Here were the my five things to watch I posted prior to Wednesday’s second spring scrimmage for the Wyoming football team. Below are my responses to those.
The finals score was 64-63 for the defense using UW’s unique scoring system.
1. Improved offensive play: There were six turnovers by the offense last week. That was cut in half Wednesday — all interceptions. The offense struggled to go on any long, sustained drives. But after a slow start the offense came together near the end, albeit a shorter field. Most of the success came inside the defense’s territory
2. Continued solid defensive play: The three interceptions were by redshirt freshman Zack Berg, sophomore cornerback Blair Burns and junior safety Andrew Meredith. Five sacs and 13 tackles for loss. On the last play of the scrimmage the defense stopped sophomore running back Kody Sutton on the 1-yard line. Overall, the defense had a pretty good day.
3. S&M: I’m talking about running backs Kody Sutton and Brandon Miller. Sutton led all rushers with 31 yards on 10 carries. Miller had 15 yards on eight carries. There was not a lot of room to run, and many times the offense were in passing situations. Those two will be the go-to guys entering fall camp. Expect one of two true freshmen to vie for playing time, however.
4. Offensive line: UW continues to experiment with guys, and like the entire offense, this group played better as the scrimmage went on. The starters most of the time were senior left tackle Josh Leonard, junior left guard Tyler Strong, senior center Nick Carlson, sophomore right guard Travis Bogard and sophomore right tackle Daniel Fleischman. This unit still has a long ways to go to become more consistent.
5. Get rid of the ball: Junior backup quarterback Colby Kirkegaard needs to get rid of the ball faster in passing situations when the protection breaks down. He was much better at this in the second scrimmage. He hit sophomore Dominic Rufran for 35-yard on his first play and pass attempt of the scrimmage from his own end zone. It’s hard to gauge how well Kirkegaard releases the ball because the defense isn’t allowed to hit him. If an arm brushes by him he’s ruled down. Still, Kirkegaard showed improvement as he was 27 of 48 for 254 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
For more on the scrimmage, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang. Also see my column on backup quarterback Josh Smith, who is so much more than a quarterback for this team and had a pretty amazing story. Check back to the blog in the morning for the moving video interview I did with Smith.