Utah State Running Game Shines In Monday's Scrimmage
April 6, 2009
LOGAN, Utah - Behind Robert Turbin's 82 yards rushing, Utah State's offensive ground game shone as bright as the sun Monday afternoon in Utah State's first football scrimmage of the spring at Romney Stadium.
Turbin, a sophomore running back, tallied 82 yards on 13 carries including two touchdown runs, as the Utah State rushing game amassed 196 yards on 55 carries with a total of five rushing TD's. The Aggies went through approximately 100 plays counting special teams action in the controlled scrimmage that saw USU go through several different situations, ranging from red zone drives to starting at the one yard line with the offense needing 99 yards to go, and everything in between.
"We got 100 good reps in and definitely the offense won the scrimmage," USU head coach Gary Andersen said. "There is some good in that and some bad. We need to be able to stop the run a little bit better. I thought the execution and low number of penalties were good. We had zero turnovers until the last two-minute drives and that is a positive. The defense was able to get a few interceptions."
Turbin's first TD came on a 15-yard scamper, capping a nine-play, 65-yard drive and he found the endzone again during red zone drills with a 10-yard run, breaking tackles and dragging tacklers along the way.
Junior quarterback Diondre Borel was 14-of-19 passing for 142 yards, while freshman signal-caller Adam Eastman was 9-of-12 for 115 yards with two TD passes and redshirt freshman Exavier Johnson was 4-of-5 for 52 yards.
"It was a good scrimmage for the offense," Borel said. "We dominated the defense a little bit. The defense got a couple of turnovers at the end during the two minute drill. We are all getting some good work in. We are just working hard with every practice that we have this spring."
Monday's scrimmage was originally scheduled for Saturday, but inclement weather postponed it until Monday, but Utah State was crisp and polished as the Aggies get used to new schemes on both sides of the ball with the new coaching staff.
"Even with learning a new offense and defense, everything is coming together. It has gone better than I expected. I thought it would take a little bit more time but we are getting stuff done right now," Borel said.
Two of the main targets for the Aggie QB's were sophomore wide receiver Austin Alder, who had four catches for 73 yards, and sophomore tight end Tarren Lloyd, who had four receptions for 53 yards with one TD, a three-yard snag from Eastman.
While the offense had some good sized numbers, the defense had some highlight plays of its own, including two interceptions, one by senior safety James Brindley and one from junior linebacker Reuben Willis. Junior safety Maxim Dinka had eight tackles to anchor the USU defense, and the Aggies also had four sacks as part of 11 tackles for loss, two from senior defensive end Chris Williams, who was recently moved from safety to defensive end.
"I think it went well," said Brindley, who had five tackles to go with his interception. "The offense did a great job moving the ball. The defense, at times, had some big plays. We need to work on some things like missed tackles, but I think overall it was a good team performance."
Special teams highlights included two kickoff returns by senior WR/KR Omar Sawyer for 71 total yards. Senior PK Chris Ulinski booted five field goals, including four over 40 yards with a long of 52 yards, which came after another 52-yarder hit high off the left upright. Ulinski's only non-40+ yarder concluded a 12-play 61 yard scoring drive, one of the five Aggie scoring drives that were longer than four plays.
Utah State is scheduled to have regular practice on Thursday in preparation for another scrimmage on Saturday, but those days could be changed due to ominous weather in the forecast. Stay tuned to www.UtahStateAggies.com for updates and more information.
USU will conclude spring camp with the Aggies' Spring Game on Saturday, April 18 at 2 p.m. at Romney Stadium, which is open to the public.
Utah State Football Scrimmage Stats Monday, April 6, 2009 Romney Stadium