Cowboys don pads, head outside

The Wyoming football team was in full pads Wednesday, its fourth of 15 spring practices. It also was outside at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium early in the morning.

Frost covered the field at the start, but once the sun came out it turned into a nice morning.

“Man, it was cold,” said sophomore running back D.J. May about the start of practice. “I couldn’t feel my fingers, I couldn’t feel my toes and I was catching the ball with the palms of my hands.”

Coach Dave Christensen said he wanted to get the team outside, and knew it would turn nice as the morning progressed. He also said since UW has no games in a dome this season he wants his team to practice outdoors as much as possible.

Christensen liked what he saw — prior to watching the film of practice — in the first day in full pads.

“I was really excited about the physicalness and some thuds out there,” he said. We made some noise and we need that. We still grab too much, but we are better than we were.”

Christensen also liked the tempo of practice, something he wants to increase leading into this season. He said it is about 70 percent of where he wants it to be when the games begin.

Some highlights from practice:

–Christensen kept score of the practice and the offense won 45-40. Every period of was worth 10 points, and the 11-on-11 periods were worth 15.

–Junior middle linebacker Jordan Stanton had a couple of big hits on running backs. “We need more guys to hit like that,” Christensen said.

–In a 11-on-11 team period, sophomore quarterback Jason Thompson threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman receiver Eric Nzeocha. It was a short pass where Nzeocha got some good blocks and did the rest on his own.

–Thompson later threw a 45-yard pass to junior receiver Josh Smith over the middle of the field.

–Senior cornerback Marqueston Huff and junior receiver Trey Norman had some good 1-on-1battles. In the final rep of a 1-on-1 drill with the scored tied 15-15, Christensen ruled that Huff interfered with Norman in the end zone to give the win to the offense. Later in a 7-on-7 period, Norman took away what looked to be an interception by Huff.

–During a short-yardage 11-on-11 session, sophomore running back Shaun Wick scored on a nine-yard touchdown run with the No. 1 offense, and May added a 1-yard TD on fourth-and-goal with the No. 2 offense.┬áJunior quarterback Brett Smith threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to Dominic Rufran with the No. 1 offense.

–True freshman running back Omar Stover took some snaps with the No. 1 offense, as did junior safety Jesse Sampson — a junior-college transfer — with the No. 1 defense.

UW’s next practice will be at 8 a.m. Friday, which will include between a 20 and 30-play scrimmage at the end.