Aggie football practices on grass for first time this season

After three days of practicing on the turf of Romney Stadium, Utah State football took the grass of the practice field for the first time during camp on Monday. “This is the first time I’ve been out here for a practice,” said Aggie head coach Gary Andersen, who directed all of USU’s spring practices in Romney Stadium. “This is a great facility, it’s spaced out very well for us.” It was USU’s fourth practice of fall camp, inching closer to the completion of the NCAA-mandated five-day acclimation period, as the Aggies will don full pads on Tuesday before Wednesday’s first two-a-day practice. “I thought the kids came out today and we got better, that’s a positive,” Andersen said. “We’ve got some nice competition going on along the defensive line, especially at the defensive tackle position. I think that competition for the second quarterback position is really starting to heat up, we’ll see where that goes.” Highlights from Monday’s practice included a nice, one-handed catch by senior tight end Zac Zimmerman, while defensive standouts included senior safety James Brindley along with freshmen cornerbacks Quinton Byrd and Rajric Coleman all making interceptions. “Right now, our goal is to make sure that the depth chart is spaced correctly to give kids the opportunity to come out and play, and make sure that they’re getting the reps for opportunities to prove themselves,” Andersen said. USU’s final scrimmage of the fall will be in association with Utah State Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey’s Foods, and will be held on Saturday, August 22 at Romney Stadium. The event provides fans a chance to meet USU football players and coaches, participate in games and activities as well as purchase season tickets. Activities sponsored by Macey’s Foods will begin at 12 p.m., on the South Concourse of Romney Stadium. USU’s football scrimmage gets underway at 1 p.m. Andersen and the Aggies return a WAC-leading 19 total starters, including a conference-best 10 on offense, as well as seven on defense and two kickers. Those 19 starters are part of 48 returning lettermen from last season’s 3-9 team. Last year was the first time since 2005 that the Aggies had three wins in a season and USU’s 3-5 WAC record was its best in its four seasons in the league. It was also the first time since 2003 that USU has won three conference games and just the third time in the 2000’s (2000: 4-1 Big West; 2003: 3-4 Big West; 2008: 3-5 WAC). The Aggies open the 2009 season against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3. After a bye and a road game at Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 19, USU hosts in-state foe Southern Utah in the Aggies’ home opener on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. For season and single-game ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.

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