USU football has solid scrimmage Monday

LOGAN, Utah – Getting a break from the recent rainy weather with a partly sunny afternoon, Utah State football went through a roughly 90-play scrimmage Monday at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. Monday’s scrimmage was originally scheduled for Friday, but postponed until Monday due to rain and snow. The Aggies scrimmaged during part of a practice last Friday, April 1, but Monday’s scrimmage was the first full scrimmage of spring drills, and head coach Gary Andersen was pleased with what he saw on both sides of the ball, singling out the first string defensive unit as well as the second and third-strings’ offensive units, especially their success on third downs. “Execution wise, if we break things down one’s on one’s, our ability to stop the run on the defensive side of the ball seemed to be a huge positive, offensively our inability to run the ball was a negative with our one’s on one’s,” Andersen said. “When one side plays well in spring and the other side doesn’t play so well, we will need to take a long hard look at that and obviously work on that.” Both first strings on offense and defense were without key players, who were held out, notably senior linebackers Bobby Wagner and Kyle Gallagher, along with senior defensive linemen Quinn Garner and Levi Koskan for the defense, while junior running back Robert Turbin for the offense. Senior tight end Kellen Bartlett saw limited action. “We held out some kids, that was certainly on purpose, on the defensive side of the ball we didn’t even dress some, with Kyle Gallager and Bobby Wagner it is difficult to corral them and tie them down if they have pads on and keep them off the field. It’s just simpler to not dress them and not put pads on them. Obviously Quinn Gardner and Levi Koskan didn’t play either. I felt like we needed to sit down with those kids, Kellen Bartlett was very limited in the number of reps that he got, which is also part of the plan. We are trying to keep guys healthy. It was good though, we got a good evaluation on some of our three’s, some of the kids who are three’s had to step up and become two’s,” Andersen said. Andersen and his staff used Monday’s scrimmage to get more playing time for the back-ups and reserves, and the Aggie head coach was happy with what he saw. “It was a flip-flop with the two’s on two’s, the ability on the defensive side to not allow the big passes was a negative and I felt like they stopped the run well also but you know the offensive two’s made some big plays when they needed to and were able to keep drives alive in long yardage situations,” Andersen said. Offensive highlights included redshirt freshman snaring three catches for 104 yards, including a 31-yard pass from fellow redshirt freshman, quarterback Alex Hart. All three quarterbacks had a balanced afternoon, as Hart was 8-of-12 for 99 yards with a TD and an interception, while sophomore Jeremy Higgins was 5-of-8 for 120 yards and junior Adam Kennedy was 7-of-11 for 77 yards with a TD and an interception. The Aggie passers spread the ball around as 15 different receivers caught at least one pass, and only three receivers had more than one reception. On the ground, junior Joey DeMartino had 15 rushes for 52 yards and a TD, while sophomore Robert Marshall added 25 yards on 11 carries. The USU defense was led by sophomore linebackers Zach Vigil and Jake Doughty along with junior safety/cornerback McKade Brady with eight tackles apiece. In addition to Vigil, Andersen also singled out redshirt freshman defensive lineman B.J. Larsen, who had four tackles on the afternoon, but provided a solid pass rush and was involved in the run defense. Vigil, along with redshirt freshmen, defensive lineman Tevita Vaifoou and linebacker Tavaris McMillian each tallied two tackles for loss, while Vigil, Vaifoou, Doughty and senior safety Alfred Bowden all notched a sack apiece. Senior safety Walter McClenton snared an interception at the 2-yard line that he returned to midfield before being whistled dead as he was being escorted by a convoy of defenders to the endzone. Fellow senior safety Chris Harris also registered an interception on the day. Utah State will have regular practices on Wednesday and Friday of this week before scrimmaging again next Monday, April 18, at 3 p.m. at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The Aggies will then practice on Wednesday and Friday before wrapping up spring drills with the Spring Game on Saturday, April 23 at 2 p.m. at Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. Admission will again be free to the public and further details along with events surrounding the Spring Game will be released at a later date. All practices are tentatively open to the public, but they must remain off the field. When the Aggies are on Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, fans must remain in the stands at all times. All open practices are subject to change. All practices are scheduled for Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium, but will shift to the Stan Laub Indoor Facility if there is inclement weather. Practices are currently scheduled to be open to the public, but are subject to change. For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the “buy/renew tickets” under the “tickets” drop down menu. Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics. USU Football Spring Practice ScheduleWed., April 13 – 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.Fri., April 15 – 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.Mon., April 18 – 3 – 4:30 p.m. – ScrimmageWed., April 20 – 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.Fri., April 22 – 2:45 – 4:30 p.m.Sat., April 23 – 2 p.m. – Spring Game*** All Dates and Times Subject to Change ***-USU-

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