BYU football: Defense looks good in first scrimmage, no update on QB battle

BYU held its first scrimmage of fall camp and the defense outplayed the offense. Those looking for a quarterback update will be disappointed as the battle for who will start will have to wait another day.

BYU held its first scrimmage of fall camp but it was completely closed off from public view. Just another step of the new staff not wanting to tip its hand to Arizona. That does not mean we do not know what happened as the players and coaches spoke to the media afterwards. It was kept in such secrecy that stats were not made public and neither were the number of plays.

The defense once again dominated this scrimmage, but that is not out of the ordinary and head coach Kalani Sitake acknowledged that the offense was not completely over matched.

“The offense had their moments as well,” he said. “We will watch the film. Offense probably had a little more success than what we are used to seeing. But that is a huge credit to the talent and skill we have on offense.”

Neither offensive coordinator Ty Detmer nor defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki would say what side had the better day.

“We’ve got to cut down on penalties,” Detmer said. “We need to try and stay ahead of the chains. We are still at a point where our O-line is trying different combinations. I’d like to see things cleaned up, but overall we are getting a good push up front and it is a continued work in progress.”

The biggest question is who will play quarterback for the Cougars but after one scrimmage there is no mention of who has the edge between Tanner Mangum or Taysom Hill.

“It is hard to compare because they are going with different groups, different plays, different situations. As a coaching staff, we usually go back and look at the film, make sure our eyes are in the right place,” Detmer said. “They are always getting different looks with different receivers, and different guys are in there with different groups, so we don’t really compare too much during the time, but they are all starting to get it. … We’ve still got a couple of weeks here though, to tighten things up.”

Hill was playing in his first real football action since he suffered the lis franc injury in the 2015 season opener against Nebraska. While things did not go as smooth as he would like in the scrimmage, Hill said he is getting closer to his old self.

“I’ve definitely had some times where I felt a little rusty, but I felt pretty good today,” Hill said after Saturday’s scrimmage. “I thought our line did a fairly good job up front and gave us time so we were able to go through our reads and progressions and deliver the ball where it needed to be when it needed to be there. I was happy with it.

Here is what head coach Kalani Sitake and quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Tanner Mangum had to say afterwords.

There are also highlights of the scrimmage.

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