New faces in new places were the order of the day Monday in Provo, as the BYU football team opened its last day of a camp two-a-days with a morning session at the outdoor practice fields.
Due to multiple injuries, three players have been added to the 105-man roster, while at the same time, three players have been assigned to the defensive backs group--a position group hit hard by injuries over recent months.
The BYU Cougars neared the two-week mark in camp with another day of two-a-days on Friday.
The morning session (which reporters observed for the final 20-25 minutes) concluded with three series of 11-on-11 work; quarterbacks Taysom Hill, Ammon Olsen and Jason Munns each led one drive.
No touchdowns were scored in the no-shoulder pads, no-hitting "team" session.
PROVO — BYU announced its 2013-2014 men's basketball non-conference schedule on Thursday. In total, the Cougars will play 13 non-conference games; six at home, three on the road, and four at a neutral site.
After two preseason games at home against Colorado College and Alaska Anchorage on Oct. 26th and Nov. 2nd, the Cougars will begin the regular season at home against Weber State on Nov. 8th. The Cougars will then travel to Stanford on Nov. 11th to face the Cardinal in Palo Alto.
BYU has been invited to participate in the College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic. The tournament will feature home games on Nov. 14th and 16th, and then the championship round at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri on Nov. 24th vs. Texas; followed by a matchup with either Wichita State or DePaul on the 26th.
Heading into spring ball, BYU first-year defensive coordinator and secondary coach Nick Howell thought his cornerback spot had never looked better.
Field corner Jordan Johnson was returning for his junior season after breaking up 15 passes in 12 starts last year. Junior college transfer Trent Trammell was expected to immediately compete and likely replace Preston Hadley at boundary corner. Football/baseball cross-over Jacob Hannemann was penciled in to push for playing time. Veteran corner/safety combo players Mike Hague and Skye PoVey were projected to contribute, juco recruit Sam Lee boosted corner depth, while freshman Dallin Leavitt was another standout addition from the recruiting Class of 2013.
"We, I believe, had more depth than BYU has ever had at corner," said Howell this week. "Healthy bodies, good players...and now, things change fast, so you've gotta adjust on the fly and you've gotta go--that's what happens."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall on Wednesday abbreviated a scheduled morning practice, calling for "a slight break today."
Citing injuries and fatigue, Mendenhall said "I thought we started to lose some momentum in camp." He said the team did not do any 11-on-11 work today, but instead worked on individual/unit assignments, wanting to "work on some recovery, physically, and focus on treatment," before "looking to gear it up again."
Mendenhall said the practice was conducted at "walk-through" tempo; the session ended before reporters arrived, so the scheduled media observation period was not held.
Another day, another player lost for the season at BYU.
Monday, the Cougars learned they'd be without cornerback Jordan Johnson for the 2013 campaign, following an ACL tear suffered in Monday morning's practice.
Today, the school announced that an MRI confirmed a pectoral muscle tear for 6'3", 330-pound nose tackle Tuni Kanuch, who now requires surgery that will end his season.
After generally staying away from BYU camp, the injury big bit and bit hard on Monday, with the news that starting cornerback Jordan Johnson tore an ACL during practice on Monday morning; the school says a subsequent examination determined that season-ending surgery will be required.
Johnson's injury occurred during a kickoff return sequence, before the media's practice-observation period; head coach Bronco Mendenhall did not mention the injury and was not asked about Johnson in particular in interviews afterward.
Two days after a scrimmage that featured what head coach Bronco Mendenhall called a team that's "deeper and more athletic than what I've noticed," the BYU Cougars were back on the practice field Monday morning, for the first of two sessions.
Mendenhall said the players were "sluggish" in the early practice, adding that it was "the first two-a-day after week one, morning practice--(players were) not defiant, but sluggish in the realization that there are 19 more days until we play...looked to me like it had an effect on them."
"Execution was about the same," said Mendenhall in his post-practice interview; we just played slower this morning."
The BYU football team conducted its lone public practice and scrimmage of fall camp Saturday morning at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The exercise was heavy on the practice and light on the scrimmage (three series worth), but the roughly 10,000 fans on hand were vocally appreciative of the chance to watch the players pop pads--exactly three weeks before the Cougars' season-opener at Virginia.
When it comes to the presence of quality wide receivers, head coach Bronco Mendenhall doesn't hesitate; he says in 2013, BYU has "the most at any one time."
"When you go back to the Todd Watkins and Austin Collie combination," Mendenhall said on Thursday, "that was pretty powerful, but (there was) not much depth behind them."
"We're deeper than we've ever been with good players."
|Lavell Edwards Stadium, Provo||9/20 1:30 pm|