Utah State head football coach Dave Arslanian ran the Aggies through their only preseason scrimmage in front of several hundred fans Saturday night and was pleased with the team's effort.
"We have a lot of work to do," said Arslanian after the scrimmage. "I am pleased with the work ethic of the players. They are working very hard. That is a carry over from what John L. (Smith) and his staff had established. These guys know how to work hard. We have a lot of work to do to be ready for that first one."The offense scored four times in the controlled scrimmage, including a 34-yard pass from Riley Jensen to Adrion Pierson and a 23-yard pass from Steve Mullins to Andy Hadfield. Redshirt freshman John Roberts added two rushing touchdowns while taking the major share of the rushing load, as Demario Brown sat out the workout.
"He did very well and I am very pleased with him," said Arslanian of Roberts. "He will help give us a good one-two punch back there, and that is something that we knew we needed to resolve after losing Melvin Blue last winter."
Blue transferred to Cal State Northridge.
Roberts gained 49 yards on 10 carries, while Damon Moore added 17 yards on six carries. Jensen led the Aggie passers, completing 6-of-8 tosses for 84 yards and one touchdown, while Robert Scott caught three balls for 33 yards, and Bucky Orton added three receptions for 17 yards.
Linebacker Brad Ferguson was the only Aggie to register more than two tackles as he had five stops, including one tackle for a loss and one sack. Cornerback Stephan Coleman recorded the day's only interception.
Utah State will continue two-a-day practices through at least Wednesday.
The Aggies will open the 1998 season hosting Utah at 7:05 p.m. Sept. 5. Season and single-game tickets are available by calling the USU Ticket Office toll free at 1-888-USTATE1 or (435) 797-0305.