Utah State football held its second two-a-day practice of fall camp on Monday, and fourth-year head coach Matt Wells was pleased with the way his team performed toward the end of the morning session, then carried it over into the afternoon.
“It was a good two-a-day and I thought we responded well after a hard, physical practice this morning. It was a better two-a-day than last Friday,” Wells said. “The energy and effort is still there in practice 10 and 11, which is encouraging, but we are still in the middle of the grind of training camp.”
Both practices were held on the practice fields.
Highlights from the morning included junior quarterback Kent Myers completing 10 passes during two separate 11-on-11 sessions. Five different receivers caught at least two passes during live work in the morning, including seniors Wyatt Houston and Kennedy Williams, juniors Ethan Cortazzo and Braelon Roberts, along with freshman Rayshad Lewis.
Defensively, sophomore linebacker Chasen Andersen recovered a fumble and had two tackles, while fellow sophomore linebacker Derek Larsen had a sack as part of his three stops. Senior defensive end Ian Togiai added four tackles, and sophomore safety Jontrell Rocquemore had three tackles and a pass breakup. Another standout on defense was junior safety Dallin Leavitt, who recorded three stops, while senior cornerback Jentz Painter had two tackles and one pass breakup.
During the afternoon practice, which was just in shells, the defense shined with five different players recording sacks during live drills in senior linebacker Brock Carmen, senior defensive end Siua Taufa and redshirt sophomore safety Gaje Ferguson, along with Rocquemore and Togiai.
Offensively, Myers connected with junior running back LaJuan Hunt for a 15-yard touchdown pass, and freshman quarterback Jordan Love hit redshirt freshman wide receiver Jordan Nathan for a 35-yard completion. In all, 11 different receivers caught passes from Aggie quarterbacks during various live drills in the afternoon.
Monday was the 10th and 11th practices of fall camp leading up to the home and season opener against Weber State on Thursday, Sept. 1, at 6 p.m. The Aggies will begin Mountain West play by hosting Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 24.
Following an afternoon practice on Tuesday in Maverik Stadium from 2:15-4:15 p.m., Utah State will hold another two-a-day on Wednesday, practicing from 9:10-11:10 a.m. and again from 4:55-6:25 p.m. USU will then hold its second closed scrimmage Thursday night, followed by a short practice Friday from 3:55-4:45 p.m. Utah State will then practice Saturday from 8:55-10:15 a.m., leading up to the 11th-annual Aggie Football Family Fun Day, sponsored by Macey's Foods. Games and activities will get started on the south concourse at 5 p.m., while the football team will hold a situational scrimmage starting at 6 p.m.
Offensive Player of the Day
Senior offensive tackle Jake Simonich continues to provide great leadership for not only the offensive line, but the entire offense, and those qualities were on full display again Monday as the coaching staff has been pleased with how that group has performed during the first two weeks of fall camp, especially in the running game.
Defensive Player of the Day
Sophomore linebacker Derek Larsen continues to impress during fall camp as he recorded three tackles, including a sack, during the morning practice and added two more tackles in the afternoon.
Newcomer of the Day
Freshman linebacker Justus Te’i had a standout day for the Aggies as he posted four tackles, including a sack, during the morning practice and followed that up with two more tackles and a pass breakup in the afternoon.
Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.