Aggies scrimmage at USU Football Family Fun Day

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News release LOGAN -- Utah State had a solid scrimmage on Saturday as part of Aggie Football Family Fun Day at the sunny, breezy Merlin Olsen Field at Romney Stadium.

With nearly 5,000 fans in attendance, the Aggies went through just under 100 plays and USU head coach was impressed with how his team improved from Tuesday's scrimmage which was the Aggies' first of the preseason camp.

"It was much more balanced, it was great to see the kids making plays. It was great to see the wide receivers making plays down the field, which is what we haven't had for a week or so in practice, and that is a big positive for us. Defensively and offensively there were some opportunistic plays made on both sides," Andersen said.

The offense broke out with a score on its first series, driving 56 yards in nine plays before the defense held, forcing a field goal and senior placekicker Peter Caldwell split the uprights from 41-yards out.

Offensive individual highlights included senior running back Derrvin Speight with four carries for 80 yards, including a 56-yard scamper and adding a 6-yard TD. Sophomore running back Kerwynn Williams added 36 yards rushing and a 9-yard TD, as well as a 33-yard kick return. Junior wide receivers Eric Moats and Matt Austin had three catches each for 44 and 35 yards, respectively, as Moats had a 15-yard TD catch from freshman quarterback Jeremy Higgins.

"I thought it was a really good scrimmage today," Moats said. "There was a lot of give and take on offense and defense. On both sides of the ball there was some good give and take good plays on both sides of the ball. Chris Randle had a good pick six (interception for TD). The O-line and D-line went after it today. I thought it was overall a good scrimmage, and I think as far as the Aggies as a team, in general we took a big step forward."

The first-year signal-caller Higgins was 8-of-13 for 190 yards with the TD toss to Moats. Higgins also was 8-of-13 in Tuesday's scrimmage, but only had 102 yards, and looked more comfortable Saturday.

"Jeremy Higgins stood out to me as the second team quarterback. He came in and threw some nice deep balls," Andersen said.

The USU defense got into the scoring act on the third series, as senior cornerback Randle stepped in front of a pass and took it 35-yards to the end zone. Later in the scrimmage when the offense started at its own 1-yard line, senior defensive tackle Sean Enesi and junior defensive end Levi Koskan met at the quarterback, freshman Alex Hart, sacking Hart for a safety.

Senior safety Joey Schrader led the defensive effort with six tackles, including two for loss, while junior defensive end Quinn Garner tallied five stops including two TFL's. Koskan was one of three Aggie defenders with four tackles each, along with junior cornerback Alfred Bowden and redshirt-freshman Zach Vigil, and Koskan added two tackles for loss.

"In my time here this is the best we have run this defense," Koskan said. "We really have taken ownership of it and we are all playing within the scheme. We've gotten to the point where we have so much talent, and so much athletic ability that everyone is really starting to trust each other, and do their jobs. We're all coming together, just our collaboration with each other we're really taking ownership on defense and doing our jobs."

Caldwell booted four field goals, including a long of 51-yards while freshman Braeden Loveless hit all four of his field goal tries, with a long of 42. Caldwell also boomed a 75-yard punt and added a 40-yarder into the wind, finishing the day with a 57.5 yards per punt average. The 75-yard punt got the biggest applause of the day from contingent of Aggie fans.

"I just put it up in the wind and let the wind do the work and take care of it," Caldwell said.

Saturday's scrimmage was part of the Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey's Foods, and gave fans a chance to meet and get autographs from USU football players and coaches, as well as participate in games and activities

"I know when I was a little kid I would come to these things (Aggie Fan Day) and I thought the players were just giants, and now I'm one of them which is really crazy," said Koskan, who is a local talent from Smithfield, Utah. "Giving back to the community is so huge because at the end of the day that is who we are playing for. We are in an entertainment business, and that is who we want to entertain is our fan base. If we are not out here interacting then who is going to buy the tickets? We want to please them, we want them to come, and we want to be associated with them."

Saturday was USU's final scrimmage of the preseason camp open to the public, and all practices from Monday, Aug. 23 through Friday, Sept. 3 are tentatively closed to the public.

Utah State continues to countdown to the season-opener against No. 8 Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 5 p.m. (MT), while the Aggies' home-opener is Saturday, Sept. 11 vs. border-foe Idaho State at 6 p.m. (MT).

Utah State University

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