Junior-college transfer Greg Angelovic continued to press returning starter Ron Lopez in the spring-finale Blue/White game Saturday, leaving Utah State football Coach Chuck Shelton feeling like "the luckiest guy in the world" to have healthy competition at quarterback after a couple of years of ifs and maybes.
Angelovic threw a 50-yard touchdown to Rod Moore on White's second drive, was 9-for-18 for 157 yards passing and led White to a 13-7 win.Lopez, a 6-foot-5 senior who took to starting in October, suffered more than the 6-1 Angelovic from slippery footing - it snowed, hailed and rained - and lost 32 yards rushing, mainly on falls and dropped exchanges at the line. He threw three interceptions and two near-interceptions but ended 16-34 for 269 yards.
"He's all right," assured Shelton.
"Blue beat ourselves with penalties (seven for 72 yards), bad reads and dropped balls," said Lopez. "We were this close to scoring every time. We tried too hard (to catch up)."
Angelovic considered his own play "sporadic," kicking himself for calling an unnecessary timeout and saying the weather affected him - small hands make a slippery ball difficult for him.
But, he said, "The receivers did a good job, and we always had good field position.
"White," said Angelovic, "had a little advantage. We had a good mix of linemen and receivers plus running backs, plus the defense did a job. They don't get much credit, but they should get all of it; they held them scoreless until the fourth quarter."
Shelton had no complaints and was especially glad to see his junior-college transfers mix in well, "And our young defensive backs played well. That was one of my biggest worries this spring," he said.
Travis Schow, a freshman who tried to walk on as a quarterback last year and didn't make it, came back as a DB and had a game-high nine tackles, five unassisted, plus both near-interceptions of Lopez.
Senior Ron Edwards intercepted Lopez twice and broke up another pass. "He gives great enthusiasm to our practices," said Shelton. "He played like a senior."
"It's my last spring," said Edwards, who tries to guide his young backfield 'mates. "I wanted to play to the best of my ability, and I think I did that." Edwards said he knew Lopez would try to throw to Tracey Jenkins (14 TDs last year to lead the nation) and stayed tight on him on his second interception with 4:41 to play.
Blue was just heating up then, Sean Hampton having run 15 yards for a TD on the previous possession.
The game's other score was a 4-yard run by Floyd Foreman to make it 13-0 White at 3:20 of the third quarter. Foreman had the day's longest gain, 56 yards, early in the second quarter. He totaled 72 rushing; Hampton, moved from fullback to tailback, had 81.