zone defense in 2012. The Aggies tied for third nationally with 25 scores allowed in 39 trips. Of those 25 scores, only 13 were touchdowns, meaning opposing offenses found the end zone one out of every three trips to the red zone. That percentage ranked second nationally.
The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by ProGrass are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Busch & Shaver, George Barlow & Bob Shoop - Vanderbilt, Tim McDonald - Fresno State and Travaris Robinson - Florida) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year's winners.
Busch and Shaver will receive their awards and be recognized at an event at the AFCA Convention in January.
Previous winners of the Defensive Backs Coach of the Year award are Tim Billings (Wake Forest, 2008), Everett Withers and Troy Douglas (North Carolina, 2009), Chad Glasgow and Clay Jennings (TCU, 2010) and Ron Cooper (LSU, 2011).
15th - Pass Efficiency Defense
8th - Scoring Defense
T-5th - Opp Plays of 30+ Yards
T-11th - Yards Per Attempt Allowed
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