Aug. 11, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. - For the second time this week, the Wyoming Cowboy football team will hold a morning scrimmage. Friday the Cowboys will begin practice at 8:45 a.m., with the scrimmage portion of the practice set to begin at 9:20 a.m. The scrimmage is open to the media and the general public, and will be held in War Memorial Stadium.
Like this past Tuesday's opening scrimmage, freshman quarterback Brett Smith will work with the No. 1 offensive unit, while freshman Adam Pittser and junior-college transfer Colby Kirkegaard will rotate between the No. 2 and No. 3 offensive units.
One difference that will be implemented in Friday's scrimmage will be a couple series matching the No. 1 offense against the No. 1 defense. One of those 1 vs. 1 series will take place during a period with the offense beginning at its own 25-yard line. The other 1 vs. 1 series will take place during the redzone period, with the offense beginning at the defense's 20-yard line.
Head coach Dave Christensen was pleased with the evaluation he and his staff were able to get out of the two-hour scrimmage on Tuesday, and he said that Friday's scrimmage will be approximately the same length and format scrimmage, including live, full-speed tackling.
"We were pleased with a number of areas the other day," said Christensen. "As I said after Tuesday, we liked the way Brett (Smith) ran the offense and protected the ball. Adam (Pittser) and Colby (Kirkegaard) did some nice things, and they all get another opportunity on Friday to show us what they can do.
"On defense, I liked the way our defensive line performed. They were able to put a lot of pressure on the quarterback, and made a lot of plays. Our secondary did a nice job for the most part. Luke Ruff has been playing well at safety. Luke Anderson, another safety, has shown that he will be able to help us in some situations, and along with Kenny Browder, gives us good depth at the two safety positions. We were a little thin at linebacker the other day, so we are still trying a number of guys at different spots there."
Other than the couple series that the No. 1 offense and defense will face each other, the majority of the scrimmage will pit the No. 1 offense versus the No. 2 defense, the No. 2 offense vs. the No. 1 defense and the No. 3 units on both sides of the ball against one another.
Special situations that will be incorporated into the scrimmage will include: the offense coming out from its own one-yard line; the offense beginning at its own 25, 35 and 40-yard lines; a redzone period with the defense trying to defend from its own 20-yard line; and a final period of two-minute offense, with the offense trailing by two points with 1:40 remaining on the clock and starting at its own 35-yard line.
Six players will definitely miss Friday's scrimmage due to injury. Two of those six are senior linebackers Brian Hendricks and Oliver Schober. Christensen announced after Tuesday's scrimmage that Schober would redshirt this season due to injury. Other players who will miss Friday's scrimmage are: senior offensive lineman Travis Hillen; junior running back Ghaali Muhammad; sophomore running back Nehemie Kankolongo and redshirt freshman offensive tackle Daniel Fleischman.
The scoring system utilized in Tuesday's scrimmage will award the offense and defense points based on certain plays. The offense will earn a normal six points for a touchdown, one point for a point-after-touchdown, two points for a two-point PAT and three points for a field goal. In addition, the offense may earn one point for each play of 20+ yards and one point for each first down.
The defense will earn five points each for an interception or a recovered fumble. If they return an interception or fumble recovery for a TD, the defense will receive 12 points. The defense may earn three points for forcing a punt, blocking a field goal or by stopping the offense on a fourth-down play on the offense's side of the 50. Two points will be awarded to the defense for a safety, a quarterback sack, stopping the offense on a fourth-down play on the defense's side of the 50 or stopping a two-point conversion attempt. Finally one point will be earned by the defense for forcing a missed field goal, tackling a ball carrier for a loss of yardage, blocking a point-after-touchdown attempt or when holding the offense to a field goal after the offense began its series in the red-zone (inside the defense's 25-yard line).
Following Friday's scrimmage, the next scrimmage for the Cowboys will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 16 and is also scheduled for the morning. The final fall scrimmage will take place on Saturday, Aug. 20 in the morning. All four of Wyoming's fall scrimmages will be open to the public and media.