PROVO — Today's scrimmage at LaVell Edwards stadium saw a lot of regulars sit out. Those assumed-starters that did see some reps didn't see much of them.
Coaches were intent on allowing those that weren't first-teamers show their worth.
"it was a great opportunity for us that don't see a lot of work," said running back Michael Alisa. "I know that I don't get a lot of reps normally and this was a chance to show coaches what I can do."
Jake Heaps marched the offense straight down the field for a touchdown during his only set of reps of the day. He finished going 5-for-5 for 52 yards and a touchdown.
His long pass of the set went for 23 yards to running back JJ Di Luigi. Di Luigi capped off the drive with a 6-yard run for a touchdown.
"It was good to get out there and get a score with our only chance of the day," said Heaps. "You want to score every time you get a chance and we did that. After that, coaches were able to see some of the other guys who have done great work this fall."
The offense was indeed aided with the entire assumed starting seven sitting out the scrimmage session. The standout defensive play was made by emerging defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo who tackled Bryan Kariya in the backfield for a one-yard loss.
James Lark saw the second set of reps and went 2-for-4 for 16 yards and an interception. The interception was made by Preston Hadley after the pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage by Matt Peterson.
Riley Nelson got the next set of reps and completed his only pass for 37-yards to JD Falslev. The pass was batted up into the air, but Falslev, who was not the intended target was able to make a spectacular diving grab.
The series was capped off by a 6-yard touchdown run by Alisa.
"It felt great out there today," said Alisa. "I feel that I helped myself a lot with what I was able to show. I think I took advantage of the opportunities I had to run the ball a lot today."
Lark took the field for the fourth series. He finished it off going 3-for-4 on completions of 12 yards to Rhen Brown, eight yards to David Foote and four yards to Austin Holt.
The defensive highlight during the set was nose tackle Travis Tuiloma getting backfield penetration, stopping Alisa in his tracks so that Daniel Sorensen could finish him off for a loss.
"Loni (Fangupo) is doing a good job for us, and he's someone I can use," said defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi. "He's playing at end, but he's a nose tackle-type. All of our linemen, it seems, are nose tackle types which gives us a lot of strength up front. So yeah, Loni is playing well and should help us a lot this year."
Nelson got the fifth set and went 2-for-5 for 19 yards on completions to Adam Hine for eight yards and to Cody Raymond for 11 yards.
Lark got the next set and went 1-for-3 with a pass to Marcus Mathews for a five-yard gain. Hine got two carries during the set that went for a combined 13 yards.
Seventh and Eighth Series
After Jason Munns went 3-for-3 for 39 yards, Alex Kuresa got his first set during team drills as a Cougar quarterback. He took advantage of them in completing both of his passes for 17 yards.
The team will finish up its fall camp this coming week before focusing in on their first opponent Ole Miss. According to head coach Bronco Mendenhall, the actual game prep will occur before originally planned due to the team's accelerated progress during fall camp.
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