April 1, 2006
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It was no April Fool's Day for the Wyoming Cowboy Football team on Saturday -- it was serious business as the Cowboys conducted their first scrimmage of 2006 spring drills. After the two-hour practice, head coach Joe Glenn saw many positives in his team's performance.
"I saw some real good things on both sides of the ball today," said Glenn. "We have a lot of guys on our defense 6' 3" to 6' 4", 225 to 240 pounds that are good athletes. You can feel the play-making ability of our defense. We batted a lot of balls down, and I was happy with the edge-pressure we got in our pass rush. I think Coach (Mike) Breske and company have to feel pretty good about the defense today.
"Oh my, Weston Johnson made some big plays today, as he has in practice all week. Mike Juergens intercepted a pass. Sean Claffey did a nice job of reading a screen pass and knocking it down. T.J. Atwater made some sure tackles. Marcel Gipson put a big hit on Joe Harris on a goal-line play. We don't do a lot of tackling in practice because we don't want to take players to the ground and risk injury. So you kind of wonder when you get in a scrimmage how you're team will tackle, and I thought we tackled pretty well today."
Another bright spot was the offense's ability to run the ball. The Cowboys rushed for 207 net yards in 56 carries, and scored two rushing touchdowns. Wyoming also lost only one fumble the entire scrimmage. Sophomore Devin Moore led the way with 66 rushing yards on eight carries, including a 21-yard scamper that was a key play on an eight-play, 70-yard scoring drive. Senior Ivan Harrison ran for 42 yards, and fellow senior Joseph Harris added 21, including a two-yard TD carry. Both underwent knee surgeries prior to the 2005 season. Harrison played in a very limited basis last season, while Harris sat out the entire 2005 season rehabilitating his knee. The two ran for 587 and 409 yards respectively in 2004.
Last year's leading rusher, Wynel Seldon, who is now a sophomore, carried the ball only four times for 12 yards on the day. Seldon ran for 871 yards a year ago. The Cowboys' second-leading rusher in Saturday's scrimmage was sophomore quarterback Stinson Dean, who gained 50 yards on five carries, and posted the longest run of the day, a 42-yarder,
"Joe Harris is back healthy and ran hard," said Glenn. "Ivan (Harrison) ran good. Wynel (Seldon) didn't get many reps today, just because the running plays weren't called when he happened to be in there. We did some good things running the football. We have tough backs, we have good speed and with our O-line I know we'll run the football well this year."
In the battle for the starting quarterback position, redshirt freshman Karsten Sween put up the biggest numbers, completing 9 of 17 passes (52.9 percent) for 149 yards. He also threw the only touchdown pass of the day -- a 23-yarder to freshman Kurt Lawson. The four Cowboy quarterbacks combined to complete 21 of 49 passes (42.9 percent) for 243 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Junior Jacob Doss struggled a little bit in Saturday's scrimmage, but Glenn said that the scrimmage stats weren't the only factor that goes into evaluating a quarterback.
"I will wait to see what the tape looks like when we evaluate it as a staff," said Glenn. "We have to look at how a quarterback is making his reads, is he identifying the defenses properly and making good decisions. I thought Jake (Doss) would play a little better today. He wasn't as sharp as I'd hoped. But all the quarterbacks did some good things today for the first scrimmage. Karsten (Sween) threw some good balls. Stinson Dean had a good run. Ian (Hetrick) had a good run. I know Jake won't be happy with the way he played, but he has had some excellent practices this spring.
"I will tell you that on the other side of the ball our guys on defense covered pretty darn well, and that made it difficult for our quarterbacks. I was happy with our coverage today."
The Wyoming offense put together six scoring drives -- scoring one touchdown passing, two rushing and kicking three field goals. Here is a summary of the offensive scoring drives.
70 yards, 8 plays, Karsten Sween 23-yard TD pass to Kurt Lawson, Jake Scott PAT
70 yards, 8 plays, Jimmy DeAndrea 1-yard TD run, Scott PAT
44 yards, 6 plays, 50-yard Scott FG
37 yards, 7 plays, 31-yard Scott FG
50 yards, 4 plays, Joseph Harris 2-yard TD run, Scott PAT
11 yards, 7 plays, 26-yard Scott FG
Jake Scott, a redshirt freshman place-kicker, was one of the big positives of the day. He attempted four field goals, making three. Included in those three successful field-goal attempts was a 50-yarder. His only miss of the day was from 52 yards. Scott also successfully hit all three of his point-after-touchdown attempts. He is expected to battle for the starting spot with incoming freshman Aric Goodman from Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colo. Goodman will join the Cowboy program in the fall.
The Wyoming defense forced four turnovers. Sophomore strong safety Michael Ray recovered the one fumble of the day for the Poke defense. Three different Cowboys recorded interceptions. Senior free safety John Wendling returned one interception for 41 yards. Sophomore buck Mike Juergens picked off one for 16 yards, and redshirt freshman Weston Johnson also intercepted a pass on the sideline.
Leading tacklers were sophomore safety Quincy Rogers and redshirt freshman cornerback T.J. Atwater, who each recorded nine total tackles. Seven different Cowboys each registered one quarterback sack apiece, and 10 different Pokes recorded a tackle for a loss with junior linebacker Sean Claffey leading the way with two tackles for losses for a minus 10 yards.
Saturday's scrimmage was the eighth practice out of 15 total spring practices for the Cowboys. It was the first of two scrimmages to be held during spring practice. The second scrimmage will be held on Thursday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m., also in War Memorial Stadium.
The Cowboys ran approximately 125 plays from scrimmage on the day under full-speed game conditions. During the scrimmage, the Cowboys focused on three main situations. The first 13 series focused on driving the ball from the offense's own 30-yard line, followed by 11 series starting at the 50-yard line and the scrimmage ended with two red-zone series -- inside the defense's 20-yard line. Most of the scrimmage featured the No. 1 offense versus the No. 2 defense, the No. 2 offense against the No. 1 defense and the No. 3 offense and No. 3 defense. There were six series that did feature the No. 1 offense versus the No. 1 defense.
The only injury suffered during Saturday's scrimmage was senior running back Montey Brunk re-injured a hamstring on a running play.
The Cowboys will take Sunday off and return to practice on Monday at 3:15 p.m. Here is the schedule of football practices for 2006 spring drills. All practices are open to the public, and are held on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium -- weather permitting.
2006 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule
Monday, March 20 (Non-contact) 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, March 22 (Non-contact) 3:15 p.m.
Friday, March 24 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 25 11:00 a.m.
Monday, March 27 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, March 29 3:15 p.m.
Friday, March 31 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, April 1 (Scrimmage) 1:00 p.m.
Monday, April 3 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 5 3:15 p.m.
Friday, April 7 3:15 p.m.
Saturday, April 8 TBA
Monday, April 10 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 12 (Non-contact) 3:15 p.m.
Thursday, April 13 (Spring Game) 6:30 p.m.