Backups take center stage for Cowboys

Tuesday’s Wyoming football practice started with about 50 minutes of work for the Cowboys’ veterans, which included some early instillation of the game plan for their Oct. 12 homecoming game with New Mexico.

The rest of it was for the backups. While the starters went in for about an hour of rehab and prehab work on their bodies with the medical and strength staffs, the No. 2 and No. 3 players got more work with the coaching staff in individual and team periods.

“It’s important because there are a lot of guys that are playing that are still getting better,” coach Dave Christensen said. “Now we get a chance to coach those guys and give them a lot of individual attention. It also gives guys down the road a chance to get developmental work in. It was a good practice. We got a lot of work done.”

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UW’s offensive depth chart for Nebraska

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen will release his first depth chart of the season Monday.

But I thought I would take a shot of predicting how it will look now, starting with the offense. Look for the defense and special teams to come later this weekend. As always, I welcome your comments, thoughts and questions.

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks

Brett Smith, Jr., 6-3, 206

Jason Thompson, So., 6-2, 206

Colby Kirkegaard, Sr., 6-3, 205

Tommy Thornton, Fr., 6-1, 205

Notes: There was never a doubt Smith would be the starter. In three fall camp scrimmages Smith was 39-55 for 553 yards with nine TDs and one INT. … Thompson also had a solid camp. He was 33-49 for 440 yards with four TDs and two INTs. … There was good competition at the No. 3 spot. I give Kirkegaard the edge based on his experience, but it would not surprise me if Thornton is No. 3 on Monday.

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UW scrimmage news and notes

VIDEO INTERVIEWS FROM SUNDAY’S SCRIMMAGE

DAVE CHRISTENSEN: http://youtu.be/nwMkzrSv11Q

TRYAN FINLEY: http://youtu.be/lsgnmSirUHU

Want another Wyoming wide receiver to talk about?

How about senior Jarrod Darden.

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound senior who transferred from Colorado but is eligible this season

Jarrod Darden

Jarrod Darden

because he graduated from CU in the spring, caught three passes for 95 yards and a touchdown working with the No. 2 offense during Sunday’s first scrimmage of fall camp.

His TD catch was 46 yards, and he had a nice one-handed catch for 40 yards later on. All of his catches came from sophomore backup quarterback Jason Thompson.

“They have me in the slot, which I haven’t played before, and this is a new kind of offense for me,” Darden said. “I played in more of a pro-style offense at Colorado, but I like this offense a lot.”

Darden said he transferred from Colorado because he went through three coaching changes in four years, and he was simply “tired of it.”

Darden said he looked for schools that threw the ball a lot, and UW fit the description.

“At Colorado I was burried on the depth chart and a new coach was coming in. I wanted to go a school that wanted me and could use me. Right now I feel like I can contribute. If I keep making plays, hopefully they can use me.

“This is the best I felt during camp in a while. I am getting feedback and reps. I will enjoy this day, but our first two-a-days are Monday so I can’t enjoy it for long before it is time to get back to work.”

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Christensen wants team to be more physical

Saturday was the first day Wyoming practiced in full pads during fall camp, and one of the first things fifth-year coach Dave Christensen talked to his team about was being more physical.

He also addressed that with the media after practice.

“We have to be more physical,” he said. “At times we were, but it is something you have to do consistently. We will keep working on it. I was pleased with effort, but we have to be a more physical football team.”

Here is a video link to a few highlights of one of the team periods from Saturday’s practice.

Newcomers working their way up

Junior-college transfer Tyran Finley and true freshman Timmy Hayes worked with the No. 2 defense at cornerback during team periods Saturday, as did true freshman Xavier Lewis and redshirt freshman Cortland Fort at the safety spots.

Lewis and Fort both had interceptions during practice.

“They are competing well and the competition level there is rising,” Christensen said.

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