Senior tailback Brett Payne rushed for 92 yards, while junior D.C. Coleman added 35 on the ground to deliver on Utah State Coach Chuck Shelton's promise of a more balanced offense for the coming football season.
The Payne/Coleman effort paced the Blue squad to a victory over the White team in Saturday's Annual intrasquad game that culminated spring practice.Shelton said he was pleased and felt this team made the best spring showing of any team in his four years at USU.
"I think that we are at the point that we can finally do what we talked about when we came here," Shelton said.
The Aggie mentor said he hopes to have his team throw the ball between 20 and 30 times a game and use the running attack for balance.
"From top to bottom, I think this is the best team we've ever had," Shelton said. "The fall practice will tell the story."
Following Saturday's game, Shelton said that only six or seven starting positions remain up-for-grabs. He is especially high on his defensive squad and feels it is solid - two-deep at each position.
The quarterback situation is one of those spots still undecided. Only two players, both freshmen, were available Saturday. Stewart Hansen and Kirk Johnson had identical 9-for-20, one-interception games. However, Hansen threw for 82 yards compared to Johnson's 81. Quarterbacks Mark Smith and Kevin White did not play because of injuries.
Defensive standouts included sophomore safety Ron Edwards, who recorded six tackles and an interception and also broke up a critical pass play near the end of the game. Senior defensive tackle Jeff Hunsaker had seven tackles, including one sack, while sophomore linebacker Dell Lyles racked up eight tackles. Other strong efforts came from linebackers Steve Robinson and Kevin Bouwman with nine tackles each. Defensive tackle Joe Jacobs also recorded six tackles.
Shelton said this team appears much quicker than last year's squad, an element he expects to play a significant role this fall.