Aug. 21, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Barely 48 hours after being dominated in a Thursday scrimmage, Wyoming's offense had a big day during the second major scrum of fall camp Saturday morning in War Memorial Stadium.
The Cowboys ran 108 plays during the morning workout that lasted just over two hours, and most of the day belonged to the offense. The Cowboys ran situations through much of the practice, including coming off the goal line, going in from 25 yards, and from nine yards out, and ?over the field?.
?I was very pleased with the improvement we saw in the offense from Thursday to today,? Head Coach Dana Dimel said following the practice. ?We demonstrated some big-play capability, and our inside run game improved. Our run game inside the tackle box is what makes this offense go. In that respect it's like the wishbone. If a defense can?t stop the inside game, it's probably going to have a tough afternoon.?
The Cowboys utilized a four-man rotation at running back including seniors Tim Beasley and Jon Jennings, junior Arlen Smith and junior college trasnfer Nate Scott. For the scrimmage, Scott carried three times for 45 yards including a 25-yard touchdown, Smith had 32 yards on seven carries, Jennings 23 yards on four carries and Beasley five carries, 16 yards. As a team the Cowboys rushed 39 times for 189 yards, and two touchdowns, one by redshirt freshman Cliff Brye, and one by Scott.
?I think all four of those guys bring things to the table,? Dimel said. ?We have had Beasley penciled in as the starter, but he needs to make that next step. When he does, we will feel very good about our super back position.?
Through the air four quarterbacks completed 16 of 37 for 283 yards and three touchdowns, and had a 63-yard TD connection called back because of a penalty. Jay Stoner finished the day 7 of 13 for 91 yards and two touchdowns, Backup Matt Swanson was 5 of 11 for 77 yards, Freshman Casey Bramlet completed 3 of 8 for 110 yards, including the 99-yard connection to fellow freshman Malcom Floyd. The top receivers were Wendell Montgomery with three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown, and Kofi Shuck who caught two for 42 yards. He also had one carry for a six-yard touchdown.
?I thought our quarterbacks made some big plays,? Dimel said, ?which is what we want to accomplish. ?We did a pretty good job of making the right decisions, especially earlier in the scrimmage.?
While the defense did not have its best day, there were some outstanding performances. Linemen Pat Hirsch and Brian Van Emmerik each produced two sacks, and cornerback Alan Jones had an interception and a nice pass break-up in the end zone.
?Our defense was a little flat to start the scrimmage, but picked it up as we went along,? Dimel said. ?We've said all along that the defense is the strength of our team. Those guys need to pick it up a little bit.?
The special teams area performed well during the scrimmage. Kicker Aaron Elling continued his excellent fall camp with outstanding kickoffs and two-for-two in the field goal department. He hit on efforts of 42 and 37 yards. He also made all of his extra-point attempts. Punter Tom Waring had an outstanding punting day averaging 49.5 yards per punt on five efforts, including a 56-yarder and a 51-yarder. Punt returner Jon Jennings retruned three for an average of 26 yards per punt, including a 48-yard return.
?I thought we were a little flat early,? Dimel said of his squad. ?But we picked it up, and I think proved that you can scrimmage with just one day?s rest. ?We are in our grind period right now. Practices are heavy, and the legs are a little tired. We have not held back, we have had a very physical camp. We'll scrimmage on Wednesday, and that will be the last one for this camp. After that, we will be in a position to polish because we will be fresher.?
The Cowboys will complete their two-a-day sessions next Saturday, Aug. 28, according to Dimel.