April 8, 2000
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wyoming's football team had beentaking small steps forward through the first 10 practice of spring training.
Saturday they took a giant one.
That was the evaluation of Head Coach Vic Koenning after his teamscrimmaged for an hour and a half in War Memorial Stadium. The team ran 89plays for the day.
"We flew around today much better than we have been," Koenning said."Today we made a big step. Up to this point we had been taking little stepsforward, but this one was a big one. We made a lot fewer mistakes, and weplayed with a lot more sense of urgency. Because of that I cut three seriesoff of our script. We went a little long on Wednesday, so we gave them someextra time to enjoy the beautiful day."
It was an outstanding day for the offense which scored fivetouchdowns on the afternoon. Quarterback Jay Stoner was outstanding. Thesenior from Colorado Springs completed 19 of 26 passes for 155 yards andthree touchdowns. A couple of those misses were dropped passes.
"Jay was sharp today," Koenning said. "In my opinion he should bethe pre-season pick for the league's offensive player of the year. If hehas the kind of season he's capable of, he should be the player of the year.
"He received much better protection today. I thought the offensiveline did a much better job even though Adam Goldberg was gone (familycommittment) at right tackle. If we can give Jay that kind of time he willdo a lot of damage."
Another reason for the sharpness of the offense was the return ofrunning back Cliff Brye. The sophomore from Lincoln, Neb. had missed morethan a week of practice taking care of academic responsibilities. Bryecarried 18 times for 50 yards and a touchdown. Derek Armah carried ninetimes for 21 yards. Junior Nate Scott did not see action due to a hippointer. "Cliff is a difference-maker for us," Koenning said. "We need tohave him with us in the fall so he must take care of his academics now. Ifhe doesn't take care of business now he won't be here in the fall."
It was a Ralph Day at the receiver position for the Cowboys. Brockhad a great day. The junior from Raymond, Alberta, caught 12 passes for 113yards and a touchdown. His brother, Dustin, also was impressive with sixcatches for 43 yards. "I told Brock after the scrimmage they he had a greatday," Koenning said. "As a whole I thought the entire receiver position dida lot better. Coach (Rob) Phenicie has worked with them very hard toimprove, and we are seeing the results. They had a good day."
Defensively senior weakside linebacker Leo Caires had a greatscrimmage. The native of Maui, Hawai'i, produced six tackles, had a sackfor a three-yard loss, and blocked a field goal. "He's been doing a greatjob for us as have all of our linebackers," Koenning said. "We hated to seeCourtney (Barnes) leave the program, but we have some outstandinglinebackers. . .guys like Adrian Hill, Patrick Chukwurah, Tim Glynn, Da'monFrier, Matt Klotz, and John Wilson have been doing a great job for us on theoutside.
Wilson and safety Rich Sweeny each had five tackles for the day.Wilson's day included a nine-yard sack. Veteran middle linebackers KwabenaPeprah and Herman White each had four tackles, along with safety PeteMerrill.
Koenning said that he is pleased with the improvement in the team'sleadership. He singled out both Stoner and Chukwurah for their leadershipon the team. "Both guys are outstanding leaders," he said. "Jay is a coachon the field for us, and Patrick plays with a lot of passion.
"You know what? We really had a good day. I think the guys hadfun. Today we flew around, we showed we can be Wyoming Tough, and we hadfun. This is the kind of feeling we must continue."
Koenning said that Monday's workout will be a light one with a focuson reviewing tape of the scrimmage. Wednesday is scheduled to be a "50-50"day with a small scrimmage, and Friday will be light. Saturday's SpringGame will begin at 1:30 in War Memorial. The game will feature the firstunits against the rest of the squad. At halftime of the game the head coachsaid he would announce the results of the vote on next year's captains aswell as the spring Most Valuable Player awards.
Rushing Att. Gain Loss Net TD#23 Cliff Brye, rb 18 52 2 50 1 (1 yard)#28 Derek Armah, rb 9 24 3 21 0#14 Casey Bramlet, qb 3 19 9 10 0#44 Darth Tesinsky, fb 2 7 0 7 0#15 Matt Swanson, qb 1 4 0 4 0#11 Jay Stoner, qb 2 1 3 -2 0#87 Alex English, wr 1 0 6 -6 0#13 Brandon Neill, qb 2 0 14 -14 0Totals 38 107 37 70 1
Passing Att-Comp. Comp.% Yards Int/TD#11 Jay Stoner, qb 26-19 .731 155 0/3#14 Casey Bramlet, qb 9-3 .333 30 0/0#13 Brandon Neill, qb 4-2 .500 7 0/1 39-24 .615 192 0/4
Receiving Rec. Yards TDs#80 Brock Ralph 12 113 1 (3 yards)#20 Dustin Ralph 6 43 2 (9 and 12 yards)#44 Darth Tesinsky 3 24 0#84 Eric Haley 1 6 0#88 Malcom Floyd 1 3 0#45 Antwan Floyd 1 3 1 (3 yards)Totals 24 192 4
Defense Tackles QB Sacks PBU Fum. Rec.# 1 Sidney Lewis 2# 2 Patrick Chukwurah 3# 4 Pete Merrill 4 1 (Ret. 91 yards for TD)# 9 Lamar James 1#12 Tim Glynn 2#27 John Levingston Jr. 3#29 Allen Bridgeman 2#32 Rich Sweeny 5#33 Ryan Calahan 1#35 Da'mon Frier 1#40 Kwabena Peprah 4 1 for -8 yards and a safety#42 Matt Klotz 2#50 Leo Caires 6 1 for -3 yards(Caires also blocked a field goal)#52 John Wilson 5 1 for -9 yards#54 Herman White 4#77 Tyrice Bradley 2 1 for -6 yards#86 Casey Adams 3#90 Justin Scott 2#91 Brandon Casavan 1#96 Joe Anderson 1 1#97 Chad Beuhler 1#98 Kendrick Rawls 1