Facing the Heat...



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While the football players were only in "shells" (helmets and shoulder pads) instead of full pads today, the practice went a little longer than normal. Bronco wasn't entirely pleased with the level of crispness in "Team," so 11-on-11 went until he was satisfied the amount of work matched the amount of time spent working.

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It's been confirmed J.J. DiLuigi will undergo surgery to repair his broken foot, meaning a recovery time of 8-10 weeks. Bronco said yesterday that if surgery were necessary, it would almost certainly mean a redshirt season for DiLuigi.

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WR Austin Collie missed practice today--he had a sore hamstring after two-a-days on Monday, and the training staff is just being cautious. Austin came out to observe the last part of practice, as did CB Kayle Buchanan, who missed another day with a sore shoulder.

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Also out today:

WR Saia Hafoka (knee)

LB Shawn Doman (hip flexor)

DL Judd Anderton (shoulder)

CB Scott Johnson (knee)

LB Kelly Bills (concussion)

CB Brandon Bradley (groin)

Of the aforementioned players, Bills and Bradley were in practice gear and observing, but held out.

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WR Michael Reed practiced for the first time in 6 days today, and was obviously a little rusty. WR Ryan Neeley was also back in action, as was OL Dallas Reynolds, who missed yesterday with a sore hamstring. S Kellen Fowler also returned after sitting out Monday (hip flexor).

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WR Matt Allen was held out of "Team" with a tight groin. As with Collie, it's a precautionary measure and shouldn't be anything serious.

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CB Brandon Bradley's tough road back from that knee injury continues... and while the latest injury (groin) is not related to his previous ailment, it's hard to see Bradley getting into a position to contribute on defense this season--at least at this rate.

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The "middle" practice field is finally being utilized in full-speed fashion. The natural grass field replaces the previous FieldTurf version, and while the new stuff isn't totally thick and lush yet, it's a cooler option than the fake stuff, which by virtue of its composition and black rubber base, is a substantially hotter surface on which to work. Research also showed the artificial surface yielded more injuries than the natural grass fields.

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As I mention in the "Cougar Daily Download," the 3-man "swinging gate" punt formation returns this season. The wide-bodies currently employed as "up men" are Willing, Sorensen, Kahaiali'i, Reden, Speredon and Wolfley (5 offensive linemen and one potentially "converted" defensive lineman--Reden).

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The BYU Basketball team is leaving for its preseason playing tour of France tomorrow. I checked out the team on their final day of practice before departure. Working out with the basketball players today: former Cougars Keena Young, Russell Larson, Ken Roberts, Matt Montague, Marc Roberts and Mark Santiago, and BYU Associate AD and former Fresno State sharpshooter Brian Santiago. Fred Roberts was also on hand to watch the guys.

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Listen to Coach Dave Rose's pre-journey thoughts on today's "Download."

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PG Ben Murdock's wife will indeed be joining him on the trip to France. Her passport arrived this morning.

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