April 12, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming offense had a successful day running the ball, while the Cowboy defense was able to force four fumbles, recovering three of them for turnovers in the first scrimmage of spring drills on Saturday. Approximately 90 total plays were run in the scrimmage that lasted a little bit over two hours and was held in UW's new Indoor Practice Facility.
The scrimmage began with a bang, when senior running back Devin Moore broke free for a 68-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage. That drive began at the offense's own 20-yard line and featured the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense.
Moore concluded the day with 111 rushing yards on eight carries. His senior running mate Wynel Seldon gained 33 yards of his own on five carries. Seldon also scored a rushing TD from eight yards out to cap a nine-play, 60-yard drive. Wyoming's third-leading rusher was redshirt freshman James Davis, who added 32 yards on nine carries, and scored the Cowboys' third rushing touchdown from two yards out on Wyoming's final series of the day during a redzone offensive series.
"I think the kids had fun today, and I saw a lot of good things in our first time scrimmage this spring," said UW head coach Joe Glenn. "Now with that said, we have to protect the ball better, and we have to have fewer penalties. This is also the first time this spring that we worked with game officials, and I was disappointed we weren't a little bit cleaner.
"Other than that, our run blocking was real good today, and I'm not just talking about our offensive line. (Josh) Biezuns and (Greg) Genho are legitimate blockers (at H-Back/fullback) and Jesson Salyards has been doing a real good job at tight end. We opened some holes, and we have some backs that can eat up yardage in a hurry.
"Defensively, I thought for the most part we played well. The defense was able to get some pressure on our quarterbacks. They got three turnovers on fumbles, which is a big plus for them. When we went No. 3 offense against No. 3 defense, the defense gave up a couple of big plays, but for the most part I thought we looked good on defense."
The defense was led by redshirt freshman middle linebacker Gabe Knapton, who was credited with eight total tackles, including six solo tackles and 1.0 sack for six yards. Knapton also forced one fumble on the day. Linebackers Jimmy DeAndrea, Zeb Whipp and Mike Juergens recorded six, five and four tackles respectively. Senior free safety Quincy Rogers also was credited with five tackles.
The three turnovers forced by the defense all came on fumbles. One fumble by Moore was forced by Knapton and recovered by sophomore cornerback Marcell Gipson. The second came on a Davis fumble, forced by redshirt junior cornerback Tramaine Brown and recovered by sophomore safety Chris Prosinski. A third fumble was by freshman wide receiver Kaither Holiway after a hit by freshman cornerback Ryan Handford -- that fumble was recovered by the offense. The final turnover came on a bad shotgun snap from center that went over quarterback Chris Stutzriem's head and was picked up by DeAndrea, who returned it 65 yards for the defense's one score of the day.
Seven different Cowboy defenders recorded sacks on the day -- defensive linemen Rob Hollway, Mitch Unrein and Anthony Wilson each had one apiece, as did sophomore cornerback Keith Lewis and linebackers DeAndrea, Juergens and Knapton. Although the defense didn't have any interceptions on the day, it did break up seven passes.
Two big pass plays came from junior-college transfer quarterback Dax Crum, who threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to freshman Holiway and followed that up with a second TD pass of 60 yards on the very next series to junior Zach Bolger as Crum was leading the No. 3 offense against the No. 3 defense. Crum finished his first Wyoming scrimmage completing 4 of 9 passes for 131 yards.
The offense's third touchdown pass came on the second to last series of the day when junior quarterback Karsten Sween connected with senior Darion Donnelly on a 20-yard touchdown pass. Sween attempted only seven passes on the day, completing two for 26 total yards.
Senior quarterback Ian Hetrick added three pass completions on eight attempts for 22 yards, contributing to the offense's 179 passing yards.
When asked about the competition at quarterback Glenn said, "Dax (Crum) hit some big plays today that the others didn't. While it might have been with the No. 3 offense, still he has shown throughout practice this spring that he has a penchant for hitting the long throws. I'm sure we'll reevaluate all of the quarterbacks after we grade the tape, but Karsten also made some good plays. It's 139 days until we play our first game and I bet it (the quarterback competition) will go about 132."
All total, the offense accounted for 190 net yards rushing to go with its 179 passing yards for 369 yards of total offense and 13 first downs.
A total of eight penalties were committed for 72 yards. The offense had five penalties for 40 yards called against it. The defense committed three penalties for 32 yards.
Junior place-kicker Jake Scott was two of three in field goals on the day, successfully making field goals of 22 and 35 yards and missing from 43 yards. Scott was only two of four in extra-point attempts.
"I'm disappointed in our place-kicking," said Glenn. "I coach the kickers. He (Jake Scott) is letter-perfect in practice. He can make extra points until the cows come home in practice, but you have to be able to do it when the bullets are flying. I hope he gets better, because this isn't acceptable.
"It's hard to tell exactly where our punting is because our punters can't really open up when we practice inside like we have been for most of the spring, including today."
No injuries were reported during Saturday's scrimmage, which also pleased the head coach.
"There's a lot to be happy about coming out of this first scrimmage, and I'm really glad we came through this without getting anyone hurt. You can put that in caps. I'm glad we have another week of practice. I'm hoping our final scrimmage will have no fumbles and only a handful of penalties."
Saturday's scrimmage was the 11th of 15 spring practices for UW. The Cowboys will take Sunday off and return to practice on Monday. The schedule of remaining football practices for 2008 spring drills will include practices next Monday, Wednesday, Friday and will conclude with the Spring Game next Saturday, April 19. All practices are open to the public, and are held either in the Indoor Practice Facility or on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.
2008 University of Wyoming Football Remaining Spring Practice Schedule
Monday, April 14, 3:15 p.m.
Wednesday, April 16, 3:15 p.m.
Friday, April 18, 3:15 p.m. (No pads prior to Spring Game)
Saturday, April 19, 1:00 p.m. (Spring Game)