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BYU football: Hall gives Cougars huge scare

QB's near knee injury sends BYU coaches into collective panic

Published: Friday, Aug. 14 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

A group of defensive players poses on Thursday as BYU holds its photo day in preparation for the 2009 season.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

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PROVO — For a moment, BYU coaches held their collective breath and hoped for the best.

At one point during 11-on-11 drills, Cougar quarterback Max Hall dropped to the ground on a play as someone rolled into his knee. Hall got up and limped around for a bit, shaking off the pain.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall later said that calling the situation "scary" is an understatement.

So what was his reaction to seeing his starting QB down?

"It makes you question your decisions as a head coach when you see something like that," Mendenhall said.

Hall said that it wasn't a big deal, explaining that he twisted the knee a little and that aside from some pain, he'll be fine.

Seeing injured players has been somewhat commonplace this fall camp for BYU.

According to Mendenhall, his team has suffered twice as many injuries during this fall camp than last year's. On Wednesday, starting left tackle Matt Reynolds broke his hand. He underwent surgery on Thursday.

But Mendenhall isn't too alarmed by the high volume of injuries, explaining that the Cougars have been practicing longer and harder this season.

"So it's not a surprise," the coach said. "The amount of work we got done the first four days, to me, justified even the bumps and bruises and I think it set the right tone. It was a trade-off that we made and we'll have to balance it back out a little bit and get more healthy guys for next week."

BYU has 24 players with some sort of injury, Mendenhall said, although almost all of players being held out are "day-to-day."

Among those sidelined include linebacker Terrance Hooks (hamstring), cornerback Brandon Bradley (knee pain) and Robbie Buckner (hamstring).

PRACTICE: BYU's two practices today will be open to the public. The Cougars have sessions scheduled for 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The only other open practice during camp is Aug. 18 at 10 a.m.

SAY CHEESE: The Cougars smiled for the cameras for about an hour Thursday at the indoor practice facility as part of annual photo day.

EXTRA POINTS: Quarterback Jake Heaps, who verbally committed to BYU in June and is rated as the No. 1 high school QB in the country by some recruiting services, attended practice for the second day in a row ... Also attending was legendary coach LaVell Edwards and former BYU star tight end Chad Lewis, who brought three of his sons along ... The Cougars will hold their first scrimmage Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium ... Mendenhall called defensive lineman Tevita Hola "the most improved player on the team."

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

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