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Spring Game ahead, Aggies keep focused to start the week
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • With the spring exhibition ahead, only a non-padded practice in between, it would've been easy for Monday's practice to get a little lost in the shuffle.

But if the Utah State football team is looking ahead, it wasn't reflected in their 13th spring session on Monday morning. The tempo was up and there wasn't much time for slacking. The Aggies are expecting a crowd of several thousand on Saturday, and they don't want to disappoint.

That meant more time on the field, longer drives - squeezing to the last drop.

"You've gotta be in good shape to do this stuff," offensive tackle Kyle Whimpey said. "The way Coach [Matt] Wells runs it, it's not a cakewalk."

Full team drills Monday gave the offense some trouble again on converting third downs. The first- and second- team defenses came up with some big stops after Thursday's scrimmage had a few shortcomings in that area.

The third team offense, getting some extra snaps, had some good plays including a long catch on fourth down by Shaan Johnson, but Sus Valero also came up with a pick off Jordan Brown.

"That's good for them," Wells said, his voice hoarse from a spirited Monday himself. "I still see too many balls shredding through the secondary for our liking, but that was good to see them step up on third downs and get off the field."

Wells said he hasn't thought much about what he might feel when he steps out Saturday as the man in charge: There's too much left to do.

He wants to continue to see solid fundamentals, good technique and passionate play. But he always wants to make sure the coaching staff is communicating well in a game situation. He wants to make sure the subs come in and out smoothly. He wants to see guys make a push for contributing roles.

That's why he felt good, in all, that Monday's practice was crisp.

"We continue to talk about investment and investing in the process and not letting the day go by," he said. "I think today would've been an easy day to let go by. There was a lot of work on both sides."

— Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon

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