LOGAN – With just seconds left in Utah State football’s annual Blue vs White Spring Game, the offense needed a touchdown to get the win, but quarterback DJ Nelson’s pass was intercepted by linebacker Patrick Miranda, finishing up Aggie football practices until fall.
The defense got the win, but the offense was able to showcase its new up-tempo look. Head coach Matt Wells said the new offense is progressing.
“It’s a 100 percent install, but its not a 100 percent efficiency yet,” he said. “You’re striving for perfection. Early on today, I think that’s the way you wanted it to look. We’ve still got to run the ball a little bit better and hopefully that will come”
The offense started things the way it wanted to. Kent Myers led the No. 1 group 80 yards in 10 plays on the opening drive, capping it with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Gerold Bright. Myers said that was the plan, to start fast.
“We wanted to come out at the beginning of the game, play quick, score and get that juice and momentum going,” he said.
Myers didn’t play after halftime, but led the offense to one more touchdown in the first half. His 85-yard run set up a rushing touchdown two plays later. Myers said if the defense was required to tackle quarterbacks in scrimmages, he would have scored the touchdown on his long run.
“I was trying not to get touched,” he said. “As soon as they put a fingernail on me I’m down. In a real game I’m scoring on that for sure.”
Wells said Myers has made strides during the last six practices, but isn’t guaranteeing he will get the starting job this fall.
“Nothing is won until we come out of training camp,” Wells said. “I would say (Myers) absolutely took the lead coming out of spring.”
The defense did some revenge against the senior quarterback. Myers’ offense started on the 25-yard line early in the first half, but after a sack by junior nose guard Gasetoto Schuster, the offense punted on a fourth-and-25 from its own 15.
“G-Mac in particular had a great spring,” junior linebacker Chase Christiansen said. “He grinds and he’s been a great player for us.”
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Love helped the No. 2 offense get within two yards of the end zone twice, but never scored. On his first attempt he moved the ball 73 yards down field to the 2-yard line before the offense settled for a field goal. He got the ball inside the five again in the second half, but on fourth-and-goal he was downed at the 1-yard line.
“It was kind of rough sometimes,” Christiansen said of the defense’s performance, “but in the end we made somer stops on the goal lines.”
Sophomore Rayshad Lewis played on both sides of the ball, just like he has during the rest of spring camp. He started at corner, but moved to receiver.
“He’s a talented kid,” Wells said, “and there is a lot of things we can do to expose him to both sides of the ball, as well as on special teams.”
The offense scored just once when Myers wasn’t on the field. Junior quarterback DJ Nelson moved the ball 25 yards in five plays, finishing the drive with a 4-yard run into the end zone.
It was the last practice until fall camp, when the roster will include the incoming freshmen and junior college transfers.
“We have some freshmen and some junior college kids that we believe in terms of their talents and our evaluation of that, that they can come in and help us,” Wells said. “So just individually there is going to be a lot of those guys coming in and seeing if they can play.”