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Utah State football 2014: Chuckie Keeton sits out final fall camp scrimmage

Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton.
Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton.
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

During the last fall camp scrimmage, the Utah State Aggies offense started okay--until the defense took over. Heisman Trophy candidate Chuckie Keeton played a few snaps--then gave way to his backups.

On Tues. Aug. 19, the first-team offense and defense rested while Aggie head coach Matt Wells played reserves. No matter, the result was the same. The defense dominated from start to finish, leading one to believe after two scrimmages that the defense may be just as good as the offense--which dominated the first scrimmage then laid eggs at the last two.

What else would you think after the Aggie defense, regardless of who was in the game, allowed just 103 yards passing and 43 yards rushing in 70 plays of action on Tuesday night? Senior quarterback Craig Harrison mustered 56 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the air on 4-of-14 passing attempts. Sophomore QB Darell Garretson was more accurate, completing 9-of-14 passes--but even he threw for just 43 yards. DJ Nelson, brother of Aggie turncoat Riley, completed 1-of-4 passes for four yards.

Harrison started off the scrimmage with a bang by hooking up with Damoun Patterson, a true freshman wide receiver on a deep out for a 41-yard touchdown. It was also the fourth play of scrimmage. After that play though, it was all defense, all the time.

Harrison was also the Aggies' leading rusher on the night, running twice for 24 yards. But, it was Harrison's interception, thrown in the direction of freshman safety Jontrell Rocquemore, that changed the complexion of the scrimmage.

"We had a lot of guys sitting out, so a lot of the young guys got a chance to step up, play together, communicate, fly around and make plays," said USU junior nose guard Travis Seefeldt post-game. "Jontrell Rocquemore's pick was huge and really flipped the scrimmage our way. A lot of the JC transfers coming in are standing out. They've really stepped up, played their hardest and bought into the system."

Wells said that he and his staff have work to do before they decide who ends up where on the final depth chart. One thing's for sure, though. The defense flew around the football Tuesday night, dropping offensive players in the backfield four times and broke up six passes.

Jarom Baldomero and LT Filiaga each had four tackles for Utah State, who will now close its practices to the public and media in preparation for its home opener at mighty SEC power Tennessee.