Fans got their first glimpse of next season’s BYU football team during the spring scrimmage on Saturday afternoon in LaVell Edwards Stadium.
The squad split up into BYU east and BYU west teams. Although it was not a full game, everyone played hard to get the fans pumped up for the upcoming season. BYU west won 16–14.
The standout from the scrimmage was freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum. He complete all six of his passes and rushed for 56 yards.
“I thought it was really good for us to get out and play and get the blood pumping a little bit,” Mangum said. “All throughout spring (practice) we haven’t been allowed to tackle, so I think the defense really enjoyed that part.”
Mangum will be going on a mission for the LDS church this summer and will not be able to play for two years. Nevertheless, he was excited to play on Saturday and to play while he is still in Provo.
“I’m fortunate enough to have the coaches give me some playing time here in the game,” Mangum said. “It’s a good confidence builder for me to get some reps before I head out.”
A few other quarterbacks saw action on Saturday. Christian Stewart completed five of his six passes and Ammon Olson completed six of his eleven. Olson had an injury scare part way through the scrimmage. Although nothing is certain yet, Mendenhall said that it is possibly a PCL tear, but surgery is not likely.
Last season’s breakout quarterback, Taysom Hill, who was injured this past season, did not see any playing time today because of the injury. He has been playing during spring practices, however. Hill also participated in the warm ups, but did not take any snaps during the game.
Most of the regular starters were not allowed to play to avoid the possibility of injury. However, some of the main players, such as wide receiver Ross Apo and running back Jamaal Williams did participate. One of BYU’s stars, linebacker Kyle Van Noy, was able to observe his team, especially the defense, while he sat on the sideline to avoid injury.
“They were doing well, just not up to my level of satisfaction,” Van Noy said. “We have work to do. We need to hold each other accountable.”
Although the team has already put in a lot of hard work for next season, there is room for improvement. With the excitement that comes from having star players like Van Noy and wide receiver Cody Hoffman return for next season, also comes the urgency to play well.
“I’m so excited,” Van Noy said. “Everyone’s always asking me about the season, about how healthy I am. I’m healthy, I’m excited, I’m ready. It’s going to be a great off season.”
The home opener against Texas is on September 7, 2013 in LaVell Edwards Stadium.