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BYU Football Completes ‘Give-And-Take’ Scrimmage At LES

Aug 13, 2022, 6:05 PM
BYU Football, Josh Larsen, Defensive Line...
BYU football defensive lineman Josh Larsen was pointed out by Kalani Sitake during the Saturday scrimmage. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The questions surrounding BYU football entering the 2022 season have primarily centered around the defense. Will BYU’s defense improve from the 71st rating in total defense they finished with a season ago?

Reports out of Saturday’s first fall camp scrimmage were positive regarding BYU’s defense.

Keep in mind that the scrimmage was closed to the media. The only individuals allowed to attend LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday were Legacy Cougar Club members and family members of the players and coaches.

BYU’s defense created some disruptive plays

“I thought the offense took care of the football, which means the defense didn’t force enough turnovers,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said via Zoom. “But I thought the defense had some disruptive plays. They had some good pressure on the quarterback. It was like a give-and-take on both sides.”

Sitake pointed to BYU defensive linemen Josh Larsen, Tyler Batty, Gabe Summers, Earl Tuioti-Mariner, and Lorenzo Fauatea as some of the players showing good things in the scrimmage.

Best offensive line ever in the Kalani tenure?

The seventh-year coach also liked youngsters Hunter Greer and Aisea Moa along a defensive front consistently going up against an offensive line that might be the best in Sitake’s tenure.

“We’ll see. I think we’re expecting them to be really good with all the returning production and all the experience that is back. So it’s usually a good sign when you have seven or eight guys that have started in games you only have five spots to fill,” Sitake said on his offensive line. “The competition has been really good and I like what (Darrell) Funk and A-Rod are doing.”

Linebacker Payton Wilgar, who’s back after suffering a season-ending shoulder surgery last November, gave a positive outlook on how the defense performed on Saturday.

“We had a lot of three and outs, and we had a lot of punts. I don’t know if we converted a turnover today, but we were still solid,” Wilgar said. “We were playing pretty good football out there.”

Over 100 plays ran in the BYU football scrimmage

In total, BYU ran over 100 plays, with 84 involving the offense, plus another 20 on special teams.

Fifth-year quarterback Jaren Hall appeared in roughly 25 snaps.

“I think the offense, we still have a little bit to work on,” Hall said. “Sometimes in these scrimmages, the urgency can be a little bit low, so just treat them more like a game, especially in the scrimmages with the few limited snaps we get. I think we only got two or three drives together.”

Some of Hall’s key targets in the passing game were held out in wide receivers Puka Nacua and Gunner Romney, along with tight end Dallin Holker.

“We’ve been through this before. We really like the amount of talent that we have on our team right now and the depth and the experience,” Sitake said. “And you can see the guys are just used to being in the stadium and use this as some tough situations in the game. I feel like our football team IQ is improved a lot, and that’s probably because there’s a lot of players that have tons of experience.”

Aaron Roderick pointed to a catch from wide receiver Tanner Wall and some runs from running back Miles Davis as noteworthy moments from the offensive personnel.

BYU is preparing for week three of fall camp practices beginning on Monday. The following media observation period of camp will take place on Tuesday.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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