Practice Report: Day 16

Wednesday wrapped up the fall camp session for the football team, as their attention will now turn to preparing specifically for Arizona. Head coach Bronco Mendenhall said he's ready and feels that his team is as well.

"The players came in a higher state of readiness, both in condition and in confidence," said Mendenhall. "Their execution early in camp - even with new players - was higher, and I think they've sustained that effort, execution and work load more consistently than the other teams, including last year's."

Mendenhall mentioned that there is yet to be some experiences that will help shape the team, just as certain experiences shaped the team last year, but that the team is certainly on the path established by last year's team.

"Everything I would have hoped to accomplish as camp closes I feel we're on track," said Mendenhall.

Mendenhall pointed to games that helped shape what the 2006 team eventually grew to become, and recognized that further strides made by this year's team will have to come through game experiences.

"Last season the loss to Arizona and the double-overtime loss to Boston College, which I've stated many times, helped to shape that team for the rest of the year," said Mendenhall. "There will games like that this year. I'm not saying that they will be losses, but there will be games to help shape this team. I feel we've done all we can do to shape them during fall camp. They're looking for their lessons and they're anxious for the coaching, and that is really all I could ask for."

Wildcat Focus

The focus for the coaching staff and for the team will immediately be shifted toward the first game against Arizona. The coaching staff will watch film extensively to learn how to best meet the challenge presented by Arizona, and then will teach what they have learned to their players.

"Coaches will be spending the entire day focusing on Arizona," said Mendenhall regarding Thursday's plan. "Then Friday will be like a Monday practice in a normal game week. So Saturday will be like a Tuesday practice, which will be a heavy work day, and the rest of the week we'll just go as follows."

Redshirts and Scout Team

Another focus which has already begun in earnest is assigning redshirts and putting together the scout team for this season.

"It's never easy, and when we do that on Friday, there will be some faces that will be disgruntled and upset," said Mendenhall. "[It] becomes an education process. I've met with most of the redshirts today and I'll meet with most of the scout team members tomorrow, and there will be a handful that won't like their role because they're competitive and…their hopes and goals were higher."

Of course, playing on the scout team or redshirting for new players is the beginning process which may lead to future greatness, as has been evidenced recently by some of the more successful players to pass through BYU's program.

"Max Hall, Curtis Brown, Kelly Poppinga," listed Mendenhall as examples of former scout team players. "I would like to get to the point where in our program a player can't step on the field until he's gone through that role because I feel it heightens their investment and it makes them appreciate it more when they do play."

11-on-11s

On Wednesday, the defense had a good showing once again, holding the offense to just two touchdowns. The touchdowns came during a practice-ending goal line drill which the defense felt it won.

"Oh, we were pumped and we dominated [the offense]," said defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen. "We came out strong and took it to them. We loved it. Full contact, man-on-man, it doesn't get any better than that."

The first play during the drill saw outside linebacker Chris Bolden meet Manase Tonga in the backfield, forcing a fumble.

"You have to set the tone, and I set the tone," said Bolden. "You'll see more of that this year. We plan on coming on strong and making plays frequently. Manase didn't hold onto that ball like he normally does and I took advantage."

Two tackles-for-a-loss by linebackers Bryan Kehl and Grant Nelson, respectively, were sandwiched in between two touchdown passes by Max Hall to Andrew George and to Austin Collie, respectively.

Angilau in the middle

David Angilau saw reps at nose tackle for the first time today and was able to record a sack from the position.

"Coaches just told me to get in there at nose tackle," explained Angilau. "It wasn't talked about before, but I'm for it. I'm for anything that gets me on the field. I don't care where it is."

Payne Back

Mitch Payne was back kicking on Wednesday after battling through tendonitis issues, and the team worked extensively on field goal drills. Payne kicked through three attempts of about 50 yards.


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