April 21, 2001
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
There are times when ties are agood thing.
Saturday was one of those times as Wyoming's final major scrimmageof the season ended in a 29-29 deadlock. Utilizing a scoring system whichallowed the defense to score in various ways, the Cowboys' offense anddefense battled for just over two hours and 100 plays in War MemorialStadium.
"When playing ourselves, a tie in the spring finale is good," HeadCoach Vic Koenning said following Saturday's scrum. "When the offensescored near the end, we could have gone for two. But I didn't want anyonelosing as hard as everyone played, and I wanted Jarvis (sophomore kickerWallum) to kick under pressure. He did have to make the kick in order totie, and that wasn't a sure thing with the way the wind was blowing."
While the offense could score in the conventional ways, the defensewas awarded points for such effort as forcing a turnover, stopping a driveon the short side of the 50, stopping the offense after a sudden change(turnover) inside its own 40, and three-downs-and-out on an initialpossession.
It was the offense that started quickly scoring on its first twodrives of the day. The first was a 42-yard pass from sophomore quarterbackCasey Bramlet to redshirt freshman receiver Sean Bowman. The drive went 75yards in six plays. Wallum made the extra point. The offense scored againon the very next possession with an eight-play, 75-yard march capped by aone-yard run by the day's leading ball-carrier redshirt freshman KitBradshaw. Wallum also added that point after.
But the defense was able to turn things around midway through thesecond period, and dominated the scrimmage until an offensive touchdown onthe final series of the day, a one-yard plunge by senior running back NateScott. Wallum's point after determined the final outcome.
"The offense certainly started out well," Koenning said. "But likeall spring scrimmages there is always a pendulum swing. The defense didn'tget down on itself, responded, and kept scrapping. There are always upsand downs in a game, it comes down to how you respond. There is a lot ofleadership at the heart of this team, and that was demonstrated today."
Weather conditions were very hard on the passing game Saturday, andthe statistics were an illustration of that. Bramlet was 9 of 17 for 125yards and the one touchdown. Backup quarterback J.J. Raterink, a redshirtfreshman, was 7 of 14 for 56 yards. The passing stats for the day totalled18 of 35 for 208 yards and one touchdown. Four receivers caught threepasses each. . .Bowman (54 yards), sophomore Leonard Jones (49 yards),junior Brock Ralph (46 yards) and sophomore Ryan McGuffey (35 yards). Therewas not an interception thrown during the afternoon.
Bradshaw was the man on the ground with 19 carries for 80 yards, andthe touchdown. Sophomore Derek Armah carried nine times for 44 yards.Freshman Kevin Fulton carried seven times for 20 yards, and Scott carriedsix times for 13. For the afternoon the Cowboys rushed 53 times for 116yards and the two touchdowns.
"With the conditions as they were, we had to run the ball, and runif effectively," Koenning said. "There were times when we did that verywell, and there were times when the defense shut it down completely. We justcouldn't throw the ball down field. Because of that wind the offense was abit handcuffed, but it did a good job of fighting and clawing."
Koenning was pleased with the tackling by his defense. "Ourtackling is getting much better. Part of that is because we have betterathletes. Good athletes make better tacklers. We are definitely improvedin that area."
The Cowboys produced plenty of good performances on the defensiveside of the ball. Junior linebacker John Wilson had a special day. Heproduced nine total tackles, a tackle for a loss, and was credited with halfa sack. His linebacker mate senior Matt Klotz had seven tackles and atackle for a loss, while sophomore tackle Casey Adams had five totaltackles. The defense came up with three total sacks, and six tackles forlosses.
While the punting situations were not live, the punters were giventhe opportunity to kick away. Sophomore Luke Donovan had an excellent daywith eight punts for an average of 42.3 yards per punt. Senior Matt Swansonpunted three times for an average of 34.7.
In the place-kicking area, Wallum hit all three of his point-afterattempts, but did not attempt a field goal. Sophomore Justin Graham hit onboth of his field goal attempts of 31 yards and 42 yards.
Following the scrimmage Koenning announced the team captains for the2001 campaign. By team vote, senior safety Al Rich and senior linebacker LeoCaires were selected on the defensive side and junior tackle Adam Goldberg,and sophomore receiver Ryan McGuffey were picked offensively. McGuffeybecame the first sophomore in Cowboy history to be elected as a captain.
"Those are four deserving individuals," Koenning said of hiscaptains. "But it's a shame we couldn't have had 10 or 15 because that'show many we have doing captain-type things on this team. There isleadership running deep throughout this team."
The Cowboys will run through a pair of "light" practices on Mondayand Wednesday to close out spring training. According to the head coach,the workouts will focus on the two-minute drill.
"The tempo of this team was set the night after the Colorado Stateloss in November," Koenning said. "We had a team meeting and weredetermined never to let something like that happen again. They carried thatthrough winter conditioning, their academics and now spring training. Wewill now concentrate on academics, the weight room, and our summer program.I really enjoy this bunch. They have a great attitude and their intensityand determination are fun to watch.
"The good thing about our team is that many who have sat out duringspring training will be ready in the fall, and most, if not all, of thoseindividuals will help us. We're very pleased with the way everyone hasresponded. We're not there yet, but we are getting closer. Their workethic has brought us closer."
Rushing Statitstics NetNo. Player Attempts Yards Long TDs32 Kit Bradshaw II 19 80 24 128 Derek Armah 9 44 11 038 Kevin Fulton 7 20 14 034 Nate Scott 6 13 19 123 Tyler Scharman 3 2 3 029 Brad Schumacher 1 -1 -1 011 J.J. Raterink 3 -5 5 0 9 Brain Ellis 2 -18 -1 014 Casey Bramlet 3 -19 2 0 Totals 53 116 24 2
Passing StatisticsNo. Player Att.-Comp. Yards Long TDs Int.14 Casey Bramlet 17- 9 125 43 1 011 J.J. Raterink 14- 7 56 34 0 028 Derek Armah 1- 1 25 25 0 0 9 Brian Ellis 3- 1 2 2 0 0 Totals 35-18 208 43 1 0
Receiving StatisticsNo. Player Receptions Yards Long TDs81 Sean Bowman 3 54 43 118 Leonard Jones 3 49 34 080 Brock Ralph 3 46 25 085 Ryan McGuffey 3 35 14 082 Sean Brennan 2 8 6 032 Kit Bradshaw II 1 6 6 021 Terrance Reese 1 5 5 023 Tyler Scharman 1 3 3 017 Matt Kettler 1 2 2 0 Totals 18 208 43 1
Defensive Statistics Solo Assisted TotalNo. Player Tackles Tackles Tackles 2 Roderrick Jackson 3 3 3 Al Rich 2 2 1(PBU) 4 Pete Merrill 2 2 7 Jacque Finn 1 1 9 Lamar James 2 212 Tim Glynn 1(PBU)19 DaShawn Abram 3 322 Jason Jones 2 2 1-11yds(TFL) 0.5(sack)26 Tom Vincent 3 1 430 Gary Wright 1 137 Andy Ray 1 139 Ryan Calahan 2 1 342 Matt Klotz 6 1 7 1-2yds(TFL)43 Chad Whitely 1 1 1.0(sack)47 Tyler Gottschalk 3 3 1-3yds(TFL)50 Leo Caires 2 2 4 0.5(sack)52 John Wilson 4 5 9 1-3yds(TFL) 0.5(sack)53 Damon Roark 1 2 358 Tam Pruitt 2 2 1-3yds(TFL)60 Aaron Vincent 1 1 269 Allen Gotfredson 1 1 2 1(PBU) 1(FR)90 Casey Adams 2 3 5 1(PBU)92 Anthony Jones Jr. 2 1 3 1-13yds(TFL)95 Jon Aimone 1 1 2 0.5(sack)97 Chad Beuhler 1 199 Josh Rollins 2 2