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Running Game, Offensive Line Shine over Depleted Defense in BYU Football Spring Scrimmage

Joe Critchlow, offensive line shine in final spring practice

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Hawaii Marco Garcia-USA TODAY Sports

BYU wrapped up spring practices with a public scrimmage at a rainy Lavell Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon.

With many presumed defensive starters held out, BYU’s offense largely controlled the day, led by a physical rushing attack. BYU’s offensive line controlled the line scrimmage and paved the way for a good day on the ground. Jeff Grimes appears to have his hands on this offensive line, as they were physical and created running lanes.

In nine offensive series, senior running back Squally Canada had 3 TD’s. Zach Katoa was the other running back getting the bulk of the carries, as the redshirt freshman showed why he will be one of BYU’s running backs to watch this season.

In addition to traditional runs, BYU also had multiple plays where they ran fly sweeps. The best fly sweep came on a 24 yard gain from speedy redshirt freshman Tariq Buchanan.


BYU had 5 QB’s take snaps, with Beau Hoge, Joe Critchlow and Zach Wilson getting the bulk of the reps. Here is the stat breakdown for how many series each QB played, courtesy of Greg Wrubell.

Joe Critchlow (3 series) 9/11 138 yards TD

Beau Hoge (2 series) 2/4 20 yards

Zach Wilson (2 series) 4/7 28 yards

Gunner Romney (1 series)

Stacy Connor (1 series)

Critchlow appeared to have the best day for the QB’s, as he connected with Micah Simon for a 20-yard TD pass, and again with Simon on a 41-yard pass down the sideline that Simon hauled in with one hand. All three of Critchlow’s drives resulted in scores, with two ending in touchdowns and another a field goal.

Here’s Simon’s one-handed grab:

The quarterbacks were able to be tackled, and Zach Wilson and Beau Hoge showed nice mobility with some good runs.

Odds and Ends

  • The defense had some bright spots as redshirt freshman Christian Folau had a nice day at middle linebacker filling in for Butch Pau’u. Folau was a 4-star recruit and committed to Kalani and Oregon State before his mission, but came to BYU after Kalani became the head coach.

Freshman defensive end Devin Kaufusi continued his nice spring with a few plays where he was able to pressure the quarterback. You can always count on a Kaufusi to contribute.

  • Dayan Ghanwoloku and Riley Burt got the first look as kick returners. Dayan nearly took it to the house.
  • Kickers Rhett Almond and Jared Kapisi each nailed 47-yard field goals. Kapisi is a walk-on defensive back, but he played kicker and soccer in high school in addition to defensive back. Heralded freshman and RM Skyler Southam will be joining the team for fall camp.
  • Tanner Mangum didn’t play in the scrimmage, but participated in 7-on7 work before the game. He say he will cleared to fully play in a few weeks.
  • Jeff Grimes called plays from the pressbox. Could be an indication that he will be spending the season up there after Ty Detmer spent the last two years calling plays from the field.