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Blue-White scrimmage should be entertaining

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PROVO — BYU head football coach Gary Crowton will try and stage the most entertaining Blue White game possible on Saturday.

One thing he won't do is split his team up and try and design things to be fair. Instead, Crowton will conduct a scrimmage, minus kickoffs.

"I'm not going to have a draft this year. We felt we wanted to have our units intact," Crowton said.

"Rather than mix up our players, we feel we need more continuity on both sides of the ball. I'll do it like we did my first year," he said.

"This would mean the No. 1 offense will go against the No. 2 defense and then the No. 1 defense will play against the No. 2 offense. "With the threes, we'll just split them up on both teams."

So far this spring, the first defense has dominating most scrimmages, two-minute drills and red zone until last Thursday and Monday. While the defense dominated most team drills on Monday, a red zone drill produced a quick four touchdown passes — three by quarterback John Beck and one by Matt Berry.

For the week, Crowton plans an aggressive team period today and then will work on timing and technique on Thursday.

COUGAR NOTES: R.J. Willing sprained his ankle on Monday. "He kind of got stepped on and rolled it but I hope he'll be ready to go on Saturday."

Crowton praised juco transfer Todd Watkins for picking up BYU's offense, routes and plays. "He's a very smart player and he's picked things up quickly. For a first-year player coming in for spring, he's been very impressive from a learning standpoint."

Receiver prep recruit Austin Collie from Oak Hills High in Eldorado Hills, Calif., showed up at Monday practice. He is staying with his brother, receiver Zack Collie, and will be here all week instead of joining his volleyball squad in Orlando, Fla., for a tournament.

The school sold 577 season tickets the first two days in April, and the tally grew to 615 on Monday, according to athletic marketing specialist Tony Jewkes. "It is off the charts," Jewkes said of the comparative numbers during the first week of sales with other years. Tickets went on sale April 1, and 1,613 of BYU's 30,000 season ticket holders logged in to renew for 2004 in three days.

E-mail: dharmon@desnews.com