Camp Cougar, Day 3



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a shuffle on the offensive line as a starter is sidelined...

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Today's post-practice summary begins with Bronco Mendenhall filling us in on the loss of projected starting center Tom Sorenson, who may need to undergo surgery to repair an injured shoulder. You can hear Bronco's interview by clicking the link to the right.

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The injury to Sorenson (who did not practice yesterday or today) shakes up the offensive line, with Dallas Reynolds moving from LT to C, and Matt Reynolds moving up from 2nd-string LT to 1st-string.

You can hear interviews with offensive line coach Mark Weber and Matt Reynolds about the shift, by clicking on the links to the right. Weber opens up talking about the surprise of losing Sorenson, while Reynolds is asked how much having his older brothers play ahead of him has helped prepare him to step in now...

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Here's how the offensive line depth chart looked today:

LT: M. Reynolds (1), Reden/Taufi (2), Tenney (3)

LG: Feinga (1), Brown (2), Freeman (3)

C: D. Reynoldss (1), Willing/Reden (2), Hartung (3)

RG: Bright (1), Speredon (2), Pico/Best (3)

RT: Oswald (1), Alletto/Taufi (2), Stringham (3)

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In his post-practice interview, Bronco updates us on the status of JC lineman Bernard Afutiti, who has yet to arrive on campus. When he does, he will come bearing paperwork that will clear his way to enroll and join the team at practice.

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The Sorenson injury news aside, it was a great day for practice, and a pretty good day OF practice, too.

If there has been better August day for camp in the last few years, I can't recall it. Consistent cloud cover, perfectly pleasant, and not too humid, despite the forecast of thunderstorms. And it's more than just personal comfort I'm concerned with, of course. The players seemed that much fresher with the sun staying away for the duration of practice.

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Which brings us to Tevita Hola's "Pursuit Drill from H-E-double hockey sticks."

For the second straight day, the JC transfer from Snow College struggled to hang in there during the 3rd-stringers repeated running of the "Pursuit" drill. As was the case yesterday, the 3s were having a difficult time nailing the drill as a group, and after about the third time through, Hola was gassed. Drill Sergeant/OLBs Coach Barry Lamb helpfully got in Hola's ear to provide his unique brand of motivation, and the combination of sensory and physiological stimuli left Hola a little wiped out for, oh, the next hour or so. Good times.

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As is always the case, place-kicking situations were practiced early in practice, and Justin Sorensen responded well after a sub-par day yesterday. Showtime for Sorenson concluded with him launching two 50-yard field goal attempts--the first just wide left, and the second good. The last field goal would have been good from 60, as neither kick was crawling over the uprights. And again, it's fascinating to watch the collective reactions players and coaches end up sharing with each other when Sorenson kicks. As he lines up a long one, the looks all say "check this out"...and after the kick, the looks say "give me a break, this dude's unreal." When this guy kicks, there are lots of heads shaking--in a good way.

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I listed the updated offensive line depth chart above, and it bears noting that with the exception of the O-Line, there is very little going on anywhere else on the field, in terms of players being displaced from their spots in the two-(or three-) deep.

Here's an updated 3-deep chart for every unit but the offensive line:

(*indicates injured but otherwise occupies listed spot in depth chart)

OFFENSE

QB: Hall (1), Gaskins (2), McEuen (3)

TB: Unga (1), DiLuigi (2), Latu (3)

FB: Vakapuna (1*), Kariya/Friel (2)

Note: backs generally carry designation of RB, but in some two-back sets, a TB/FB split can be applied. Unga and DiLuigi are often lined up in the same backfield, although both are technically TBs.

TE: Pitta (1), George (2), Friel/Brown (3)

WR-X: Reed (1), Kozlowski (2), Hafoka (3)

WR-Z: Collie (1*), Mahuika (2), Ashworth/Chambers (3)

WR-H: White (1), Marshall (2)

Note: Kozlowski and Mahuika can play both X and Z.

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DEFENSE

LE: Dulan (1), Denney (2), Luekenga (3)

NT: Tialavea (1), Foketi (2), Wolfley/Hola (3)

RE: Jorgensen (1), Putnam (2), Richardson (3)

SLB: Nixon (1), Alisa (2), Wagner (3)

MLB: Bauman (1*), Ah You (2), Bell (3)

BLB: Doman (1), Van Sweden (2), Hadley (3)

WLB: So'oto (1), Clawson (2), Court (3)

CB (Field): Howard (1), Pittman (2), Nicholson (3)

Safety (Kat): Tafuna (1), Pendleton (2), Te'o (3)

Safety (Free): Fowler (1), Thomas (2), Rich (3)

CB (Boundary): Johnson (1), Bradley (2), Nagy (3)

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PK: Payne/Sorensen (1)

P: Santiago (1)

PR: Mahuika (1), White (2), Ashworth (3)

no KR yet

Holder: Mahuika (1),Collie (2)

Snapper (PK/FG): Pace (1)

Snapper (Punt): Muehlmann (1)

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You may have caught my question to Bronco about Shiloah Te'o, who runs with the 3s at Kat Safety, yet seems to make at least one play a day that gets his teammates amped up. Bronco says Te'o is still a ways away from moving into a significant role on this team, but that he excels in the most important parts of practice--those being the "live action" team sessions. Bronco credits Te'o for "competency and understanding" the game at a higher level than most true freshmen.

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Standout plays from today...

: WRs Michael Reed and Luke Ashworth making tremendous catches in the end zone on goal line formation fades, over Scott Johnson and Brandon Howard, respectively.

(by the way, I can't be the first to notice this, but BYU's starting corner pair is likely "Howard Johnson." Don't sleep on these guys. Thank you, I'll be here all week.)

: 3rd string corner Gary Nagy ripped a pass away from Landon Jaussi for a spectacular end zone interception, hanging onto the ball as Jaussi tore Nagy's helmet off.

: Max Hall led a methodical TD drive in Team, culminating in a short scoring toss to TE Andrew George.

: OLB Michael Alisa intercepted a Max Hall pass off a tip in traffic.

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Tomorrow, the Cougars practice at 10:00am again--single session in shells, before the first full pads practice on Thursday.

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