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BYU Football Experiences ‘Stress’ During 105-Play Scrimmage

Aug 12, 2023, 11:36 PM

BYU Football, Kedon Slovis, Fall Camp Scrimmage...

BYU football took part in scrimmage number one of fall camp on August 12, 2023. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The first BYU football scrimmage of camp is in the rearview mirror. BYU coach Kalani Sitake said his squad ran a 105-play scrimmage inside LaVell Edwards Stadium, which the eighth-year head coach said was “really nice.”

It’s common for BYU to hit the century mark for plays in a scrimmage. Last year, BYU’s final scrimmage of camp was a 100-play contest.

Who won the scrimmage?

Quarterback Kedon Slovis said, “Hard to say.”

Offense wins the day

On the defensive side, linebacker Ben Bywater gave a more definitive answer.

“I would honestly give it to the offense today. I think the defense, we had some tough stretches down there. And the offense was playing well,” Bywater said on Saturday via Zoom. “Coach A-Rod’s (Aaron Roderick) play calling was top-tier today. They just looked really crisp and they looked great. Obviously, being on the defensive side of the ball, you want to go compete and win. But you know, at the end of the day, it’s a win-win in this situation. So those guys played really well.”

There were some highlights for the revamped defense led by first-year defensive coordinator Jay Hill.

Safety Talan Alfrey had an acrobatic interception grab. The defense had a second interception courtesy of Weber State transfer cornerback Eddie Heckard.

“Defense, I thought we did some good things,” Bywater said. “But obviously, there’s some stuff that we need to improve upon. I know over the next three weeks, we’ll take care of that.”

Game-like scrimmage for the BYU football team

BYU’s coaching staff tried to simulate as much of a game situation as possible to be as ready as possible for when the season kicks off on September 2 against Sam Houston in Provo.

“We wanted to see our guys stress a little bit and we wanted to put our guys in different situations too. So I thought we got a lot done in that time. I mean, it took a long time,” said Sitake. “It was nice to have the refs there. There were some administrative penalties and things that we can clean up. But probably more on the defensive side than what we saw from the offense. So it was things like late hits or face masks, stuff that we can control. We’ve got to be more disciplined in that manner.”

When Sitake says it took a long time to complete the scrimmage, it did. The media was tentatively scheduled to begin post-scrimmage interviews around 12:45 p.m. (MT). BYU didn’t finish the scrimmage until close to an hour later.

Highlights for the BYU offense

Kedon Slovis, who has been in command of BYU’s offense throughout camp, felt it was a balanced scrimmage that saw big plays from both sides.

“It’s kind of awesome after practice when the defense comes up to you and says, ‘Man, it’s hard to play against you guys.’ And the same thing for us. I’ll go up to a guy if they make a play or groups of guys and telling them how tough it is going against them in practice,” Slovis said. “I feel like we’re getting each other better every day. It’s kind of what you want. Because in the season, you won’t be playing against each other. You want those guys on your team. So we’re excited going forward.”

The scrimmage was closed to the media. BYU Athletics provided highlights from the scrimmage. In the video, Slovis completed touchdown passes to redshirt freshman wide receivers Dom Henry and Parker Kingston.

BYU will take Sunday off before returning to the practice field on Monday to kick off week three. The next media observation window to practice is 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 Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter/X and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU Football Experiences ‘Stress’ During 105-Play Scrimmage