(Photo by BYU Photo/Marcos Escalona)
PROVO, Utah - The BYU football team practiced with shoulder pads again Wednesday as the team was outside at the SAB practice fields.
"We had significant progress over a week ago; it looked a lot more like football on both sides of the ball," BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Field goal kicking and pass protection looked better today. Both sides (offense and defense) competed hard and played hard."
During the 11-on-11 session at the end of practice, the offense excelled and was able to score more than once, a feat that hadn't happened during the first four practices. Three players, quarterback Taysom Hill and running backs Jamaal Williams and Nate Carter, all broke loose for long runs against the defense.
Carter was the first as he broke through the line of scrimmage and raced to the end of the field but didn't quite get the score. However, he was able to punch it in to the end zone a few plays later. On the very next series, the junior hurdled a defender to break into the open field and earned another significant run for the offense.
During that same drive, Hill kept the ball and got free with a nice block from Paul Lasike to gain 25 yards on the ground. Williams ran virutally untouched for 60 yards up the right sideline for the score towards the end of the day.
"Anytime the defense isn't exactly right, if there' s a gap open, they're going to go the whole way, which happened twice today," Mendenhall said.
The defense also had a couple highlight plays as linebacker Austin Heder, a recently returned missionary, intercepted a pass. Freshman defensive back Michael Shelton also broke up a pass in the end zone to keep the offense from scoring.
The Cougars continue spring practices on Friday. BYU's annual Pro Day is also scheduled for Friday. NFL scouts from around the league will be in town to work out nearly a dozen members of the 2013 BYU team. Pro Day is closed to the public.