Coach Mendenhall interview
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Before scrimmaging the length of the field, the Cougars did some blue zone work on Saturday. Taysom Hill got the first series. Jamaal Williams got several carries, and Hill also rushed the ball once. Hill completed one of his two passes, with that completion going to Ross Apo down to the 2-yard line on third down. So, the offense settled for a field goal.
Next up was Ammon Olsen at quarterback. After two Paul Lasike rushes, Olsen hit Mitch Mathews in the end zone for a 14-yard score.
Christian Stewart got the final series during blue zone work. After a quarterback keeper for 11 yards, Rylee Gautuvai tackled Nate Carter in the backfield for a loss. A Carter reception and another quarterback run weren’t enough to extend the drive, forcing the offense to settle for another field goal.
Scrimmage first half
Following some additional drills, the team then held a scrimmage using the full length of the field. The scrimmage was divided into two halves, with “halftime” featuring more position drills.
Hill got the first drive and completed a 15-yard pass to Apo right off the bat. The drive stalled following a couple unproductive Lasike rushes and an incompletion.
Olsen started as the quarterback for the next drive, but at several points the entire offensive unit was replaced for another one. Jason Munns and the third-team offense took over for two plays, and Hill and the ones took over for a stretch as well before Olsen got back in. The drive was very run-heavy, with Carter, Adam Hine, Munns and Williams all carrying the ball. The lone pass on the drive was a Hill incompletion. But despite that, the offense moved the ball well enough on the ground to get into range for a long field goal (more on that later) at the end of the first half.
Scrimmage second half
The most successful drive of the day was led by Hill at the start of the second half. After a 6-yard catch by Apo and an incompletion, Hill scrambled for a first down. A few plays later, Lasike caught a 13-yard pass and Hill then ran for another 10 yards. Hine had three rushes in a row for a little bit more than 10 yards.
Eric Thornton and Terenn Houk got in on the action, each catching a pass for about a combined 19 yards. Following another quarterback run for a first down and a short Lasike run, Marcus Mathews caught a pass down at the 2-yard line. Hine then walked into the end zone on the next play. Hill completed 5 of 8 passes on the drive.
Olsen’s next drive went three-and-out. Olsen ran for 7 yards and Carter picked up a couple yards himself on the ground, but a false start forced a longer third-down attempt, and Olsen’s pass was incomplete.
The final drive of the day was a quick one, and also featured the lone turnover. Munns was intercepted on the first play by Mike Wadsworth, who returned it for a touchdown.
BYU’s three kickers (Justin Sorensen, Trevor Samson and Vance Bingham) got a lot of work in on Saturday, with a number of field goals and PATs being attempted three separate times (once from each hash mark and once from the middle of the field). All PATs and short-range field goal attempts were successful. Each of the three kickers also got one attempt at a 52-yard field goal, with Sorensen and Samson both successfully connecting from long range. All three also attempted a 37-yard field goal, but this time around only Bingham was successful.