Aug. 17, 2005
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Jonah Field was most certainly to the liking of the Wyoming Cowboys during their first scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday in War Memorial Stadium. Not only did the field pass its test with flying colors, but so did most of the Cowboys themselves, according to Head Coach Joe Glenn.
There were more points scored in this first scrimmage than in recent memory as the Pokes scrimmaged for two hours on the stadium's new artificial surface. There were eight touchdowns scored during the first of two Wednesday practices, six by the offense and two by the defense, as well as three field goals.
"I'm going to begin with the postive," Glenn said following the scrimmage. "We did a lot of really good things athletically. (Corey) Bramlet and (Jovon) Bouknight made some great plays. We had a couple of great interceptions. We were able to score touchdowns on both sides of the ball.
"But we have some work to do," Glenn continued, the smile disappearing from his face. "Laying the ball on the ground is a cancer, especially when close to the goal line. We are really going to have to work on that. Those fumbles must be eliminated. We were planning one more scrimmage, but we might have to step up the contact work to correct it. A sure way for a running back to get fewer reps is to fumble. We must protect the football. If we have to go full in practice, we will."
The Pokes fumbled three times during the scrimmage, all inside the 20-yard line. One came at the 17 yard line, which was returned 43 yards by the defense; one at the seven yard line; and one at the 12 which was picked up by linebacker Sean Claffey (sophomore linebacker), and returned 90 yards for a defensive touchdown.
Bramlet threw for 272 yards, four touchdowns and an interception during the morning scrimmage, two to Bouknight, his favorite target, and one each to Tyler Holden (junior wide receiver) and Michael Ford (sophomore wide receiver). Ford's TD was for 78 yards. Bramlet was one of five Cowboy quarterbacks to play in Wednesday's scrum.
Backup quarterback Jacob Doss (sophomore) finished the day hitting on seven of 10 passes for 37 yards. Stinson Dean (redshirt freshman) completed six of seven passes for 81 yards. Like Bramlet, he threw one interception.
"I thought Corey threw very well," Glenn said. "Our first offensive line did a great job of giving him time to threw. I thought that first unit was outstanding. They are bigger and stronger than I thought. But then the first offense should be moving the football against our second unit."
Wyoming's touchdown plays included a two-yard run by running back Wynel Seldon; a 78-yard hookup between Bramlet and Ford; an 11-yard touchdown from Bramlet to Bouknight; a 22-yard play between those two; a 20-yard pass play from Bramlet to Holden, and a three-yard run by junior tailback Alex Renshaw.
The top receiving target for the Cowboys were Bouknight with six catches for 94 yards and the two touchdowns. Sophomore Taber LeMarr caught five passes for 22 yards. Holden and senior receiver C.J. Brewer each caught three.
"I thought Taber caught the ball very well," Glenn said. "There is no question that Jovon is a very special player, and Holden is Holden."
On the ground, freshman J.R. Moore rushed five times for 23 yards, and Seldon had five carries for 17 yards.
"We want to see Seldon stay a little tougher in short-yardage situations. The other tailbacks did some good things. But if you fumble, you won't get many reps.
"The first defense did an outstanding job," he continued, "which it should. I think they gave up three field goals and that was it."
The first unit did surrender three field goals, but forced two fumbles, including Claffey's 90-yard TD return, intercepted a pass that resulted in a 52-yard return by senior safety Ron Rockett, and forced seven punts.
Sophomore cornerback Michael Medina forced the first turnover of the day with an interception and 51-yard return. Then senior defensive end Aaron Robbins forced a fumble which nose tackle Dusty Hoffscneider scooped up and rambled 43 yards. Rockett followed that with his 52-yard interception return. Free safety Quincy Rogers forced yet another fumble in the redzone which was recovered by Medina, and Claffey completed the defensive fireworks with his 90-yard fumble return.
Medina finished with four tackles, a pass break-up, the fumble recovery and the interception. Robbins produced five tackles, two sacks, two tackles for losses and a forced fumble. Hoffschneider had eight tackles, a fumble return and a tackle for a loss. Cornerback Julius Stinson made seven tackles and forced a fumble. Linebackers Jeff Tatnall, Luke Chase and Ward Dobbs produced six tackles each.
"A lot of good defensive players made a lot of good plays," Glenn said. "It seems like Dusty (Hoffschneider) is always coming up with a turnover. He needs to work on his open-field running, though," Glenn said with a grin."
Glenn was very pleased with his special teams. "Our special teams are special," he said. "I really like what I'm seeing there. I think we have one of the best special teams units in the nation. We have a lot of classy guys touching the ball."
Senior punter Adam Brooks punted six times for an average of 46.7 yards per kick. Placekicker Deric Yaussi was six for six on point-after-touchdowns and two for two in the field goal department with boots of 21 and 31 yards. Scott Parker was two for two on PAT's and one for two in field goals.
In a scrimmage filled with positives, one of the most positive aspects of the practice, according to the head man, was the fact the Pokes escaped any serious injuries.
Glenn indicated that fall camp is right on schedule. The Cowboys will continue to install their offenses and defenses with an eye toward the next scrimmage. That next major scrimmage is scheduled for next Wednesday (Aug. 24). That one will be conducted under the lights at 8 p.m.