USU football opens final week of camp with double-day Monday

LOGAN, Utah — Utah State football kicked off its final week of training camp Monday with a double-practice day, opening on the practice field in the morning and concluding at Romney Stadium in the afternoon.Monday was the first of three two-a-day practices this week, as USU will have double practices on Wednesday and Friday this week in preparation for Saturday’s scrimmage which completes training camp.USU head coach Gary Andersen has liked what he’s seen from his squad so far, but hopes to continue the progress the Aggies have made so far.”The biggest thing we’re looking for is consistency and continually to improve, getting tougher and more physical. Another big thing is knowing and understanding the details of the defense, and the details of the offense,” Andersen said.Andersen compared his team’s progress to building a house.”I told the kids this morning that we’ve done a nice job of building the foundation, but you can’t live in a foundation, you don’t have any carpet, don’t have any power or even a refrigerator. We’ve got to do all that still. It’s a nice foundation, but a foundation won’t win you any games. It will give you the opportunity to be in position to win games, but we’ve got to buy in, sink our teeth into what we are offensively, defensively and special teams. We’ve got to really hone in on that and continue to do the nice job we’ve been doing,” Andersen said.The Aggies have been showing vast improvements on both sides of the ball.”Defensively, we’re progressing. Daniel Gurrola is making a good transition for us on the defensive line, while Jamaine Olson and Rajric Coleman have done a nice job of picking up the safety position, that’s not easy. They’ve done it mentally and they’re starting to get it down physically, so that’s a big plus for us,” said Andersen, recognizing three of his junior transfers in defensive lineman Gurrolla and safeties Olson and Coleman.In addition to the defensive side of the ball, Andersen has seen several positives on offense as well.”Offensively, Kane (Wilson) is still the number two quarterback. We’re seeing continued improvement from him as we go through things. The offensive line is getting settled in as it has been all through camp. At wide receiver, we’re fairly settled as well,” Andersen said. “Kerwynn Williams has done a great job coming in as a true freshman at running back. He had a fantastic scrimmage and he proved himself with the young players. He’s worked his way up through the third-string and second’s, getting some time with the one’s as well. He continues to play very, very well for us and he’s a young man you’ll see with the ball in his hands this year.”Some highlights from Monday afternoon’s practice included a 44-yard catch and run for a TD by sophomore running back Robert Turbin on fourth-and-10 during the two-minute drill for the offense. Defensive highlights from the same drill included pass break-ups and near interceptions by Olson and freshman cornerback Quinton Byrd in addition to a pick by redshirt-freshman safety Sheldon Armstrong.Monday’s practice was the lone open practice recently, as Tuesday’s practice is closed to the public and media.USU’s final scrimmage of the fall will be in association with Utah State Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey’s Foods, and will be held on Saturday, August 22 at Romney Stadium. The event provides fans a chance to meet USU football players and coaches, participate in games and activities as well as purchase season tickets.Activities sponsored by Macey’s Foods will begin at 12 p.m., on the South Concourse of Romney Stadium. USU’s football scrimmage gets underway at 1 p.m.Andersen and the Aggies return a WAC-leading 19 total starters, including a conference-best 10 on offense, as well as seven on defense and two kickers. Those 19 starters are part of 48 returning lettermen from last season’s 3-9 team. Last year was the first time since 2005 that the Aggies had three wins in a season and USU’s 3-5 WAC record was its best in its four seasons in the league. It was also the first time since 2003 that USU has won three conference games and just the third time in the 2000’s (2000: 4-1 Big West; 2003: 3-4 Big West; 2008: 3-5 WAC).The Aggies open the 2009 season against Utah on Thursday, Sept. 3. After a bye and a road game at Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 19, USU hosts in-state foe Southern Utah in the Aggies’ home opener on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m.For season and single-game ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305.USU Football Practice Dates, Times and Locations (Practices open-ness and location are subject to change)Tues., Aug. 18 – CLOSEDWed., Aug. 19 – 9-10:45 a.m. / 5-6:30 p.m. – Practice FieldThurs., Aug. 20 – 9-11 a.m. – Practice FieldFri., Aug. 21 – 9-10:45 a.m. / 5-6:30 p.m. – Practice FieldSat., Aug. 22 – 1 p.m. ** Scrimmage and Aggie Football Family Fun Day – Romney StadiumEnd of training camp-USU-

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