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BYU Football: Shorthanded Cougars shine in the Spring Game

Fans get first look at new coaching staff's offense and defense

The first spring football game under Kalani Sitake was a huge hit-according to the fan presence.  The official number said over 18,000 excited fans came to get their first look at Kalani Sitake's style of BYU football.  Here are my observations from being one of those fans:

First, due to a family emergency, Taysom Hill did not participate in the 7 on 7 portion of the scrimmage.  I was looking forward to seeing him in any action, particularly seeing how accurate he would be with the new route combinations from Ty Detmer.  The 7 on 7 portion was enlightening as the offense was lining up with a tight end with his hand on the ground.  Both Tanner Mangum and Beau Hoge were sharp during 7 on 7 and lead their teams to scores.

During the actual scrimmage, you mainly got a taste of what the offense will kind of look like.  More often than not, there was a tight end with their hand on the ground.  They were utilized as both blockers and receivers.  There were a lot of single back sets, and we were shown some wrinkles to the running game, like a fake pitch and Hoge taking off the opposite way with the ball for a ten yard gain.

Defensively there were a lot of star players not playing.  Coach Sitake also said during interviews that the defense really only showed one coverage and did not focus on getting quarterback pressure nearly as much as they will during the season.  He expressed multiple times on the radio that he does not really want anyone to see what they look like until they play Arizona.

Tanner only threw 8 passes, completing 5 of them with a touchdown. He looked good going through his progressions and was very accurate on the throws to the slants and the outs, particularly to the tight ends and slot receivers.  He did have the ball sail a little on some deep throws, but that was also addressed in interviews with Sitake saying that was kind of new and they will work it out.  The running game showed some different looks but I really liked how Trey Dye was used.  He is quick and hits his holes very quickly.  He looks like he will be a nice change of pace back that can catch the ball too.

Even though it was a limited look at what the Cougars could look like, it was still fun to see BYU football happening in Lavell Edwards Stadium.  Spring practice wraps up next week with three more practices and alumni day.