LOGAN -- As has been the case for most of fall camp, Utah State displayed solid play on both sides of the ball during its first scrimmage Saturday morning at Romney Stadium.
The team practiced for 90 minutes with an estimated 100 snaps of the football for first-year head coach Matt Wells, who celebrated his 40th birthday Saturday.
"Right out of the gate there was a lot of good stuff with the offense moving the ball. The defense studded it up in the end in the early red-zone, which is the mark of a great defense," Wells said. "That's what they did last year and hopefully that will be the trend this year."
Offensively, Utah State scored four touchdowns and added four field goals as senior running back Joey DeMartino had 52 rushing yards on nine carries with two touchdowns, while junior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was 15-of-24 passing for 143 yards and senior wide receiver Travis Van Leeuwen had 75 receiving yards on seven receptions. DeMartino also caught one pass for 15 yards during the scrimmage.
Despite allowing some yards between the red zones, Utah State's defense controlled the early portion of the scrimmage as it held the Aggies' offense to a pair of field goals during its first seven series as junior placekicker Nick Diaz made a 49-yard field following a 9-play, 43-yard drive and a 24-yard field goal following a 7-play, 58-yard drive.
Sophomore linebacker Kyler Fackrell led Utah State's defense with a pair of sacks, while senior safety Clayton Christensen and redshirt freshman linebacker Nick Vigil each added one sack. Junior linebacker Tavaris McMillian registered two tackles for loss during the scrimmage as part of his three total tackles, while sophomore linebacker Jarom Baldomero had four tackles and two pass break-ups. Junior linebacker Keylon Hollis also had four tackles on the day.
Utah State, which is entering its second week of fall camp, will hold its second two-a-day on Monday.
* BYU WRAPS UP FIRST WEEK OF FALL CAMP: BYU's football team completed its first week of fall camp with a practice and scrimmage in front of more than 10,000 fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday morning.
Saturday's scrimmage marked the first time fans were able to see the 2013 football team in action since it started fall camp on Aug. 3.
"The one drive from our offense towards the end of practice has been what I have seen throughout fall camp up to this point," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "That was the cleanest representation of offenseive football that I saw today.
"Defensively they were sound in general; it looked like they got tired to me at some point toward the end of practice. Execution, installation, etc., we are still about 20 practices away from ending camp so there is still a lot of work to do. Overall, a solid day."
Fans saw firsthand an example of what a typical practice looks like with individual, team and special teams drills spread over the course of two hours.
After warm ups, the team opened practice with a 'blue zone' period (from the 20 yard line) with quarterbacks Taysom Hill, Ammon Olsen and Christian Stewart each taking snaps. Olsen found wideout Ross Apo for a 15-yard score in the back corner of the end zone. Hill and Stewart's drives ended in field goals with Vance Bingham kicking a 19 yarder and Justin Sorensen knocking one in from 26 yards out.
Just before moving into a 7-on-7 session, the place kickers each attempted a field goal from 52 yards with Trevor Samson and Sorensen each splitting the uprights. Later in the session, both sides of the ball made plays with defensive back Scott Lefrandt registering a pass break up and wide receiver Terenn Houk hauling in two grabs for a total of 26 yards.
In the final session of practice, the team completed an 11-on-11 period. Hill led the first-team offense on a 16-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a 2-yard scoring run by running back Adam Hine. Hill finished the drive 5 for 8 for 55 yards and three rushes good for 20 yards. He found five different receivers on all five of his completions on the drive. Practice ended on a defensive highlight as defensive back Michael Wadsworth intercepted a pass and ran it back 30 yards for a touchdown.
Fall camp resumes on Monday with players taking part in two-a-days.
Cougar Nation will also have an opportunity to meet members of the team at the annual Cougar Kickoff at Haws Field (directly west of the Indoor Practice Facility) on Aug. 21.
* USC WR LEE MISSES PRACTICE WITH INJURY: Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee missed the Trojans' first practice on Saturday, a day after he left practice early with an apparent right shoulder injury.
USC would not disclose the nature of Lee's injury. The All-American appeared to get hurt while attempting to catch a long pass from Cody Kessler in coverage during Friday's work outs. He stayed down on the field before USC's medical staff escorted him away.
Lee had 118 receptions for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns last year as a sophomore, winning the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver.