BYU Practice Report 8/11

The shoulder pads were on and the intensity was ratcheted up a notch at the third day of fall practice for the BYU football team. In addition to increasing the level of contact, there was also an increase in the number of players on the practice field as the newcomers and veterans were combined for the first time.

"I think we got a lot of work done; I like our practice format," said Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall about the third day of Cougar football practice. "I think we have a lot of work to do, but the amount of volume we accomplished today was significant. If we can maintain that practice format over time, I'll be very encouraged."

It was certainly a busy day for the BYU football team with constant activity all over the practice field. The players were in half pads as play moved a large step closer to full contact. What did Coach Mendenhall want to see from his team as they donned the additional gear?

"Just what we did see, an increased intensity in terms of the players coming off the football and decreased pad level and a different sense of urgency after finishing a play," he said. "It still wasn't tackling but it wasn't touch either. I think the players handled the thud tempo as we would have hoped them to."

Part of the increased intensity was manifest when O'Neil Howell and Michael Reed got into a scuffle during a drill. Teammates quickly separated the two and practice continued without further interruption.

Practice included more drills with offensive players facing their defensive counterparts as well as more drills involving multiple positions than the first two days. As it has every day, practice concluded with a full 11 on 11 scrimmage.

The first team offense performed very well, scoring on three of its five possessions. The second and third team offense did not fare as well. The back-ups were not able to move the ball effectively against a stiff defense.

Friday will also be a half-pads practice, but Saturday will mark the beginning of work with full pads and full contact. Monday will be the first two-a-day practice for the Cougars.

Coach Mendenhall indicated that the coaching staff will not begin to determine the depth chart until Monday.

Scrimmage Highlights:

- Vince Feula blew up the O-line to stuff Curtis Brown in the backfield for a two yard loss.

- Terence Brown was in with the ones on the O-line at right guard for the third straight practice.

- Curtis Brown scored a touchdown on a 10-yard pass over the middle from John Beck.

- After giving up on a route, dropping a pass, and subsequently sitting out several series. Todd Watkins caught a quick pass from Beck.

- Corby Hodgkiss stepped in front of Matt Berry pass intended for Brett Cooper and hauled in an interception.

- The defense effectively stifled most running attempts by the second and third team backs, leading to a frustrating day for Ray Hudson and Wayne Latu.

- Beck was forced out of the pocket and launched a 40-yard bomb that landed just out of the reach of a streaking Nate Meikle.

- Coats took a Beck pass near the line of scrimmage and hustled upfield for a 10-yard gain.

- Beck hit Zac Collie for a 67-yard touchdown. Zac reached out to make the grab with his fingertips just like his brother Austin did against Notre Dame last season.

- Andrew George pulled in a 10-yard pass from Berry on third down to keep the drive alive. Berry showed good presence of mind to get the pass of after the shotgun snap sailed high over his head.

- Fahu Tahi and Brown combined to pick up a first down for the ones. Tahi rushed the ball for five yards, then Brown had a 4-yard reception followed by a 1-yard run.

- Matt Allen made a 6-yard catch over the middle. The catch literally cost Allen his shorts which ended up partially in a defenders hand. Trainers quickly came up with replacement pair for Allen.

- Saia Hafoka had a nice 6-yard gain when he took a pass from Berry out to the sideline. Hafoka brought down another pass in the same series for a short gain over the middle.

- K.C. Bills played KAT with the ones. He played with a lot of energy and intensity, so much, in fact, that he manhandled an intended receiver on one play for blatant pass interference. On another play, Bills completely shut down a screen pass to Brown, stopping Brown almost as he caught the ball.

- Tahi had a good run to the outside that would have gone for big yards if the scrimmaged had not been stop on contact.

- Reed made a great catch on a slant despite tight coverage by Kayle Buchanan. Buchanan drilled Reed in the back just as the ball arrived, but Reed held on for a first down.

- On the last play of the scrimmage, Beck took a third down and nine scenario and turned it into a 68-yard touchdown pass to Todd Watkins

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