Provo • Beau Hoge doesn’t even want to acknowledge it. Not publicly, anyway.
But it is looking more and more like the redshirt sophomore from Fort Thomas, Ky., will be Tanner Mangum’s primary backup when BYU coaches release their two-deep chart prior to the opener on Aug. 26 against Portland State.
Hoge, the son of former NFL running back and current ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, got the second-most reps at Thursday’s scrimmage, behind only Mangum.
“We will just have to see how it works out,” he said after running for a touchdown and throwing for another in the scrimmage.
On an otherwise dismal day for the offense, which committed seven turnovers, coach Kalani Sitake said Hoge stood out in a good way. While all the quarterbacks wore green jerseys, which generally means they can’t be tackled, only Mangum was off limits to contact.
That plan “was especially good for a guy like Beau, a guy who relies on his legs,” Sitake said. “I thought [Hoge] had a really good day today. He did some good things running the offense. A lot of that had to do with him going live and I was really pleased with him.”
Hoge wasn’t about to gloat, however, saying nobody on the offense should be proud of giving the ball away seven times.
BYU’s season opener
Portland State at BYU
Aug. 26, 1 p.m.
TV • ESPN.
“Just one of those days,” he said. “Just little things here and there. Honestly, nothing really big. But the defense capitalized on those mistakes.”
Hoge’s primary competition for the backup role, fellow redshirt junior Koy Detmer Jr., did connect with Tariq Buchanan and Austin Kafentzis for decent gains in his only series during the 49 minutes media members were allowed to watch the scrimmage. However, the drive ended with Rhett Almond missing a 45-yard field goal attempt.
Offensive coordinator Ty Detmer — Koy’s uncle — said Monday there is no timetable for a backup QB to be named.
“It is starting to sort itself out here,” Ty Detmer said before the scrimmage. “We will give it another week probably and then that’s when you have to know. The ones have to be together all the time, and you slow down on the substitution part of it. You get your depth chart aligned so that those next two weeks before game week you are ready to go.”
With Kafentzis moving to a different offensive position, the remaining QBs in camp are freshmen returned missionaries Kody Wilstead and Joe Critchlow. What to do with them and the odd man out between Hoge and Koy Detmer?
“We may rotate guys over there on the scout team,” Ty Detmer said. “That way they are still getting to see our offense, see how we run it, and then go get some scout team work, too.”
Solid at safety
Sitake said all five safeties competing for the two starting jobs — Micah Hannemann, Matt Hadley, Tanner Jacobson, Zayne Anderson and Austin Lee — performed well on Thursday, thanks in part to the defensive line getting pressure on the quarterbacks. Safeties coach Ed Lamb has said Hannemann and Hadley would start if the season started today, but Sitake said competition is still intense to get playing time.
“There are a lot of guys there who could play and start for us,” he said. “It is a good problem to have. They have a little bit of time to get that depth chart solidified. It is always changing and it is always moving. Guys are improving and we will see what happens, but right now it is too early to determine.”
Redshirt sophomore receiver Talon Shumway has had a stellar camp, but dropped a pass in the scrimmage. … Former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill completed 4 of 5 passes for 69 yards and a touchdown in his NFL preseason debut Thursday and rushed twice for 14 yards. The oft-injured ex-Cougar did the “Lambeau Leap” into fans behind the end zone after the touchdown pass. … BYU has moved the time of next Thursday’s open practice to 10 a.m. Gates open at 9:30 a.m. and admission is free.