Fall practice: day nine

Tuesday's morning practice was open to the public, and with no more public practices or scrimmages scheduled, fans got their last look at the team before the Cougars open the season against Ole Miss. Coach Mendenhall wasn't thrilled with the team's performance on Tuesday, but does like where his team is at overall.

Coach Mendenhall was a bit critical of Tuesday's morning practice.

"Little sloppy today, bumps and bruises, little inconsistent, and probably I would say average at best."

The offense missed on several different opportunities to complete downfield passes, with open receivers being overthrown or just missing on a tough catch.

Meanwhile, the offense has also had to deal with some defensive schematic wrinkles.

"The defense has put in some blitzes that the offense hasn't caught up with yet, and so that makes it appear kind of raggedy," said Mendenhall.

Tuesday's early practice was also fairly chippy, with some players' tempers overriding, as Mendenhall said.

At one point, Uona Kaveinga was taken out of the scrimmage for leveling J.J. Di Luigi near the sideline. The Cougars were playing in shells, and thus weren't supposed to be tackling.

But, with all that said, that doesn't mean the team is in big trouble. In fact, Tuesday's practice notwithstanding, Mendenhall said he feels good about where his team is at.

"I think camp's gone really well. The defense is, I think, making progress. Overall today – I'm talking both sides – I thought it was inconsistent."

Mendenhall expressed great optimism regarding his team's potential during this offseason, and that optimism hasn't diminished during fall camp.

"I like where we are," said Mendenhall. "I'm confident, I'm optimistic, and I believe it's warranted by what I've seen, how I've seen us play."

Scrimmage

Jake Heaps completed 2-of-5 passes for 28 yards. He had a few of the aforementioned misses downfield, plays he would no doubt like to have back. He did however complete a 23-yard pass to McKay Jacobson that got the offense down into the blue zone. Josh Quezada rushed for a touchdown on the following play.

Riley Nelson completed his lone pass to Richard Wilson for 14 yards. Lark completed 1-of-2 passes, which his completion being a 36-yard touchdown to Marcus Mathews.

Justin Sorensen made field goals from 42 yards (twice) and 57 yards. He missed on one attempt from 37 yards out. He also made both PATs.

Notes

- Jimmer Fredette was once again watching practice, only this time he was seated in the crowd. Trent Plaisted also made a brief appearance at the practice field.

- BYU's punt returner this year is … Simote Vea? Okay, not really, but he and Devin Mahina, Zed Mendenhall, Austin Holt, Austin Heder and Austen Jorgensen practiced catching punts on Tuesday. It is assumed that these players will be blockers on kick returns, and were simply being prepared for the possibility of short punts. Nevertheless, Vea fielding punts drew cheers from the crowd.

- Travis Uale was held out again with some sore ribs. Head trainer Kevin Morris said they could not find any cracks in his ribs, but that doesn't mean there isn't one, so they are playing it safe.

- As for other health issues, Ross Apo (groin tightness) did not scrimmage and Matt Reynolds (probable stomach virus) and Ezekiel Ansah (sore shoulder) did not practice, but aren't expected to be out for long. Brandon Ogletree, who is recovering from a groin injury, is said to be looking very good and is expected back by Thursday.


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