Offensive and Defensive Seesaw Battle

The offense and defense battled back and forth today during team and skeli periods. Overall, the defense beat the offense in team scrimmage, but the offense was able to move the ball more effectively in the skeli portion of practice.

It was a rough start for the first team offense today. After quarterback Riley Nelson completed a pass to walk-on tight end Darin Tuttle, the defense switched into a different coverage package. That's when outside linebacker Alani Fua went to work, recording two sacks from the Will linebacker position, ending the first team offense's first series.

"I did alright today I guess," Fua said. "We did some coverage stuff today that was built around the Will linebacker. When we went nickel today, I was playing Will side linebacker so pretty much all my sacks were built around the Will.

"I should be making plays and if I'm not making plays on those I shouldn't be playing," Fua said. "The plays were designed for the Will, so I should be making plays. I'm happy because it was fun and I did alright."

The second series started out a little better. With Lark behind center, he completed two passes to running back Josh Quezada to begin the series. On a play that would have gone for a longer completion, receiver Brett Thompson dropped a pass over the middle, ending the second team's series.

Starting on the defensive side for the second series were Cameron Comer and O'Neil Chambers as the cornerbacks. Manoa Pikula was the starting Buck linebacker next to Zac Stout. Tyler Beck was moved up to the first string due to a leg injury suffered by Brandon Ogletree who didn't practice.

Riley Nelson and the first team units took over for the third series, and, like before, Alani Fua continued to disrupt the offense. As Nelson dropped back and rolled out, he attempted to complete a pass but Fua was there to swat the ball as it left Nelson's hands. The following two plays resulted in a 3 yard completion to Hoffman, which was quickly stopped by cornerback Jordan Johnson, and an incomplete pass that was broken up by Mike Hague. Again, Fua was applying pressure that forced Nelson to get rid of the ball.

"It was a lot of fun and everyone was hyped up," said Fua. "Everyone got hyped up after Uona [Kaveinga's] great speech."

So what did Kaveinga say to the defense that inspired them to play tough early on during team scrimmage?

"I told our team that we have to win our team segment," Kaveinga said. "I told them, ‘Win!' and that we have to ‘Dominate.' The first three drives probably totaled around eight yards. The fourth drive probably around 10 to 12 yards."

The fourth drive turned out to be the best drive of the team scrimmage, even though it started out slowly. After a sack by freshman Kevan Bills, quarterback James Lark threw a nice pass over the middle to Brett Thompson. However, Thompson couldn't hold onto the ball.

The following play resulted in a defensive penalty and that's when Lark and the second team finally established some momentum. Lark hit Cody Raymond for a 10 yard gain and followed that up with a short gain to running back Michael Alisa.

On the next play, a quick read by cornerback Jordan Johnson stopped Quizada out in the flats for a play that went for no yards. Lark then ran the ball behind fullback Austin Jorgensen for a gain of 13 yards. He then completed a pass to Brett Thompson that went for three yards.

On the final play of the series, Lark dropped back, scanned the field and threw a nice pass to the back of the end zone to tight end Marcus Mathews for the only touchdown of the day during team scrimmage.

"We beat them in team but they got us in skeli," Kaveinga said. "It was a good day, a hard day."

"We did pretty good today but we had to change it up because we had some injuries," Mathews said. "I gave a good five yard route on Mike Hague, gave him a double move and caught the pass. It was a good pass by James."

During skeli, Mathews also scored a touchdown, making it two on the day for the tight end. His touchdown during skeli drills was set up by a catch where slot receiver Dallin Cutler laid out in mid air and came down with the ball. It was the best catch made in all of spring camp so far.

"Dallin Cutler made a sweet catch over the middle that set me up for that first touchdown we had in skeli," Mathews said. "That was one heck of a catch!"

Sideline Notes

Lark had the better day today going 5-7 for around 30 yards and touchdown to Mathews. Alani Fua recorded two sacks and batted down a pass. Fua would have recorded three sacks today had the coaches blown the whistle in the same manner as in the first two sacks.

Attending practice today was Texas recruit Trey Flowers from Judson High School. Flowers, wearing a burn orange Texas shirt, roamed the sidelines to watch the team practice and seemed to be enjoying himself.

Coaches Clinic/ RB Jamaal Williams

Tomorrow, BYU will hold a coaches clinic where around 400 coaches are expected to attend. There will be around 12 high school coaches that will speak to the group tomorrow. One will be Summit High School Head Coach Tony Barile of Fontana, California who coached Jamaal Williams.

Coach Barile mentioned that Jamaal Williams is now "finding his speed" and is having an amazing track performance this year. Barile also noted that Willams is currently about a half second behind the best time in the state this year.

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