Blue and White Game Report

Saturday's spring game was attended by about 16,700 fans that came out to support their team and gain an early glimpse of what will be taking the field this coming fall. Contact was limited to mostly the second-team and third-team offensive and defensive units in what was more of a situational practice session than a spring game.

"We didn't do a lot of contact work toward the end because coaches didn't think it was necessary," said defensive end Jan Jorgensen. "I think it was a real good decision by them. We don't want to get anyone else hurt and we all know how to play, so yeah, it was definitely the right decision."

The team went through noncontact drills, where highlights included diving catches by receivers Spencer Hafoka and Luke Ashworth. Max Hall got his regular share of reps during noncontact drills before giving way to Kurt McEuen and Brenden Gaskins and the second and third teamers for the contact drills, which wrapped up the spring game festivities.

J.J. DiLuigi starred during the contact drills, carrying the ball four times for 27 yards and showing a lot of the quickness which made fans so excited when he signed with BYU in 2006.

"I thought J.J. DiLuigi had his best day of the spring," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

Gaskins got the first series of reps during contact drills and went 4-of-7 for 56 yards without either a touchdown or an interception. McEuen got his chance next and went 7-of-10 for 70 yards with an interception on a pass that was picked off by safety Andrew Rich.

Stephen Covey got his first shot at reps during 11-on-11 drills and went 2-of-3 for 6 yards and an interception. Jameson Frazier picked off Covey's pass.

Three players recorded two catches each, as DiLuigi hauled in two passes for 28 yards, Isaac Taylor had two catches for 20 yards, and Luke Ashworth had two catches for 16 yards.

Kicker Mitch Payne kicked through all of his field goal attempts, save for a 58-yard attempt. Payne's 58-yard attempt came about as close as it could, as it hit the bottom crossbar, which generated cheers from those in attendance due to Payne's effort on the kick.

Overall it was a day given to the younger guys on the team to showcase their skills, while the assumed starters and two-deep players took to the sidelines during contact drills.

"We already lost one player in Terrance Hooks, and that's too much," said Jorgensen regarding the decision not to play the first-line players in contact drills. "We need to be ready to go for the season. That's what's important. We need to win games and be healthy enough to do it."

Largely in response to Hooks' season-ending injury, which took place during the first full-contact work of the spring, the coaches decided to take it easy in regards to the contact being dealt out during practice. While they've been able to get by without any more injuries, the lack of contact work has been frustrating for some of the players.

"Oh, for sure it's frustrating," commented Jorgensen. "When you suit up and when you play football you want to hit guys, you want to get physical. I understand totally why coaches did it, but yeah, especially on defense it takes away a lot of what you can do. Contact drills benefit us on defense probably the most, but it was what was necessary. We have a good team and coaches know what we have. We didn't have much to gain by going full contact."

As spring officially came to a close Saturday, Jorgensen has been impressed with the overall progress of the team. Among the players and coaches, there is a sense that they accomplished what they set out to do this spring.

"We had a great spring, all of us," said Jorgensen. "We got what we needed to get done. All of the guys, the young guys, the new guys, we all worked hard and we just need to keep it going. We're going to work just as hard in the offseason to make sure we're ready from day one this fall. We can't rest on what we've done. We need to get better every single day even if we're not practicing."

Jorgensen, as one of the leaders on defense, singled out a few players that he's seen a lot of progression from this spring.

"Coleby Clawson has been someone who I've really been impressed with this spring," said Jorgensen. "How he plays and how he competes, he's done really well. On the defensive line Ian Dulan has had a great spring. He's been starting, but I feel this spring he's worked as hard as he ever has and has really improved a lot. I could go on and on about all the guys, but those two especially have really impressed me with their work this spring."

Jorgensen and his teammates are very confident coming out of spring regarding the team's overall prospects for the coming year.

"We're right on track," said Jorgensen. "We know how good we can be and we're going to be doing everything necessary to become the team we know we can be. This spring was just the start. We're not going to be taking the summer off, like I said. We're going to be out there every day making sure we're fully ready to go come fall."

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