TBS Fall Practice Report: Day Nine

The offense continued to improve in practice today. The repetitions and attention to detail are paying steady dividends in the form of sharper execution. The defense is also pressing forward in its preparation for Arizona. As the defensive depth chart settles, players are taking more reps together and getting a better feel for each other.

Back in the fray today was 6-foot-1, 234-pound tailback Fui Vakapuna. The bruising runner was held out of scrimmages to ensure the recovery of a slight leg injury. Although he is being eased into action by offensive coaches, Vakapuna fared well during the light contact scrimmage in which he caught passes and ran the ball out of the backfield.

John Beck had a good showing and looks more and more comfortable within the pocket. He tossed a touchdown pass to McKay Jacobson in the back corner of the end zone. On the day Beck threw 11 for 12 for 56 yards and one touchdown.

In place of Nathan Meikle and Bryce Mahuika, true freshman Mike Hague had another good showing at the slot receiver position. Hague caught the longest pass on the day from John Beck that went for 22 yards. Like fullback Matangi Tonga, one of Hague's strength as a receiver is his ability to quickly turn on the jets and get downfield after the catch. He did that several times today. Hague had five catches for 51 yards on the day.

From the tight end position, big Daniel Coats had a very productive outing catching short to medium range passes. Coats is having a strong fall camp so far. He is catching just about everything thrown his way. He and Jonny Harline will be key playmakers within the offense.

Another offensive player that has nothing to prove, but does so any ways whenever given the chance, is running back Curtis Brown. The newly wed has not lost a step and still has that swagger in his game despite the lack of reps and recent nuptials. On several plays, Brown weaved his way through the defensive line to the sounds of a quick whistle by BYU coaches.

The Defense

The frustration of facing one another day in and day out manifest itself today in a few minor scuffles. When the defense has to pull up for quick whistles, they do not get to release their aggression. The confrontations are no more than an expression of their pent up energy.

Some changes on today's first string defense included Gary Lovely getting some reps from the outside linebacker's position and Aaron Wagner getting reps at the middle linebacker spot. Cameron Jensen was held out of today's light scrimmages in much the same way Curtis Brown was held out of contact drills in spring. Not because of injury, just because they have nothing to really prove on the practice field.

Injury Update

Markell Staffieri said he would be ready to go come game time against the Wildcats of Arizona on September 2nd.

Kyle Leukenga had to leave the scrimmage a early after suffering a hand injury. The extent of the injury remains to be determined. Defensive tackle Matangi Tonga was participated in limited action today in order to rest a leg injury.

Of Note

On campus today was a representative of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers franchise. Yesterday the Washington Redskins and Green Bay Packers were on hand to evaluate BYU players.

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