The BYU football team gave more than 18,000 fans a glimpse of the future in the Blue vs. White spring game on Saturday, March 26 at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The white team came out on top with a 30-12 win.
Players showcased a glimmer of the new offensive and defensive identities coordinators Ty Detmer Ilaisa Tuiaki hope to instill in the team’s first year under a new coaching regime.
Detmer’s offense displayed a majority of single-back, I-formation looks while Tuiaki’s defense stayed in a base defense.
Head coach Kalani Sitake said the team played well, but things weren’t as clean because starters were substituted for younger players to show what they could do.
“Overall, it’s just a work in progress,” Sitake said. “We have the game in September, we’re going to need all that time to get ready for it.”
Following warm-ups and several 7-on-7 drills, sophomore quarterbacks Tanner Mangum and Beau Hoge saw action on both the blue and white teams. Sophomore quarterback Koy Detmer Jr. also saw playing time for the blue team. Veteran Taysom Hill did not participate due to family matters, as his brother, David, passed away on Friday.
Sitake said he would like to see “better production” from the quarterbacks, but understands less experienced players were on the field.
Mangum completed 6-of-9 passes for 92 yards and a touchdown on the day.
Sitake said he was impressed with how Mangum’s leadership has developed since the winter. Mangum responded to Sitake’s comments by pointing out the head coach’s leadership, saying he’s “following coach Sitake’s lead.”
Mangum agreed that the Cougars had several things to clean up, such as fumbled snaps and admitted to his own mental mistakes.
“(We’ve) got to be able to clean those things up so we can be sharper as an offense,” Mangum said. “But that happens, so we have to learn from that and be better next week.”
Hoge completed 6-of-12 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, earning Detmer’s praise. Detmer said Hoge “made some really good plays, and got out of trouble with his legs as well.”
Detmer also noted the play of Squally Canada, who ran for 45 yards on five carries.
“I thought Squally ran well,” Detmer said. “He made some good cuts and he runs with power.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Sitake said they used just one basic coverage and kept things generic.
“We’re still a work-in-progress, but we have a lot more on defense than what we showed today,” Sitake said.
– All of the kickers had opportunities to kick. Sitake said the Cougars don’t have a “long field goal type of guy,” but he’s not worried. He’s comfortable with kicking field goals from the 45-yard range.
– Sitake said the teams tackled well. Adam Pulsipher led both teams with four tackles.
– Only nine offensive linemen were healthy enough to play. They planned on 60 live plays, but ended up participating in 82. Sitake described the offensive line as “gassed out,” but said they’re tough and will be alright.
– More than 18,000 fans came out to the game. Sitake thought it might have made the guys a little nervous to play in front of so many people.
-Detmer said BYU is working to make the tight end a key part of its offense, and described it as “tight end by committee” right now.