Scrimmage Report: Situational Study

Fui Vakapuna

The focus of BYU's last scrimmage of fall camp was executing in various game situations. The Cougars worked on goal line stands, crucial third down plays, and playing with a long field. All of these scenarios will undoubtedly arise against Arizona in 10 days, so the team wants to be ready when they do.

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"We need to make sure that we're hitting on all cylinders in any situation, anywhere on the field," said BYU quarterback John Beck. "All the situations we practiced today will come up in most games, and we have to do our best in all of them."

Backs against the Wall

The first situational exercise saw the offense starting on its own 4-yard line. Curtis Brown helped the offense get a first down with a reception and a carry.

Ian Dulan got upfield to stop Fui Vakapuna behind the line. The entire defense then converged on the Cougar running back to bring him down for a 4-yard loss.

The drive ended with a 40-yard pass attempt to McKay Jacobson that Quinn Gooch leapt high in the air to knock away.

"I was a bit short on that pass to Jacobson," said Beck. "I have to be better on that pass to be sure, but that's what we're working on. Getting better and more sharp, and I think we did that today and made some great progress."

Jason Beck then took the next series of reps from the 4-yard line and threw an interception to Terrance Hooks that Hooks returned for a touchdown. Safety Corby Hodgkiss and David Nixon also combined to drop Ray Hudson for a 2-yard loss on the series.

Jacob Bower then moved the ball effectively against the third team defense, completing all four of his passes for 28 yards before his reps ended. Two of the passes went to quarterback turned tight end Brock Hansen.

Goal Line

The team also worked on goal line stand situations, for which the offense lined up at the 2-yard line. Brown took the ball in for the score on the first play. John Beck also hit Matt Allen for a score. Ian Dulan and Kelly Poppinga then forced a Vakapuna fumble, which Bryan Kehl scooped up and took the other way. The situational drill ended when Aaron Wagner and David Nixon combined to drop Brown for a 1-yard loss.

"It's critical down there," said receiver Nathan Miekle referring to goal line execution. "That's where you need to be your sharpest and at your best. You don't want to waste goal line opportunities. You need to put it in the end zone."

Third Down

The next drill had the offense starting on the 50-yard line with a third and four. James Lark saw the first set of reps and threw three straight incompletions. Jason Beck did not fare better with an incompletion and a handoff that resulted in Romney Fuga dropping Ray Hudson for a loss.

John Beck then took the field and completed a 9-yard pass to Manase Tonga before throwing an incompletion.

Two-Minute

The next reps saw the offense in a hurry-up or two-minute drill starting from their own 30-yard line. Jason Beck took the field first and completed three of six passes for 35 yards. During the drill, linebacker Chris Bolden reemerged as a force on the outside. He gave true freshman Braden Hansen fits with his speed rush.

Click on the following link to hear Bolden talk about his performance today:

Overtime

The scrimmage ended with an overtime simulation in which the offense got the ball at the 25-yard line. The first team got first go and marched in for the score. Fui Vakapuna had another one of his trademark never-go-down carries to get the ball to the 1-yard line. Vakapuna was hit multiple times but stayed on his feet and continued moving forward on the 14-yard pickup. John Beck then found Jonny Harline for the score.

Click on the following link to hear Vakapuna talk about his performance today:

The next set of reps started ugly as Jason Beck took the reigns. Two straight motion penalties put the offense back 10 yards before Beck hit Matt Smith for a 16 yard gain. The series ended with Terrance Hooks dropping Vic So'oto in the open field after a 3-yard gain on third down.

The ones added to the comedy of errors when Sete Aulai snapped the ball over John Beck's head, forcing a second and 25 situation. On the next play, Beck threw a 25-yard strike to Zac Collie to get the drive back on track. The drive ended with Beck calling his own number on a 1-yard dive into the end zone.

"That last series showed what we need to work on and have worked on," said Beck. "The high snap was something we can't have, but I know that Sete will get that fixed. I have no doubt in my mind that he will."

During the scrimmage last Saturday Beck attempted a similar pass to Collie that Collie dropped to end the scrimmage. Today, Beck went back to Collie in a similar situation for a more positive result.

"I said last Saturday that I'll never hesitate throwing to Zac on any play because I know he'll make the play every time," said Beck. "You saw that today. I'll go to Zac at anytime, and I feel that way about everybody else on this team. They'll make plays."

Changes

Notable changes included Hala Paongo moving back to nose tackle with Ian Dulan and Jan Jorgensen making up the rest of the first group. Dustin Gabriel replaced the suspended Cole Miyahira at the KAT safety position. Braden Hansen and Ryan Freeman both played with the 2nd unit offensive line, while Kelly Poppinga and Chris Bolden were the outside linebackers with the first group of defenders. Jared McLaughlin was true on his only field goal attempt of the day from 48 yards out.

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