LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The second week of Wyoming spring football practice will conclude with the Cowboys' first scrimmage of spring on Saturday morning. While the scrimmage will be closed to the media and the general public, players and coaches will conduct interviews with the media in the Rochelle Athletics Center when the scrimmage concludes between 12:30 and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
Head coach Craig Bohl and his staff are planning a longer scrimmage than they normally hold during spring drills, so that the coaching staff may better evaluate a number of young Cowboys.
In terms of the level of contact, Bohl did say tacklers would be allowed to take players all the way to the ground rather than "thudding" up, as is sometimes the case in early scrimmages. He also said that the scrimmage would be formatted to allow teams to drive the ball up and down the field, rather than structured around specific situations such as red-zone periods or goal-line situations.
"This will be more of a longer scrimmage, where we're evaluating personnel," said Bohl. "Certainly, there will be situations that will be created naturally in the scrimmage, but we are not planning on structuring the scrimmage around situations. We're looking more at seeing as much 11-on-11 play as we can in open space, and see who can make plays. You expose your team to some additional risk of injury with a longer scrimmage, but we feel it is important to see who can make plays."
The second-year Wyoming head coach also spoke about how he would match up individual players throughout the scrimmage and the approximate number of plays he would like to see run.
"There will be series with different groups facing off, but for the majority of the scrimmage it will be 1s versus 1s and 2s versus. 2s," said Bohl. "We may run as many as 70 to 90 plays. We would like to push 90, but it may depend somewhat on the health of some guys. It will definitely be much longer than we've done in the past.
"In this first scrimmage, we will be focused on looking at whether guys can make fundamental football plays -- who can block, who can tackle, who can catch, who can run. Certainly evaluate who can execute our offense, defense and kicking game. Moreover, rather than putting coaches on the field trying to scheme the other side of the football, we want to focus on putting these players in position to evaluate their play-making ability."
Bohl said all the coaches would be on the sideline rather than in the middle of the field or in the press box during this first scrimmage.
He also said there would be a special teams period at the start of the scrimmage, with the potential to include some additional special teams work during the approximate two-hour practice.
Bohl commented that he likes what he has seen from a competitive standpoint during the first two weeks of spring camp.
"We're certainly more competitive and there is a lot of energy out there on the practice field," said Bohl. "A lot of that comes down to the fact that our players know how to practice after being in our system for the past year. We're certainly not a finished product, but we're moving the right direction.
"Individually, Jake Hollister continues to show some really positive things at tight end, as has Tyree Mayfield. In our offense, we're going to utilize a couple of tight ends.
"Tim Kamana is someone we're looking at pretty strong at the nickel spot on defense, and he has shown positive things there.
"I think our defensive line has taken positive steps, and has done a good job of establishing the line of scrimmage.
"We're a little bit further along in development of our offensive line than what we may have expected. We're still green there in terms of experience. I think (Taylor) Knestis has been doing a good job at the tackle spot, which we're encouraged about. Chase Roullier has really improved, as well, but until we take some more live reps that will be the determining factor in giving us a better evaluation. In terms of understanding and executing their assignments, they have been pretty good."
Bohl announced that junior Trent Sewell has elected to continue his education at the University of Wyoming but not continue with his college football career. Bohl added that he and his staff wished Sewell all the best. Sewell came to Wyoming as a wide receiver out of Bothell, Wash. He had moved to linebacker this spring. Sewell did not make an appearance in any games for the Cowboys during his career.
After Saturday's scrimmage the Pokes will be at the midpoint of spring practice, having completed seven practices with seven practices and the Spring Game remaining on the schedule.
The Spring Game on Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. will be free and open to the media and the general public.
Remaining Spring Practice Schedule
Friday, April 10 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #6)
Saturday, April 11 - 11 a.m. (Scrimmage #1, Practice #7)
Monday, April 13 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #8)
Wednesday, April 15 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Friday, April 17 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #10)
Saturday, April 18 - 11 a.m. (Scrimmage #2, Practice #11)
Monday, April 20 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #12)
Wednesday, April 22 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, April 24 - 4 or 4:30 p.m. (No Pads, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 25 - 2 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15)