Aug. 26, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Joe Glenn was all smiles following his team's final fall tune-up Thursday in War Memorial Stadium.
The Cowboy head coach was almost as happy that the scrimmage went injury-free, as he was about the performance itself. With intermittent rain falling, the Pokes scrimmaged for an hour-and-a-half, running 77 plays during a workout that was entertaining, and filled with big plays on both sides of the ball.
The first-and-second-unit offenses produced five touchdowns and three field goals during the morning, and the defense picked off two passes, one of which was returned for a 65-yard touchdown.
"We took another big step forward today," Glenn said following the scrimmage. "I am very happy where we are, especially physically. Every man walked off the field today, and that is always a big positive part of any scrimmage.
"We have improved in every phase of our game, and we are now ready to concentrate on that opening game."
Glenn said the Cowboys would begin working against the Appalachian State "scout" teams beginning with Friday's practice. His team opens the season Sept. 4, hosting the Mountaineers for a 1 p.m. kickoff in War Memorial Stadium.
Thursday's scrimmage was very similar to last Saturday's situational practice. The Cowboy offense began drives at its own 30, the 50, and the defense's 25. There also were five series involving the offense coming out from its own goal line.
The number one offense generated five touchdowns including two rushing touchdowns and three through the air. The second offense produced a passing touchdown. Kicker Deric Yaussi made good on three of four field goal attempts. He was successful from 32, 39 and 35. His lone miss came from 52 yards out. Punter Adam Brooks had his usual outstanding day, averaging 44.5 yards per on four punts.
For the record, the offense produced 455 yards of total offense, including 350 through the air, and 105 yards on the ground. "After a slow start, the offense got into a rhythm, and played well, especially the first unit. The second unit had its moments as well.
"We also saw a lot of good things from the defense. It's just so apparent that we are a lot more athletic than we were last year."
Junior quarterback Corey Bramlet had another outstanding day with the number one unit. He finished the scrimmage hitting 19 of 26 through the air for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Senior backup J.J. Raterink made some big plays while going 12 of 21 for 98 yards and one touchdown. He did throw two interceptions, including the one that was returned for a touchdown.
"Corey got into his rhythm, and threw some very good balls," Glenn said. "He threw some tough balls on those dig routes which was very impressive. I think he showed what he is all about. He will be an excellent quarterback for Wyoming. . .write that down everyone.
"For the most part I thought our quarterbacks had time to throw," he continued. "I was impressed with the pass protection I saw out there."
As would be expected,Wyoming's two veteran receivers were the day's top targets. Junior Josh Barge caught four for 100 yards while his junior receiving mate, Jovon Bouknight, caught six for 96 yards and a seven-yard TD reception from Bramlet. Transfer Tyler Holden caught two passes for 43 yards, and redshirt sophomore Dustin Pleasant caught four for 25 yards, and a four-yard touchdown from Raterink.
Junior transfer Joseph Harris was impressive rushing the football. He finished with seven carries for 73 yards, and a one-yard touchdown. He had a long run of 34 yards.
"Harris is a hammer-man," Glenn said. He can bring it. Along with (Ivan) Harrison, we feel we have a heck of a one-two punch at running back. Harris is a great shot in the arm for us at that position."
The defense made some big plays as well. That side of the ball produced two interceptions, one by sophomore Marcial Rosales, and one by junior Terrance Butler. Rosales returned his pick for 65 yards and a touchdown. Butler's interception and return covered 22 yards.
"The first-team defense shut us down pretty good," Glenn said. "I think both units made some big plays for us. We are expecting big things from that unit. They are more athletic, and more experienced. The secondary is making some big strides. We saw a lot of good things from those guys today."
Rosales finished the day with outstanding numbers. He posted six total tackles to go along with his interception. Butler produced four stops, and the interception. Senior linebacker Guy Tuell had five unassisted tackles, and a tackle for a loss. He was impressive all scrimmage long.
All in all, the defense had 70 total tackles, and seven tackles for losses of 18 yards.
Glenn also was pleased with Yaussi's day. "I know he missed the long one, but he did an outstanding job with everything else. Our timing was right on track from the snapper, through the holder, through the kicker. Our punting also was right there.
"We are ready for a game, as I'm sure everyone else in the country is. It's time, and we are looking forward to it. I think this team is ready to go."