PROVO -- BYU head coach Gary Crowton and his staff got their first look at the Cougars during their first full-contact scrimmage of the spring season.
"There's no question we have a long way to go," Crowton said. "But I like what I saw out here today. Defensively, I was impressed with the intensity. I thought they did a nice job. Offensively, I think we still have a long way to go. Where these guys are still trying to pick some things up, there's a little hesitation, but I think we're heading in the right direction."
The scrimmage gave Crowton a chance to get a good look at the three main quarterbacks battling for playing time this spring, including Brandon Doman, Charlie Peterson and Todd Mortensen.
Although each of the three quarterbacks had as many as three series throughout the afternoon, Doman, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound senior got off to a rough start in his first series, going 0-for-4 and was sacked twice. Defensively, Jeff Cowart started to scrimmage off with a sack, while Isaac Kelley, Brandon Stephens and Justin Ena would all be credited with quarterback hurries. In the second series, Charlie Peterson went 5-for-10, totaling 73 yards, including connections of 34 and 12 yards with junior tight end Gabriel Reid. In his first series, redshirt freshman Todd Mortensen went 3-for-4 for 52 yards. Mortensen teamed up with Ricks College transfer Spencer Nead for completions of 15 and eight yards. On the fifth play of the drive, Mortensen found Pat Williams for a 29-yard completion, which gave the offense the ball on the two yard line. Two plays later, Paul Peterson would run to the left side, recording the first touchdown of the scrimmage.
"I thought the quarterbacks did a nice job," Crowton said. "I was especially impressed with Todd Mortensen. I think he did a nice job out here today. He showed us some good things. I think our receivers will do a little better with more experience, but I really thought we saw some good things from our tight ends, especially Gabe Reid and Spencer Nead. They both did a nice job."
In the first two series, junior running back Luke Staley showed he was in top form, picking up 26 yards on six carries, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Senior Brian McDonald also gave Crowton a look at things to come, recording 19 yards on five carries in the first two series. Both running backs saw plenty of action against both the first- and second-team defenses throughout the afternoon, registering over 12 carries each.
"We wanted to spend some time working on some inside stuff," Crowton said. "I was very happy with Luke and Brian. They are both very talented football players and have already shown they are going to be an important part of the offense."