Cowboys Focus on Power Running Game in Wednesday Morning Practice

April 9, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Wyoming's Wednesday morning practice in War Memorial Stadium saw the temperature at 61 degrees when the Cowboy Football team concluded its ninth practice of the Spring. One of the areas that was emphasized on Wednesday was the power running game. Head Coach Craig Bohl wrapped up practice with his normal post-practice meeting with the media.

"We're rocking along," said Bohl. "We worked hard on the power running game today. We're not where we need to be, but we're making progress. That is going to be our stamp on offense (running the football).

"Defensively, I think guys are moving around well. We put in some pretty sophisticated coverage schemes today, and we probably need to get that schooled up a little bit.

"I think we made some more progress in the kicking game today."

Asked to expound on what he saw from his offensive and defensive lines as the Cowboys focused on the power running game, Bohl responded, "From the naked eye, I really thought our defensive line did a good job of establishing the line of scrimmage. There were a couple plays that popped (on offense).

"Our guys (on offense) need to learn to come off the ball better. I think our guys really want to be good, and they want to be physical, but our players are still trying to figure out their assignments. It's hard to be really aggressive when you've got some doubt in your mind. I think they're gaining more confidence in our offense.

"We've got to be a much more hard-nosed, physical football team to be able to control both sides of the line of scrimmage to really put our stamp on what type of team we want to be, and that's what we call `Cowboy Tough.'"

With the second major scrimmage of Spring Football approaching on Saturday, Bohl was asked if he thought some of his players were pressing at this point of Spring Practice, knowing that this coming Saturday's second scrimmage would be a big day as the players compete for spots on the initial depth chart.

"I wouldn't say our guys are pressing, I think some of it is just a lack of concentration by some guys," said Bohl. "We are double-repping, and guys aren't used to that. But you have to get grounded and fight through (fatigue), because those are the same types of mistakes you might make in the fourth quarter of a game. Now certainly there are some guys out there trying to do the very best they can, and occasionally anxiety comes in to play. But I really don't see that as the case very much.

"Now the scrimmage will be a big scrimmage. We will come back and watch the tape and start to make some decisions on what we're going to look like going into the fall."

Bohl was questioned on whether he thought his players had become accustomed to the double repetitions in practice, with two sets of offensive and defensive units running plays throughout practice.

"Not yet, and that will be a process that will go on into the fall," said Bohl. "It's hard to replicate what it's like to get ready to go push on the last drive during the course of a game. There is nothing that we know that can do that better than what we're doing. It also helps us develop a lot more depth. But it taxes guys. There is a lot more repetition. There isn't very much standing around, and it's twice as much work for coaches. But we believe it's a great recipe for success long term."

The Cowboy head coach was asked if it was good to see more players returning to practice after healing up from some early bumps and bruises. The head coach responded, "It always helps to get more guys out there. The only way to really get better is to put your hand in the dirt and work on the grass, so it's encouraging to see more guys back out working. We've had some nagging injuries that got cleared up, and so it's good to see those guys return to practice full speed."

Bohl was also questioned about whether there would be different situations incorporated into Saturday's scrimmage that weren't a part of last week's first scrimmage.

"We may try to create a couple more situations," said Bohl. "Last week, we were just looking at roles and number of plays. I do think it will still be important for us to get as many plays in as we can to get a clear evaluation. However, we have not done a lot of goal-line work or short yardage, and so if that situation doesn't come up within the scrimmage we'll probably try to create that."

A familiar face to Cowboy Football fans was seen on the sidelines of Wednesday morning's practice. Former Cowboy captain and linebacker Brian Hendricks, who is now an assistant football coach at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., was up with a couple of other members of the Mines coaching staff to observe how the Cowboys practice.

The Pokes will have one more practice prior to Saturday's scrimmage. That practice will be on Friday at 8:15 a.m.

This Saturday's scrimmage will be closed to the media and the public, but the Spring Game on Saturday, April 19 at 2 p.m. will be open to media and the general public.

2014 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule
Wednesday, March 26 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #1)
Friday, March 28 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #2)
Saturday, March 29 - 10 a.m. (First Padded Practice/Non-Tackle, Practice #3)
Monday, March 31 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #4)
Wednesday, April 2 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #5)
Friday, April 4 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #6)
Saturday, April 5 - 11 a.m. (Scrimmage #1, Practice #7)
Monday, April 7 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #8)
Wednesday, April 9 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Friday, April 11 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #10)
Saturday, April 12 - Time is TBA (Scrimmage #2, Practice #11)
Monday, April 14 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #12)
Wednesday, April 16 - 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, March 18 - 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 19 - 2 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15) Open to the Public