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Football holds first fall camp practice

PROVO, Utah ­– The BYU football team officially began practices for the 2018 season with the first practice session of fall camp Thursday afternoon.

The team reported on Wednesday, August 1, going through team meetings, distribution of equipment and a team activity before the first regular practice on Thursday.

The Cougars will continue with fall camp for the next few weeks leading up to its season opener against Arizona at Arizona Stadium in Tucson on Saturday, Sept. 1.

The following quotes are from Thursday’s post-practice media availability.

Head Coach Kalani Sitake

“I feel good. I’m glad we have more days to work, but it’s a good start.”

“We have to play a lot of football. We’re doing things a little bit different than we have in the past. I think that it is suited to what we need to take care of before the Arizona game. We need to take advantage of all the time we have. It’s important for us to compete and put our guys in a position where we’re playing a lot of football.”

“We’re functioning like the pads are on right now. I can’t say we’re tackling but we’re playing a lot of football. We are doing a lot more football than we have in the past at this time, but I think we need to get it done. There’s only so much time and so many reps, so we need to manufacture as many reps as possible.”  

On Beau Hoge switching from quarterback to running back
“I thought Beau looked really good, I mean he has the genes for it. I thought he fit in really comfortably and did some really good things, even on those pass routes and protections. We are really excited about him being in that position. He’s got great instincts for the run game and we just wanted to give him a shot there.”

Quarterback Tanner Mangum

“It’s like Christmas. Everyone’s pumped, everyone’s excited… It’s year four for me now, so I’ve been through a few, but there never ceases to be excitement. I still feel like a young guy, I’m still like a kid on Christmas day.”

On the quarterback competition
“It’s a healthy competition [between the quarterbacks], we are all out here trying to do our best every play, one play at a time. You just have to go out there and do your best to execute and run the offense, then we’ll let that take care of itself.”

On Beau Hoge playing running back
“I think [Beau Hoge] looks great out there [as a running back]. He’s always been a strong, muscular specimen, so to see him in the backfield, it fits him. He’s a really smart player, understands the offense, knows where he needs to be and he’s reliable. Because he knows the offense so well, you know he’s going to be where he needs to be. He’s one of the most selfless guys I’ve ever met, he’s been through a lot of injuries and position changes and he’s one of the most talented guys I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t care about what’s in it for him, he just wants to do what’s best for the team.”

On the offense during the first day of camp
“We all played pretty solid. We had some mistakes, some bad throws, some bad reads here and there, but overall solid, especially for a first day, I thought we executed the offense pretty well. It’s fun to see Jaren (Hall) out there just off his mission a few months ago—he looks good. We all are pushing each other and that’s how it should be. It’s a good group of people.”

Quarterback/running back Beau Hoge

On moving to running back
“It has definitely been tough. But, the coaching staff has done a great job of helping me transition and my teammates have done a great job of building me up. At the end of the day, it is about whatever is best for the team.”

“It was the coach’s choice. We talked a lot about getting the best 11 guys on the field. I agree with it and want to get on the field any way possible.”

“It’s just good to be on the field and to be healthy. Obviously, it’s a different thing. After a few reps and a team session I felt like I settled in, but obviously, there is a lot I still need to learn.”

Quarterback Joe Critchlow

On the quarterback situation
“All the quarterbacks here are great guys and they have a lot of talent. It’s so much fun to come out here and compete every day. I feel like with such a wide variety of talent and skills it motivates and pushes us all to get better.”

On his preparation for the season
“Over the summer, I worked a lot on my footwork and also with the receivers. We spent a lot of time with various receivers and tight ends and I think that work is really going to pay off in the fall.”

On the first day of fall camp
“It was definitely the first day. There were some mistakes out there and some guys had some jitters. It was great to finally get started. There’s a lot of energy around this offense. I feel like the offense really feels that we can progress a lot and we can put up a lot of points.”

Linebacker Butch Pau’u

On the first day of camp
“Not a lot of hitting today, but we were able to see where we’re at when it comes to the younger guys. A lot of the younger guys got a lot of reps today. We just need to make sure that we continue to hustle to the ball. That’s something Coach Kalani was emphasizing so that’s something we’re going to work on tomorrow and throughout the rest of camp. I think we’re on the right track.”

On the experience of the defense
“All our defensive linemen are back and so it’s nice to have that experience and have everyone just hold each other accountable. It’s cool to see that the younger guys want to do that. They want to hold each other accountable and make sure that everyone’s running to the ball as hard as they can. We’re going to get better because of it.”