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BYU to stage spring game Saturday at Edwards Stadium

Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake watches players during practice in Provo Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
Brigham Young Cougars head coach Kalani Sitake watches players during practice in Provo Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
Jeffrey D. Allred,

PROVO — BYU fans will get their first look at first-year coach Kalani Sitake’s team during the annual Blue vs. White game Saturday afternoon at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The game is free to the public. Gates open at 1 p.m. and the event starts at 2 p.m.

“We want to play a game format and make it exciting for the fans and for the team,” Sitake said. "With a limited number of offensive lineman available, we determined a way we could do that was to have our offensive line play for both offenses. We’re excited to see our guys play in a game situation at LaVell Edwards Stadium."

Warm-up drills begin at 2 p.m. before an extended period of 7-on-7 before the Blue vs. White game.

Quarterback Taysom Hill, who is coming back from last year’s foot injury, and others who won’t be able to play in the game, will participate in 7-on-7 drills.

Fans shouldn’t expect the spring game to reveal too much about how the Cougars will play next fall.

Sitake, who is breaking in a new offense and a new defense, wants to preserve a competitive advantage before the season-opener against Arizona on Sept. 3 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

“I want to entertain the fans a little bit but I don’t want to give away the playbook,” Sitake said. “Obviously, I think next year’s spring game will be a lot different from this year. There are people that know we’ll do things differently than we’ve done in the past. But we don’t need to give the playbook away right now.”

Sitake said his team only has nine healthy offensive linemen.

“We’ll see how many plays we can get out there. It will be competitive,” Sitake said. “We’ll have a good warm-up and then we’ll good portion of it will be skelly and then we’ll see how the scrimmage part goes. It’s open to whatever we can do and how many guys can get out there and get some reps.”

Saturday’s spring game will showcase younger players, too.

“We want to see some of the young guys in the second part of the scrimmage and hopefully give them a chance so we can see them and evaluate them a little bit more,” Sitake said. “I can’t tell you exactly what it’s going to be like. I’m not going to set a limit to saying we’re going to do this many plays. I’m just going to keep it open and see if we have enough to evaluate all of our players on this team.”

For fans that want to participate in tailgating before the game, the parking lot west of the stadium will be open starting at 8 a.m. Concessions will be available during the scrimmage. Parking is free and will be available in the west, south and southeast lots adjacent to the stadium.

EMAIL: jeffc@deseretnews.com