Just One More...



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Second-to-last day of Cougar Camp today, and it was a day for the defense to shine.

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For the second straight day, the offense was kept out of the end zone in the morning "team" portion of practice--in fact, the offense had a tough time gaining any kind of yardage whatsoever.

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Mind you, the 11-on-11 work at the end of practice was of a shorter duration than normal--just time enough for one "full-field" series, and and three "blue zone" series.

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The "full-field" series featured a David Nixon "soft sack" of Max Hall on the first snap, and ended with Brett Denney dropping into coverage to knock away a pass intended for Manase Tonga.

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In one-on-one "wide receiver vs. corner" drills, Max Hall made long touchdown connections with Austin Collie and Jordan Smith. QB Coach Brandon Doman is featured on today's "Cougar Daily Download."

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The final "blue zone" series included linebacker Matt Bauman knocking down a pass as he dropped into coverage. Bauman had a good day, and was playing with the "ones" in place of MLB Kelly Poppinga, who was held out with a bruised foot.

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Tune into today's "Cougar Daily Download" to hear Bronco's thoughts on Bauman, who will certainly earn himself some playing time inside this season. But as Bronco explains today, Bauman can play any of the four linebacker positions at this point.

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Speaking of linebackers, Terance Hooks has yet to rejoin the team. Bronco says he still needs "one more signature" before he is cleared to practice. Either way, Hooks will be working his way back up the delth chart, and since he can't play until the UCLA game, there's some time to get him "game ready."

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A scout for the Atlanta Falcons was on hand today.

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Besides Poppinga, there were no major absences of note. LB Dan Van Sweden missed another day after that procedure to remove a screw from his knee, and LB Kelly Bills remained out with a concussion. LB Austen Jorgensen (bruised sternum) and DL Judd Anderton (sprained ankle) were back, after suffering those injuries in Saturday's scrimmage.

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CB Brandon Howard was back in his customary spot at second-string field corner, after missing yesterday's practice with a sore hamstring.

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WR Ryan Kessman missed a second straight day of practice (sick).

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PK Mitch Payne (tendinitis) kicked a few field goals this morning, but got sore and had Brian Smith take care of kickoffs. Punter C.J. Santiago was back and booting the ball today (he missed yesterday while the school awaited academic papers from Santiago's junior college). Ironically, one of his best punts of camp came in a drill where he is positioned at the back of the end zone with the snap coming from just outside the goal line--meaning he had much less real estate to work with--but he still got off a spiralling beauty.

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In one-on-one "wide receiver vs. corner" drills, Max Hall made long touchdown connections with Austin Collie and Jordan Smith. QB Coach Brandon Doman is featured on today's "Cougar Daily Download," talking about Max and his state of readiness for the opener.

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The punt return group was comprised of only Mahuika, Collie and White this morning, while the two kickoff pairs were Mahuika/Collie and White/Barton, before Cortny limped off (had his foot stepped on).

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The offensive line combinations remain fluid and ultra-competitive. Today, Garrett Reden was rotating with the "ones" at both right guard and tackle, while R.J. Willing subbed in for starters at left guard and tackle. Of course, Tom Sorensen spelled Sete Aulai at first-string center.

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Austin Collie was not content with the offense's lack of productivity in "team" today. Collie audibly announced his displeasure after a third-down incompletion, signalling to all that he has lost none of his drive since last suiting up for the Cougars.

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Tomorrow is the final day of camp before a day off Thursday precedes the team's first "Arizona" practice, on Friday.

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Bronco says he will most likely announce redshirt decisions on Friday.

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Next Monday marks the first weekly "Bronco Mendenhall Press Conference," which will be heard live every week on ksl.com, via the secondary "X-Stream" Channel. The press conference will then be available for podcast and download soon thereafter. Go to the "Bronco's Weekly Press Conference" page, or the "Podcast Feeds" page from the BYU Sports Menu at ksl.com (found on the upper right side of this page).

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