UW defensive, special teams depth chart for Nebraska

Friday I wrote what I thought Wyoming’s offensive depth chart for the Aug. 31 season-opener at Nebraska would look like.

Today I offer you what I think the depth chart will look like on defense and special teams. As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts and questions.

DEFENSE

Nose tackle

Patrick Mertens, Sr., 6-5, 295

Uso Olive, RFr., 6-1, 293

Chase Appleby, RFr., 6-0, 289

Defensive tackle

Justin Bernthaler, Sr., 6-2, 260

Troy Boyland, Jr., 6-2, 302

Defensive end

Eddie Yarbrough, So., 6-3, 257

J.J. Quinlan, Sr., 6-1, 248

Buck

Sonny Puletasi, Jr., 6-3, 251

Saiosi Hala’api’api, So., 6-2, 248

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UW football practice notes

Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen said Wednesday’s final scrimmage of fall camp, which marks the end of camp, won’t be like the first two.

“It will be more situational stuff,” he following Tuesday’s practice where the team worked out in shoulder pads and shorts at Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium.

“We have a lot of things we need to work on mechanically from the sidelines, like getting guys on and off the field and communication from upstairs (in the press box).”

Christensen said there’s still a lot of competition for starting jobs and playing time at defensive line, linebacker, offensive line, defensive secondary, running back and receiver.

“I feel good about all the players we have, but nothing’s settled yet,” Christensen said.

Christensen also said the depth chart for the Sept. 1 season-opener at No. 15 Texas will be released Monday.

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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.

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UW scrimmage thoughts

To say the defense dominated in Wyoming’s first official spring scrimamge Wednesday would be an understatement.

The defense forced six turnovers, including four interceptions and defeated the offense in UW’s unique scoring system 72-41.

Was more impressed with the defensive dominance than concerned about the offensive woes. There’s some concern about the offense, but the defense was just down right good.

The line was active, whether it was in a 3-4 or 4-3. This is a true multiple defense folks. The guy that was a stud was senior defensive tackle Kurt Taufa’asau. He had nine tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. He was unblockable.

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