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Logan • Even with the season opener six months away, the Utah State football team is operating as if the clock is ticking.
Pace was the overwhelming theme of the first day of spring practice inside the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center on Tuesday. The Aggies, coming off a winter without a bowl game after playing in five straight postseasons, have revamped their offense. New offensive coordinator David Yost, who spent 12 seasons at Missouri and also coached at Washington State and Oregon, will install a spread offense.
The offense repeatedly raced to the line of scrimmage and was quick to snap the ball out of the shotgun throughout the team portion at the end of the first day of practice. Early indications are the Aggies will continue to throw deep as well as utilize the quarterback as a running threat.
While it remains to be seen how different the offensive scheme will be, the tempo of the first practice was different to several players as well as head coach Matt Wells.
"Fast practice, fast paced," Wells said. "Just for where we're at in installing a new offense, I thought it was pretty good. Long ways to go. The kids are working hard. I thought the defense did a nice job of getting aligned and getting all that, but we're still in shorts and T-shirts, so it's hard to tell."
Tuesday's practice was the first of three this week for the Aggies, who will take next week off for spring break. Wells expects the majority of the offense, which he described as "similar" to the previous system, to be installed by the end of the week though he admitted the first week will likely be "major overload" for the offensive players.
"It's like as soon as the play is over, get back to the line and let's go," wide receiver Ron'quavion Tarver said. "It's time to go. No goofing off or nothing. It's time to go. It's a way faster tempo."
Last season, the Aggies ranked 11th out of 12 teams in the Mountain West in both scoring offense (23.9 points per game) and total offense (376.2 yards per game).
Senior quarterback Kent Myers, the returning starter, is one of five quarterbacks on the spring roster. Myers, who passed for for 2,389 yards, 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions last season, is excited about Yost's offense.
"It's completely different," Myers said. "We did some stuff under the gun, huddle, 'muddle huddle,' kind of slowing it down and picking it up, establishing the run and then we can also go back and throw it.
"This is kind of like, we're going to get set. We're going tempo, really take what the defense gives us. If we're able to run, we're going to run, but we want to pass the ball. That's what I look forward to."
The Aggies announced Monday that Mark Tommerdahl has joined the staff as special teams coordinator and running backs coach. A 33-year coaching veteran, he spent the past four seasons on the University of California coaching staff as assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. He also coached tight ends, fullbacks and receivers at Cal.
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