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Even with a vanilla display of defensive sets, new BYU defensive coordinator Jay Hill gave fans a glimpse of what he’s brought to the program in the form of a base 4-2-5 defense and more aggression at the annual spring game. In the alumni game, former QB Max Hall injured himself celebrating and Ty Detmer returned to the field he led the Cougars to a win over defending champion Miami.

Here are some of our spring game stories:

Cougar Insiders predictions

Question of the week: After three weeks of spring practice, do you think BYU is set or left wanting for QBs?

Jay Drew: Through 12 practices and/or scrimmages of their scheduled 15-practice spring camp, the Cougars have shown that the offseason acquisitions of Kedon Slovis and Jake Retzlaff have solidified their quarterback position. Are they as good as last year? That’s debatable, but early returns appear positive.

Slovis has been everything BYU thought he would be, offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick told me last week. Of course, more will be known when live bullets start flying in September, but the Pitt and USC transfer seems to have the “it” factor. At least, that’s what his teammates say.

Also, Cade Fennegan seems to have improved, perhaps motivated by the newcomers. Freshman Ryder Burton, the former Springville High product, also appears to be the real deal, although it is doubtful Burton will see the field for a couple of years, unless the injury bug bites.

Dick Harmon: It is interesting to see what Aaron Roderick likes in his quarterbacks. He likes guys with strong arms to stretch the field, likes mobility with a run threat who can extend a play with athleticism and have the right stuff in the noggin. Kedon Slovis and Jake Retzlaff, the two newest acquisitions, possess all those traits.

I thought Slovis had a solid spring. He has a grasp of the offense and has shown he can sling it deep. Retzlaff got a slow start but showed last week why he was the No. 1 JC quarterback. Cade Fennegan has always been impressive although injured a lot since coming to Provo. Ryder Burton, in my mind, may have been the biggest surprise of spring. Many have not seen him play at Springville High. He is impressive in person and looks to have all the tools important to Roderick.

I think the QB room is solid. If Slovis is injured, his experience will be sorely missed. But the adjustment to replace him won’t be a climb up a mountain. It will be more of a passing of the baton with normal growing pains and this is huge for Roderick. Also, I think all his QBs will gain from Jay Hill applying pressure every day in practice. 

Cougar tales

From the archives

The untold story of how Big 12-bound BYU landed this big-time recruit
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From the Twitterverse

Extra points


Comments from Deseret News readers: 

A full article of people saying exactly what we would expect them to.

It would be refreshing to read a sports article where a coach talks about how weak the league they play in is and how poor the fan bases are. It would also be nice to read a coach talk about how they think they can dominate other teams.

But, they’ve all learned from experience that you don’t give other teams bulletin board fodder. So, we get to read predictable quotes.

I think it will be fun for BYU to be in the Big 12. It will be exciting to see the different teams and to see the level of play. That said, it’s not like every team in the league is Superman. BYU will win some games. There’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s the same game no matter where you play it. No need to psych yourself out about it.

— JapanCougar

I’d like to hear some articles on other Big 12 schools and how they’re preparing for next season. And more about the schools, hometowns, etc. This is a pretty awesome conference that spans the country, with good programs and universities, and great media markets. Traveling BYU fans are going to have a great time visiting fun stadiums and eating awesome food. 

— eastcoastcoug

Enough already - give the ball to Hinckley Ropati. The guy has a quick burst and runs hard. When I saw him in that Boise State game last year - I thought “Why hasn’t this guy been playing?”

— 65TossPowerTrap

Up next

April 6 | Noon | Women’s tennis | vs. Washington | @Provo
April 6 | 6 p.m. | Baseball | vs. San Francisco | @Provo
April 7-8 | TBA | Track & field | Trojan Invitational | @Los Angeles

Quarterback Kedon Slovis, talks with media after the BYU Cougars football team practiced in Provo on Friday, March 17, 2023.
Quarterback Kedon Slovis, talks with media after the BYU Cougars football team practiced in Provo on Friday, March 17, 2023. | Scott G Winterton, Deseret News