LOGAN – With no time left on the clock and the score tied, freshman quarterback Jordan Love received the snap and took off running to his right as part of a 2-point conversion. He pitched the ball to running back Kennedy Williams on a reverse who was able able to leap over a defender into the endzone, giving the offense the edge over the defense in the 2016 version of the USU Blue vs White spring football scrimmage Saturday afternoon.
But all that was after head coach Matt Wells spotted the offense a few points, just to make it fun.
“You’ve never seen a 15-point first down?” Wells joked after the scrimmage.
“It’s fun to do that,” he added. “Especially in the end zone in front of a lot of alumni.”
It wasn’t typical football scoring anyway. The defense was awarded points for things like turnovers or sacks, while the offense picked up points for first downs and long plays. When all was said and done, it was the defense who impressed Wells – and most of the fans – more, despite what the final scoreboard read.
“I thought the defense played well as a unit,” Wells said. “I think we have a chance to be pretty decent on the back end, in the secondary.”
Between Jalen Davis and Devin Centers, that secondary had two interceptions, one off probable starting quarterback Kent Myers and the other off Damion Hobbs. Of the 23 offensive possessions, the offense found the endzone just three times. The first was a 36-yard Hobbs pass to a wide open Alex Byers. The next was from Love, the freshman completed a 27-yard pass to wide receiver Zach Van Leeuwen. Running back Justen Hervey took a Love handoff and scored on a 2-yard rush.
Special teams went 0-for-2 on field goals. A 35-yarder missed wide and a 51-yard attempt was blocked. The defense also came up big when Hobbs was sacked in the endzone for a safety.
Linebacker Alex Huerta said the last scrimmage before the spring game, which was more in favor of the offense, was a “wake-up call” for the defense.
“After the last scrimmage we all got together as a defense and said, ‘Hey, this isn’t Aggie defense. The guys that came before us, it wasn’t like that,’” he said. “We all just came together. It was such an awesome moment because that was the moment everyone was like, ‘OK, this is Aggie defense and this is how we are going to do it from now on.’”
Most of Saturday’s offensive production came from the runningbacks. Wells said there were too many drops from the receivers but doesn’t think the passing game is a concern, yet.
“I remember the 2013 spring game, we had about 10 drops out here,” he said. “The sky was falling, (the media) didn’t think we’d ever throw it well. Chuckie (Keeton) and the receivers started off really hot the first four or five weeks of the 2013. I’m hopeful that is the case.”
The end of the scrimmage marked the end of spring football, the team will return to practice in the late summer.
“We’re a work in progress,” Wells said. “We’re good right now. I think we have a chance to be good, if we want to be great we’ll see how we do in the summer, in training camp.”