The first drive foreshadowed many struggles to come for the offense. Taufui Vakapuna had a nice six-yard carry, but a snap over John Beck's head and a McKay Jacobson drop on a 50-yard pass led to a three and out.
"Too many guys dropped balls for sure, and you can't have that," said Beck. "Mistakes force you into third and long situations, which is what happened too much today, but we'll fix it. I have a lot of confidence in these guys."
Jason Beck did not fare much better on the second series as the offense again went three and out. Ray Hudson fumbled a handoff, and Jan Jorgensen chased Beck out of the pocket, which forced a bad throw that was tipped by Kelly Poppinga and should have been intercepted by David Tafuna.
John Beck came back on the field and led the offense to their first touchdown drive of the day. Vakapuna punched the ball into the end zone from one yard out. Beck completed four of four passes for 32 yards. He had two completions to Curtis Brown, one to Vakapuna and a one to receiver Michael Reed.
Vakapuna was the featured running back on the drive carrying the ball five times for 18 yards as he looks to regain the form he showed last spring. The average was a bit skewed due to a loss of four yards on one of the running plays due to another bad snap.
"I have a lot of confidence in Sete," said Beck regarding the starting center Sete Aulai. "He didn't have any fumbled snaps during the spring and he's been great so far this fall. It's just one of those things, he's tired, his arms are tired, but I have no doubt in my mind that he'll be fine and the snaps will be fine come the first game and throughout the season."
Jason Beck then took the team to midfield before the defense forced three straight incompletions to end the third drive. Safety Kellen Fowler had a pass knockdown, and on the final incompletion, tight end Vic So'oto made an outstanding adjustment while the ball was in the air, reaching over the safety to snag the ball out of the air. It appeared at first that the So'oto held on to the ball, but the officials ruled it incomplete. Beck went three for six on the drive for 25 yards.
Max Hall then took over and had his best drive in camp so far. Hall was seven out of seven for 65 yards. He ended the drive with a 25-yard touchdown strike to Isaac Taylor. On the pass, Hall went through multiple reads to find Taylor open in the end zone.
"That's a pass I probably wouldn't have been able to make 2 weeks ago," said Hall. "It's slowing down for me. Everything is coming easier and it showed in that pass I think. I probably wouldn't have made that read quick enough 2 weeks ago. I felt great out there. I'm happy with how I played and how I'm progressing."
Another bad snap put the John Beck and the first team offense in a hole again. Following a four-yard pass to Brown, Beck was sacked by Bryan Kehl and Jorgensen ending the series.
The defense forced the second team offense into another three and out. They caused a Jason Beck incompletion, and then on third down, Beck tried to scramble for the first down but hot pursuit by Matangi Tonga forced him out of bounds just shy of the first down marker.
Jacob Bower then saw his first reps of the day and went four for five for 20 yards. Rudy Beck was the star receiver on the drive with two catches for 15 yards.
The offense then moved the ball effectively under John Beck, reaching within the 40-yard line before an uncharacteristic drop by receiver Zac Collie ended the drive. On the drive Beck completed three out of six passes for 23 yards. Defensive standouts included Mosese Foketi and Judd Anderton combining for a sack while David Nixon and Romney Fuga dropped Brown at the line of scrimmage. Justin Robinson closed effectively on an out pattern by Reed and knocked the ball away.
"Zac Collie will make that catch 99 out of 100 times," said Beck about Collie's drop. "It's better that he get that out of his system now, so he doesn't do it in games. I won't ever hesitate to throw a ball Zac's way because I know he'll catch it."
James Lark then saw the final set of reps and went four for six for 34 yards.
"I'm improving and it's getting easier," said Lark. "Everything is so much faster at this level, and you just have to adjust to that. I think I'm doing that, and I think that's the main reason why I'm doing better in practices."
The team practice special teams play extensively throughout the scrimmage. Kicker Jared McLauglin missed two field goals for 52 and 54 yards before nailing one from 46 yards out. He had plenty of distance on all three attempts.
Borrowing from the philosophy of Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer, the BYU staff used mostly starters on kick coverage and return teams including Manase Tonga, Daniel Coats, Cameron Jensen, Bryan Kehl and Quinn Gooch. McKay Jacobson and Mike Hague returned the kickoffs while Jacobson handled the punt return duties.
In a Nutshell
"We still need better execution," summed up running back Curtis Brown. "We came out intense and physical, but small mistakes – stupid mistakes – killed us. Instead of making most of the plays or just some of the plays, we need to make sure we're making all of them, no excuses. Just make the plays you're supposed to make. It's that simple."