UW spring game thoughts

Wyoming wrapped up spring drills Saturday with its spring game, and the Gold beat the White 20-7. This was more like a real game in terms of rules and scoring. There were four 12-minute quarters with a running clock in each quarter excpet for the final two minutes of the second and fourth quarters.

I thought the defense came out as the winner, although both teams consisted of a mix of starters and back-ups. The defenses on both teams forced three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble) and allowed only 67 rushing yards (38 yards were lost on sacks of junior quarterback Colby Kirkegaard).

Kirkegaard quarterbacked both teams and took every snap. He was 28 of 47 for 324 yards including a 37-yard touchdown to sophomore receiver Dominic Rufran and a 33-yarder to sophomore Trey Norman. Kirkegaard missed on several long throws where receivers were open. One attempt was badly underthrown and intercepted by sophomore cornerback Darrenn White. Senior safety Kenny Browder returned a pick 34 yards and a touchdown on a play he read well, but that Kirkegaard shouldn’t have thrown.

Still, I think Kirkegaard improved enough in the spring to be a viable backup. But make no  mistake about it, this team needs to have sophomore starter Brett Smith back to his old form — and even better — in the fall.

There were nine punts in the game and there was no rush. Freshman Tim Gleeson averaged only 37.8 yards per punt. Some were against a stiff wind, but that was a little discouraging to see. As was two missed field goals by sophomore kicker Daniel Sullivan from 41 and 45 yards. His lone make was from 21 yards. Coach Dave Christensen didn’t seem concerned about Sullivan because he kicked well througout spring.

Only three penalties in the game — all on the White team for 28 yards. It was a clean game.

Was pleased to hear Christensen say sophomore quarterback/receiver Josh Smith and junior linebacker J.J. Quinlan will receive scholarships this fall after being walk-ons to start their careers. Their stories to get here were amazing and I was happy that after writing columns on these two earlier this spring that the Gagliardi jinx didn’t bite them.

Was disappointed to hear Christensen say sophomore receiver Sam Stratton (knee) likely won’t be able to play this season.

Some young guys that impressed me this spring that could help the team this fall: White and fellow sophomore cornerback DeAndre Jones, sophomore safety Chad Reese, redshirt freshman linebacker Zack Berg and sophomore receiver Trey Norman.

For more coverage on the spring game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, including my column on the five things I learned and observed from spring drills.

4 thoughts on “UW spring game thoughts

  1. Robert,
    Hard to gauge where the FB team is this year compared to last year.
    Questions for you:
    1. Is the team really more physical at this point than they ever were so fare under DC?
    2. Defenses always seem to be tough in the Spring game, so how do you rate the defense with our new defensive coordinator?
    3. Does Wyoming really have a shot at Texas this year? Last two times they played, we kicked butt up till the half, Texas wakes up and its all over. The ONE thing Dave C. really needs now is a marquee win. Last year against Nebraska, I felt the Pokes were punching em in the mouth, but again started punching themselves in the mouth. TCU same thing. Result: ho hum, a few things to look forward to but the only thing that would have propelled Wyoming was the marquee win.

    What I want (and most Poke fans want) is for Wyoming FB to be taken seriously again. I have a co-worker that’s a Colorado Buff fan and as terrible as Colorado has been, he’s still got his nose in the air whenever I talk about Wyoming. Wyoming IS the Best Team on the Front Range, time to start kicking butt! Time for Wyoming FB to be back as tough, disciplined, and not to be messed with!

    • 1. I do think the team is more physical, especially on defense. Not saying it’s physical like the SEC but there has been progress there.
      2. So far I like what the defense is doing under Tormey. They seem to play harder, more physical and with more of a purpose. There still needs to be learning and improvment, but I thought the guys responded very well to all the changes in the spring.
      3. Any team has a shot on any given day but I don’t see UW going to Texas and winning to start the season. Texas is young but loaded with talent. On a scale of 1-10 I would say the chances of Uw winning are a 3 as of now.

      RG

      • So what chance did you give Wyoming the last two times they played Texas? 🙂 thanks Robert, you bring a lot of fun to reporting Wyo athletics !!

        • I would say a 1 or 2 from the two previous meetings. Thanks for the kind words.

          RG

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