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‘Going to levels that we’ve never been’: BYU offense clicking through first week of camp

Last Saturday, BYU held its first practice in full pads and participated in scrimmage situations. Coach Kalani Sitake was impressed with what he saw from the offense.

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BYU quarterback Zach Wilson during practice on August 10, 2020.

Jaren Wilkey/BYU

PROVO — While there’s still plenty of questions about the status of college football right now due to the coronavirus pandemic, BYU’s offense is apparently hitting its stride.

The Cougars are scheduled to open the season at Navy on Sept. 7.

Last Saturday, BYU held its first practice in full pads and participated in scrimmage situations. Coach Kalani Sitake was impressed with what he saw from the offense.  

“Overall, I’d say the offense won the day. So half the team is disappointed and looked to bounce back and have a better practice today and I’d say it was much more evenly matched today,” Sitake said after Monday’s practice. “But the offensive output was a lot better the first day of full pads, which is a little bit different than what we’ve seen in years’ past. Overall, the offense just executed better and definitely were really physical. That’s a good thing, getting our guys ready for our first game coming up.”

BYU junior quarterback Zach Wilson is confident about what the offense can accomplish. 

“My biggest thing is that we’re going to be a dang good football team this year. That’s what I’m excited about. We’re out here in fall camp and we’re going to levels that we’ve never been,” he said. “It’s our third year as an offense and we’re working on the little details and taking everything to the next level. So I’m confident that we’re going to be a way better offense and a way better team. And for right now, we still have a week one schedule that we’re playing on Labor Day. That’s what we’re looking forward to. We’re still planning on that game; we’re still preparing for that game.”

Asked about Saturday’s scrimmage, Wilson said the offense scored on the first two plays. 

“The very first one, I hit (tight end) Matt (Bushman) on a seam route in man coverage and he went up and made a great play from about 25 (yards) out,” Wilson said. “The very next one, we ran a little slip play to the sideline. (Quarterback) Baylor (Romney) found (tight end) Carter Wheat for a touchdown. I think those are the plays that we need as an offense to show that we can score in the red zone, right? We definitely showed that we can get into the red zone, but we’ve got to score.”

A year ago, Wilson was coming off of offseason shoulder surgery. He said he feels much better now. 

“I’d say it’s tremendously higher. Not just me but the whole team. Personally, I feel like this is one of the biggest offseasons for me. I feel like I’ve been able to take my arm from being — not only was it not 100% last year — but it’s 100% and better than it was before surgery. That was the biggest thing for me.”