April 17, 2008
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The Wyoming Cowboys will conclude 2008 spring football practice with the annual Spring Game on Saturday, April 19 in War Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage will kick off at 1 p.m. and is free to the public.
Saturday's scrimmage will mark the 15th and final practice of the spring. The Pokes began spring drills on Wednesday, March 26, and have practiced every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday since. The NCAA allows teams to conduct a maximum of 15 practices in the spring.
"We've been able to accomplish everything we wanted to this spring," said Glenn. "The offense, defense and special teams have all completed installation of their plays. This week's scrimmage will include some new plays that we finished installing this week, plus much of the playbook that we've been installing for the past month. We will drive the ball over the field a little bit more in this scrimmage. We won't punt at the end of series, but we will kick field goals in sequence like a regular game.
"At this point of the spring, we have a pretty good idea of which players are in the mix to play for us, but a scrimmage always gives us, as coaches, an opportunity to see how players react in game-like situations. Everyone can use game experience, but this scrimmage is probably most valuable to the quarterbacks."
The format for Saturday's Spring Game will pit the No. 1 offense against the No. 2 defense, the No. 2 offense versus the No. 1 defense and the No. 3 offense against the No. 3 defense. The scrimmage will begin with special teams units working on kickoff and punting. Following the special teams work, the first and third quarters will begin at the offense's own 30-yard line, with an estimated eight plays being run by each unit. In the second and fourth quarters, each unit will execute red-zone offense, beginning at the defense's 20-yard line. At the end of each half, the offensive units will practice their two-minute offense, and will be allowed one timeout during the two-minute drill.
The scrimmage is planned to include a total of approximately 85 to 90 plays.
"This is one of the most exciting spring balls I've been around in a long time," said Glenn. "I credit a lot of that to the arrival of Bob Cole (new offensive coordinator). He has brought a new attitude to our offensive staff, and has put the fun back into the game. I believe both our kids and coaches have fed off of that. To see and feel his optimism is up-lifting.
"I think the work ethic of our kids carried through from winter conditioning right into spring practice. We had a very productive winter program. We had players setting new lifting records and posting individual bests. A lot of that comes from Brian Herzog (UW's strength and conditioning coach for football), who brought a great work ethic with him from Notre Dame. The kids appreciate his dedication and hard work, and I can guarantee you it isn't any hug people up approach from Coach Herzog. It's a go-to-work, roll-up-your-sleeves attitude when you walk into his weight room. That approach, and the energy our kids have put into the workouts, has given them a lot of confidence that when they're tested physically in a game next season they know they'll be ready to meet that challenge."
On Friday, the Cowboys will hold a seven-on-seven passing tournament as a warmup for Saturday's Spring Game. There will be eight teams, captained by the five starting offensive linemen and three starting defensive linemen. The captains drafted their teams on Thursday night. The seven-on-seven tournament will be played both in War Memorial Stadium and UW's Indoor Practice Facility, with two games beging played on each field at the same time. The passing tournament will feature 10 offensive plays for each team, starting from the defense's 40-yard line. Teams will be awarded points on offense for yards gained and touchdowns. When a team is on defense, it will earn points for incomplete passes and interceptions. The championship game on Friday will be played on the game field at War Memorial Stadium.
"Friday will be a hotly-contested event for the seven-on-seven championship," joked Glenn. "Our kids have not only worked extremely hard during spring drills, but they have maintained a very enthusiastic attitude every day this spring. Friday before the Spring Game is always a day we take the pads off and let the kids get ready for the scrimmage. They deserve to have a little fun at this game, and I think it's a great idea the coaches came up with to have this seven-on-seven tournament. The kids will have fun with this and the coaches will have fun with it."