BYU practice report: Contrite Hoffman returns in a big way
The Cougars just completed a crisp, shorter-than-usual practice here at the outdoor practice field, with the last hour or so played under overcast skies. Yes, it was much more pleasant than Thursday's 90-degree temperatures for the scrimmage. Speaking of which, coach Bronco Mendenhall said after viewing film they got exactly what they wanted to accomplish out of the scrimmage. "The total number of plays ended up being 83 if you count penalties, kicking plays, etc., but the volume of plays we got to evaluate younger players, and exactly where they were, and then rather having on the depth chart a number of guys that were listed side-by-side, we were able to get more clarity that way. We will probably do one more of those similar-type scrimmages before long, before we move on to Washington State work at the end of next week. But only one ankle injury, with a ton of volume, for players we really needed to learn more about. So I really liked it." Mendenhall said he doesn't know yet whether he will conduct another scrimmage on Tuesday, but said he will probably have one more before the end of camp. The pre-camp schedule listed next Thursday as the probable day that will happen.The coach said before the scrimmage that he wanted the position coaches to give him two-deep charts. That will happen after Friday's second practice, he said."It took a long time to get through film, and then have meetings, etc. So at the end of today we will have a little bit better idea. And again, that will be based on tomorrow. That's not perfect. We will have another scrimmage and then give guys a chance, especially depth-wise, to move one more time," he said.As for Friday morning's practice, a lot of guys were held out of contact stuff, including at least a half-dozen offensive linemen. "Kinda typical this time of year," Mendenhall said. Defensive tackle Romney Fuga missed practice to attend graduation (folks weren't sure if it was for his only graduation or a family member's). Tight end Marcus Mathews was sick again Friday, the third time in four days he has missed practice due to illness. Defensive tackle Ian Dulan is still out with a sore back. Offensive lineman Brock Stringham sprained an ankle in the scrimmage and didn't practice. Receiver Dallin Cutler is still nursing a tweaked hamstring. In the 11-on-11 team session that ended practice, Riley Nelson threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hoffman on the first play. All the work was done in the red zone. Coincidentally, the practice ended with Nelson throwing a 10-yard TD pass to Hoffman. Beseiged by reporters after practice, Hoffman spoke about having to miss four practices for disciplinary reasons. I asked him if he thought the punishment was fair. He nodded his head. "I made a mistake," he said.
Mitch Mathews also caught a touchdown pass from Nelson in the 11 on 11, and there was a 20-yard run for a touchdown.