Scrimmage Report 8/14

The strength of BYU's football program was on full display Saturday, as the team had more fans in attendance for a scrimmage than a lot of programs have for a regular season home game. The team wanted to put on a show for the fans and did just that, with both sides of the football having some good and bad moments.

"I was excited watching them," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall, adding that he was pleased with the improved excitement level and overall execution as compared to the previous practice.

The team was obviously pumped up seeing so many fans in the seats.

"Oh, if that doesn't get you going, then I don't know what does." said Andrew Rich. "We love our fans. Yeah, they always seem to cheer for the blue shirts [offense] more than us, but that's okay. We love our fans."

First Reps

Riley Nelson got the first set of reps with the ones on offense going against the ones on defense. The defense held the offense to a three-and-out. Rich tackled J.J. Di Luigi for a loss of two yards, which was followed by a Jameson Frazier sack.

The first set concluded with Nelson missing a wide open McKay Jacobson across the middle of the field on a pass that would have gone for a touchdown.

"We came out energetic, and our execution was good during that first set, I thought. I was real pleased with how we came out." said Rich.

Second Reps

Jake Heaps got the next set of reps with the twos on offense going against the twos on defense. The offense saw more success during the second set, as Heaps drove the offense across midfield on 3-of-5 passing for 43 yards.

Heaps completed passes to Cody Hoffman for 8 yards, Austin Holt for 30 yards, and Spencer Hafoka for 5 yards during the set. His two incompletions were passes that were dropped, one by Matt Marshall and the other by Rhen Brown.

"We came out a bit slow, but the second group really got us going a bit, I thought," observed offensive lineman Braden Hansen. "After that, I felt we really put together some nice drives as everyone started working together better."

Third Reps

Heaps then got another shot, but this time with the ones going against the ones on what proved to be the best offensive set of the day. Heaps marched the team down for a touchdown on 5-of-6 passing for 98 yards on a drive that started from the 4-yard line.

"Guys were competing better," explained wide receiver Luke Ashworth. "We really got going because we were sort of upset with how we came out. Everything was clicking on the second set the first team got, but we need to make sure we keep that pace all the time."

Heaps completed passes to Joshua Quezada for 6 yards, and then again to Quezada for another 12 yards. He then got the ball to Di Luigi for a gain of 21 yards, which was followed up by a pass of 4-yards to Ashworth and then a 45-yard toss to McKay Jacobson that went for a touchdown.

"He just threw a great pass," said Jacobson about the touchdown. "Brandon Bradley had pretty good coverage, but I maybe got a step on him and Jake got it to me."

Fourth Reps

James Lark then saw a three-and-out with the threes on offense going against the threes on defense. After a couple of short runs, the drive ended with a Garrett Eskelsen sack.

Fifth Reps

Nelson got another shot with the second-team offense going against the second-team defense. He completed his lone pass for 10 yards to Rhen Brown on a set that was marred with offensive penalties, which prevented a first down.

"We definitely need to clean that up some," said Braden Hansen about the penalties. "We had too many holding and procedure calls, so we'll definitely work to clean that up in the coming weeks and hopefully not get called for any next Saturday when we're out here, because those kill you."

Sixth Reps

Nelson then got another shot with the ones going against the ones, but was held to a three-and-out on 1-of-2 passing for 6 yards. His lone completion went to O'Neill Chambers as the defense held strong.

"Overall, our execution was pretty good," said Andrew Rich. "In the secondary, I feel we're getting better with every day and I really think Steven Thomas is coming along great. We're really starting to get comfortable playing together back there."

Seventh Reps

Heaps then got another set with the twos on offense going against the threes on defense. The set was set back due to a lot of miscommunication, as Heaps and his receivers weren't on the same page. He finished the set with 1-of-5 passing for just 23 yards.

The 23-yard completion went to Marcus Mathews on a critical third-and-long early in the set, but dropped passes and bad routes did the offense in.

"We didn't execute well at times to be sure," said Ashworth. "We just need to get more consistent as an offense."

Eighth Reps

The eighth set saw Heaps get reps with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense. He completed his only pass for 6 yards to Jacobson, who was held just inches short of a first down by Brian Logan as he wrestled Jacobson down just short of the first-down marker.

Ninth Reps

Nelson couldn't get anything going during the next set, which saw the twos going against the twos. He missed on his only pass and was sacked by Kyle Van Noy on third down, which ended the set.

Tenth Reps

The tenth set saw Jason Munss get his first work of the day directing the threes on offense against the threes on defense. He finished the set going 2-of-2 for 9 yards on passes to J.D. Falslev and Mike Hague. The team ran the ball for the majority of the set and the offense was able to reach midfield. Sacks were recorded by Eskelsen, Connell Hess and Alani Fua.

Eleventh Reps

Nelson saw his last set of the day with the ones on offense going against the twos on defense on a drive which started at midfield. Nelson went 1-of-2 for 36 yards, with his final pass going to a wide-open Jacobson for a touchdown on what was a completely blown coverage by the defense.

"We can't do that," observed cornerback Brian Logan. "We missed bad on too many coverages, so we'll have to clean that up in the next week. Hopefully we'll get that right and I do feel that overall we had a good scrimmage, but we gave up three touchdowns and that can't happen."

Twelfth Reps

Lark saw the next set, which had the threes going against the threes. He finished with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Dallin Cutler. Lark completed 8-of-10 passes for 61 yards. Falslev caught four of those passes for 32 yards.

Thirteenth Reps

The final set was directed by Munns, with the threes on offense going against the twos on defense. Munns went 1-of-3 for 3 yards on a pass completed to Cutler during the set.

"It was a great day, I thought," summed up Braden Hansen. "The field was in great shape, the fans were great, we all loved playing for them and hopefully they came away from it with a lot of excitement. I feel that we did some good work and now we'll work to improve on what we did so that we can put on an even better show next week."

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