PROVO — Today marks the only time BYU fans can catch a glimpse of the football team this spring.

The Cougars' spring drills come to a conclusion Saturday with a practice open to the public at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

The practice begins at 1 p.m. Prior to that, at noon, the team will hold a free football clinic for kids ages 5-14.

Because the event is open to the public, there is no reserved parking.

For the second straight year, coach Bronco Mendenhall has decided not to stage a traditional spring game. Last spring, the decision was made in large part because of construction that was going on at Edwards Stadium, which included the installation of new grass.

This time, Mendenhall cited a lack of healthy offensive linemen on the roster.

"No way does the spring game warrant the risk of getting one more of those guys (offensive linemen) hurt," Mendenhall said.

Asked if the spring game could be eliminated altogether as long as he is the coach, Mendenhall replied, "I started down that path last year. I'd love for our fans to be part of our football program in some capacity, but the value of the game itself, I don't think there is any value from a football perspective. But in terms of appreciating the fans and letting them get excited, I think there's merit to that."

Today's practice, which is expected to last until 2:45, will include a scrimmage in pads.

"At this point, it comes down to maybe looking at the younger players on Saturday and seeing if they're capable of moving up a spot or two (on the depth chart)," Mendenhall said about today's session. "Hopefully, the team will stay healthy and we'll get into the next phase of conditioning."

On Friday, the Cougars did not hold an on-field practice. Instead, they participated in extended team meetings.

BYU spring football

Today at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Provo

Noon: Free clinic for kids ages 5-14

1 p.m.: Final practice, open to public

e-mail: jeffc@desnews.com