PROVO For BYU quarterback Max Hall and the offense, Friday's scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium was a chance for a little bit of redemption.
The Cougar defense dominated when the team held its first scrimmage of spring practices a week ago, so Hall was determined to do better this time around. BYU worked mainly on situational drills inside the 30-yard line.
"It felt great. Our first live session didn't go very good," said Hall, who completed 9 of 14 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown to Austin Collie. "For us to come out here and execute some things right ... whenever you come to the stadium, you want to play well. This is a special place. We talked about that before we came out here in a team meeting. We always want to perform at our best when we come here. We're not perfect, but we did a lot of good things today. I'm proud of my guys today."
What's more, the Cougars held the scrimmage in front of hundreds of former BYU players as part of Alumni Day festivities.
"It's an awesome deal," Hall said of Alumni Day. "Hopefully I get to meet all of (the former players)."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall enjoyed having strong support from former Cougars.
"The practice wasn't necessarily structured for the alumni, but to have them here, the players certainly recognized they were here and wanted to perform well and show they are willing and capable of carrying on the tradition," he said. "Hopefully the alumni saw that and felt that as well. It's spring, not fall, but I think we're on track for where we currently stand."
Mendenhall added that while some aspects of the scrimmage weren't as crisp as he'd like them to be, his team made improvement. In five goal-line situations, the offense scored three times and the defense held two times.
"It was just another work day. It could have been cleaner still on both sides," he said. "I think we got a lot accomplished. We had some situation work that we felt we needed more emphasis. This was our first chance to install goal-line packages. Other than the spring game, there won't be any live work. This was the last assessment of a couple of situations we wanted to look at."
The Cougars will practice twice more next week before the annual spring game next Saturday at Edwards Stadium.
Mendenhall and his staff shortened the scrimmage in large part because of Thursday's injury to linebacker Terrance Hooks, who sustained a torn patella tendon in his left knee. He has undergone surgery and is expected to be out six to eight months.
"After the injury to Terrance yesterday, I was really planning (the scrimmage) being more than 50 plays, but we cut it off at 30 to 35," Mendenhall said. "I thought that was enough."
Hooks' injury, of course, also impacts BYU's depth at that position.
"It hurts," Mendenhall said. "We felt great about our inside linebackers prior to Terrance getting hurt with a solid two-deep Matt Bauman, Shawn Doman, Matty Ah You, and Terrance Hooks. With three now, there's a chance for an incoming player that's going to have to emerge. Or we'll have to move a linebacker possibly from the outside. I don't know who that will be."
Hall is pleased with the way spring drills have gone, and he is looking forward to the future."We've had a good spring so far. We need to make the best of next week," he said. "We have two practices and the spring game. We need to finish it right and have the mindset where it needs to be for fall."
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