Fall practice report day eight

PROVO — It should have been an easy guess who Riley Nelson would find in the back of the endzone for his first pass during team drills. With Cody Hoffman taking a full set of reps for the first time since his suspension he made his presence known immediately — scoring from 20 yards out on the very first play.

“He actually wasn’t my first read on that play,” said Nelson. “It was a busted coverage and I didn’t even think about it, but yeah, it sort of makes a lot of sense that my first pass went to him in the endzone.”

Nelson and Hoffman have been joined at the hip since Nelson took over the starting quarterback reigns and that likely won’t be changing any time soon.

“Everything just flows better when Cody is out there,” said Nelson. “It’s been great working with all these younger guys and they’ve made a lot of progress, but it’s always nice to have your top guys available. Now we just need to get Ross (Apo) and Marcus (Mathews) back and we’ll be able to really get going.”

Mathews has been ill and Apo has been a bit banged up, but both are expected to return to practice shortly.

Overall the team is happy where its at after eight practice sessions. The vibe was positive following Thursday’s scrimmage and that continued after players and coaches broke down the film.

“We obviously made some mistakes, but we’re happy with what we accomplished during the scrimmage,” said Nelson. “Watching what we did kind of confirmed what we though and I think we’re right on schedule.”

Practice notes

-The team practiced its “bluezone” execution today with Nelson thriving from twenty yards in. Nelson went 7-9 for 65 yards and two touchdown passes. Hoffman caught TD passes of 20 and 10 yards with Mitch Mathews scoring from 10 yards out.

-Nelson had one of his passes picked off by safety Craig Bills

-James Lark went 1-3 for eight yards. Taysom Hill went 2-3 for 12 yards.


  1. Brian

    Bronco indicated early in the week he would ask his coaches for a two-deep on Thursday (yesterday). I’m sure fans would be interested to see it (recognizing, of course, it is subject to change as camp continues). Thanks.

    • Brandon Gurney

      I’d love to see it as well, but it’s doubtful Bronco would release it. I’ll try to note the two-deep better during the coming practice sessions.

    • Brandon Gurney

      great question. They’re very similar with regards to their mentality and physical makeup. Bills certainly has a chance to play this year, but I think Sorensen may have been slightly ahead of him at this point last season. Please note that this is Bills’ first practice session since returning home from his mission.

    • Brandon Gurney

      He has a lot of potential. Think a stronger, bigger and faster version of Riley Nelson, but without the refinement. He could be very good in time.

  2. Clark

    Does Riley appear to have made any significant QB mechanical improvements? Throwing motion? Read Progression? Is he holding the pocket longer?

    • Brandon Gurney

      I think the thing Riley will do better this year is check down better when downfield reads aren’t available to him. He’s been going through his reads quicker this fall.

  3. Doug

    Lark is a senior, Why has he not played more? Do you see any of the underclassmen overtaking him on the depth chart?

    • Brandon Gurney

      Lark has struggled with elbow tendinitis since his mission and hasn’t proven to be someone worthy of PT until last fall’s preseason practice session. He hasn’t been all that good this August, but did have a very good outing at LES on Thursday. He should provide quality backup duty this season.

  4. Craig

    How did Williams do today? How did Ziggy do? Being bigger, faster, & stronger is all Nelson is lacking to make it to the next level, do you see Hill having the kind of potential needed to make it to the NFL? Elaborate if you can. How is VanNoy doing?

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