April 12, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
With starting jobs still to be won, Wyoming's Cowboy football team travels to Casper Saturday for a major scrimmage at Natrona High School's Dick Cheney Alumni Field.
The scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 11:30. Head Coach Vic Koenning said the Cowboys would probably be running in the neighborhood of 100 plays. They will be off the field by 1:30 p.m.
"This scrimmage will be no different than any major scrimmage we have here in Laramie," Koenning said. "We have some areas that are very competitive right now, and a number of starting spots are up for grabs.There is a lot of work for us to get done during this scrimmage. We want to continue to improve but we also want to continue to practice with great attention to detail." The scrimmage will feature a number of situtations, primarily pitting the first offensive and defensive units against the second teams.
Koenning said that some adjustments would have to be made in some defensive formations because of injury. Senior John Wilson sprained his ankle on Thursday, and will not be available for the scrum in Casper. "Because of injury we are down numbers-wise at linebacker, so we will be in our 'dime' package (six defensive backs) Saturday."
Koenning said there are several positions with some outstanding battles going on. He said the safety positions and the tight end spot are two of the most competitive on the team.
"We have the capability of rotating a number of guys in the secondary," he said. Sophomores Guy Tuell and Tom Vincent are set at strong safety, Junior Jacque Finn and sophomore Jay McNeal are battling at rover, and junior newcomers Armand Woodson and Nate Young are vying for the free-safety spot.
Koenning said he was extremely pleased with the progress of his tight end position. "We have four guys working there who will make a big difference for us. Not only does it give us another weapon through the air, but it also will make a difference to us when we run the football." The four tight ends are junior Marshall Schaap, who is running number one at present, senior Scott Sorensen, sophomore Chris Cox, and freshman Aaron Robbins. "This is a very competitive situation which will make us a better football team.
The fact that starting left tackle Adam Goldberg sprained his knee during practice on Wednesday, has thrown the offensive line into some turmoil. Goldberg's back-up, David Gough, also has been shelved with a sprained ankle. Because both tackles are missing on that side, sophomore left guard Isaac Morles is moving out to tackle. Morles is usually the starting left guard. His guard mate is junior Henry Randle. Senior swingman Mike Irvin, sophomore Tim Riley, and junior Rano Sasa also are in the mix at guard.
Koenning said he was particularly pleased with Derek Armah at running back. The junior veteran has made himself a much better player according to the head coach. "We've been very impressed with Derek," Koenning said. "He is much stronger, and has more ability to change direction. He has improved himself with a lot of hard work. I think his vision is better and he keeps his pads over his knees much more effectively now." Koenning also indicated he was pleased with the progress of three other backs, redshirt freshman C.R. Davis, and sophomores Kit Bradshaw, and Kevin Fulton. "Those guys will have their opportunities Saturday, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they perform."
In the defensive line, senior Brandon Casavan has had an outstanding spring, but his reps will be limited on Saturday, according to Koenning. "He has really done well, but we want to make sure that we keep him healthy, so we're going to limit him Saturday. (Drew) Severn (Tam) Pruitt and (Chad) Beuhler have had good springs as well. I've also been pleased with Jacob Bonde."
The Cowboys will have three more practices next week before the end of spring training. The final workout will be a major scrimmage next Saturday, April 20, in War Memorial Stadium. Koenning said that the squad would not be divided into two teams, but it would once again pit the offense against the defense.