Record number attend Cougars open practice

Record number attend Cougars open practice

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by Jillian Williams, BYU Athletic Communications

PROVO, UT (August 13, 2007)--The Cougars opened their doors for the first time during fall camp this season and a record 928 fans came, showing they are fully invested.

Crowds lined the southeast sidelines of the practice field to cheer for BYU during morning practice.

"We have great fans,so it is nice for them to have a chance to see practice happen first hand," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said.

Fans were able to see the normal team drills run everyday during morning practice and could see the adjustments made after the first scrimmage.

"We are continuing to work on our execution, although there are several areas that we will also be focusing on until game day," Mendenhall said.

Those who made it to the practice saw several adjustments made to the defensive line. Mendenhall confirmed Russell Tialavea will miss the 2007 season after an MRI confirmed a torn ACL and MCL in his knee.

"Losing Russell is huge," Mendenhall said. "Our focus, and my focus defensively, will be preparing that position to get it to perform at a higher level."

Mosese Foketi replaced Tialavea on the line during practice. Fotketi transferred to BYU from Laney Community College, but redshirted the 2006 season.

"We will feel the loss of Russell but we are willing to work hard so that he can be proud of us," Foketi said. "Russell had a huge impact on the team, but we still have a lot of returning players like Ian Dulan and Jan Jorgensen and some great back-ups like Brett Denney and Judd Anderton."

Freshman J.J. Di Luigi was also on the sidelines during practice. Mendenhall said the freshman running back re-injured his foot and will miss the next six to eight weeks.

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