holds off White in annual spring game
By Tim Olsen
April 21, 2009 | For those wishing to see the new
Aggie offense in action and get a glimpse of what USU
has in store for its opponents next season, Saturday's
Blue and White scrimmage was the perfect venue.
Junior quarterback Diondre Borel threw for 320 yards
and three touchdowns as he led the Blue team to 533
yards of total offense and the win, as they defeated
the White team, 45-30, Saturday.
Roughly 5,000 fans filled the stands at Romney Stadium
to enjoy the sun and the Aggies, and they were treated
well by both. Borel was 12-23 on the afternoon and threw
no interceptions as big play after big play electrified
"Both sides did well, all the quarterbacks did pretty
well and I thought I did pretty well," Borel said. "Everybody
is making big plays and stepping up both offensively
The White team struck first when redshirt freshman
QB Exavier Johnson a player shooting the depth chart
this spring found senior wide receiver Xavier Bowman
for a well executed 71-yard touchdown on third down.
"We made a lot of big plays. That is good on one side,
but bad on the other side of the football," said USU
head coach Gary Andersen. "Offensively we executed and
made some big plays. That is a very big positive for
us. The biggest concern coming out of this is the first
team defense gave up way too many points."
The Blue team kept the big plays going when wide receiver
Stanley Morrison connected with wide receiver Omar Sawyer
for a 44-yard gain on a reverse pass on the Blue teams
Shortly after that running back Robert Turbin found
the end zone on a six-yard rumble that knotted things
up at seven. Turbin finished with 57 yards on 13 carries
and the lone touchdown.
After having two relatively quiet spring scrimmages,
Sawyer broke out and had a huge day Saturday. The senior
from Ogden made only three receptions but finished with
196 yards and two touchdowns, as he added TD receptions
of 72 and 80 yards, respectively.
"This is the last day of spring so I knew I needed
to go out there and do something. I made some plays
and I was happy with it," Sawyer said. "I have been
getting looks, but overall I haven't made the most of
my opportunities. Today I felt like I came out and really
took advantage of those chances."
After the hot start, it was the defenses that owned
the next few possessions as five consecutive stops were
made. The stops included four forced punts and an interception
by senior cornerback Kejon Murphy.
"I think as a defense we came out too excited," Murphy
said. "We just have to calm down and play well like
we know how to do. There are a lot of guys on defense
that can play, we shouldn't have been so hyped up."
The Blue defense was led by senior safety James Brindley
who had nine tackles, while sophomore linebacker Bobby
Wagner racked up eight and a half. It was the Blue defense
that finally sealed the game as well.
Brindley blasted White running back Marquis Butler,
causing him to pop the ball up in the air. Senior linebacker
Paul Igboeli grabbed the ball and rumbled into the end
zone for the score, and what would prove to be the final
points of the game.
On the White side, the defense was led by sophomore
safety Walter McClenton who tallied five and half stops
on the day. McClenton was followed closely by sophomore
linebacker Kyle Gallagher who recorded five stops.
"I think the kids did a great job of consistently
practicing. Today was a little bit different for them,
it was really good for us to come out and feel the game
atmosphere," Andersen said. "We wanted 15 consecutive
practices and to come out as a tougher football team.
We wanted to be able to execute on offense and defense,
and I think we are doing that."
Other players that played well on the day included
receivers Bowman who caught five balls for 108 yards,
Austin Alder who grabbed six balls for 62 yards and
took and end around 49 yards for a touchdown, and Stanley
Morrison who snagged three passes for 97 yards and one
On the ground Josh Flores and Butler led the White
with 47 and 46 yards, respectively, while Michael Smith
chipped in 57 and Dervvin Speight chipped in 53 for
the Blue team.
The Blue and White scrimmage concluded USU's spring
drills. The Aggies will take roughly a month off before
returning to prepare for the regular season.