Fall practice: day twelve

With exactly two weeks until BYU opens the 2011 season against Ole Miss and begins the independence era, the team held a scrimmage on Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Coach Mendenhall said his team seems to be farther along now than any of his previous squads at this point of fall camp, and so the scrimmage was mostly for the younger players and to sort out a few remaining position battles.

Originally, there was going to be a standard scrimmage on Saturday and then a young-player scrimmage next Wednesday, but with the Cougars being ahead of schedule, Coach Mendenhall opted to accelerate things and have the young-player scrimmage on Saturday.

With Mendenhall saying that the risk of injury wasn't worth it, a number of starters were held out while others played sparingly. While the scrimmage was full-contact, there was no tackling during special teams plays. During last Saturday's scrimmage, Iona Pritchard suffered a serious injury on the opening kickoff and will miss the 2011 season.

Of course, with all the starters playing sparingly – if at all – that gave the younger and more inexperienced players an opportunity to get some action, as well as those making a bid for playing time.

"A lot of great chances to see young players play and get evaluations made for redshirting and depth decisions," Mendenhall said about Saturday's scrimmage. "I think offensively we ran the ball well, short-pass game looked good. Defensively, the younger players' fundamentals are still lacking from what I saw, and [we're] still looking for the right chemistry I think in the secondary."

Mendenhall said the scrimmage was played pretty cleanly when considering it was mostly all younger players.

Scrimmage

Jake Heaps only got one drive but made the most of it, going 5-of-5 for 51 yards. He got the offense down into the blue zone by completing passes to Cody Hoffman (twice), McKay Jacobson, J.J. Di Luigi and Dallin Cutler. Di Luigi finished off the drive with a touchdown run. He had two rushes on the day for 8 yards, and his reception on the opening drive went for 23 yards.

James Lark completed 5-of-10 passes on the day for 41 yards. He was intercepted on his first drive after one of his passes was tipped at the line of scrimmage and Preston Hadley was able to come down with the ball. Lark completed passes to Marcus Mathews (twice), Rhen Brown, David Foote and Austin Holt.

Riley Nelson went 3-of-6 for 59 yards, completing passes to J.D. Falslev, Adam Hine and Cody Raymond. Most of those 59 yards came on a downfield pass that was tipped in the air, allowing Falslev to come over and make a diving catch despite the fact that he was not the intended receiver.

Jason Munns completed 3-of-3 passes for 39 yards, completing passes to Terenn Houk, Spencer Hafoka and Matt Marshall.

True freshman Alex Kuresa got his first scrimmage reps at quarterback and went 2-of-2 for 17 yards, completing passes to Raymond and Hafoka.

Bryan Kariya rushed four times for 12 yards, Michael Alisa rushed six times for 14 yards and a touchdown, and Hine rushed four times for 18 yards.

Justin Sorensen was successful on both PATs, and also made a 57-yard field goal at the end of the scrimmage. He had a 44-yard attempt miss after being tipped at the line of scrimmage, while a 49-yard attempt bounced off the goal post.

Ian Dulan sacked Kuresa, recording the lone sack of the scrimmage.


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