March 13, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It was Wyoming's first football scrimmage of spring training Saturday afternoon, but it certainly didn't look like it.
The Cowboys conducted an hour-and-a-half, 100-play scrimmage at the North Practice Complex, and Head Coach Dana Dimel was very pleased with what he saw.
"I was happy on both sides of the ball," Wyoming's third-year head coach said following the workout. "That might have been one of the better scrimmages we've had in terms of both the offense and the defense playing well.
"I was a little bit surprised that it went so well," Dimel continued. "For a first scrimmage I was really pleased. Not only was it our first real scrimmage of spring training, but it was really our first day in pads.
"If there was a negative out here today, it was the fact that the offense left the ball on the ground too much. Other than that, I thought it went well."
The afternoon's work included situations such as third-and-short, third-and-long, fourth-and-short, and goal line. The afternoon ended with the offense moving the ball from its own five, 95 yards for a touchdown. The touchdown play was a pass from quarterback Jay Stoner to receiver Brahms Derenoncourt.
Dimel was pleased with both of his quarterbacks, Stoner and Matt Swanson. "Jay really had a good day," Dimel said. "He is such a smart quarterback and that really helps us out there. Swanson got a lot of reps with the first unit, and will continue to do so, and that can only help him get better."
Stoner throw three additional touchdowns, two to Wendell Montgomery and one to Willie King.
"I am really pleased with our receiver," Dimel said. "I feel comfortable with 10 guys at that position, and that's really something. I thought Montgomery had a good day, as did Brahams, Kofi Shuck and Sterling Kihei. I also thought Arlen Smith had a nice day at running back.
"We have some work to do in the offensive line, but they are coming along. Mike Irvin is doing very well at center considering that he is a redshirt freshman, and we are throwing a lot at him. Once we settle on our right guard I think we'll be okay in that area."
Dimel said he was very pleased with the defensive front. He thought everyone played well there. "We are developing a two deep in that front, and it's coming along very well. Right now I'm comfortable with eight guys in that area, and that's a big positive."
Dimel singled out the play of linebackers Herman White, Cortney Barnes and Adrian Hill. He also said Matt Lehning, and Al Rich at safety and Robbie Duncan at corner impressed him. "Of course with Al Rich and Robbie Duncan that's the usual," he said.
The punting of Tom Waring, a junior, also caught the eye of the head coach.
"All in all we had a very positive first week of practice," Dimel said, "and todays scrimmage ended the week on a great note. I think we are further ahead than I expected we would be after one week. We will now get into our regular routine with a good solid practice Monday and a good Wednesday practice with some scrimmage work, a light workout on Friday, then another scrimmage on Saturday. Next weeks scrimmage will probably included 110 plays."
The Cowboys came out of Saturday's scrimmage with only bumps and bruises, no significant injuries, according to Dimel.