BYU Cougars will hold one more football scrimmage before shifting focus to Navy

The dog days are are just about over.

As BYU football continues fall camp, the focus is quickly going to change later this week as the Cougars hold a final preseason scrimmage on Thursday. Then, BYU will concentrate on Navy as the Labor Day season opener inches closer.

BYU coach Kalani Sitake is going to be looking for a lot from his Cougars on Thursday, when the players get another look at some live action. With a similar setting to that of a game, there will be plenty of reps on which to evaluate players.

”The experienced guys have a little more edge, but it’s also a test to see how these new guys, these newcomers to the program, how they react to our scheme and the system of the game,” Sitake said.

Most decisions on starting positions have yet to be made. The QB derby between Zach Wilson, Jaren Hall and Baylor Romney continues as all three quarterbacks have been splitting reps evenly, and newcomer Sol-Jay Maiava-Peters is also getting a few looks in.

However, there are a couple of players that the fifth-year coach believes will be hard to beat out — Khyiris Tonga and Matt Bushman.

After Thursday, Sitake will start looking to assemble his depth chart.

“I think it’s important to give newcomers and also guys that have made a huge difference from how they played last year to this year … I want to give them every opportunity to establish their place in the depth chart and throw some starters to confirm that they should be the starters,” Sitake said. “But when you do that, it gives you an option to see what you can count on, going into this season, going into games and then possible rotation.”

Then, the Cougars will be able to make the switch and begin scout team work to get ready to Navy, although they have already been doing a little bit of prep work for the season opener.

Sitake believes that splitting the work between building a foundation and preparing for Navy has been why there’s been a bit of delay from the defense, which took its lumps in the opening scrimmage.

While the offense’s main focus has been red-zone scoring, Summers said the defense has been focusing on being aggressive.

Through the aggressiveness, the group can work on stopping the run and making sure the group is assignment sound.

They’re also working on bringing more heat to the opposing QB and get the quarterback to move his feet, something Summers has already seen improvement in during fall camp.

“I feel like we have a really talented offensive line, like we have a lot of skill there,” defensive lineman Gabe Summers said. “But I’ve also felt that our defensive line has really held their own. Even though I think we have a lot of younger guys, underclassmen, I feel like we’ve all played well. We’ve all been able to sync up a lot.”