Defense Dominates Practice Session
PROVO, Utah - The BYU football team worked hard in another two-hour practice session outside on a crisp Tuesday afternoon.
The defense was particularly stout on the day making plays at the line of scrimmage and in the secondary. With so many injuries to the offensive line and other players held out of live action, the offense is focusing on getting the quarterbacks a lot of work throwing the football.
"We've really lengthened our pass skelly drills because of our lineman situation so we are getting a ton of work for our quarterbacks," head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Not only [Nelson] but some of the others and we are hopefully distinguishing some depth a little bit farther down."
In the team 11-on-11 scrimmage the offense struggled to find any sort of rhythm, failing to move the ball much at all. Quarterback Riley Nelson had the longest play of the practice period on the first snap of the series, scrambling for 11 yards to pick up a first down. The drive stalled after two incomplete passes.
With James Lark in at quarterback the offense didn't fair much better, this time due to the play of Ezekiel Ansah, getting some reps at defensive end. Ansah busted through the offensive line to make a tackle for loss and on the next play fought off a blocker to bat down a pass.
"[Ansah] is going to play both outside backer and defensive end for us," Mendenhall said. "He can do both which is great and we need him at both."
Nelson got another series but defensive back Skye PoVey had two pass breakups down the field to thwart off any offensive threat. Quarterback Ammon Olsen also took a series but was nearly picked off by linebacker Uani Unga before the drive ended in a fumbled snap recovered by Ansah for a defensive touchdown.