Three weeks and nine practices in the books for UW spring football

Wyoming football is in the homestretch of spring football with nine of its 15 practices in the books.

The Cowboys’ scrimmage in Casper this past Saturday provided some glimpses of what could be this season, although its difficult to get a great gauge of what to expect this season when a team goes against each other.

Still, it appears that junior quarterback Josh Allen is making good progress in building chemistry with the weapons around him. Allen was relatively sharp in Casper, going 11 of 19 for 133 yards with a pair of touchdown passes to junior wide receiver James Price. However, sophomore wide receivers C.J. Johnson and Austin Conway also looked good.

Here is Allen after the scrimmage:

Earlier this spring, fourth-year UW coach Craig Bohl was concerned about the way the tight ends were catching the ball. But in Casper, juniors Josh Harshman, Austin Fort and Tyree Mayfield all showed good skills catching the ball.

As far as the running backs go, I still contend that UW will have more of a three-back attack this fall. Redshirt sophomore Kellen Overstreet (11 carries 49 yards in the scrimmage) showed some nice speed and power, as did junior Nico Evans (10 carries, 30 yards). Don’t be surprised if sophomore Milo Hall becomes a third-down weapon out of the backfield, both carrying the ball and catching it.

It will be nice once the illness bug that has run through this team finally ends. UW was without its starting center in Casper — sophomore Gavin Rush — due to illness. Backup Boyd Draeger also was out with a concussion. Rush needs as many reps as possible the rest of spring. But I thought junior Cole Turner more than held his own at center in the scrimmage so perhaps some depth is being established there.

UW’s defense had its moments in the scrimmage. Sophomore defensive tackle Youhanna Ghaifan stood out to Bohl. Junior nose tackle Sidney Malauulu looked good — going mostly against backup — as well with a sack and a fumble recovery.

Casper’s Logan Wilson played only 21 snaps in 70-play scrimmage at middle linebacker, but that was by design to get other younger players some looks. Wilson and sophomore Cassh Malauia should be a solid duo, and it appears senior Jalen Ortiz is establishing himself well at the other outside linebacker spot.

The dismissal of three players, and suspensions of five others earlier this week for a violation of team rules was unfortunate, but it also creates opportunities for others. One player who may benefit the most is sophomore cornerback Tyler Hall. Hall is one of four UW corners who have been getting a lot of reps with the No. 1 defense all spring, but with junior Antonio Hull suspended, don’t be surprised if Hall is the starter coming out of spring along with senior Rico Gafford. Hall isn’t all that big at 5-10, 184 pounds, but he’s tough and has shown good effort most of the spring.

Here is Bohl after the scrimmage:

The Cowboys return to practice Tuesday for their 10th spring practice. They will also practice on Thursday and Saturday. The spring game is set for 2 p.m. April 22.

If you have any questions or comments about the Cowboys, I’d love to hear them. You can post comments on this blog, or shoot me a question via Twitter: @rpgagliardi.
Also, be sure to check out the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and online at wyosports.net for more UW spring football coverage.

UW fall camp – Day 2

Wyoming’s second practice of fall camp was held Tuesday morning at the North 40 practice fields on campus.

Like Monday’s first practice, the Cowboys were in helmets and shorts.

Here are some video highlights from the first 30 minutes media are allowed to watch practice.

Redshirt freshman running back Milo Hall was back at practice. He missed Monday’s workout because he attended the funeral of his brother, who was shot and killed recently in Denver.

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Ebbesen making progress at center, Stirneman getting time at tackle

Wyoming enters its fourth week of spring practice. this week.

Du'Ryan Ebbesen

Du’Ryan Ebbesen

I did a story at the start of spring drills of senior walk-on center Du’Ryan Ebbesen, and his chance to solidify himself as a viable option there as junior Charlie Renfree recovers from a back injury.

Here’s the link to that story: http://www.wyosports.net/university_of_wyoming/football/perseverance-could-pay-off-for-seniordu-ryan-ebbesen/article_38eb28e2-f3d2-11e5-8d4c-e7d1119bb35f.html

This is what UW offensive line coach Scott Fuchs said recently about Ebbsen’s progress this spring: “I think he’s progressing very well right now. There’s a difference between playing (center) for the first time and being a savvy veteran. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. But his willingness and eagerness to learn is going to aid him quite a bit down the stretch. He’s taking a ton of reps, and every rep counts.”

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