Fall Practice Report: Day 15

The team finished out with a live scrimmage on Wednesday, with almost all of the starters held out. It was a chance for newer players and those far down the depth chart to get after it. Due to all the new faces, the scrimmage was penalty-ridden.

Blue zone Drills

-Riley Nelson got the first set of reps with the ones on offense going against the ones on defense. He completed his only pass, a 7-yard pass to Luke Ashworth.

-Nelson contributed a run of 4 yards while Bryan Kariya got 4 straight rushes until he finally got it into the end zone from 1 yard out.

-Jake Heaps got the next set with the twos going against the twos and completed his only pass for a 32-yard touchdown to Rhen Brown. The set included a sack by Zac Stout and some offensive penalties.

Live Drills

-Heaps got the first set of reps during the live scrimmage with the twos going against the twos. He finished with 1-of-3 passing, with the completion going to Ross Apo for 7 yards. Stout knocked down a pass in coverage during the set.

-Nelson got the next set with the twos going against the twos and went 3-of-4 for 46 yards on completions to Drew Phillips for 11 yards, Marcus Mathews for 24 yards on a spectacular one-armed grab, and Matt Marshall for 11 yards.

-His final pass was picked off by Brandon Ogletree, with other defensive highlights including two sacks recorded by Connell Hess and Carter Mees tackling Phillips for a 4-yard loss.

-Heaps got the next set of reps with the threes on offense against the threes on defense. He went 1-of-3 on a 13-yard pass to A.J. Moore. The set included a lot of penalties, with the lone defensive highlight being a sack recorded by Ezekial Ansah.

-Heaps got the final set of the day with the threes going against the threes. He went 7-of-8 for 63 yards with completions to Brown for 5 yards, Joshua Quezada for 5 yards, and then Quezada three more times for a combined 24 yards before hitting Ross Apo for a 19-yard touchdown.

Bronco's Assessment

-Coach Mendenhall stated that Wednesday's intent was to get 35-40 reps on film so they could further assess which new players would be on the depth chart and which would redshirt. It was also an exercise to determine special team units and who would be on the scout team.

-Coaches will meet with the younger players later Wednesday to let them know exactly where they'll stand and what will be their likely roles this year.

-Regarding Phillips, Mendenhall said, "He's a good athlete. Who knows if he's a tailback, returner, a slot or even a defensive back. He's something. He runs fast, he's mobile and fluid, but unfortunately for him, when you consider that almost all of two-a-days are gone, it's difficult to say that there will be a significant role for him."

-The top three candidates to return punts currently are O'Neill Chambers, J.D. Falslev and McKay Jacobson, in that order. For kick returns, Mendenhall listed Chambers and J.J. Di Luigi as his first guys, followed by Cody Hoffman and Falslev.

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