BYU football: Y. officials designate tailgating lot

Published: Thursday, Aug. 23 2012 8:14 p.m. MDT

PROVO — A segment of BYU fans have been clamoring for a place to have a true tailgating experience before games at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Those fans have gotten their wish.

BYU officials have announced plans for a new tailgate area for the upcoming season, providing tailgating space in the lot north of the BYU Broadcast Building and additional RV parking north of Edwards Stadium.

"The goal was to create a centralized location that gives Cougar Nation more space to enjoy the pregame experience with friends and family," said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. "Just as with the addition of the new scoreboards, it's all part of a continual effort to improve the game-day experience."

Those interested in tailgating in other parking lots must follow university tailgating policies found online at BYUtickets.com.

NEWKICKOFFRULE: This year, the NCAA has moved kickoffs from the 30 to the 35-yard line with the purpose of avoiding injuries. Studies have shown that kickoffs cause the most injuries in a game.

As part of the rule change, a touchback on a kickoff will result in the ball being placed on the 25-yard line, instead of the 20. Players on the kicking team will only be allowed a running start of 5 yards.

"Now, it's about how high we can kick it, right on the goal line, so we can stop (the opponents') guy on the 15 or 20-yard line," said BYU punter and kicker RileyStephenson. "Field position is huge."

FOURTH-AND-SHORT:WhenBYU offensive coordinator BrandonDoman played quarterback for the Cougars, he was highly successful converting on fourth down.

Will this team go for it a lot on fourth down?

"We'll find out in the first couple of games if we can effectively do that," Doman said. "I think it will depend on the field position, where we're at on the field, and how confident coach (Bronco) Mendenhall is in our offense, so how well we're moving it. Or maybe we're struggling and we need a spark and it's fourth-and-3 and we decide to go for it. It hasn't been entirely decided exactly how we'll do it, but we do have a plan in place."

HAPPYWITHGROUNDGAME: One of the pleasant surprises for BYU during fall camp was the emergence of the running game.

Not long before camp opened, running back Josh "Juice" Quezada, who was projected to make big contributions this season, transferred. But several runners behind starter MichaelAlisa have stepped up, including IonaPritchard,DavidFoote,AdamHine and JamaalWilliams.

"It was no fun to lose Juice. We love him and we're sorry to see him go," Doman said. "It's provided an opportunity for other running backs that otherwise wouldn't have had the role that they're getting now. They've surpassed expectations."

email: jeffc@desnews.com

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