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Sophomore quarterback McCoy Hill got hurt on the first day, but since then BYU's spring practices have not included many injuries.

The Cougars wrapped up their 11th spring practice on Wednesday in helmets and shoulder pads — a tuneup of sorts for Friday night's scrimmage — and afterwards coach Bronco Mendenhall said he can't remember a better spring as far as injuries are concerned.

"It is theory at this point, but I really think our strength and conditioning and how the players were prepared in the offseason [by new S&C coach Frank Wintrich] has a huge impact on it. We are just not having any, which is amazing."

Mendenhall said Wintrich's impact has been "reassuring and reaffirming."

"Man, when you put the right person in the right spot, you can get results faster than what it takes in some other areas. And so strong baseline, but a coach or a person with a few new ideas can elevate a program pretty quickly, and I think that's what is happening. … All I know is I am seeing results, and from my standpoint, we are not limited at all, other than at quarterback, which he had nothing to do with. Our guys are healthy and playing, which is great as we are closing in on the finish of spring."

The highlight of Wednesday's practice, at least in the media-viewing portion, was an 80-yard touchdown pass from Christian Stewart to Mitch Mathews, who catches everything in sight and has even seemingly added some speed to his repertoire.

"Really good practice today," Mendenhall said. "Competitive. A lot of situational work. Offense had a really good day today, especially throwing and catching the ball. Just great to have Christian out there. In team settings, he's really allowing the ball to go downfield to Mitch and to Terenn [Houk] and to Nick Kurtz and Devon Blackmon. So a lot of emphasis through the air right now.

We are protecting really well, too, so I am really excited for us offensively today, especially throwing the ball downfield.

Really, Stew is allowing us to do that, and Taysom [Hill] picks up in the setting where he can. So I think we are progressing nicely that way.

Intensity is good, execution is improving. And it is starting to look more like football than it did earlier in the spring. The players are really resilient and working hard. That leads us into the scrimmage on Friday, which will be a lot of different parts."

As I've mentioned before, the offense has dominated the defense in the media-viewing portions of camp. Defender Remington Peck said that it has been mostly even until Wednesday, when the offense did have its way. Receiver Terenn Houk said the offense has pretty much moved the ball with ease in every 11-on-11 session.

Bronco was asked whether the offense is ahead of the defense, his defense, on Wednesday.

"I think they are more experienced, and I think they are more experienced players. Spring is always a tricky thing, when you look at matchups. So, more experience at receiver than in the secondary right now. And more experience at quarterback, with Stew and the receivers.

Right now, if you had to say [who's ahead] in spring, which won't ever mean a thing, I would have to say yes [offense is ahead]."

I've written recently that inside linebacker is the position the Cougars should be concerned about, with Harvey Langi, Manoa Pikula and Teu Kautai all missing spring camp. Jherremya Leuta-Douyere and Austin Heder would be the primary run-stoppers if the season started today.

However, Mendenhall said the secondary is the unit he's most concerned about.

"Man, front seven I feel really good about," he said. "Secondary is the area we need the most work in, currently. Man, we will see in the fall with a few new names and faces mixed in there. But that is probably the area that is the biggest challenge from what I have seen so far."

With Pro Day approaching on Friday, Mendenhall was asked how important it is to him that the program produce NFL players.

His response:

"I think it is really important. For the players, that has always been a dream and an aspiration to do that. There is no one that wants them to make it more than I do. There is also no one that wants them to be more prepared to make it, or be in the NFL, once they are there, than I do, with all the unique challenges. So, man, I love watching the guys play. The games I do watch during the season are usually not college games. They are NFL games, and it is with the teams where we have players on their team. So I love watching those guys."