March 25, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming's football team scrimmagedfor its new head coach on Saturday for the very first time, and Vic Koenningwas pleased with what he saw.
After an hour-and-forty-five-minute session on the practice field,the Cowboys moved to War Memorial Stadium and scrimmaged for 40 minutesdrilling on third-and-long and red zone (20 yards and in) situations.
"We did a good job on things that are hard to correct," the new headcoach said following the scrimmage, "like intensity, desire, and bravery.There were the errors that are correctable, like offsides and offensivelinemen not finishing their blocks down field. That will just take a littletime for them to get used to. Because of the nature of last year's offensewe did not ask that of them as much. This offense does, and they will getto where they are getting defenders on their backs.
"I thought our receivers caught the ball well and (running backs)Nate (Scott) and Cliff (Brye) ran very well. The defense flew around withenthusiasm which is what we love to see. There were guys making some bigplays defensively. I thought the hitting was very good."
Koenning said he was pleased with the quarterback work of sophomoreBrandon Neill. While he did throw one interception, Neill was three offive for 29 yards and a 15-yard touchdown pass to tight end Marcus Fordduring the red zone portion of the scrimmage. Starting quarterback JayStoner also looked impressive completing six of eight for 66 yards. Seniorreceiver Alex English produced two catches for 47 yards to lead thereceivers. He was the only one with more than one catch.
Koenning also liked the way his receivers blocked. "I thought thedownfield blocking of our receivers was a bright spot," he said. "That isone thing that I did not think we had done a very good job of over the pastcouple of seasons. But today our blocking downfield was the difference in afive-yard gain and a touchdown. That is something we are really stressingwith our receivers."
Brye carried three times for 25 yards and a touchdown run of 16yards and Scott carried four times for 18 yards, including a 10-yardtouchdown romp.
The Cowboys will conduct several "half" scrimmages throughout theirtraining period, which continues through April 15. According to the headcoach there are only three "full" scrimmages scheduled, April 8, April 12and the Spring Game on April 15. "We will all get together just about everypractice for some scrimmage work," Koenning said. "Some will be a littlemore than we did today, some will be less."
Koenning was pleased with his team's first day in pads, after twodays without pads. "I saw a lot of things I liked, especially consideringit was our first contact and our first scrimmage. I expected to see morebreakdowns, more dropped passes, and maybe a fumble or two. We did not havethat, everyone did a good job of concentration."