PROVO — A week into fall camp, the BYU coaching staff is straddling a fine line between giving the players enough work and avoiding injuries.

With that in mind, coach Bronco Mendenhall scaled back the number of plays during a windy, rainy Saturday morning scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Instead of 70 plays, as originally planned, Mendenhall reduced the number of snaps to about 25 fewer than that.

The scrimmage capped the first week of fall camp.

"We've gotten a lot done. I think we have a good football team," Mendenhall said of his impressions of the past week. "The undercurrent is now managing injuries to continue to get this team prepared to play for the season without losing any more key players. That's really the big dilemma now — how much physical work, which we do need, against injury prevention."

The most glaring injury woes are at the offensive line, where two starters, left tackle Matt Reynolds (broken hand) and left guard Jason Speredon (torn rotator cuff) are out. While Reynolds is likely to be ready to play in the season-opener against Oklahoma on Sept. 5, Speredon will be sidelined for the season.

Those personnel losses may have contributed to mistakes on the offensive line on Saturday, as holding and false start penalties piled up.

"I thought we did a lot of good things and a lot of bad things," said quarterback Max Hall, who completed 18-of-21 passes for 189 yards and an 11-yard touchdown pass to McKay Jacobson, which was the only TD by the first-team offense on the day.

"We had a lot of penalties — holding, offsides, things like that," Hall continued. "But what I was proud of was we stayed with it, we managed it and we were still able to get into the end zone. There's a lot of things we have to iron out and work on. All in all, I thought it was a pretty good day for the offense."

On the O-line, depth is a major concern, as the Cougars are down to 11 healthy offensive linemen in camp. The coaching staff is making the necessary adjustments.

"Almost every player now on our offensive line will be cross-trained," Mendenhall said. "Centers will be playing guard, guards will be playing tackle, tackles, in one case, could be playing center. That's how we're going to have to establish our depth."

What does Hall think of his line, which has two redshirt freshmen — Braden Hansen at left tackle and Marco Thorson at left guard — starting at this point?

"We've just got to keep those guys healthy," Hall said. "They're working really hard right now. I think we'll be fine with the guys we have ... (The scrimmage) gives guys a chance to step up. (Quarterbacks) coach (Brandon) Doman was saying how he loves this because it gives guys an opportunity to rise up and show what they can do. That's what guys are doing right now — they're trying to step up and fill in those roles. So far, I think they're doing a good job."

Hall added that he needs to do his part to help the O-line.

"I have to make sure I get rid of the ball quick and not hold on to the ball and make dumb decisions," he said. "If I can do that, then if they do make mistakes, it will be okay."

"I think it's a work in progress," Mendenhall said of the miscues, particularly on the offensive line. "We're not very deep, so the key dynamic is going to be how much work can we get against the risk of how much injury can we sustain? We're right on the threshold there."

"The thing about scrimmages, it kind of shows the areas you need to work on," Hall said. "We've got to improve the running game a little bit, and we've got to work on not having so many penalties. But as far as the passing game, and guys stepping up and making plays, I was very impressed today."

GEORGE SHINES: Among those held out of the scrimmage as a precaution included running back Harvey Unga and tight end Dennis Pitta. J.J. DiLuigi and Andrew George received the bulk of the touches at those positions. George caught a scrimmage-high five catches for 90 yards.

EYE ON THE CORNERS: Junior Brandon Bradley and junior college transfer Corby Eason ran with the first-team defense at the cornerback spots. On the second-team, it was two more JC transfers, Lee Aguirre and Brian Logan.

Redshirt freshman Robbie Buckner, who returned home from a mission in February, did not participate because he is nursing a hamstring injury.

RETURN TO EDWARDS STADIUM: Saturday marked the team's first visit to Edwards Stadium since the school replaced the grass during the off-season.

"I love this stadium," Jacobson said. "It's fun to get on this new grass."

"The field was nice," Hall said. "Because of the rain, it was a little slippery out here. But I love the field. It's nice and flat. I think it's going to be pretty sweet come the first game."

BYU camp report

Day 7: BYU conducted a 40-something play scrimmage on a rainy Saturday morning at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Several key players, including tight end Dennis Pitta and running back Harvey Unga, were held out as a precaution. Tight end Andrew George caught a scrimmage-high five passes for 90 yards.

Injuries: Nothing significant.

Next: The Cougars will return to work Monday with a pair of practices, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The afternoon session will be closed to the media.

Web extra: Check out BYU beat writer Jeff Call's blog at for more insight on the Cougars' fall camp.