PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – BYU wasn’t going to show much on offense or defense in its annual spring game, and it turned out to be not the most exciting of scrimmages.
The BYU defense forced seven punts and two turnovers Friday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
“Yeah, that was pretty boring,” said offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick. “Sorry for that. we just didn’t want to show anything on offense, especially with the first group. We didn’t want to get anybody hurt.”
The first play of the scrimmage began with transfer quarterback Kedon Slovis delivering a 30-yard strike to Chase Roberts. Slovis went 6-for-13 through the air, throwing for 50 yards and 1 interception in 5 drives.
“I think every spring game you always walk away wanting to do more but we didn’t want to show too much since it was on live TV,” Slovis said. “Going forward we are just going to fine tune the stuff that we need to keep working on, keep getting reps on plays and iron out some of the small details.”
Freshman Ryder Burton had a solid performance at the end of the scrimmage, going 5-for-8 for 67 yards and a rushing touchdown. Nick Billoups also had a 23 yard rushing touchdown for the Cougars at the end of the scrimmage, as well as Cole Hagen. Jake Retzlaff also participated in the scrimmage, going 7-for-10 for 69 yards and a touchdown.
“I think we got some good tackling in, some good fundamental football,” said head coach Kalani Sitake. “We obviously kept it simple, but we’ll have our strategy in place by the time we get to fall season. We have three more practices and we’ll take advantage of those as we get ready for the upcoming season. Good to get football in front of the fans again, it was a cool feeling.”
Devin Downing led the Cougars in receiving yards on the day, as the freshman from American Fork hauled in two catches for 41 yards. Chase Roberts also brought in two catches for 35 yards, while Hobbs Nyberg registered the lone receiving touchdown of the afternoon on a 7-yard pass from Retzlaff.
Nukuluve Helu was the leading rusher for the Cougars, carrying the ball 6 times for 56 yards.
The Cougars special team unit made their only field goal of the day with Mathias Dunn drilling a 52-yard field goal for the first points of the day.
Defensively, Jakob Robinson intercepted Slovis on the fourth possession of the scrimmage. Later in the scrimmage, Bodie Schoonover recovered a muffed handoff for the Cougar’s second turnover of the day. George Udo led BYU in tackles, recording four in the scrimmage. Collectively, the defense registered 43 tackles, 3 pass break-ups, 4 QB hurries and one sack by Atunaisa Mahe.
“I thought they played really well early on,” said defensive coordinator Jay Hill. “We kept it very basic and generic today because we wanted to see who would get out there and hit hard, and get to the ball. We are getting better, which is great to see.”
“I feel really good about this defensive group, and I’ve been super impressed all spring with the new staff and Jay Hill,” Sitake said. “The players like the scheme we are running, and today they played fundamental football and used good technique.”
“Today was just a good opportunity to get out on the field and show the fans what we’ve been working on,” added defensive end Tyler Batty. “It was a great way to wrap up spring ball by going live and competing.”
BYU will wrap up their spring practices April 14th.