[18 Aug 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Can Taysom Hill Take the Next Step?

OK, let’s just speak the truth here.
BYU quarterback Taysom Hill was just plain bad during last Friday night’s open scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Officially, he completed 9 of his 18 pass attempts for 89 yards, while throwing one touchdown and an interception. But those numbers don’t really tell the story of just how anemic the offense was when the junior was under center.
The first team unit struggled mightily to execute in the passing game and failed to consistently sustain drives.
Sound familiar?
At times Hill looked like he was trying to place …

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[4 Aug 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
BYU Finding Answers to Key Questions

If the first couple of days of BYU fall football practice are any indication, the Cougars appear to be significantly ahead of schedule in answering some key questions for the 2014 season.
Bronco Mendenhall’s squad kicked off camp hoping to see the offense make major strides in the passing game, find replacements for three starting linebackers, including superstar Kyle Van Noy, and find an answer at place kicker.
The head coach and his staff have to feel pretty good about where their team stands as they move into the first full week …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch in Fall Camp

BYU will welcome an army of return missionaries to the football program when the Cougars open fall camp on Friday.
During media day last month, head coach Bronco Mendenhall said that 18 players would join the program for the 2014 season.
Last week, it was reported that Corbin Kaufusi (6-9, 260 Fr.), the younger brother of Bronson, will not play football this year, but will walk on to the basketball team instead.
It appears that Kaufusi’s spot on the roster will be filled by Utah transfer Harvey Langi (6-2, 210 Fr.), who returned …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]

No. 7–DL Kesni Tausinga
Tausinga (6-1, 300 Fr.) enters the BYU program after serving his mission to  Suva, Fiji.
He signed with the Cougars in 2011, then grayshirted that season before departing for the mission field.
Kesni returned in time to participate in spring practice this year and immediately turned the heads of coaches with his play.
He will begin fall camp as a member of the two-deep, as the back up to Graham Rowley at defensive end.
He provides Bronco Mendenhall with a different body type than Rowley to work with, being more of …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]

No. 6 — PK Corey Edwards
BYU loses placekicker Justin Sorensen, who rebounded from an-injury plagued career to have a solid senior season. Sorensen made 21 of his 26 field goal attempts and was a perfect 45-for-45 on PATs.
The two kickers on the spring roster, Moose Bingham and Trevor Samson, did not see action last year and both were underwhelming in spring camp.
Mendenhall has expressed concern about the place kicking situation given that neither kicker has been able to distinguish himself.
Enter true freshman Corey Edwards, the grand nephew of legendary BYU …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]

No. 5–OLB Troy Hinds
With the loss of linebackers Kyle Van Noy, Uani Unga, Spencer Hadley and Tyler Beck, there are a number of holes to fill on the depth chart at linebacker.
Troy Hinds (6-5, 240 Fr.) is the caliber of player who could step in and make a significant contribution at one of the outside linebackers spots as a true freshman.
The former Davis Dart was one of the most highly-recruited players in the history of Utah high school football.
He turned down offers from most of the PAC-12 schools, Nebraska, Michigan, …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]

No.4–MLB Austin Heder
The return of Zac Stout (6-2, 217 Jr.) at mike linebacker following his dismissal from school in 2012 is big for BYU football this year, and so is the return of Austin Heder (6-1, 241 So.) from his mission in Montreal, Canada.
The two of them create what should be a very solid 1-2 punch in the middle of the BYU defense, with Heder being more than capable as Stout’s back up after make a contribution on the offensive side of the ball  prior to his mission.
As a true …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Ului Lapuaho

No. 3–OT Ului Lapuaho
He’s big. He’s athletic. And he’s just what the doctor ordered for a BYU offensive line that has struggled the past few years.
Though he’s a true freshman, expect offensive tackle Ului Lapuaho (6-7, 320 Fr.) to make a big impact this coming season.
He’s listed as the back up to De’Ondre Wesley (6-7, 330 Sr.) going into fall camp, but don’t be surprised if he works his way into the starting line up on either the left or right side before the season is over.
During national signing day …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Travis Tuiloma

No. 2–NT Travis Tuiloma
BYU is hoping that Travis Tuiloma (6-2, 320 So.) can team with Marques Johnson (6-2, 308 Sr.) to provide a solid rotation at the all-important nose tackle position.
In the 3-4 defense that Mendenhall employs, a two-gap nose that can hold his position and gobble up blockers is a necessity.
If the nose tackle gets pushed around, it not only opens up the running game for the opponent, but also has the effect of collapsing the entire defense as it looks for ways to shut down the run in …

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[30 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Key BYU RMs to Watch: Graham Rowley

No. 1–DE Graham Rowley
The return of Graham Rowley (6-4, 280 Jr.) from the mission field to Chicago allows BYU coaches to move Bronson Kausfusi (6-7, 263 Jr.) to outside linebacker for 2014.
Rowley played two seasons for the Cougars in 2010 and 2011 before choosing to serve a mission.
He was forced to burn his redshirt season when Romney Fuga was knocked out for the year against Nevada in 2010 and Manumaleuna was moved from defensive end to nose tackle. He ended up playing eight games that season as a back up.
As …

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[28 Jul 2014 | Brett Richins | ]
Preseason Preview: BYU vs. Utah State

BYU should be well rested when it faces in-state rival Utah State on a Friday night in week six of the 2014 college football season.
The Cougar have a bye week leading up to the game, while Utah State will be operating on a short week following a road contest at Arkansas State.
BYU has won 13 of the last 14 games in this long-time series, including last season’s 31-14 victory in Logan. Since 1975, the Cougars have dominated the rivalry, going 29-4 against the Aggies.
Last season’s game was highlighted by Kyle …