Aug. 15, 2007
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Big plays on offense by junior running back Devin Moore and sophomore quarterback Karsten Sween and big plays on defense by senior cornerback Julius Stinson and senior linebacker John Prater highlighted the Wyoming Cowboys first scrimmage of fall camp on Wednesday night. The Cowboys scrimmaged for one and one half hours, running 89 plays from scrimmage.
Moore broke a 62-yard touchdown run on the first possession of the scrimmage for Wyoming's No. 1 offensive unit. On the night, Moore ran the ball seven times for 93 net yards. He also caught a touchdown pass of 21 yards from Sween in the red-zone portion of the scrimmage.
"I feel pretty darn good about the talent level of this team," said Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn. "We've got a lot of work yet to do, but we have some good football players on this team. It's obvious Devin Moore is on a different planet. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry last year, and he had to have a terrific average tonight. The guy is lightning.
"On offense, our speed is starting to show with guys like Devin and Hoost Marsh. Hoost gives us outstanding speed both at receiver and on kickoff and punt returns, and he had a long touchdown catch tonight."
Sween led the UW quarterbacks, connecting on 10 of 19 pass attempts (52.6 percent) for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He hit senior wide receiver Marsh on a 39-yard TD strike, connected with Moore from 21 yards out and found senior wideout Michael Ford in the endzone for a five-yard TD pass.
"If you stand behind Karsten in practice everyday, he stands in there with confidence and delivers the ball with some zest," said Glenn. "He anticipates his receivers moves well, and he can throw it through a keyhole. I've always said he has `IT', whatever `IT' is. He's got it!"
All total the Cowboy offense completed 20 of 36 passes (55.6 percent) for 238 yards and rushed the ball 50 times for 147 net yards, tallying 385 yards of total offense.
On the second possession of the scrimmage, cornerback Stinson intercepted a pass by junior quarterback Ian Hetrick, providing the Cowboy defense with its first big play of the night. Inside linebacker Prater later added an interception of Sween, which Prater returned 22 yards.
"John Prater had a real big scrimmage," said Glenn. "We play a lot of different combinations at linebacker, and I still say that's the strength of our team. Weston Johnson is pretty special. He is a young linebacker who can really run. You always know Sean Claffey and Luke Chase are going to play well. They're two experienced seniors. Ward Dobbs didn't play tonight, but he'll play in our final scrimmage next week. Our medical staff just wants to bring him along slow after his offseason shoulder surgery."
The Cowboy defense was led by sophomore outside linebacker Johnson and junior free safety Quincy Rogers, who each recorded six total tackles. Senior inside linebacker Prater added five tackles and one sack to go with his interception. Six different Cowboys recorded sacks on the night, led by junior defensive lineman Rob Holloway, who had two sacks for a minus nine yards. All total, the Poke defenders picked off two passes, recorded seven sacks for a minus 31 yards and registered 18 tackles for losses for a minus 61 yards.
Glenn also was pleased with two of the least experienced units for the Cowboys -- the offensive and defensive lines.
"Our older guys did a good job tonight on both lines," commented Glenn. "I think our No. 1 defensive line and No. 1 offense line will be pretty happy after they look at the film of this scrimmage. But we went No. 1 offense against No. 2 defense and vice versa, so the ones should look pretty good-- they're the veteran guys, the experienced guys."
The place-kicking competition between sophomore Jake Scott and senior Billy Vinnedge saw Scott hit field goals of 47 and 23 yards with no misses, while Vinnedge connected on a 51-yard field and missed from 38. Vinnedge converted both of his extra-point attempts, while Scott missed both of his.
"Extra points are like layups -- you shouldn't miss extra points," said Glenn. "But then one of our guys goes out and hits a 47-yard field goal and the other hits a 51-yard field goal. We're not consistent enough right now, but they're both good kickers, and I'm confident they will come along fine."
On the injury front, starting outside linebacker Mike Juergens suffered a sprained left foot in the scrimmage, and free safety Rogers had a slight sprain to his right shoulder. Perhaps the best news regarding injuries came after the scrimmage. Glenn announced that starting senior cornerback Michael Medina, who had suffered an injury to his left foot and ankle in practice this past Sunday, may be back sooner than originally thought. After further tests on Medina's foot, no fracture was found, and it is believed by team doctors and trainers that Medina's injury is a combination of a bone bruise and sprain.
Wyoming's second and final scrimmage of the fall will be on Wednesday, Aug. 22, beginning at 5:00 p.m. on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.