LOGAN – Between the Aggie defense and offense, head coach Matt Wells declined to pick a “winner” in Saturday’s open scrimmage at Maverik Stadium. He did say he thought the defense played well at the beginning, holding their ground and forcing punts.
The Utah State defense didn’t allow any points during the first three drives. There were two three-and-outs and a missed 59-yard field goal attempt.
“That was on me,” Wells said. “I wouldn’t have put them in that situation but I wanted to see them kick it. They made a couple of 54s the other night in a closed scrimmage.”
The next time Dominik Eberle and Michael Smith had a chance at kicking a field goal, both made a 49-yard attempt that finished a Kent Myers led 13-play drive from the offense’s own 35 yard line. Both later hit a 33-yard field goal as well. Kicker Connor Coles also put a 41-yarder through the uprights.
The only touchdowns scored were from drives that started inside the 25. In one of those drives, running back Eltoro Allen carried the ball four times for 22 yards and a touchdown. Allen also scored on a 3-yard run as part of a drive that started from the 12. Wells said Allen has been out most of training camp with an injury.
“The last five or six days he’s been out there,” Wells said. “He’s got some speed and quickness. Even though it is late in training camp we’ve got to find some ways to integrate him in there with the other backs.”
Allen’s two trips to the endzone were the scrimmage’s only touchdowns, but Wells ended a couple other promising drives early. Both of those started inside the offense’s own one yard line.
“The two backed-up situations were absolutely won by the offense and I shut those down,” Wells said. “Those could have been 99-and-a-half-yard drives. That was a great job by the offense. The red zones were all won by the offense. It was a great job by them in terms of touchdowns and really converting some third-and-1s and even a fourth-and-1 down there at the end.”
The lone turnover came when Jalen Davis picked off a DJ Nelson pass thrown down the left sideline.
“We only had one turnover out of four quarterbacks,” Myers said. “We don’t want any turnovers to win a game, but one is good enough.”
Wells was pleased that the team made it through the scrimmage with no injuries. Linebacker Suli Tamaivena sat out as a precaution, but Wells said if it was game day, he would have been cleared to play. Tight end Dax Raymond also sat out.
“Held him out precautionary,” Wells said of his tight end. “His knee is banged up. Day to day.”
Wells said his team is anxious to get out of training camp and line up against a different team. His quarterback agreed.
“I’m most excited to finally play someone else besides our defense,” Myers said. “I think that is the main thing. Our defense has kind of seen our plays now going against us in the spring and now the summer. Going against Wisconsin, they don’t know what to scout for, what to look for.”
Wells said preparations for Wisconsin begin midway through next week.