1 of 15
Deseret News
Brigham Young Cougars quarterback Joe Critchlow (10) catches the ball during BYU's Spring Game at the former Provo High School football field in Provo on Saturday, March 23, 2019.

PROVO — While BYU held its annual spring scrimmage during an open practice Saturday afternoon, spring ball isn’t over yet.

The Cougars have three more practices next week. Saturday's open practice at the former Provo High football field gave less experienced players valuable playing time.

“Another opportunity for us to coach these guys and get better. We still have three good practices left, which is what I told our guys. This is our opportunity to evaluate them. It’s the truest evaluation we’ve had for the guys who haven’t played yet,” said offensive coordinator Jeff Grimes. “This isn’t the same as a game but for guys who haven’t played, it kind of feels like a game to them. We come to a different place, there are fans here and it has more of a game feel to it. In that situation, some guys shine and some guys don’t. It’s the best evaluation that we’ve had thus far.”

“What I really like is the ownership of the players and the leadership that our young guys have done,” said coach Kalani Sitake. “We saw a lot of our guys take a big step forward in getting more quality depth because of the injured guys like Matt Bushman and Aleva Hifo. I saw some really good things from the position groups. I could see what we’re going to do this fall when those guys get back and I’m really excited about it.”

Grimes saw some mistakes Saturday that need to be addressed during next week’s practices.

“Overall, a pretty good day. Not as clean as we’d like it to be. We had one turnover, which is one too many. We had four or five false starts and a couple of holdings. Holdings may happen every now and then but there’s no excuse for false starts," Grimes said. "That’s the thing that probably frustrated me the most. We weren’t as productive with our run game as I think we can be. Our run game will continue to get better, particularly when we get other guys back with us in the fall. But overall, it was a good day and a good opportunity for a lot of guys to play and show the fans what they can do.”

IN THE CLUTCH: Last Tuesday, quarterback Jaren Hall finished football practice then headed to Utah Valley University to join the Cougar baseball team.

In the 10th inning, Hall singled home Brock Hale for the game-winning RBI to lift BYU to a 14-13 victory.

“It was awesome. That was fun to be there to help my team out in the end,” Hall said. “It’s every kid’s dream, right?”

4 comments on this story

FROM ONE QB TO ANOTHER: While sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson was sidelined Saturday due to offseason shoulder surgery, he spent quite a bit of time talking to former Cougar QB Max Hall, the school’s all-time winningest quarterback, during the practice.

EXTRA POINTS: Prior to the open practice, BYU staged an alumni touch football game with numerous former Cougar players. Among the quarterbacks that took snaps was Robbie Bosco, who led BYU to a national championship in 1984. After leading a touchdown drive, his teammates lifted him on their shoulders to celebrate … BYU placekicker Jake Oldroyd booted a 48-yard field goal during the scrimmage.