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Provo • Midway through BYU's first practice of preseason camp on Saturday, the Cougars lined up for what they call a "team" session — a live 11-on-11 scrimmage, albeit without pads, tackling or hitting. It is basically a game of two-hand touch.

On his first snap since that October night against Utah State when he suffered a broken leg in the second quarter, quarterback Taysom Hill surveyed the field for a couple of seconds, found nobody open and then sprinted toward the sideline for a 5-yard gain.

So much for all the offseason talk about Hill running less this year.

But the coaches weren't too concerned. They were just happy to see No. 4 back out there again.

"Man, it was killer to have Taysom back," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "Ten months, basically, is what it has been. So that, in and of itself, I think I was just smiling overall with that, and that kind of overrode the ball going on the ground [from some botched center snaps]. 'Hey, Taysom is out here,' I said. The dropped pass? 'Hey, Taysom is out here.' So it was hard to even dwell on anything that wasn't exactly right just because Taysom is our quarterback again."

Hill is a quarterback with a lot riding on his shoulders, especially now that BYU's second-best player — running back Jamaal Williams — won't play this season.

Mendenhall said that if there's a player who can handle that additional pressure, it is Hill, a senior with plenty of experience.

"I really hope [Williams' absence] doesn't have any impact in terms of his decision-making," Mendenhall said of the never-ending efforts to curb Hill's exposure to risk. "I hope it doesn't affect Taysom's play at all."

Hill said it won't.

"I love Jamaal and was super-bummed to hear about the situation," Hill said. "But Alge [Brown], Adam [Hine], those dudes are ready to go. So they will carry the load, and we will be just fine."

Hill said he felt a little rusty on Day one — he did a lot of throwing in spring camp, but he didn't participate in any contact drills or scrimmages — but he was OK overall with his accuracy and decision-making.

"I am very happy with our starting point," he said.

More on Mathews • It seems like BYU always opens camp with one of its star players nursing an injury on the sidelines. This year, it was senior receiver Mitch Mathews working out on the stationary bike and lightly running routes off to the side.

Mathews apparently has a strain or tear of soft tissue in the lower abdomen or groin area, or sports hernia. Mendenhall called it a "lingering injury" that Mathews suffered over the summer and said, "I don't think so," when asked if there were any long-term concerns.

Hill said he would be concerned if Mathews wasn't a senior with lots of experience.

"If it were his sophomore year, and this happened, then maybe," Hill said. "But the dude has been around a long time, he's extremely established and super reliable. So, no worries. I think he will have ample time to get ready to go."

Briefly • Hill singled out freshman returned missionary Moroni Laulu-Pututau, from Mountain Crest High, as a receiver who impressed him on Saturday. … The cornerback position is a concern, as always, at BYU, but the first day showed Mendenhall that "we are going to have some pretty good depth at corner" with Jordan Preator, Michael Davis, Michael Shelton and Micah Hannemann in the mix for starting spots. … While discussing possible replacements for Williams, Mendenhall said sophomore Trey Dye, listed as a receiver, has the ability to carry the football. … Mendenhall said that he likes 6-foot-8 freshman offensive lineman Austin Hoyt a lot and noted: "If we didn't need him on offense, I would snatch him up to play defensive end in a second, or even tight end."

Twitter: @drewjay —

Public practices/scrimmages

At outdoor practice field

Monday • 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday • 10:30 a.m.

Wednesday • 10:30 a.m.

Scrimmage at LaVell Edwards Stadium

Saturday • About 10:15 a.m.; Gates open at 9 a.m.