April 14, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Following the final practice of Wyoming's spring training on Saturday on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, Head Coach Joe Glenn wore a big, satisfied smile on his face as he talked about his fifth spring with the Cowboys.
"I really like where this team is right now, and today's scrimmage was an indication of that," Glenn said following Wyoming's one-hour and thirty-minute scrum. "This has been the best spring we've had since I've been here. We have things to work on, but we are further ahead right now than we have ever been."
Utilizing a complicated point system for Saturday's scrimmage, the Cowboy offense posted a 52-25 advantage over the defense. The "O" scored four touchdowns during the workout, three through the air, and one on the ground. The star of the day was quarterback Ian Hetrick (6-2, 195, RJr.) who took every snap as the only healthy quarterback. Both Karsten Sween (6-2, 204, So.) and Jacob Doss (6-2, 218, Sr.) missed because of injury.
For the afternoon, Hetrick was 20 of 31 for 269 yards and three touchdowns. He looked very sharp. "Ian was big-time today," Glenn said. "He had an opportunity to show what he could do, and he was terrific. He has improved, especially during the second half of spring training. He has certainly demonstrated how solid he is."
"I thought our receivers played lights out," a tired Hetrick said after the scrimmage. "I also thought our offensive line played well. I had a lot of time to find receivers. I did find out that I've got to get more work in the weight room and get in a little better condition. I was gassed out there."
According to Glenn, the offense tried some "new stuff" during the scrimmage. "We were working on some new things like calling plays at the line of scrimmage and some different formations. Plus it was the first time we really worked with the play clock. So the offense had a lot of plates spinning, and they played pretty well. Listen, no fumbles and no interceptions, that is impressive.
"We didn't tackle as well defensively, especially on some cut backs," he continued. "But we know that this defense is tough. We haven't been doing much tackling during spring training, so some of those misses can be attributed to that."
A couple of defenders stood out, according to the head man, even without looking at game tape. "I thought Mike Neuhaus (defensive end, 6-3, 256, Jr.) made some big plays and so did Brandon Haugen (linebacker, 6-1, 239, Sr.)." Neuhaus had four tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss.
Haugen finished with nine tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack. Linebacker Luke Chase (6-1, 240, Sr.) posted seven tackles as did cornerback Julius Stinson (5-10, 182, Sr.). Stinson also produced a sack and a pass-breakup. Defensive end Mitch Unrein (6-4, 257, So.) had six tackles and a sack.
The offense finished with 458 yards of total offense including 269 through the air and 189 on the ground. Glenn praised the offensive line. "I know Chad (offensive line coach Germer) had to be pleased today. Those guys did a pretty good job in there. We gave our quarterback some time, and we were able to run the ball pretty well. We have good athletes up front. They don't have a lot of experience yet, but we have good people.
"There is probably more good-spirited competition in the offensive line than at any other position. I have a feeling it's going to get pretty heated in the fall. It's a good situation to have."
On the ground, running back Devin Moore (5-10, 182, Jr.) led the way with 42 yards on 10 carries. Running back Darius Terry (5-11, 203, RFr.) carried seven times for 37 yards. The one touchdown was scored by Jimmy DeAndrea (6-0, 205, So.) who had a good day. He carried seven times for 31 yards.
In addition to Marsh, two other receivers posted three catches each, wide receivers Michael Ford (6-2, 203, Sr.), three for 48 yards, and Kyle Jacobo (6-2, 192, Jr.), three for 21 yards. Salyards caught two balls for 23 yards including the touchdown.
Another impressive part of the afternoon was the punting of senior Billy Vinnedge (6-1, 196, Sr.). He punted seven times for an average of 50.1 yards per punt. Within that total he posted punts of 60, 57, 52 and 50 yards. His backup, Nick Landess (6-3, 196, RFr.) punted twice for an average of 38.5. He suffered an ankle injury after being hit while punting.
"Billy is bombing the ball," Glenn said. "He did a great job today. Not only did he punt well, but he got them off quickly, and his hang time was excellent. He is a very special player."
The Cowboys attempted just one field goal during the scrimmage, and that was a 47-yarder by Aric Goodman (5-11, 178, So.), which was missed.
The happiest part of the scrimmage for Glenn, obviously, was that injuries were minimal. In addition to Landess' ankle, running back Wynel Seldon (6-0, 214, Jr.) suffered a quad bruise on his left leg. It wasn't thought to be serious. "No turnovers and no serious injuries, that makes it a very good day," Glenn smiled.
Wyoming's 15 spring practice days are finished, so what's next for the Cowboys? "I told them after the scrimmage that now we have to take care of business in the weight room and in the classroom," Glenn said. "We are in the process of hiring a strength coach, and we're going to get that done soon. I also told them to keep their noses clean. I don't know why for sure, but it seems like spring can be a time when we can have some difficulties. They need to take care of each other, and be good guys."
Glenn said that one of the most pleasing things to come out of spring ball was the improvement of Karsten Sween at quarterback. "Even though he was held out of contact drills, Karsten made great strides this spring," Glenn said. "He will be our starter, no question. With the way Ian performed today, and knowing what Jake (Doss) can do, we feel very good at quarterback.
"I think we have a chance to be excellent in some areas where we were concerned heading into spring training, the offensive and defensive lines and the safety positions. We have work to do this fall, but we have time to get that work done. We now have 139 days and a wake-up before Virginia. We can't wait."