The 2011 Cougars join together following the first practice of fall camp on Saturday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah - BYU players and coaches finished off a full day with the first practice of fall camp and on Saturday.
The first team practice of the independence era lasted just under three hours, with this year's newcomers starting at 3:30 p.m. and veterans joining about a half hour later. Despite the heat, the Cougars went hard throughout, culminating in a final team segment.
"The number of assignment mistakes that were made was very minimal which is a great thing," said head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Now the precision wasn't quite as sharp, but we didn't have to do nearly as much teaching on day one as we've had to do in the past. That should speed up getting our game plans in and work on Ole Miss a little earlier if we get the execution."
In the final segment, sophomore quarterback Jake Heaps capped off a drive that began 60 yards away from the end zone and finished with a 42-yard strike to redshirt freshman Ross Apo in the left side of the end zone for a touchdown. Junior linebacker Brandon Ogletree had a tackle for loss and sophomore safety Daniel Sorensen had a pass breakup to force third down, but Apo used his height to bring in the throw.
Apo was the leading receiver on the day with three catches for 55 total yards while Heaps went 8 of 9 for 108 yards and two touchdowns.
Heaps was a perfect 5 for 5 on his second drive, connecting with senior running back Bryan Kariya and sophomore Cody Hoffman each on seven-yard receptions before finding junior wide receiver Rhen Brown for a 24-yard touchdown. Heaps thread the needle between two defenders as Brown made the reception and took it the remaining 10 yards for the score.
Junior quarterback Riley Nelson went 2 for 3 for nine yards on two possessions while junior James Lark finished off the segment, going 2 for 3 for 20 yards, including a 14-yard throw to junior Dalin Tollestrup who snagged the ball and got one foot in before falling out of bounds.