Wyoming Cowboys' Second Major Scrimmage of Spring Set for Saturday, April 10

April 8, 2010

Laramie, Wyo. - The second of three major scrimmages for the Wyoming Cowboy Football team will take place this Saturday, April 10. Saturday's practice will begin at 9 a.m., with the scrimmage portion of Saturday's practice to begin around 9:30. If the weather cooperates, the scrimmage will take place in War Memorial Stadium, otherwise it will be held in the Indoor Practice Facility located on the northeast corner of War Memorial Stadium.

On Friday, April 9, the Cowboy coaching staff will conduct a free coaches' clinic for high school coaches. That clinic will begin at 8 a.m. with registration in the Rochelle Athletics Center and will run through Friday afternoon's Cowboy practice.

Saturday's scrimmage is expected to consist of an estimated 60 plays -- down from approximately 100 plays that were run during the first major scrimmage of the spring on March 27. The focus of Saturday's scrimmage will be continued evaluation of individual player performance.

"This scrimmage will allow us to continue to evaluate our personnel," said Christensen. "We're not real deep right now, as we do have some players with bumps and bruises. We're only going to go with two groups on both offense and defense. This scrimmage will be shorter than our first scrimmage. We'll probably run about 60 plays on Saturday. The number ones should get about 30 plays and the twos will get around 30 plays."

Christensen hadn't yet decided whether he would pair up the No. 1 units against the No. 2 units, as he did for the most part in the first major scrimmage, or if he would mix in some No. 1 offense versus No. 1 defense. In terms of the structure of the second scrimmage, Christensen said there would not be much that would change from the original March 27 scrimmage in terms of structure.

"We may add some more punt return work in this second scrimmage," said Christensen. "But other than that we just need to get more live reps. Most of our players have had about 90 live reps in the scrimmaging we've done this spring. Saturday they should get another 30 reps each, getting them up to about 120 and then we'll probably give them another 30 to 40 live reps in the spring game a week from Saturday. That is about where we wanted to be at the conclusion of spring ball."

Christensen is positive about his team's performance to date.

"I've been pleased with the progress we've made thus far," said the second-year head coach. "We're still installing and incorporating all the elements of our offense and defense, but right now we are spending more time on personnel evaluation than we are on evaluating where we are as an offensive or defensive unit. We need to find out which individuals can help us compete for a championship."

And with the Cowboys two-thirds of the way through spring ball as of Thursday, Christensen can see some areas of his team developing the type of depth he feels they need -- depth to improve on a successful 2009 campaign that ended with a victory in the New Mexico Bowl.

"Our secondary and linebacking units are two areas where I feel that we've established some depth this spring," said Christensen. "We haven't been limited by injury this spring at those positions, so we've been able to get a good evaluation of those individuals. On offense, I think we're deeper at receiver and offensive line than we were a year ago."

Leading up to Saturday's scrimmage, the UW football coaching staff will conduct a coaches clinic on Friday, April 9. That event is being held free of charge to high school coaches. Approximately 45 high school coaching staffs from eight different states have made plans to attend Friday's all-day clinic. There will be high school staffs from the states of Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Utah and Washington in attendance.

Following registration at 8 a.m. on Friday, the Cowboy coaches will present a series of 40-minute presentations beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at 2:45 p.m. Also throughout the day, UW's assistant coaches will be available to meet one-on-one with high school coaches to answer questions about coaching techniques. The day will conclude with a Friday practice that will be structured as a teaching session to benefit the high school coaches.

"We're opening our doors to all of the coaches in the region," said Christensen. "That is why we have a free clinic. We will have each of our position coaches give a presentation to the coaches attending our clinic, and we will make all of our staff available to meet on an individual basis with coaches throughout the day on Friday. Friday's practice will be solely dedicated to teaching the different drills that we utilize in practice. The pace of our practice on Friday will be cut way back and the focus will be on teaching and explaining each drill that we utilize and why we do those drills."

Weather permitting, Saturday's scrimmage will be held in War Memorial Stadium. Fans will need to sit in the lower west side of the stadium, due to ongoing construction on the east side.

If the weather is inclement, the scrimmage will take place in the Indoor Practice Facility. If the scrimmage is moved indoors, fans at Saturday's scrimmage will be allowed to watch the scrimmage from the west end zone of the Indoor Practice facility but will not be allowed on the sidelines due to safety concerns. Only media members with press credentials who are covering the scrimmage will be allowed on the sidelines.

A scoring system will be utilized that will award the offense and defense points based on certain plays. The offense will earn a normal six points for a touchdown, one point for a point-after-touchdown, two points for a two-point PAT and three points for a field goal. In addition, the offense may earn one point for each play of 20+ yards and one point for each first down.

The defense may earn five points each for an interception or a recovered fumble. If they return an interception or fumble recovery for a TD, the defense will receive 12 points. The defense will earn three points for forcing a punt, blocking a field goal or by stopping the offense on a fourth-down play on the offense's side of the 50. Two points will be awarded to the defense for a safety, a quarterback sack, stopping the offense on a fourth-down play on the defense's side of the 50 or stopping a two-point conversion attempt. Finally one point will be earned by the defense for forcing a missed field goal, tackling a ball carrier for a loss of yardage, blocking a point-after-touchdown attempt or when holding the offense to a field goal after the offense began its series in the red-zone (inside the defense's 20-yard line).

2010 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule

Saturday, March 6 9:00 a.m. (Non-contact, Practice #1)
Tuesday, March 9 3:30 p.m. (Non-contact, Practice #2)
Thursday, March 11 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #3)
SPRING BREAK: Friday, March 12 Through Saturday, March 20
Tuesday, March 23 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #4)
Thursday, March 25 3:30 p.m. (Pads, 50% Scrimmage, Practice #5)
Saturday, March 27 9:00 a.m. Practice Begins / 9:45 a.m. Scrimmage (Scrimmage #1, Practice #6)
Tuesday, March 30 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #7)
Thursday, April 1 3:30 p.m. (Pads, 50% Scrimmage, Practice #8)
EASTER BREAK: Friday, April 2 Through Sunday, April 4
Tuesday, April 6 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Thursday, April 8 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #10)
Friday, April 9 3:30 p.m. (Shells, Practice #11 and Coaches' Clinic)
Saturday, April 10 9:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #2, Practice, #12)
Tuesday, April 13 3:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #13)
Thursday, April 15 3:30 p.m. (Non-contact, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 17 2:00 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15)