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BYU football: Cougars still counting on Sorensen to return

Published August 11, 2012 11:46 pm

BYU football • Punter Stephenson fills in for scrimmage.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Provo • While the BYU Cougars were busy scrimmaging on Thursday at LaVell Edwards Stadium, their highly touted kicker, Justin Sorensen, was at a nearby doctor's office, getting an anti-inflammatory injection to relieve the pain in his surgically repaired back.

"We should see by the first part of next week if we are going to get a good result from that or not. I really feel like we will," said head athletic trainer Jeff Hurst. ".... We won't throw him back into the fray right off the bat, but we will have him start doing a few things and move him around, and see how he does. He should be fine."

Sorensen has yet to attempt a kick at preseason camp. Punter Riley Stephenson, filling in, made a 33-yard field goal during the scrimmage.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall continues to insist that Sorensen will be ready for the opener, Aug. 30 at home against Washington State.

"There will be a protocol for him to kick and get ready, but I don't think it is as severe as what everyone thought it might be," Mendenhall said. "I have been consistent all along: I think he will be ready for the first game."

Offense gets the upper hand

Far more offensive starters saw action in the Thursday scrimmage than defensive starters, which is probably why the guys trying to move the ball had more success than the guys trying to stop it from moving. Without actually saying it, Mendenhall, who doubles as the defensive coordinator, hinted that the offense had the upper hand.

"I thought from a physical standpoint, and a lot of it had to do with experience, the offense ran the ball better, had a physical edge," Mendenhall said. "But about 70 plays and 24 points. So, again, what the statistics show defensively is when you [hold opponents] to 24 or under, you have a great chance to win. And so fairly close, but I think physical-wise, the offense played a little more dominant today."

Although it didn't create a turnover, the defense did have some solid moments, coming up with five "whistle" sacks of various quarterbacks.

"I thought [linebacker] Manoa Pikula did some nice things. Surprisingly, Tui Crichton, because he has been working to get in shape, tightening up, at nose tackle. He made a number of plays, which were nice.

"And then Micah Hanneman at corner is really starting to do some nice things as a true freshman. But he has some nice size. So just off the top of my head, those are some plays where you look and go, 'Oh, that's pretty good,' " Mendenhall said.

Briefly

There's been talk that quarterback Taysom Hill, a transfer from Stanford, might be asked to redshirt this season, but Mendenhall said he leans toward having Hill play this year. "But that could very well change a week from now." ... Walk-on defensive back Adam Hogan, a transfer from L.A. Southwest College, made a great defensive play, keeping Brett Thompson from catching a perfectly thrown strike from Jason Munns with a timely strip.

drew@sltrib.com

Twitter: @drewjay