Utah State held its third and final scrimmage of fall camp Saturday afternoon on Merlin Olsen Field inside Romney Stadium as part of Aggie Football Family Fun Day. In all, fourth year head coach Gary Andersen ran his team through 70 plays, which included special teams, red zone and two-minute situations.
Aggie Football Family Fun Day started at 9 a.m. with youth football games. There were activities on the concourse, including sales by the USU Bookstore, along with games for fans of all ages. Fans could also purchase and pick-up season tickets. After the scrimmage, fans were allowed on the field to meet and get autographs from USU football players and coaches, as well as participate in games and activities.
“It's great for our kids to be out in front of fans,” Andersen said. “I appreciate everyone who came. It was three quick practices back-to-back-to-back and they handled it well. We'll give them a day off and be back on Monday. We've still got a week of camp and we'll get ready to play.”
Once the scrimmage started, Utah State’s number one offense drove 61 yards in seven plays before settling for a 32-yard field goal from junior placekicker Josh Thompson. After that, however, USU’s defense did not allow another score until USU started inside the red zone.
“I thought on defense, the ones played well early," Andersen said. "Even late they did a nice job of making some plays and getting some stops, and they were good in the red zone. The offense started slow again. Chuckie (Keeton) got them down the field, but we have to finish that drive early, we really do. The offense was a little better with the first unit as time went on. Matt Austin and Kerwynn (Williams) both made some big plays, and that is good to see. Not finishing in the red zone is something we need to work on."
Andersen also said the offensive line did their job well.
“The defensive push was not as good today, which means the offensive line protected much better and the defensive line didn't rush as well, but overall it was a productive day," he said. "We got everybody going. In a thud drill it's hard to really tell where people are down and what's going on, but I thought it was really positive. The kids handled it well."
With its number one offense on the field starting in the red zone, Utah State scored back-to-back touchdowns as sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton hit senior running back Kerwynn Williams with a 25-yard pass on the first play of the drive. On the next series, senior quarterback Adam Kennedy connected with senior wide receiver Matt Austin from 10 yards out to cap a 3-play, 12-yard drive.
Utah State’s final touchdown of the scrimmage was during a two-minute drill as Kennedy connected with senior wide receiver Chuck Jacobs for a 24-yard touchdown to cap an 8-play, 80-yard drive.
Offensively, Keeton finished the day 10-of-21 passing for 118 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, while Kennedy was 10-of-18 passing for 71 yards with two touchdowns and one pick. Austin, who saw his first scrimmage action of fall camp, caught four passes for 75 yards with one score, while Williams also had four receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown. Williams also rushed for 58 yards on nine carries.
Other notable performers on offense included sophomore tight end Keegan Andersen, who had three catches for 24 yards, while freshman wide receiver Bruce Natson caught four balls for 19 yards.
Utah State’s offense rushed for 75 yards on 36 carries, while completing 23-of-47 passes for 202 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Defensively, Utah State had interceptions from senior safety McKade Brady, redshirt sophomore cornerback Rashard Stewart and redshirt freshman linebacker La’Bradford Harold. Senior defensive lineman Havea Lasike added a fourth turnover with a fumble recovery, while senior cornerback Will Davis, sophomore safety Frankie Sutera and freshman linebacker Nick Vigil each posted a sack.
For the first time since 1996, the Aggies will open a season with back-to-back home games, hosting Southern Utah on Thursday, Aug. 30, and Utah on Friday, Sept. 7. Both games are slated for 6 p.m. (MT) starts from Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. The Aggies' game against Utah will be on ESPN2.
Season tickets and two-game packages can be purchased in person at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum weekdays between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Fans can also buy tickets over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1, or online at www.utahstateaggies.com/tickets.
All practices during fall camp, which concludes on Saturday, Aug. 25, are open to the public.
Utah State Football Practice Dates, Times and Location
Mon., Aug. 20 — 9:00 – 10:30 am / 3:30 - 5:30 pm (Practice Field)
Tues., Aug. 21 — 2:40 - 4:30 pm (Practice Field)
Wed., Aug. 22 — 9:00 – 10:30 am / 33:30 - 5:30 pm (Practice Field)
Thur., Aug. 23 — 2:40 - 4:30 pm (Practice Field)
Fri., Aug. 24 — 9:00 – 10:30 am / 3:30 - 5:30 pm (Practice Field)
Sat., Aug. 25 — 12:00 - 2:00 pm (Stadium)
End of Camp
NOTE: All dates, times and locations subject to change.
Doug Hoffman is the assistant athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.
Copyright 2017, Deseret News Publishing Company