BYU football: Offense making strides

Published: Friday, Aug. 19 2011 3:03 p.m. MDT

Connell Hess hits a tackling dummy during Brigham Young University football practice in Provo, Friday, Aug. 19, 2011.

Ravell Call, Deseret News

PROVO — BYU's fall practice session hasn't gone like most years. Most sessions see the defense ahead of the offense starting out, with the offense playing catchup into the second week.

This fall practice session saw the offense get out to a great start with the defense playing some catchup.

"I think a lot of that was due to our offensive line," said offensive coordinator Brandon Doman on his unit's quick start in fall practices. "Most of them were out during spring and they've been able to come back as fit as they've ever been and I think their play took the defense off guard."

The defense was also playing their base scheme the first week with almost no variations. It's a scheme that Heaps and the offense have grown well-accustomed to.

But beginning Monday, the defense started to throw all sorts of different looks and blitz packages that the offense wasn't ready for.

"We struggled because of that," said Doman. "It's something that happens every practice session. One unit gets ahead and the other has to respond, but you get worried when you don't respond."

Up until the Wednesday afternoon practice session, the offense wasn't responding. It was something that Doman wanted to take a hold of and get them through. He took a different approach, however.

"It's hard as a coach to step back and let your players figure it out, but that's what I did," he said. "The great thing is that they did figure it out. We had a great time yesterday resting up, and today you saw them respond like you'd hope they would as their coach."

Jake Heaps took the first-team offense straight down the field on 4-for-4 passing, which included a 60-yard touchdown pass to JJ Di Luigi. Heaps finished live drills going 6-for-6 for 95 yards with Riley Nelson completing both of his throws for 17 yards.

"We're adjusting, but now we just need to make sure that we adjust to whatever they throw at us," said Doman. "We need to adjust quickly and efficiently. Today was a productive day, but now we have to be ready for the next new thing that we see."

MISC: LaVell Edwards attended today's practice session. ... JC transfer Joe Sampson saw every rep with the first-team defense playing at boundary corner. ... Brandon Ogletree returned to practice as did Daniel Sorensen and Travis Uale. All three of them saw exclusive reps with the first-team defense. ... Defensive highlights included Kyle Van Noy and Sampson combining to hold Di Luigi to a four-yard loss on an attempted off-tackle run. Sacks were recorded by Jameson Frazier, Jordan Pendleton and Hebron Fangupo, who got to the quarterback on two separate occasions.

email: bgurney@desnews.com

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