PROVO, Utah -- The BYU football team held its first scrimmage of fall camp at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday.
The two-hour practice consisted of warm-ups and drills prior to a 90-play live scrimmage in full pads.
Fall camp continues Monday as the Cougars prepare to open the 2021 season against the Arizona Wildcats. BYU and Arizona will meet for the first time since 2018 in the inaugural Las Vegas Kickoff Classic at the newly-opened Allegiant Stadium on Saturday, Sep. 4 at 7:30 p.m. PDT on ESPN.
The Cougars' clash with the Wildcats can also be heard on the BYU Sports Network (BYUradio SiriusXM 143, BYU radio.org/BYUradio app, BYUCougars.com/BYUCougars app, KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM/116 AM).
Fans can celebrate the start of the 2021 season at the 16th annual Cougar Kickoff presented by DoTERRA on Tuesday, Aug. 17, from 6-8:30 p.m. MDT at the practice field north of the Student Athletic Building.
The following are quotes from media availability on Zoom after the scrimmage.
Head coach Kalani Sitake
On the first scrimmage
It was good. We held some guys out but we got some really good work in. I thought it was really good work for the quarterbacks. I need to review everything but I’m really impressed with everybody. There were a lot of good things. I think we had some really good opportunities to see how physical we are, how well we can tackle, how well we block. It was also good to see some of the running backs be able to break tackles and the defensive backs make some tackles. Overall, I feel like we got everything we needed. Obviously, we had some guys get banged up, but no one is out for the year. So we will just keep working with it.
On if offense or defense stood out more
I think there were some good things from both sides. Normally, the defense is further ahead at this point but I saw some really good things on the offensive side too. Our special teams looked really so we just have to keep working on the little details and get more opportunities to have live work. I thought overall there were good things on both sides and some things we can definitely work on in all three phases.
On if anyone surprised him today
We knew that we had some good running backs. We need to see how they are going to shape up after Lopini Katoa and Tyler Allgeier. It was good to see Hinckley Ropati get some reps as well as Miles Davis and Mason Faukahua. I thought they did some really good things. Protection wise I thought we were decent. I didn’t see a lot of administrative mistakes, like false starts or pre-snaps penalties, which is good. It was pretty clean. I will give a lot of credit to our coordinators and the coaches for communicating well and being a little bit more game-ready. Usually, you see more mistakes than that but I think they have been able to learn and make a lot of corrections along the way during the first practices leading up to the scrimmage.
Offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick
On if he's satisfied with where the team is at now
I'm never satisfied. I just think we're right on track to being good. We've identified who our best players are, the next week or so we'll be fine-tuning things. We've installed the offense, we've just been running plays, learning the concepts, learning their assignments, everybody's learning what we do.
If he's seeing lots of surprises on the field
No major surprises. We want to put different groupings on the field and see how teams try to defend us. In order to do that, we need a lot of guys that we can trust. We have some personnel versatility which allows us to have some fun with our offense. We mix things up.
On what he likes about our defense
Our linebackers are really good players. Our defensive line is physical and they're deep. They just keep rolling big guys out there that just play really tough. This is the most secondary depth I've seen our team have. They can stop the run.
Special teams coordinator Ed Lamb
On who won the day
Through the majority of what we call the offense's 1s and 2s, the defense was able to keep the offense out of the endzone.
On defensive players that stood out today
Ethan Slade made two interceptions. He did what we call completing the takeover. A lot of guys put themselves in positions to knock down passes today but he completed the takeaway and he got the ball back for the defense.
I really was impressed by the stout level of play upfront by our defensive line. We have great depth at the defensive tackle position and having Atunaisa Mahe back has helped a ton. Caden Haws is becoming really stout up the middle. Joshua Singh is a great young freshman walk-on for us. He has played himself into the conversation for a rotation in my opinion.