LOGAN – Perhaps the most exciting play of Saturday’s USU football scrimmage came in its final minutes. On Chuckie Keeton’s last play, the senior quarterback connected with wide receiver Hunter Sharp on a 42-yard touchdown pass during a two-minute drill.
The touchdown – one of five for the Aggie offense – sent the players in blue to the endzone to celebrate, but the guys on the other side of the ball had reasons to be happy as well. The Aggie defense recorded 12 tackles for loss, including seven sacks and a safety. Despite the reasons the team had to celebrate, players from both sides agreed with head coach Matt Wells that there is a lot of work to do.
“I don’t think we really played up to our expectations,” safety Devin Centers said. “But I guess that’s the best part, this being the first scrimmage. It’s a starting point for us, so we definitely know what we’ve got to get better at.”
Keeton said similar things about the offense.
“There’s a lot of stuff we’ve got to clean up as an entire offense,” he said. “We weren’t really on the same page at the beginning of the scrimmage but things started to click there at the end. We’re happy about it. We’re going to build off of it this upcoming week.”
In addition to the five offensive touchdowns, the offense scored two field goals. Wells said it was mainly the two made field goals – a 42-yarder and a 29-yarder – that made him feel good about the team.
“I feel a little bit better because we made some field goals,” he said. “I do I mean that.”
Keeton was the only quarterback to throw for a touchdown, but two others – Damion Hobbs and DJ Nelson – took turns taking snaps. Wells said quarterback Darell Garretson was excused from practice due to personal reasons. Keeton completed 11 of 18 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns. One of his main targets was Sharp, who caught the ball four times for 133 yards.
“(Sharp) made some great catches,” Keeton said. “We had a couple bust earlier and I kind of got on his behind about it, but … we got back on pace.”
Sharp said Keeton gave him “a couple of looks” before the big plays to let him know the ball was coming his way.
“He just put them right into me and I went to go get it,” he said. “That’s a big confidence booster coming off my first spring ball. It’s a good way to start it. I can’t wait for the future, me and Chuckie Keeton.”
Sharp said he’s noticed other players stepping up and making plays in place of injured wide receivers. One of those is former quarterback Kent Myers who was recently moved to receiver.
“He’s learning,” Sharp said. “It’s at the beginning but he’s an athletic kid so I’m sure by the time the season comes he’ll be ready to step foot on that field and make plays for us.”
The Aggies will continue spring practice through April 13. The Blue vs. White Spring Game will be held April 11.