BYU Spring Ball: Day 10

Spring practice is a time when players battle for playing time by proving to coaches through their play that they can contribute if put in the regular rotation. These battles are a hallmark of any spring camp, but the inclement spring weather in Provo has led to an unexpected battle been between Coach Bronco Mendenhall and the Indoor Practice Facility.

If one were to drive down to Provo today with no knowledge of the season or date, one would readily assume it was the middle of January with driving snows pouring down for the better part of the day. So did the team start out practice safe from the driving snow in the confines of the IPF? No way! Coach Mendenhall had his charges suit up and head out into the wintry conditions.

"The comment I made to the team out there is that we play Wyoming this year at Wyoming late in the year, but we're not playing them this month, but if we were, then I'd definitely had stayed out there," said Mendenhall.

Coach Mendenhall moved the team into the new Indoor Practice Facility after initial drills so the team could focus on skill development. "As the snow kept coming and accumulating it got to the point where I didn't think that we could get enough done in regards to developing skills and what we need to get done at this point," explained Mendenhall. "I think the team wanted to stay out there and I wanted to stay out there as well, but in order to get what we needed to get done at this point we needed to come inside. That was the only reason we came inside."

In regards to skill development, Mendenhall commented specifically on the new offense Robert Anae has brought in. "I think we've been inconsistent, but I'd say that the offense has shown willingnes to improve and that's a positive", said Mendenhall. "I thought the offense made more plays today in critical situations and that is certainly a positive."

Mendenhall of course comes from a defensive background having been defensive coordinator for the majority of his career. With that mindset, do you think Mendenhall watched much film of Texas Tech in order to prepare both himself and the team for what Coach Robert Anae was bringing from Texas Tech? "I don't watch any tapes from them other than when I played against Texas Tech three years ago when I was with New Mexico," Mendenhall indicated. "The indoctrination that happens during game week is much more so than it is in hiring a coach. Defending and preparing against it is much more instructive, so I haven't watched any film of what they've done at Texas Tech, but I've learned first-hand going against Coach Anae in a live situation every day."

Today's scrimmage saw the team focus on special situations as the team started at different junctures from different parts of the field. The offense started out from their own forty has they normally do, but the scrimmage also saw a redzone drill in which the offense started at the 20 yard line and then some drills started from the one yard line.

The scrimmage went like this:

-Matt Berry got the first set of reps and was sacked by Michael Marquardt on the first play

-Curtis Brown then ran for no gain as he was tackled by M. Marquardt and Quinn Gooch

-Two incomplete passes ended Berry's reps

-John Beck then took the field and scrambled for 15 yards after Manaia Brown flushed him out of the pocket

-John Beck then completed a 20 yard pass to Riley Weber which was followed by a sack recorded by KC Bills and Richard Nehring

-Curtis Brown then ran for 30 yards down to the 8 yard line on a run that was designed to go off tackle. The defense shut it down, but C. Brown spun around and took the ball the other way as Craig North tracked him down to make the touchdown-saving tackle

-Fahu Tahi then took the ball to the one yard line with a 3 yard and a 4 yard run respectively.

-The final play of this set of reps saw M. Marquardt again breaking through the line to tackle C. Brown for a loss of 2 yards.

-Jason Beck then got his first crack and completed three straight passes to Joe Semanoff, Matt Smith and Johnny Harline for 7, 14 and 1 yards respectively. Jason Beck then threw an incomplete pass that knocked down by Ryan Beck. A Dan Bates sack ended that set of reps

-Matt Berry then got his second shot and completed an 11 yard pass to Brett Cooper

-After a 7 yard run from C. Brown, Berry found Daniel Coats deep for a 37 yard grab that Coats made by his finger-tips as he stretched out for the slightly overthrown ball.

-After Aaron Wagner and Cameron Jensen converged to drop C. Brown for no gain, Berry attempted two passes to Michael Reed in the back of the end zone that were both knocked down by Kayle Buchanan providing solid coverage.

-John Beck then got his second set of reps which saw a run for no gain from Mike McInelly followed by an incomplete pass to Harline. Harline finally showed that he still dwells in the realm of mortals when he dropped the Beck pass.

-John Beck then hit Matt Smith for a 20 yard gain, completing the pass on the run after being flushed out of the pocket. Fahu Tahi then took it to the end zone on a 20 yard run off right tackle.

-Jason Beck then saw the next set of reps and threw two incompletions with a 6 yard run by C. Brown mixed in.

-Matt Berry then got his first shot in the redzone drill and threw two incompletions, one of which was thrown away under heavy pressure and the other was dropped by Matt Smith on a diving attempt at a long pass.

-Berry followed that throwing the same exact pass to Smith that Smith caught and took to the end zone for a 30 yard score. His reps ended with an incomplete attempt to Reed on a fly pattern

-John Beck then took the field again for the first set of redzone drills and threw an incompletion which was followed by consecutive short completions to Tahi and C. Brown for 3 and 4 yards.

-Jason Beck then got his turn and had his first attempt dropped by Zac Collie. After an 8 yard pass to Harline, his reps ended with a Jordan Chronister sack

-Matt Berry's then got the first reps as the offense started from the one yard line and was promptly sacked by Nehring and Chronister. After an incomplete pass knocked down by Gary Lovely across the middle, Tahi took the ball off tackle for 7 yards. The series ended with an incompletion.

-Beck then started the offense at the 5 yard line and threw an incompletion. This was followed by a 3 yard pass to Tahi. Tahi then ran the ball in for a score from 2 yards out.

Side notes:

-Manaia Brown saw reps with the 1's during the scrimmage, but this was in light of Vince Feula and Daniel Marquardt not participating.

-Quinn Gooch got all of the reps at Kat with the 1's as KC Bills saw reps with the 2's.

-Matt Allen was back and participating fully in drills, but did not scrimmage


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