Three weeks into BYU’s spring football practice, who’s getting the best of it: the offense or defense?

Up to this point, coach Kalani Sitake would say things are pretty even on both fronts.

(Tyler Richardson | BYU) BYU football holds spring football practice, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

BYU football is getting into the dog days of spring camp.

The Cougars are three weeks into spring ball, which is set to end March 26 after 15 practice sessions with a public practice in LaVell Edwards Stadium.

Up to 7,500 fans will be able to see the quarterback race in person, as well as how the Cougars are expecting to follow up their historic 2020 season.

The QB battle aside, BYU coach Kalani Sitake said there hasn’t been one side of the team that has been better than the other — the defense and offense are pretty even at the moment.

Prior to the 2019 season, the defense was the star of spring and fall camp. Before the 2020 season started, the Cougars’ offense made a huge jump. Now, it seems both are holding their own.

“I think if you’re looking at the 11-on-11 stuff, both sides have done well,” Sitake said. “They’ve had some issues and some things that we have to do better, but … I think that this has been one of those times where one isn’t completely dominating the other.”

Sitake believes it’s also a sign of depth on the roster, which bodes well for a younger defensive group.

The sixth-year coach also noted there haven’t been a lot of missed assignments during practices so far, and mistakes that are being made are very correctable.

“I like the fact that we have a lot of talent out there and we have to keep developing it,” Sitake said. “And I like that the defense — everybody knows that they’re young, but they’re definitely able to play and they have their capabilities and talents that make it work.”

But so far that’s just through practice ball. The staff will have to find a way to make sure spring ball translates to fall camp and then the 2021 season. Sitake said emotions are different in a game setting, so the plan is to focus on 11-on-11 ball to build up muscle memory for his players to use once the season starts.

Luckily, Sitake hasn’t seen any drop-off in performance from his players as they near the end of spring camp. And he’s seen a carryover of players taking film study more seriously than in previous years — an element of practice he saw improve last year.

For those going into the final, public practice, there will definitely be plenty of questions to be answered, but Sitake is just proud of the way his players have stayed focused and continue to navigate the pandemic.

By this time last year, spring ball had already been canceled. But BYU has found a way to keep chugging along this year.

“I think that … what’s happened from the pandemic is that there’s just a lot more appreciation that goes into it and they don’t take anything for granted,” Sitake said. “I’m really thankful that these guys bring it every time, and even the young guys do. There’s a lot of energy going on. It’s really competitive, so there’s a few fights here and there because guys want to compete, want to win. So, I haven’t seen any letdown at any of the practices so far.”

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