PROVO, Utah -- With the weather in the mid 80s at practice time for the morning session, the Cougars kicked off their second full day of workouts on Tuesday morning. The afternoon practice session ended 30 minutes early with the threat of lightning in the area.
Though practice was business as usual throughout the day, with individual work, one-on-ones and team drills, the Cougars continued to display an impressive level of intensity and focus.
"We've been real impressed with the overall attitude so far," defensive coordinator Ken Schmidt said. "Even though we still have a long way to go, everyone seems real focused and things are starting to come together. We're real pleased."
Middle linebacker Jeff Holtry missed practice on Tuesday with a tender groin and Josh Lowe was forced to sit out after twisting an ankle. Both players are expected to return to full practice within the next day or two.
After missing the first full day of workouts on Monday, Derrus Wilson was cleared for practice and worked out briefly in the morning, but worked out with the team during the afternoon practice session.
"That's big having him here," Schmidt said. "Now, we've got four real good corners working out and they all look very good. It's still early and it may take a game or two, but I think we're going to be fine there."
Schmidt said he has been equally impressed with the entire defensive line. The Cougars have been working out with a three-man, first-team rotation at defensive end and at tackle.
"Our first team d-line looks good," Schmidt said. "We're going to have Chris Watkins in there helping Chris Hoke and Hans Olsen at tackle. And Brett Kiesel has done a nice job for us so far and will be switching off with Ryan Denney and Setema Gali at defensive end. All six of those guys are doing a nice job."
Much like yesterday's scrimmage, the defense showed impressive speed and explosiveness during Tuesday's 16-play scrimmage.
Engemann and Peterson split time at QB, with an equal mixture of pass attempts and running plays. Junior running back Brian McDonald handled a majority of the running plays, showing his speed to the corner and his power with runs up the middle.
Where speculation has existed around a much-improved offensive line, offensive coordinator Lance Reynolds said he has been pleased with their performance so far, however, it's a different ball game when the team dons the pads on Wednesday.
"Everyone seems to know what they are doing," Reynolds said. "These guys have worked hard all summer and have come in here in good shape and ready to play. However, the big test will come tomorrow (Wednesday) when we put the pads on. So far, it has been all about footwork, blocking schemes and technique. Tomorrow we will continue working on those elements and throw in some hitting. That's when we will know where we are. We're going to lace 'em up and get after it."
The team will continue two-a-day workouts on Wednesday with full pads in the morning and shoulder pads and shorts during the afternoon