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USU Football: Aggies turn focus to Tennessee

Published August 20, 2014 9:22 am

USU notes • Opener set for Aug. 31 in Knoxville.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Logan • Utah State coach Matt Wells didn't even wait until his team was off the field Tuesday to declare camp over for the Aggies.

Technically the Aggies still have a few days of camp scheduled, including a two-a-day on Thursday, but from here on out it will be all Tennessee, all the time, Wells said.

"It's already been geared toward Tennessee since February, but yes, now absolutely," he said of the team's focus.

The Aggies open the season against the Vols on Aug. 31.

"Before today, the last scrimmage, it was 100 percent about the Aggies and getting better," quarterback Chuckie Keeton said. "Now it's set on Knoxville, Tennessee, and what we want to accomplish on Aug. 31."

The Aggies sat many of their proven players in Tuesday's scrimmage, including quarterback Keeton, linebacker Zach Vigil and safety Brian Suite.

The defense won the day in Wells' estimation, something that didn't sit well with Keeton.

"We still have a lot of work to do on the offensive side of the ball," he said. "We have to have some guys step up and do it this week because we have a game right around the corner so we are looking forward to a hard fighting week the rest of the week."

Those who took advantage of more playing time included freshman safety Jontrell Rocquemore, who nabbed an interception off a tipped pass, and freshman receiver Damoun Patterson, who caught a touchdown pass from backup quarterback Craig Harrison.

Wells said he continues to like the depth at receiver, particularly now that Devonte Robinson, a transfer from Dodge City Community College, is in camp.

He also is impressed with the way the younger defenders such as Rocquemore and Jalen Davis are playing.

"They've gotten themselves up the ladder in the depth charts," he said.

Wells said the coaches will spend much of the next few days breaking down tape and making evaluations as they hammer out a depth chart. From the sounds of it, there will be some tough decisions to be made.

"I'm proud of the defense tonight," he said. "It was a strong effort, even holding some guys out, that is a big positive."

Roster notes

Wells said redshirt freshman Myron Turner, who was listed as a possible backup to Suite at free safety, won't be with the team this season due to a suspension from the university. He is expected to enroll in January, Wells said. … Freshman running back LaJuan Hunt continues to be impressive and has earned a "small role," Wells said. … Wells said all four quarterbacks will travel to the first few games. Darell Garretson is solid as Keeton's backup, although he could be redshirted if he isn't needed.

New ticket policy

Sprinting for seats in Romney Stadium has always been a fun but rather dangerous part of home football games for Aggie students.

But entrance into the stadium is changing this year in an effort to make the event safer and to allow students more time to tailgate.

This year students can pick up tickets for home games starting on the Monday the week of the game at the TSC Card Office from 7 a.m. to noon on Monday and also at the Spectrum Ticket office at noon on Monday.

Students will be able to select which section and row they want out of the 6,500 tickets available to students.

Jana Doggett, executive associate athletics director, said the policy change was made after talking with school officials and student representatives.

Often for big rivalry games the lines to get into the stadium would start forming the night before, Doggett said.

"Then there would be this mad rush down the bleachers and we'd inevitably get twisted ankles or something," she said. "We always held our breath hoping nothing major happened." —

Season opener USU at Tennessee

O 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31

TV • SEC Network