Energy Abounds During Wednesday's Scrimmage

It could have been because there is no practice on Thursday, or it could have been something more personal than that. Whatever it was, the offense came out full of energy on Wednesday and wanted to prove something after Tuesday's disappointing scrimmage performance.

BYU coaches decided to have the scrimmage go live Wednesday as the Cougars squared off for the last time of fall camp, but this time the offensive performance was more up to expectations. Sete Aulai attributed the improved performance in part due to the fact that it was a live, full-contact scrimmage.

"It was live and I was talking so much smack down there at the goal line," said Aulai. "I was telling guys, ‘The o-line owns this part of the field. This spot is ours right here.' The reason why we were fired up is because we knew it was live and when everything is legal, you're whole mindset changes."

"The defense has been playing us hard all fall camp and [has been] getting us better," said Dennis Pitta. "Yesterday wasn't our best and the defense shut us down, so we wanted to come out fired up and really give it to them."

The intensity of both the offensive and defensive units was visible as the two units took up their positions in the trenches during goal line and blue zone action.

"We went back and fourth," Aulai said. "We had five chances to score on the goal line. The first try we fumbled the ball and turned it over. The second try we had a play action [pass] and scored. The third try we weren't able to get the ball in. The defensive line was ‘submarining' on us, where the d-tackles would get low and just dived in on us, so we weren't able to get the ball in on that possession. The second-team scored after that, but it was really intense and I really liked it."

"Football is an emotional game and it's the emotional man that wins," said Bryan Kehl. "You have emotion, you have heart and you have effort, desire and devotion. We brought that yesterday and today, and success is the result."

Through the progress and development of the secondary, the defense has been able to add new defensive packages that weren't at their disposal last season. The installation of such packages has been polished up over the past few days and yielded quality results on Wednesday.

"It's hard to stop that blitz," said Kehl. "Hopefully we'll use it more because last year we were in a position where we didn't need to use it as much. We're in a position where we need it this year, and now we got it."

Some players are expressing excitement for when they will finally get to play a real game against an opposing team.

"It's time for us to go out and play somebody," said a chuckling Aulai. "I'm getting tired of looking at these guys. It's getting really old pancaking guys like Markell [Staffieri], Kelly [Poppinga] and Bryan [Kehl]. No, I'm just kidding, but I am getting tired of facing these guys every day, and now it's time to start playing other people. From spring ‘til now we've been going up against the same people, and now it's about dang time we play somebody else."

The fact that this was the last day of fall camp, and that the team has Thursday off, played into the overall psychology of the team.

"Today is the last day of fall camp and so both sides are fired up," said Pitta. "This is the last time we're going to go up against each other, so I think everyone wanted to come out and give it their all and compete. Offensively we wanted to come out and have a good day, and the defense wanted to come out and stop us. It made for a good day of practice."

The Cougars will return after Thursday's day off and treat Friday's practice as if it were a Monday during the regular season. This means preparing for Arizona, which plays BYU on September 1.

"We have tomorrow off and then we come back and practice this Friday as if it was the season practice opener against Arizona," Aulai said. "The coaches start installing and game-planning for Arizona. When the team comes in on Friday, that's when we start preparing for Arizona. So Saturday and Monday we'll practice as if [they were] Tuesday's practice, with two full days of pads. I can't wait and I'm excited to get going. We were excited to get this day over with, but we didn't want to come out and waste a day. We wanted to come out and do things right to prepare ourselves as a team for September 1st. It is good that we are done with fall camp, but I am a little sad this is my last fall camp."

Now you can click the link below to hear wide receiver Austin Collie talk about Wednesday's offensive performance.


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