Bronco, as usual, stated that the Spring Scrimmage won't feature a lot, if any of BYU's starters. However in season's past when he's said that, many starters still played a few possessions. Jamal Williams and Taysom Hill, saw some good playing time in last year's Spring Game even though Bronco said the focus will be on the youth and establishing depth.
Here are a few things to watch for, and for those who can't make it live, to listen for:
Taysom Hill might see some reps or no reps depending how Bronco wants to do the scrimmage, either way, all fans want to see how Taysom has developed in his passing game. This, and our redzone offense, was a major weakness for him and our entire offense last year. Also, if Taysom Hill goes down with an injury during the season, the mantle and spotlight will be on backup QB Christian Stewart and/or Billy Green. Stewart is listed as the backup so fans should watch to see if he's mobile like Taysom, if he's an accurate passer, and if he can he command an offense while moving the chains and scoring points. All eyes will be watching the QB position at QB-U like always.
BYU lost Hoffman, Falslev, and Ridley, who were three of BYU's leading receivers last year. Nick Kurtz and Michael Davis, along with Ross Apo and Mitch Matthews, will be asked to step in. Leslie and Blackmon won't show up on campus until Fall. Kurtz is highly touted and was highly recruited by Oregon, USC, etc. He will be an intriguing player to watch in Spring. He's just getting used to the speed of the offense and the scheme, but we should watch and see his raw athleticism and his hands. Michael Davis was known last year as being very fast. Having him as a wide out gives BYU a potential deep threat BYU hasn't had in a while. Those are the main two wide receivers to watch during the Spring Game.
This might be the most intriguing unit to watch during the Spring Game. We know the names of the players, but the offensive line operates as a group. One lineman can hold his block, but if the guy next to him doesn't, it doesn't matter and the unit has failed as a whole. The offensive line is almost like a team in and of itself. With the emergence of Lapuaho, the switch from the D Line to O Line by Tuni Kanuch, and the services of experienced Yeck, Kearsley, Fusi, Wesley, etc. the offensive line SHOULD be better than last year. Whether they pan out or not is a different story, but on paper, they should be better. With BYU's schedule being a little softer this year as well, mixed with the experience that BYU's O Line has, and 2J's 2nd year in the system, this unit will very likely show better than they did last year in giving Taysom more time to go through his reads and throw the ball.
Every BYU fan and their dog has an opinion of Bronson Kafusi switching from the D Line to being a starting outside linebacker (he's listed as the starter on the depth chart). He definitely doesn't fit the Kyle Van Noy or Spencer Hadley mold, and that's likely what's causing the uproar on social media sites. Kafusi, Fua, Alisa, and Tautu will most likely see the most time at OLB, while the MLB's will feature Pikula, and the other starting spot is up for grabs. JLD could fill that role among many others. Troy Hinds returns from his mission in July, also Fred Warner will enter the program as well. Bronco usually will put the best 4 athletes on the field at LB, so don't be surprised to see some different varying combos. The Spring Game will definitely be a good chance to see who are some solid prospects to fill in the open LB positions.
The loved, then hated, then loved Justin Sorensen has moved onto greener pastures, so the kicking duties are up for grabs. Corey Edwards or "Moose" as they call him will likely fill in. The kicking game is crucial for a team, especially in big games where the outcome will be seemingly close. If BYU plans to have a special season, Corey Edwards needs to step up to the challenge. Bronco often goes for it on 4th down when he doesn't have trust in his kicker, so that's something to look for in the Spring Game is how accurate and powerful our kicker's leg is. Just another thing to worry about.
Taysom Hill said the BYU offense is adding some "little intricacies" into the offense such as motions and different things to trick the defense. Bronco said he has been with the offense since the end of Fall focusing on how the offense can make itself harder to defend. This is a unique insight considering Bronco is considered a mastermind of defensive football. In the Spring Game, instead of the usual read option, look for different motions, schemes, and formations to see what these little nuances are. It'll be interesting to see what Dr. Anae and defensive guru Bronco Mendenhall have up their sleeves to make our offense harder to defend.
For all of those who are going to make it to LES at 11 am MDT, to see the Spring Blue-White game, travel safely and we'll see you there!