BYU Spring Ball: Day Three

The third day of spring football practice included a mini-scrimmage and TBS' Brandon Gurney was there to give an account of what transpired. G-man also spoke with Coach Mendenhall and Dustin Gabriel about how the team is progressing.

Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to use today's practice session as an early opportunity to allow his players to get their feet wet by going with a little scrimmage in half-pads and "medium contact" to conclude the session.

"We used today's scrimmage as a reference point," said Mendenhall. "The execution isn't what it needs to be, the discipline isn't what it needs to be, timing isn't where it needs to be and the assignments in general aren't there and nor is the effort right. So this gives us a point of reference to go from in detail after we watch the film."

Regarding the scrimmage in general, Mendenhall stated: "We were in half-pads, so it was mostly passes and long passes. It wasn't a full tempo and it gives us a little preparation for tomorrow's practice which will be a full-padded practice."

"It was great to get out there and start playing against the entire offense," said safety Dustin Gabriel. "It's exciting, but it's also something we need to learn from and we need to get better with every practice. Hopefully we can improve on what we did today next time and just go from there."

The first part of practice was spent on a pass that Cougar fans should grow familiar with this coming season. Short slants and hitches were the focus as quarterbacks John Beck, Matt Berry, Jason Beck and the rest took their turns in hitting their receivers against a full defensive alignment.

The following are some of the highlights:

- Rich Hada had several nice plays knocking down a couple of passes while intercepting a pass off of a deflection.

- Newly converted cornerback Chris Hale jumped a short out pattern for an interception.

- Joe Griffin had several nice plays during a drill in which he should excel. On one instance he muscled in a short pass gunned by John Beck when Spencer White had almost perfect coverage.

-Quarterback Matt Berry had a perfect 45 yard strike to Matt Smith down the sideline on one of the few attempts that wasn't a short hitch or slant.

- Breyon Jones had a couple of nice grabs across the middle.

- Cameron Jensen intercepted a pass as he completed a full practice session on a sprained toe from a day ago.

- Matt Allen caught a nice 15 yard slant from Berry in which his bell was rung, but he came off the field under his own power after laying motionless for several minutes.

The team then huddled together, switched over to the natural grass surface and began the first (albeit light) scrimmage under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. The scrimmage included the following highlights:

- Nate Meikle caught a 5 yard slant from John Beck.

- Riley Weber made what perhaps was the best catch of the day, snagging a 15 yard pass from Beck on the sideline while diving out of bounds.

- Jason Beck then threw a nice flare pass to Meikle for about 10 yards.

- Michael Marquardt then had a sack that was due in large part to the coverage downfield.

- Matt Berry threw a perfect 35 yard pass to Zac Collie down the middle of the field that Collie in turn took the distance for an 80 yard score.

- Berry threw a screen to Watterson that he took downfield for a big gain.

- John Beck took the field and threw a 5 yard slant to Collie.

- Beck completed another slant to Weber that went for 10 yards.

- Dan Bates got in the backfield and tackled the running back for a loss.

- Leo Christensen intercepted a Berry pass that was thrown 40 yards downfield.

- Manaia Brown had a very impressive play in which he jumped a flare pass to Curtis Brown, tracking him behind the line of scrimmage.

- Nate Hutchinson jumped a slant route which he knocked down and almost picked off.

- Jason Beck had a nice 10 yard pass out in the flat to Curtis Brown.

- TJ Sitake intercepted an attempted screen pass and returned it for a touchdown.

- Fahu Tahi had several nice runs. One in which he galloped off tackle for a 15 yard gain

- Richard Nehring had a sack.

- Dan Bates had a nice knockdown of a pass across the middle of the field.

- Adam Nelson intercepted a Jackson Brown pass across the middle.

- Brett Cooper made a nice grab over the middle for a 20 yard gain.

- Cooper followed up with a 10 yard grab on an out pattern thrown by John Beck.

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