That's a Wrap!



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...and on the 17th day, they rested. Today was day 16 of Cougar Camp--the final day of practice before a day off tomorrow is followed by the team's 1st "Arizona" practice on Friday.

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This morning's session was rather ordinary, with the exception of the defense's introduction of a goal-line defensive package, and the running of a goal-line situation, "4th-and-goal" series of plays at the end of the "team" session.

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The five, single-play, ball at the 3-yard line, "have to get in the end zone" plays went like this:

1) Manase Tonga fumble (recovered by Denney)

2) Hall to George TD pass

3) Fui sweep left (tackled by Kehl for a loss)

4) Hall to Collie TD pass

5) Latu run (stopped in backfield by Nelson)

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In the two preceding "Blue Zone" series, Max Hall and Brenden Gaskins each went "three and out," although it should be noted, Max Hall and the 1st-string offense were victimized by Bronco Mendenhall's quick whistle on a Tonga catch-and-run that would have prolonged the series in a "real game" situation. Max was not happy with the play being blown dead. The field goal the whistle forced was missed by Mitch Payne, who made a field goal after Gaskins' series.

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Payne, it should be noted, had an otherwise excellent day kicking the ball. In the 11-on-11 field goal drill earlier in practice, Payne absolutely drilled every field goal attempted, topping out near the 50-yard range. It looked like his best kicking day of camp, and undoubtedly boosted the confidence of his teammates.

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WR Matt Allen jammed a finger midway through practice. He left for precautionary x-rays, then returned and watched the remainder of the session from the sidelines.

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Others missing in action today:

WR Ryan Kessman (sick)

WR Ryan Neeley (groin)

WR Daniel Tervort (tendinitis)

RB Joe Semanoff (hamstring)

NT Mo Foketi (class)

LB Kelly Bills (concussion)

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WR Michael Reed had a confrontation with CB Ben Criddle during a one-on-one drill near the goal line. As Criddle knocked the ball away and the two got tangled up, a helmetless Reed went after Criddle in the back of the end zone. Teammates from both sides convened, the two players were broken up and went back to work. Later in practice, Reed made a nice catch and took a pop in the face by one of the BYU defenders--no doubt some payback for Reed's outburst.

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LB Terrance Hooks was in street clothes to watch the end of practice and meet with Bronco on the field at the end of the session. The two shared a few moments, after which Bronco told us Hooks is still not yet cleared to rejoin the team due to procedural matters, and that the situation is very frustrating to Hooks. More from the coach on the "Cougar Daily Download."

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Also on today's final edition of the "DD," conversations with LB Kelly Poppinga and QB Max Hall.

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No moves on the depth chart today. Expect few surprises and few variations from our projections when the official version is released by BYU in the days to come. There will be some news on Friday as Bronco announces the players he intends to redshirt this season.

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Offensive Co-ordinator Robert Anae left practice early to get up to the Missionary Training Center--son Famika was entering to begin preparation for an LDS mission to McAllen, Texas (Spanish-speaking). Famika Anae was a signee in BYU's most recent recruiting class, and a Timpview teammate of both Houston Reynolds (mission to Frankfurt), and Eathyn Manumaleuna (projected starter at nose tackle).

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Broadcast News: with James Dye having pursuing a professional opportunity, he will have to vacate his post as KSL's gameday sideline/lockerroom reporter. I am pleased to announce that former Cougar receiver and punt returner Nate Meikle has accepted our offer to fill James' shoes on the sidelines. Nate will debut during BYU's season opener on September 1st.

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Nate graduated with the highest GPA on the BYU Football team this past season, is now working professionally in Provo, and will bring a sharp, confident approach to his new responsibilities. He came to BYU as a walk-on (after a Summa Cum Laude stint as a running back at Snow College), earned a scholarship, and the role of starter at both "H" receiver and punt returner for the Cougars. He was one of the toughest players on the team, and took one of the hardest (and most illegal, yet unpenalized) hits you will ever see, during last year's game at Arizona. I suspect that particular play will be referenced during our broadcast a week from Saturday.

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If you're in the stands within earshot of Nate, or in the stadium parking lot during KSL's pregame show and see him at the KSL canopy, say "hi" and wish him luck. I think he'll do a great job as he gets his feet wet and makes the transition from athlete to reporter.

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