Cowboys Ready For First Major Scrimmage Of Pre-Fall Camp

Aug. 16, 2000

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

With a minimal impact on thedepth chart, according to Head Coach Vic Koenning, the Wyoming football teamexperiences its first full scrimmage of Fall Camp Thursday afternoon in WarMemorial Stadium.

The scrimmage will be closed, according to Koenning. The head coachindicated the scrum would include a minimum of 50 plays covering varioussituations, as well as movement over the field.

"There will probably not be very many changes in the depth chartbecause of this scrimmage," Koenning said Wednesday as the Cowboys movedpast their first full week of two-a-day workouts. "This scrimmage is morefor game rehearsal. There might be a depth determination in a couple ofbackup areas, but more than likely there will be nothing major. Not manyjobs, if any, will be won or lost during this scrimmage."

Koenning said the majority of the scrimmage would feature the secondand third unit players. He said the first units would probably not see thatmuch action so that the staff could make a determintion about depth.

The Cowboys utilized Wednesday morning's opening practice toscrimmage in the red zone. While short, just 20 plays, it went wellaccording to Koenning. "I would say the offense had the upper hand whichwas a positive. This team has struggled at times in the red zone the lastcouple of years, and a scrimmage like this was important for the offensefrom a confidence standpoint."

Koenning said that quarterback Jay Stoner looked very sharp duringthe red zone work Wednesday. Stoner was given the day off Tuesday, and heappeared revitalized, the head coach said. "I don't think there was anydoubt that the day off helped him. He played very well, and was on themoney."

How is the State of the Wyoming Union after the initial week oftwo-a-days? Koenning said he is very pleased with the progress of his team.He said that the pace of practice has even out, and there is much more of aworkmanlike atmosphere. While some questions are being answered, there arecertainly plenty that remain unanswered.

"I am still a little concerned about our depth at running back,"Koenning said. "Nate Scott is still sidelined with a groin pull. Both (Al)Rich and (Derek) Armah performed well during Wednesday's mini-scrimmage.I thought the young freshman (Kit Bradshaw) did a very good job. I'm Notonly concered about depth at the running back position, but also abouttoughness with some of our backup guys. The fullback position appears setwith Darth Tesinsky and Marcus Ford handling those duties. Both guys havehad great camps."

In the offensive line the right-guard job is up in the air as is abackup to the left guard and two the center. At right guard Tam Pruitt andjunior college transfer Jay Dirks arebattling it out. Dirks has missed the last four days of practice suffereingfrom headaches. He returned to practice Wednesday.

Defensively there are outstanding battles going on at both safetypositions and at both backup corner spots. Junior college transfers PeteMerrill and DaShawn Abram are fighting for the starting nod at free safetywhile Jacque Finn and redshirt Lamar James battle for the strong safetyspot. Battles for the backup corner spots are being waged among fourplayers, Roderrick Jackson, Gideon Smith, Ryan Calahan and Mark Sheller.Koenning said there also was a good battle going on at the strongsidelinebacker position between senior Adrian Hill and junior Tim Glynn."Adrian is the veteran who might have a slight edge," Koenning said, "butGlynn is really making a run at it."

From sick bay, the Cowboys have suffered three injuries requiringsurgery thus far, defensive back John Levingston (right knee surgery) andrunning back, special teams fixture Aaron Frude (right knee, will probablyundergo surgery this week) and defensive end Kendrick Rawls (knee scope, outprobably 10 weeks). There are six players, including defensive tackleDaniel Gibson, kicker Aaron Elling, offensive guard Anthony Stannard,defensive end Brandon Jones and linebacker Herman White, who have been heldout of practice or limited to light workouts at best.

Following Thursday's scrimmage the Cowboys will go twice on Fridayand twice on Saturday. Sunday's single practice would also feature a majorscrimmage, according to Koenning.