Alumni Gather For Scrimmage At LES

Former BYU football players gathered to watch BYU's football team run through a full scrimmage session at LaVell Edwards Stadium. BYU expected between 250 and 300 former players to participate in the third-annual event.

Coach Mendenhall and his staff continue to reach out to former players all across the country. Today, the Cougar staff welcomed many past players that included former NFL Pro-Bowl tight end Chad Lewis, Colts' Super Bowl Champion Rob Morris, Green Bay linebacker Brady Poppinga, former Eagles linebacker Justin Ena, and players from the 1984 National Championship team, among others.

The former Cougars were on hand to watch BYU's offense step it up a notch with something to prove after last Friday's performance, and despite an offense not running at full strength, both Hall and Cooper were able to lead their teams downfield.

"Today our offense did good and a lot better than last Friday," said offensive linemen Walter Kahaialii . "However, like Coach Mendenhall said, we're not quite there yet, and we've got some more things to do and some details we got to fix up. Once we get those things down we'll be very powerful."

Kahaialii , a redshirt freshmen, got a chance to play on the first-team offensive line during today's full scrimmage setting at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

"It went well and I felt good but I'm still learning how to communicate better with them," said Kahaialii . "It's like communicating on two different wavelengths and hopefully I'll get the plays down better, but playing with these guys helps me to learn. I'm starting to feel more comfortable out there but just need to get out there and compete more."

With Kahaialii and other new additions like R.J. Willing getting a chance with the first team, the offense came out with something to prove to a defense that came out with more intensity and fire in their eyes during last Friday's scrimmage.

"Oh yeah, and it's always like that," Kahaialii said. "When the defense comes out and does well we want to come right back and tear up the defense with greater intensity. That just what it was today, it was us coming out with greater intensity to play harder this Friday to prove something."

The two touchdowns that the offense scored today came from tight ends Vic So'oto and Dennis Pitta. Both used their speed and stretched the defense. The quarterbacks found their targets, who were able to take the ball into the end zone.

"It was pretty sweet, wasn't it?" said Kahaialii. "It was great to see those guys run it into the end zone. Coach Anae told us to go and celebrate with the team and it felt good to do that with those guys."

Now you can listen to both Vic So'oto and Dennis Pitta talk about their touchdowns and the overall offensive performance on the day.

Unlike last year, the offense has been encouraged by the offensive coaches to go and celebrate in the end zone with the one that scored the touchdown. With more touchdowns having been thrown this early in spring practice than last year, whooping it up with all the chest bumping and jumping around as a group has become part of the Coach Anae's new practice antics.

"Coach Anae made an issue about this at a meeting," Kahaialii said. "He said that we should celebrate as an offense and everyone should be involved. Doing this has really boosted our confidence."

The added excitement and group celebrations after a touchdown may have boosted the confidence of the offense, but at the same time it really stirs the competitive ire within the hearts of defenders. BYU coaches seem to use this as a way to not only boost confidence, but to also create greater defensive desire to not let anyone score touchdowns.

"Yeah, it makes things way more competitive," Kahaialii said. "They come right back harder the next time and they're all angry and fired up. You know this is something we as an offense want too because we're helping them. This isn't just an offensive thing and we need our defense to be the best it can be because we can't win without them."

Now you can listen to senior outside linebacker Bryan Kehl talk about today's defensive performance.


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