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BYU football notebook: Mendenhall announces BYU will hold a spring game — instead of just a scrimmage

Published: Monday, March 25 2013 9:15 p.m. MDT

PROVO — These days, it's never a sure thing. In fact, it's been considered doubtful on several occasions in recent years.

However, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall confirmed to the media Monday that BYU will hold a spring football game this Saturday at 11 a.m. The plan will be to play an actual game and not just a scrimmage, as was the original plan.

Saturday's game will be held at LaVell Edwards Stadium and will be preceded by an Easter egg hunt and other activities. Admission is free, with the Easter egg hunt and other activities slated to begin at 9 a.m. at the track complex located south of the stadium.

Mendenhall listed several reasons for holding a spring game in lieu of just an open scrimmage.

“New systems, new schemes, some more inexperience,” Mendenhall said. “To see what the scheme looks like without coaching, to see players finish play in regards to catching balls and breaking tackles and then to see if the team is tackling well.”

The intent is to have the first-team offense join with the second-team defense for one team and vice versa for the other. How many plays the game lasts hasn't been determined yet, but it will involve all aspects of a regular game — except for special teams.

BYU’s inability to have actual spring games has been due to injury — particularly a lack of healthy bodies along the offensive line. This spring the team looks healthy enough at every position to at least attempt a spring game.

“The intent will be to build and to get enough players experience and playing time on Saturday,” Mendenhall said. “We’re more healthy than we’ve been most springs and have more numbers. We want to see more of what our younger guys can do in a live situation.”

THOMPSON TAKES NEW ROLE: Offensive coordinator Robert Anae approached Brett Thompson with the idea of playing inside receiver prior to the start of spring practices. Thompson, who has always played at outside receiver, was all for it despite his history.

Thompson played at outside receiver one year before his LDS mission and then again last season.

“I played for coach Anae before my mission and he got a good feel of what type of player I am and what my strengths are,” Thompson said. “I feel very comfortable with anything Coach suggests and I was all for the move.”

Thompson stands at an imposing 6-foot-3, 220 pounds — capable of beating defenders with both his strength and quickness.

“With the new offensive scheme I think they needed an outside receiver type to go with the quickness this offense is trying to achieve,” Thompson said. “Being a bigger receiver gives me an advantage with the safeties and I feel my quickness makes me good going against linebackers. So I love it.”

PRACTICE NOTES: Receiver Mitch Mathews contributed a 25-yard touchdown pass from Taysom Hill during Monday’s practice as he continues his standout performance this spring. “He’s out here at every practice because he’s healthy and he’s working hard,” Mendenhall said. “When you’re almost 6-foot-6, you run well and you have good ball skills — those are hard matchups for corners.” ... Touchdown receptions were also made by Ross Apo from 40 yards and Marcus Mathews from 10 yards. Interceptions were recorded by Blake Morgan, Daniel Sorensen and Uani Unga.

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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