April 12, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
It was hard for Joe Glenn to mask his excitement and enthusiasm after his Wyoming Cowboys had completed their first scrimmage under their new head coach.
"It's great to be in War Memorial Stadium," Glenn said following his team's hour-and-a-half scrum. "This is my first day in here, you know, but it feels like home."
The Cowboys ran just over 60 plays from scrimmage during the beautiful spring afternoon, and Glenn was pleased with what he saw.
"I was happy with it. I'll need to look at tape, of course, but I think we are where we want to be. There were good things on both sides of the football. I was really pleased with the effort I saw out there.
"We know the strength of our team is in the passing game, and I thought we threw and caught extremely well. I thought the defense buckled down when it had to in the tough situations.
"But most importantly about the whole day, everyone walked off the field on their own two feet. There was not one injury, which is just great."
The situational scrimmage pitted the number one units against each other, while the number two units banged heads. The situations included 30-yard line to the end zone; 50-yard line and in, and 30-yard line and out, away from the goal line.
"The players who we expect to make plays, made them," Glenn said. "Guys like (Casey) Bramlet, (Ryan) McGuffey, (Jovan) Bouknight, (Derek) Armah and (Zach) Morris, made some very good plays. I thought some of our kicking game was good as well. The timing was much better than I thought it would be all the way around."
Glenn was the first to admit that there was plenty of room for his team to improve, but for a first scrimmage things went very well. "We have made a tremendous amount of improvement from where we started this spring," he said. "There is much improvement to made, but for everything that we threw at them, and all of the installation of our offense and defense, they did very well. I was really happy for them. There's still lots of work to do, make no mistake."
On the day, the Cowboy offense scored two touchdowns and hit on three field goals. Wyoming's first score was a five-yard run by running back Derek Armah, that capped a five-play, 50-yard drive. Armah scored the Pokes' other touchdown, as well, from one-yard away. That resulted from a 30-and-in situation, which took the Cowboys five plays.
Place kickers Scott Parker, and Deric Yaussi, shared the kicking duties. Each received an opportunity to participate in each kicking situation. Yaussi and Parker both made their tries from 37 yards, and from 28. Both missed from 46 yards, and Yaussi made his from 47, and Parker missed. They both converted on the PAT's following the two touchdowns.
"I do want to see more spirit out of these guys," Glenn said. "We've got to get them more excited on the sideline. We need to see more enthusiasm. But that will come as we become more familar with what we are doing, and what we expect.."
The Bramlet brothers had excellent days at quarterback. Casey completed 10 of 13 passes for 86 yards, and Corey was 8 of 10 for 68 yards. He did throw the only interception of the afternoon. Wyoming's third quarterback, J.J. Raterink, was 2 of 4 for 38 yards.
The top target was redshirt freshman Jarreau Grant who caught five for 69 yards. Veterans Jovon Bouknight and Ryan McGuffey also produced good days. Bouknight had four catches for 44 yards, and McGuffey caught four for 34. Grant had the longest catch of the day, 24 yards from Raterink. The Cowboys attempted just one deep pass all afternoon, and that was incomplete.
On the ground, Armah was effective. He carried 11 times for 64 yards and the two touchdowns. His long run of the day was 31 yards on a toss sweep. Redshirt freshman Ivan Harrison had four carries for 19 yards.
Morris, the Cowboys junior defensive end, had a big day. He had a tackle for a loss, two sacks and a pass deflection. Jay McNeal produced five tackles from his safety spot to lead all tacklers. Senior defensive tackle Casey Adams had four tackles as did linebacker J.C. Trautwein. Sophomore strong safety Chad White had the only interception of the day, and he returned it 10 yards
Veteran punter Luke Donovan turned in his usual solid performance. The senior from Spearfish punted three times for an average of 42.9. His long punt was 47 yards.