Utah State took its football team out of Cache Valley for a scrimmage at Mountain View High School in Orem, Utah, on Friday. In all, 600 fans got an early glimpse at head coach Mick Dennehy's third Aggie football team.
"We used to do it (take the team on the road) all the time at Montana and I think our alums and boosters really enjoyed it," Dennehy said. "It was a great time for the players to interact with the little kids and alums and get their pictures taken with them and sign a ball or a poster. I think it is great public relations. Whenever you live in a state as big and expanded as ours, it is hard for some of the people that live away (from Cache Valley) to be able to get up and see the kids."
The 90-minute scrimmage was highlighted by the offensive production of All-American wide receiver Kevin Curtis, who pulled in four passes for 101 yards and three touchdowns. Each of Curtis' scoring plays were thrown by three different quarterbacks. Curtis' first touchdown came on a 20-yard pass by Jose Fuentes. He then caught a 52-yard pass from Travis Cox and a 16-yard score from Jeff Crosbie.
"I was happy for the most part in that we made some big plays, but I am a little concerned that we did not move the ball as well as we should have with our first team offense," Dennehy said. "I thought the defense at times made some big plays as well. We would make two or three stops and get them where we wanted them- in a predictable situation- and let them get a first down. Hopefully we will get that squared away."
Crosbie was the most successful of the Aggies' three quarterbacks on the night, as he completed six of 10 passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns. In addition to his scoring toss to Curtis, the senior-to-be hit Jason Deml on a 10-yard touchdown in the middle of the field.
Cox completed five of eight for 86 yards and one score, while incumbent starter Fuentes was four of seven for 50 yards and one touchdown.
In all, eight different Aggies caught passes including two each by Casey Poppinga, Jason Thomas and Deml.
The running game was led by Roger Fernandez who scored the scrimmage's first touchdown on a 34-yard run. The sophomore-to-be rushed three times for 39 yards, while David Fiefia added 18 yards in five carries.
Defensively, linebacker Jesse Busta was the leader with a team-best four tackles, one fumble recovery and a pass break up. Jared Johnstun and Ross Luna each had three tackles while Bryan Jackson recorded an interception.
Utah State will practice Saturday morning before entering its last week of practice next week. USU's spring drills will conclude with the annual Blue/White game scheduled for Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m. at Romney Stadium. Admission is free.