April 16, 2014
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Wednesday morning's Cowboy Football practice saw the Pokes practice in full pads for the last time prior to the Spring Game on Saturday, April 19. Head coach Craig Bohl commented after Wednesday's 13th practice of Spring football that he thought his team was challenged by the fact that they were reaching the end of a Spring practice schedule that pushed the players to their limits physically and mentally.
"We had our last padded practice today," said Bohl. "On Friday, we'll only be in sweats, and we'll be brushing up a couple things and staging for our Spring Game.
"There were some good things out there today, but there were some things that we certainly need to work on. I think some of our guys may have had the attitude that, `I just want to get through today's practice and Spring ball is just about done.' We need to learn how to finish, and I don't think we're there yet. Nonetheless, it was a good spirited practice. We ended up with a goal-line scrimmage and the defense came up with a big, big stop, which was encouraging.
"We did get a couple guys nicked up today. I think D.J. May pulled a hamstring. We'll get some further information, but I would think it will be doubtful that he'll be in position to play in the Spring Game. I think Mark Nzeocha did something to his foot, but we'll find out a little bit more about it.
"We're still rotating quarterbacks, and making progress there. We're not where we want to be yet. We are on a fast track and the Montana game is not far away."
Asked how he and his staff teach the Cowboys how to finish practices and how to finish out Spring ball on a strong note, Bohl replied, "It's a process. I believe our guys really want to do well and they want to win.
"Ballgames get decided most of the time in the fourth quarter, and teams drastically change in the fourth quarter, so that mentality of being disciplined and persevering is key. Those are the things that are going to separate us and that is part of Cowboy Tough football. We are making progress, but we are a ways away from where we need to be."
The head coach was asked how he saw the Spring Game being structured.
"I'll take a look at the depth chart," said Bohl. "We had hoped to play a regular game. Now if we get really thin at some spots, we may have to amend that and have a running clock in the second half. But we'll get some things organized and then split our teams up and split our staff up.
"There will be a trick play that each offense will have an opportunity to run -- only one though. It's always a fun practice for our guys, and it will cap off Spring practice."
"Typically, how the game will come out will be our 1 offense against our 1 defense, 2s on 2s and we'll mix in the 3s. Everyone will have an opportunity to play. Some may not play a whole lot, but everybody is going to get in the ballgame."
Bohl was asked if he could comment on the strides the team has taken through the first 13 of 15 Spring practices.
"I think we're making strides as far as understanding how hard we need to practice," said Bohl. "We went into a composition (of practice) that was a little bit different as far as double reps, which means our guys practice a whole lot more. And they get tired. Sometimes unless you've really hit a baseline of understanding how hard you have to go when you're tired, you can't take that next step. We're laying a foundation, which we're encouraged about.
"I think certainly in terms of installing our systems on offense, defense and in the kicking game we have become more aggressive. Last Saturday's scrimmage was an improvement over the first scrimmage as far as being aggressive in all three phases of the game.
"The last phase is sorting out personnel. We're not where we want to be yet, but I think we have a clearer understanding."
As a follow up to what strides he believed his team had made through 13 practices, the Cowboy head coach was asked how he thought his team was coping with all the changes associated with his new coaching staff coming to Wyoming.
"I think fairly well, but today tested them," said Bohl. "I think there might have not been a lot of gas left in the tank, but that is part of coaching. That is why they put `Coach' on our shirts is to push these guys through this. Spring football is not a glamorous time, but it is a time where there is a resolve for us to really focus and to make strides. We're pleased, but by no means are we a finished product."
Finally, Bohl was asked what affect it may have had on players when they saw the first depth chart released on Monday.
"Most of the time during practice, guys are focused on practicing, but I think it had a little bit of an impact," said Bohl. "Some of the guys have a little better bounce in their step. A couple other guys may be putting their lip out a little bit, but that is part of college football. What is important is all of these guys are going to make a contribution to our football team. It may not be exactly how they see it, but they're all going to need to contribute, so we have to keep everyone in the fold and keep moving forward."
The Spring Game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 from Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, and will be free and open to media and the general public.
Preceding the Spring Game will be a free Youth Football Clinic for boys and girls ages 12 and under. Following the Spring Game, Cowboy players will be available for interviews with media on the field and following that the Cowboys will be signing autographs for fans.
2014 University of Wyoming Football Spring Practice Schedule
Wednesday, March 26 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #1)
Friday, March 28 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #2)
Saturday, March 29 10:00 a.m. (First Padded Practice/Non-Tackle, Practice #3)
Monday, March 31 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #4)
Wednesday, April 2 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #5)
Friday, April 4 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #6)
Saturday, April 5 11:00 a.m. (Scrimmage #1, Practice #7)
Monday, April 7 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #8)
Wednesday, April 9 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #9)
Friday, April 11 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #10)
Saturday, April 12 11:30 a.m. (Scrimmage #2, Practice #11)
Monday, April 14 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #12)
Wednesday, April 16 8:15 a.m. (Pads, Practice #13)
Friday, March 18 8:15 a.m. (No Pads, Practice #14)
Saturday, April 19 2:00 p.m. (Spring Game, Practice #15) Open to the Public