UW to Hold Situational Scrimmage on Saturday

April 5, 2002


The University of Wyoming Cowboys will reach the halfway point of spring drills on Saturday, April 6 with a situational scrimmage in War Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is set to begin at 1:15 p.m. and will consist of approximately 60 plays. It is open to the public.

The Cowboys will begin Saturday's practice at 11:45 a.m. at the practice fields north of the UW tennis complex before moving over to War Memorial Stadium for the scrimmage portion of the practice. It will mark the eighth practice of 2002 spring drills. NCAA Division IA football programs are allowed 15 practices during spring ball.

The scrimmage will focus on specific situations. It will not be a game-like format. The different situations this scrimmage will focus on will include: the offense coming out from its own 20-yard line, coming out from its own 40-yard line, driving the ball from the opponents' 40-yard line and scoring within the red-zone (within the opponents' 20-yard line). The scrimmage will also include some work on both punting and field-goal situations.

"What we will be looking for in this scrimmage is to continue to show consistent improvement in all areas of our team," said third-year head coach Vic Koenning. "This scrimmage will be a test of our team's toughness, maturity and leadership. By the time we get to the scrimmage on Saturday, the players will be tired. They will be coming off two hard practices this past Wednesday and Friday, as well as an hour and a half of practice Saturday morning prior to the scrimmage. They will have to work hard to concentrate on their assignments and push through any fatigue they are feeling."

The majority of the scrimmage will feature the No. 1 offense versus the No. 2 defense and the No. 1 defense against the No. 2 offense. The No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense are expected to face off for a limited number of plays.

"We are progressing at about the pace we want to as we hit the halfway mark of spring practice," Koenning added. "Defensively, we have a lot of new players to evaluate -- some are young players, and a number are junior-college players who came here in January. One of the biggest positives we've seen on defense this spring is that we are getting eight to nine players rallying to the ball on every play.

"Offensively, even though we are missing some players due to off-season surgeries, we have a number of young players who have shown they can challenge for playing time next fall. The offensive line has continued to show good progress, and our running backs are running harder than I can remember at any time since I've been here.

"Saturday will be an opportunity for some of our younger players to make a move and show us, as coaches, what they can do in a scrimmage setting."

Koenning added that a couple of the new faces on defense will not participate in Saturday's scrimmage. Those two individuals are redshirt freshman Stephon King, who has a slight sprain of the MCL on his right knee, and junior-college transfer Chris Dixon, who sprained his right ankle this week. Both King and Dixon are cornerbacks.

After Saturday's scrimmage, the Cowboys will have seven practices remaining in the spring, including two more scrimmages. On Saturday, April 13, the Cowboys will conduct a scrimmage in Casper, Wyo., beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Natrona County High School. The scrimmage in Casper will run for approximately two hours.

The Pokes will conclude 2002 spring drills on Saturday, April 20 with the annual Brown and Gold Spring Game in War Memorial Stadium. The exact time of the spring game has not yet been set.