Crowton Optimistic After Viewing Scrimmage Film

As BYU head coach <b>Gary Crowton</b> continues to prepare for the opener against Georgia Tech, he's fine-tuning the offense and defense – all the while looking for new faces to step up and help the Cougars this fall.

Offensive lineman Gary McGiven, a walk-on from Orem, Utah, may fit the bill. McGiven disputes that he's from Springville as it reads on the official roster. "I'm an Orem boy. My family moved to Springville while I was on my (LDS) mission, but I consider myself an Orem boy; grew up right in BYU's backyard."

He is currently listed as back-up to right tackle Brandon Stephens and is working hard to find his place on the line.

Coach Crowton said today that "I'm very encouraged by the play of Gary McGiven. He's the back-up tackle to Brandon Stephens right now, but I need to give him some reps with the Ones (first team) to see what he can do. Gary McGiven is really stepping up and playing well."

McGiven credits his success to the seniors on the team. "Scott Jackson is, of course, ‘THE man.' He helps me so much along with Quinn Christensen and Brandon Stephens. I refer to Stephens as my mentor."

The Springville, er, um, Orem native added, "They're great. They're always ready to help, but they don't criticize. They help us and give us pointers, but not in a negative way. All of us young guys are always more than open to any suggestions any of them give."

McGiven always dreamed of playing for BYU growing up, but when a scholarship wasn't offered, he opted to play for Rick's College after his LDS mission to North Dakota. That didn't work out according to plan. "I got hurt the year I went up there and wasn't able to play, so I just decided to follow my dream and walk-on to BYU. So far, it's worked out great," he said

"I really just want to help out this team as much as possible. I love BYU, I've always dreamed of doing what I'm doing now and hopefully I can contribute to their success."

Commenting on the offensive line's continuing development, Crowton said, "We have a lot of big powerful linemen this year. Scott Jackson is our best offensive lineman and you have a lot of guys who are really athletic like Brandon Stephens. He and Eddie Keele are about as athletic at the tackle position I've seen. We're talented, but we're young and they still tend to make some errors."

He added: "We're also real powerful with guys like Scott Young, Ofa Mohetau and Jake Kuresa. Those guys are about as powerful as they come. The overall power of this offensive line is very encouraging to me."

Crowton mentioned he would like to redshirt Young, even though he's been impressive. "Young is good enough to start, so I'd love to see him use his final season starting. It's tough to make that determination just yet. Scott Young has been very good since moving over to the offensive line."

Meanwhile, Vincent Xanthos is struggling to come back after an unlucky string of injuries. "Xanthos got hurt again. Every time he starts getting good, it seems like he gets hurt again. He hurt his shoulder again yesterday. He fell hard on it and that was hard to see. Hopefully, he can get himself healthy because he's certainly athletic enough and he has some experience," Crowton noted.

PRACTICE SCRIMMAGE AFTER FILM ROOM VIEWING

Coach Crowton said he is relatively pleased with the offensive performance as a whole after viewing film of the scrimmage that was held yesterday. "I am encouraged with how we did offensively. We scored six touchdowns in a scrimmage of about 100 plays, so I'm happy with that."

"We were able to make some big plays. Fui (Vakapuna) and Marcus (Whalen) had some big runs and Rod Wilkerson did some nice things. The offense was able to make some big plays, so that was good."

About his quarterbacks, Crowton said "John Beck was able to do some nice things out of the pocket. I thought Matt Berry played well, but he tried to do too much at times. He had some interceptions and a couple of them were on tipped balls. He just tried to force it in there too much, but he had some nice throws."

"What we need to be is more consistent on offense. We just need to eliminate turnovers and missed blocking assignments and, I think, we'll be OK.

"The defensive side of the ball had a lot of turnovers and they we were very aggressive defensively. What we need to do now is be a little more sound in our assignments in order to eliminate some of the big plays that the offense had. Also, I'd like to be a little more physical on defense when the players get to the ball."

INJURY UPDATE:

Defensive tackle Manaia Brown and wide receiver Cody Fonnesbeck had MRI's today to determine the exact nature of their injuries.

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