Aug. 16, 2003
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
By all of Joe Glenn's measuring sticks, Wyoming's first scrimmage of fall camp was a successful one Saturday, at War Memorial Stadium.
On a beautiful Laramie morning the Cowboys scrimmaged for two hours, and ran through exactly 92 plays. The first and second units each ran the same number of plays, while the third units received an opportunity to show what they could do as well. There were 23 series run during the workout.
"For a first scrimmage, and to be where we are, we're very pleased," Glenn said following the practice. I think we answered a lot of questions. We know we have work to do, but we are happy to be where we are."
Saturday's scrimmage pitted first units against first units, seconds against seconds, and thirds against thirds. The practice featured "over-the-field" work from various points on the War Memorial Stadium turf. The offenses were asked to start from their own 20, and 40, and in the redzone at the 20. The kicking game also received its share of work.
"Every time we talk about a scrimmage, the first thing we mention is our health," Glenn said. " I'm happy to report this was a very successful scrimmage in that regard. We all walked off the field on our own two feet. We held our breath a little bit on Derrick (freshman corner Martin who suffered a neck stinger), but he's okay, and I think he'll be good to go."
While Glenn was pleased with what he saw on both sides of the ball, he was particularly happy with his defensive effort on the 80-and-60-yard drives. From 80 yards away, and 60 yards away the defense pitched a shutout. On the other hand, when the offense was in the redzone it was highly successful.
"That's what I liked about it," Glenn said. "There were really good things on both sides. I liked the fact that the defense didn't allow any big drives when the ball was 80 and 60 yards away. Yet the offense took care of business when it was in the redzone."
For the record, the offense scored three touchdowns of 19, 12 and 17 yards, and made 9 of 14 (.643) field goal attempts between the two kickers Dereic Yaussi (So., Ft. Collins) and Scott Parker (So., Littleton, Colo.). Each was three-for-three in extra point tries. The scoring strikes included two pass plays, and one reverse. Starting quarterback Casey Bramelt (Sr., Wheatland, Wyo.) threw a 19-yarder to Ryan McGuffey (Sr., Riverton, Wyo.), while brother Corey (So., Wheatland) hit receiver Jason Amos (So., Lakewood, Colo.) on a 17-yard play. The running touchdown came from Jovon Bouknight (So., Denver, Colo.) on a wide-receiver reverse.
"I'd rate the kicking game a B+ today," Glenn said. "I was pleased with everything we saw. I haven't looked at any tape, but I would say that Yaussi still has the lead over Parker, but the race is close. We snapped, held and kicked well today, and our punters hit some rockets." Starter Luke Donovan (Sr., Spearfish, S.D.) punted six times for an average of 38.7, two inside the 10. Backup Adam Brooks (So., Vermillion, S.D.) had three punts for an average of 43.0 yards.
Casey Bramlet finished the day 9 of 16 for 80 yards and the touchdown. His brother Corey was 12 of 17 for 101 yards and a touchdown. J.J. Raterink (Jr., Longmont, Colo.) was three of six for 16 yards. The two freshmen--Jacob Doss (Fr., Lexington, Ky.) and Zach Weidenaar (Fr., Bozeman, Mont.)--got a chance as well. Doss was three of four for 21 yards. While Weidenaar did not hit a pass on two attempts, he looked very good scrambling for a 38 yard gain. It was the best run of the day.
"Casey's the real deal," Glenn said, "which we know. But I thought all of the quarterbacks did some pretty good things. J.J. did a good job, Zach scrambled well, and Doss throws a nice ball."
The top target was wide receiver Jarreau Grant (RFr., Dallas, Tex.) who caught five balls for 47 yards. Amos and McGuffey each had four catches for 41 and 37 yards respectively. Freshman tight end Spencer Miller (Hampton, Ga.) and redshirt freshman running back Dan Marshall (Sheridan, Wyo.) each caught three balls.
On the ground, Ivan Harrison (RFr., Kansas City, Kans.) carried 11 times for 44 yards. Weidenaar ran just once and gained 38 yards on a scramble. Marshall carried seven times for 32.
"I thought our screens worked well today," Glenn said. "McGuffey made a nice touchdown play on the screen (17 yards), and Ivan looked real shifty in space on his screen play. I also liked the fact that we had just one turnover, and that was probably questionable on a late whistle. No interceptions, that's a very good thing."
Defensively, Glenn was very pleased with what he saw. "Our defense is making strides. I expected them to play well today, and they went out and did it. Our linebackers are the strength of our defense, and Tyler (Sr., Gottschalk, Hays, Kan.), Guy Tuell (Jr., Yuma, Colo.) and Shane Powell (Jr., Yuma, Colo.) all played well.
"I also liked what I saw from Chris Dixon (Sr., Jackson, Miss.) at corner. He made a couple of very nice plays. He has really improved himself, and has become a very good leader for us."
Gottschalk led the way defensively with nine tackles and a pass breakup. Safety Jay McNeal (Jr., Tallahassee, Fla.) had nine tackles, Tuell posted seven and Dixon added six tackles and a sack for a minus two. Freshman Terrell Vinson (Fr., Irvine, Calif.) had six tackles from his corner spot. Freshman Adam Diehl (Sedalia, Colo.) forced the scrimmage's lone fumble which was recovered by another freshman Jake Mayes (Aurora, Colo.).
There were several front-line Cowboys who missed Saturday's scrum because of injury. Starting middle linebacker Randy Tscharner (Jr., Calistoga, Calif.), free safety Chad White ( So., Grapevine, Tex.), end Anthony Jones (Jr., Lithonia, Ga.), and tackle R.J. Robbins (Jr., Aurora, Colo.), were missing from the defensive side. Running back Derek Armah (Sr., Lawnside, N.J.), receiver Dustin Pleasant (So., Temple, Tex.) and tight end Marshall Schaap (Jr., Ocala, Fla.) were out of action on the offensive side.
"Without question it will help when those guys are back with us," Glenn said.
The Cowboys will resume their fall camp with a Sunday afternoon practice at 3:30 p.m.