PROVO, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – The BYU football team finished spring practices with a scrimmage in front of about 7,500 fans on a rainy Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Despite the steady rainfall, the Cougars got about an hour of live scrimmage work after some warmups and individual work.
Coming off a dismal 4-9 season, the new-look BYU offense was on display and put together several successful drives ending in scores under the direction of new offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. Many of the projected starters on defense were held out as younger players showcased the depth of the 2018 Cougar squad.
“We probably should have practiced in the rain a little bit more, but there were some things I was pleased with,” head coach Kalani Sitake said. “I thought discipline wise, the offense did a lot of hard counts today. We had more success offensively then we have had in the past. For spring, I thought it was really competitive and I saw a lot of guys get better. I am really happy with what I saw today. Overall, it was good, but I think every head coach is going to be happy at the end of their spring practices. We are all undefeated so everybody is happy right now.”
Sophomore quarterback Joe Critchlow went 9 of 12 for 130 yards and a score while junior Beau Hoge went 2 for 4 for 20 yards and freshman Zach Wilson was 4 of 7 with 29 yards. Hoge and Wilson added 32 and 25 yards on the ground, respectively.
Running back Squally Canada rushed seven times for 55 yards, netting three short-yardage touchdowns, while freshman Zachary Katoa went for 86 yards on 17 carries.
Wide receiver Micah Simon had four receptions for 73 yards to lead the group while sophomore Neil Pau’u added three catches for 37 yards.
“I thought it was okay,” said Grimes. “I’m most pleased with that we didn’t turn the ball over. That was a big positive and will always be one of our top goals. We didn’t have any pre-snap penalties, we didn’t have any false starts or formation fouls of having too many people on or off the field. I think we had one holding penalty and one intentional grounding, which we certainly don’t want, but the biggest thing we wanted to control was the pre-snap penalties. The other things are easier to correct.”
Defensive back Mitchell Price and linebacker Nate Sampson each had pass breakups while defensive lineman Devin Kaufusi recorded a sack on defense.
“It was great,” said defensive end Corbin Kaufusi. “I love the rain for football on defense because the offense can only do a couple of things. It is fun atmosphere with everyone going so I loved it.”
BYU opens the 2018 season September 1st against Arizona.