Cowboys' First Major Scrum A Marathon

April 5, 2000


Wyoming's first major scrimmage ofspring training was supposed to go 80 plays Wednesday afternoon in WarMemorial Stadium.

Coach Vic Koenning wasn't happy when the team reached 80, so theyscrimmaged for another 22 before he called it quits.

"We didn't quite have the enthusiasm I wanted to see," said the headcoach following Wednesday's practice, the team's ninth of the spring."Early on we weren't fully into it, so that's why we didn't stop at 80plays. It got a little more enthusiastic near the end."

The Cowboys worked at moving the ball over the field from variousyard lines, and Koenning was not happy with the offensive consistency. "Wehaven't learned to drive the ball down field. Today we hurt ourselves agreat deal with mental mistakes, way too many mistakes like mis-alignmentsand proceedure penalties.

"I thought our quarterbacks showed a lot of positives, though,especially given the fact they were not getting a lot of time to throw. Thedefense is doing a very good job. They are finding ways to be successful,and putting a lot of pressure on the offense. They are doing that withouttwo or three of our front-line players who are missing due to injury."

According to Koenning the Cowboys offensively are not where theyneed to be at this point, especially at the guard position. He indicated heis looking for three players at least to step up for those two spots, andthey haven't done so as yet. "I believe strongly that we can be a goodoffensive line," he said. "But right now I'm a little disappointed withsome of our o-linemen, and their performance, especially our second-unitguys. The defense is taking it took them."

Koenning said he was happy with two of his running backs--redshirtjunior Nate Scott and freshman Derek Armah. Last year's starter Cliff Bryemissed his second scrimmage of the spring while he deals with academicissues.

"Until near the end of the scrimmage Nate ran as well as he hasall spring," Koenning said. "He ran with toughness and determination. Thatwas really good to see because he can make a difference for us. Armah is atough nut. When he learns to square his shoulders, run up field and runthrough some guys, he's going to be quite a back.

"I think we have turned Cliff's head in the right direction. He ismaking some progress academically, starting to understand what we expect.He's the only one who can help himself, and I think he's beginning to go theright way. We'll re-evaluate him tomorrow and Friday. He might be backFriday or Saturday."

Koenning said that sophomore Brandon Neill played as well as he hasall spring at the quarterback position. "That's the best he's looked,"Koenning said, "and he did it without a lot of protection." The Cowboysgave up eight sacks on the afternoon. "I was disappointed with that secondunit offensive line. They did not compete like we expect. But Brandon willsee some reps with the number one o-line on Saturday, and see how he does.

"Jay (Stoner) has command of the offense," Koenning continued, "buthe has some things that he can improve. He made some real good reads today.Casey (Bramlet) did not get as many reps today, but we will get more for himon Saturday, and Matt (Swanson) played well. We have four quality people atquarterback. I'm pleased with all of them."

Stoner led the quarterbacks with 17 of 30 through the air for 175yards. He threw one touchdown, and did not throw an interception. Neillwas 9 of 14 for 71 yards and a touchdown. The top target for the day wasredshirt Ryan McGuffey who caught nine passes for 83 yards. Sophomore BrockRalph caught four for 51 yards.

Koenning said he tought senior Arlen Smith improved at the tight endposition on Wednesday. Smith caught two passes for 20 yards. "I thinkafter we moved Brandon Jones from defense to tight end, Arlen has picked uphis game. We want to give him a good, hard look at that tight end spot. Heplayed much better today."

On the ground Scott carried 16 times for 63 yards, and onetouchdown. Armah gained 33 yards on 10 carries.

Defensively transfer corner Lamar James had another good statisticalday with five tackles, and a sack-and-a-half. Senior linebacker KwabenaPeprah had eight tackles to lead all defenders. His senior linebacking mateLeo Caires had five stops as did redshirt freshman safety Jacque Finn andsenior free safety Rich Sweeny. Sophomore defensive end Brandon Casavanproduced two sacks as did senior linebacker Adrian Hill.

The Cowboys have a regular practice scheduled for Friday beforeanother major scrimmage on Saturday. Koenning said he is hopeful thatSaturday's scrimmage will not involve as many plays as did Wednesday's.

Rushing                 Att.    Gain    Loss    Net     TD#34 Nate Scott, rb      16        71      8      63     1 (1 yard)#28 Derek Armah, rb     10        33      0      33     0#15 Matt Swanson, qb     2        25      0      25     0#11 Jay Stoner, qb       4         0     27     -27     0Totals                  32       129     35      94     1
Passing Att-Comp. Comp.% Yards Int/TD#11 Jay Stoner, qb 30-17 .567 175 0/1#13 Brandon Neill, qb 14-9 .643 71 0/1#15 Matt Swanson, qb 0-0 --- 0 0/0#14 Casey Bramlet, qb 1-0 .000 0 0/0 44-26 .591 246 0/2
Receiving Rec. Yards TDs#85 Ryan McGuffey 9 83 0#80 Brock Ralph 4 51 0#87 Alex English 3 14 1 (3 yards)#20 Dustin Ralph 2 28 0#30 Arlen Smith 2 20 0#82 Sean Brennan 2 14 0#88 Malcom Floyd 1 22 0#44 Darth Tesinsky 1 6 1 (6 yards)#26 Michael Wahlstrom 1 6 0#28 Derek Armah 1 2 0 26 246 2
Defense Tackles QB Sacks Int. PBUFumbles# 1 Sidney Lewis 2# 2 Patrick Chukwurah 2 1 for -7 yards 1FF# 4 Pete Merrill 2 1 1FR# 5 Mark Sheller 2# 7 Jacque Finn 5 1# 9 Lamar James 5 1.5 for -17 yards#17 Adrian Hill 2 2 for -17 yards#27 John Levingston Jr. 4 1#29 Allen Bridgeman 2#32 Rich Sweeny 5 1#33 Ryan Calahan 2#35 Da'mon Frier 2#40 Kwabena Peprah 8#42 Matt Klotz 4 1#50 Leo Caires 5#52 John Wilson 2#60 Adam Brasel 5 1 for -13 yards#77 Tyrice Bradley 1#86 Casey Adams 4#91 Brandon Casavan 2 2 for -13 yards#95 Jon Aimone 4 1 for -8 yards#96 Joe Anderson 1#97 Chad Beuhler 1 0.5 for -7 yards#98 Kendrick Rawls 1