BYU Spring Ball: Day Nine

The ninth day of spring football practice was a wet one. Fortunately, while the media in attendance may have gotten a little damper than they would have liked, the bad weather did not equate to a bad practice for the Cougars.

Today's practice was held in the pouring rain that often comes with the month of April. Again, Coach Mendenhall opted to bypass the new Indoor Practice Facility and practiced the entire period outdoors as the rains came down.

"I think there has been enough running inside," said Mendenhall regarding his decision to practice outside in the pouring rain. "I like to have the approach of just getting out there and playing and I think they're learning that approach. I don't think they care for it much at this point, but they're learning it."

"I like playing out there in the rain, just getting down and dirty in the bad conditions," said defensive end Michael Marquardt. "That's football."

The team practiced light drills today in half-pads. Practice included the following:

-Spencer White knocked down a Jason Beck pass intended for Johnny Harline

-Matt Berry hit David Gooch with a 40 yard pass on a fly pattern

-Berry then hit Joe Griffin with a 20 yard pass on a slant pattern

-Berry finished up his set of reps hitting D. Gooch again on a 35 yard fly pattern

-Jason Beck hit Matthew Smith on a 7 yard slant in which Kayle Buchanan hit him very hard upon receiving the pass, but Smith hung on

-John Beck hit Brett Cooper with a 10 yard pass on an out pattern and in turn hit Curtis Brown on successive passes out of the backfield

-Cameron Jensen was all over the place hurrying Berry into a thrown-away pass, providing tight coverage on Harline over the middle before knocking down the Jason Beck pass attended for Harline and sacking Berry

-Jason Beck hit Nathan Meikle with a 50 yard touchdown pass in which a great block by Michael Reed helped spring him for the score

-Michael Marquardt intercepted an intended screen pass which he read perfectly

-Fahu Tahi scampered 50 yards past the defense for a touchdown after he received a Jason Beck pass

-David Gooch again made his presence known leaping high and snagging a John Beck pass for about 8 yards

-Jason Beck hit Matt Smith with a 50 yard pass that went for a touchdown

-Dustin Gabriel layed the wood to Daniel Hansen as he attempted to run the ball up the middle shaking up Hansen pretty good

-Zac Collie had perhaps the most impressive catch of the practice one-handing a John Beck pass on a fly pattern that went for about 40 yards

-Buchanan picked off a Berry pass in which Reed slipped down in the pouring rain

-Berry finished up the light scrimmage completing a 60 yard touchdown strike to Brett Cooper

Throughout the practices this spring, the rotation of the quarterbacks has been constant with quarterbacks subbing throughout different drives and sets. Said Mendenhall, "We're attempting to put our quarterbacks in as many different situations as possible and see how they respond. Each quarterback has their strengths and weaknesses and I told Coach Anae the other day that I'm completely fine if this goes on until fall camp. If no one emerges then we'll do as much featuring and balance as necessary until someone separates themselves. It's like any other position in that a leader and a winner will emerge. I like them all, but right now consistency is what I'd like to see more of."

Side notes:

-Mendenhall is still waiting on Paul Walkenhorst to make his final decision, but indicated that he's leaning toward hanging it up and moving on. Said Mendenhall, "Whatever he (Walkenhorst) chooses he has my full support. Even if he chose at this point to come back, then I'd welcome him back. I like Paul, he's a program player."

-Judd Anderton has been out for the past week due to concussions and Mendenhall indicated that they will just continue to monitor that daily in regards to if he can practice much like they're doing with Eddie Keele. Keele practiced today in full-contact drills.

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