Aggie Defense Highlights First Scrimmage of Spring Camp Friday Afternoon
Utah State's Michael Okonkwo tackles Kelvin Lee during a scrimmage on Friday. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal)
 
Utah State's Michael Okonkwo tackles Kelvin Lee during a scrimmage on Friday. (Eli Lucero/Herald Journal)
 
 

March 21, 2014

LOGAN, Utah -

Scrimmage Stats Get Acrobat Reader

Utah State's defense provided most of the highlights during the team's first scrimmage of spring camp Friday afternoon on Merlin Olsen Field inside Romney Stadium with five interceptions and six sacks as the team practiced for nearly two hours with an estimated 100 snaps of the football.

Aggie players with interceptions during the scrimmage included junior linebacker Jarom Baldomero, freshman cornerback Jordan Browning, sophomore cornerback Devin Centers, sophomore cornerback Jentz Painter and sophomore linebacker Nick Vigil. Defenders with sacks included junior linebacker Kyler Fackrell with two, while Baldomero, sophomore defensive end Jake Gallegos, senior linebacker Zach Vigil and Nick Vigil all had one sack each.

Offensively, Utah State scored four touchdowns and added two field goals overall as senior quarterback Craig Harrison was 15-for-24 passing for 157 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while sophomore quarterback Darell Garretson was 6-of-11 passing for 104 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Braelon Roberts caught a team-best three passes for 70 yards, including touchdown receptions of 31 and 25 yards, while redshirt junior running back Rashad Hall had 13 rushes for 40 yards.

Utah State's offense scored its first touchdown of the day on its third series as it drove 70 yards in five plays and scored on a 31-yard pass from Harrison to Roberts. It's next scoring drive came two series later as Garretson connected with sophomore running back Kennedy Williams for a 10-yard touchdown to cap a four play, 60-yard drive.

The Aggie offense also produced two touchdowns during its red zone period as Harrison connected with Roberts for a 25-yard score, while Garretson added a 4-yard touchdown run.

Senior placekicker Nick Diaz added two field goals during the scrimmage from 24 and 29 yards.

Utah State's final touchdown of the scrimmage was made by its defense on a 34-yard interception return by Nick Vigil, while Baldomero ended the scrimmage with an interception in the red zone and returned it 36 yards.

Redshirt freshman safety Myron Turner led the Aggie defense with nine tackles and Baldomero had six stops, while senior safety Frankie Sutera and Zach Vigil both added five tackles.

Utah State will continue its spring schedule next week, practicing on Tuesday and Thursday morning from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m., and on Friday afternoon from 3:45 to 5:30 p.m. All practices are open to the public, with morning practices scheduled for the Stan Laub Indoor Football Complex. Afternoon practices are scheduled for Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium. All practice times and locations are subject to change.

Utah State will conclude spring drills on Saturday, April 12 at 2 p.m. with its annual Blue vs. White Spring Game, presented by Orbit Irrigation Products. Admission to the spring game is free.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

2014 Utah State Football Spring Practice Dates
Tues., March 25 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m.
Thur., March 27 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m.
Fri., March 28 - 3:45 - 5:30 p.m.

Tues., April 1 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m. Thur., April 3 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m. or 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. Fri., April 4 - 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. - Scrimmage

Tues., April 8 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m. or 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. Thur., April 10 - 6:00 - 8:00 a.m. - No Pads Saturday, April 12 - 2:00 p.m. - Blue vs. White Spring Game

UTAH STATE FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE QUOTES

HEAD COACH Matt Wells
Thoughts on how the defense played today:
"I think there was good give and take. Offensively the ones and twos started out really fast and had some really good drives. Some guys showed up in spurts a little bit. Offensively, we went to the backed up drill and I thought that the defense completely dominated that, the front seven. Obviously, the two big picks during the two-minute drill - that stuff wins games. It was smart football right there by both those players (Nick Vigil, Jarom Baldomero) so that was really good to see early in spring. Those are two guys that have been in the program for a long time so that's what you would expect. A little shaky in some of the kicking game, but we will get that cleaned up. I am not really worried about that. Before we see the tape it's hard to come to any solid conclusions until I see it tonight."

On Braelon Roberts' play:
"Braelon has done a nice job, he has been consistent and that's the big thing. He knows what he's doing, he's playing fast and he knows how to high-point a football. He needs to continue to show progress in the next nine days."

On the play of the offensive line:
"The first two drives of the game it was split the seems and run right down the middle of the field, which is a little concerning at times, but the first two big long drives were won by the offense and probably the O-line. There was no question that the front seven on defense won when the offensive was backed up. The line of scrimmage did not change and then the backs have to learn how to run in that drill. There was too much dancing for the running backs in that drill."

On the play of the defensive backs:
"I saw some stuff that I was encouraged by. I'm encouraged by Daniel (Gray) and Rashard (Stewart), I think they are making strides. The O-line, you always think about their performance as a group before the individual, and early on it was really good. That backed up drill was pitiful, in fact close to horrible, but I thought they protected the passer pretty well today. I didn't see a whole lot of white jerseys just run through unblocked."

On Devin Centers:
"Devin has been very consistent. He is a guy I think gained a lot of confidence as the season went on last year, in special teams roles, which was big for us. We have been playing him at safety and at nickel. I have been happy with him for six days."

SOPHOMORE LINEBACKER Nick Vigil
On calling the interception and returning it for a touchdown:
"Before we went out I looked at (Kyler) Fackrell and told him I was going to pick it on the first play. We ran a coverage where I was dropping from the line of scrimmage and had a lot of extra time and got lucky. He was locked onto the one receiver on the one side, so I just drifted over there. I picked it, then almost dropped it, almost fell down. In that situation you're supposed to just fall down, but I went for it."

On the performance of the linebackers:
"I thought we played fairly well. I think we need to be better in the run game, we gave up too much on that and got gashed a few times. We have to be better in the red zone. They scored a few touchdowns on us in the red zone. We missed a few tackles, but overall we did okay. We got some turnovers, which is nice. We just need to play better overall."

On Devin Centers:
"He's doing really well. He's playing the dime and the safety. He's gotten a lot of turnovers for us, forcing quite a few fumbles and getting some picks. He's playing really well this spring so far."

On the impact of newcomer players:
"They did pretty well. The new guys are coming in and trying to learn the defense and the schemes. Our defense is pretty complicated and it's pretty tough, but they're learning it and doing really well."

REDSHIRT FRESHMAN WIDE RECEIVER Braelon Roberts
Overall thoughts on the scrimmage:
"I thought we did pretty good today from an offensive standpoint. It wasn't perfect, but we're striving for perfection. We're just going to go to the film room and see what we did wrong, then we'll come out here and practice and make it better."

On spring practice so far on a personal level:
"Coach (Jovon) Bouknight has been helping me on my technique and my route-running. I've become a better player since I got here and I'm just trying to keep that going."

On his performance today with two touchdowns:
"It's great. I got hit with two great balls and just made a play."

On getting ready to play then redshirting last season:
"I just kept my head up. I have these guys around me who have positive attitudes. They kept me positive, kept my head up and kept me going every day. I've been in the playbook and in the weight room, just getting better as a person and a player. Being on scout squad helped a lot. I was going against Rashard (Stewart) and Nevin (Lawson), two great corners."

On the receivers group as a whole:
"The receivers are a great group. The production is going to be real high this year. We're only going to go up from here."

 

 

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