Have No Fear, the Long Ball's Still Here

Many fans left LaVell Edwards Stadium after Wednesday's scrimmage wondering if BYU's offense still has the ability to go downfield. Had those fans been at practice yesterday evening or this morning, they would have realized that such concerns are unnecessary. Without the eyes of the world (and opposing coaches) upon them, the Cougars opened things up a little bit.

Everything about BYU's new offense is done in increments whether it is developing the spread aspect of the offense, the running game, the tight end set, swing passes or the slot. Then the coaches weave those pieces together form a complete offensive blanket.

Fans who only get a glimpse of the work the football team is doing in fall camp would not be well-served by attempting to determine how good the offense will be. An accurate evaluation of practice can only be made if observers understand exactly what coaches wanted to accomplish with that session.

Some fans, and even players, were discouraged by lack of a deep attack in yesterday's scrimmage. There is no need for consternation among Cougar faithful, however. BYU still has plays in the playbook that go for more than 10 yards, and they are not afraid to use them. The offense made that point today when it repeatedly took shots downfield.

In the first drive of 11-on-11 drills, quarterback John Beck connected with Michael Reed 25 yards downfield to get the offense pumped up early. Reed had been quietly going about his business this fall, but today he reminded everyone why he is still in the starting rotation at outside receiver.

Back up quarterback Jason Beck, not be out done by the first team offene, also got involved in the downfield action. He tossed a perfect strike to tight end Vic So'oto for 22 yards, then followed it up with a 12-yard pass to Andrew George. Beck then went back to So'oto for what would have been a touchdown has not Chris Bolden laid out to bat down the pass in the end zone.

The number from the drill would have been different if the coaches were not so quick on the whistle. Coaches are committed to placing a greater emphasis on play development and keeping players healthy this fall.

As September 2nd draws close the playbook and the contact will open up a bit more so that the Cougars are game ready for Arizona.

Defensive Standouts

Chris Bolden recorded a sack, batted down a pass and made a nice play to prevent a touchdown in the end zone today. The Riverside Community College transfer showed his safety speed at the outside linebacker's position during the 11-on-11 drill that concluded the day's practice.

"I'm just working on getting better every day," said Bolden, who played with the second team defense this morning. "I'm trying to continue doing the things I do well and correct the things I do wrong."

To end the day's scrimmage, cornerback Robbie Buckner recorded the only interception of the day. Buckner backpedaled and then broke on Max Hall pass to Zac Erekson to make the pick.

Click on the following link to hear Buckner talk about his interception

Buckner was running with the third team today, but not because of a demotion for poor performance. Defensive backs coach Jaime Hill wanted to give JC transfer Andre Saulsberry a chance to take more reps, so the coach put Saulsberry with the ones and put Buckner with the threes.

Click on the following link to hear Saulsberry talk about playing with the ones

Back In Action

After suffering an arm injury, defensive tackle Kyle Luekenga was back out on the field with the second team defense.

"I dislocated my elbow," smiled Leukenga showing off his elbow brace. "It came all the way out and hurt like crazy, but that's not going to keep me from playing out here, I'm no wuss."

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