Spring Football Balance & Our Teams for Sat.

With all but three practices and with two scrimmages in the book for spring football of 2017 the Cowboys have shown balance in the practices with offense and defense and we have our annual guess as to how Mike Gundy and his staff will split the team up for Saturday's spring game.

Before the scrimmage on Friday, the second scrimmage of the spring for head coach Mike Gundy and the Cowboys, I was talking to former players Jerry Winchester and Mel Campbell along with several others and I was bragging about different facets of the team that had stood out and were improving. After the scrimmage the week before I was really pushing some of the offensive players. That was my mistake! This is spring and when one side of the ball or the other has a really good practice or a  really good scrimmage then the next time out under similar circumstances and provided there is a semblance of balance within the team then you had better expect a turnaround. That was the case from scrimmage one on the last day of March and scrimmage number two on the seventh day of April, as different as two months on the calendar. 

A little after the scrimmage started I went back over to check in with the group and apologize for a preview that missed the mark. Chalk it up to spring.

The long touchdowns to Tyron Johnson and the offensive firepower on display in the first scrimmage was not as plentiful the next week. The 120 plays, longest scrimmage of the spring saw more defense on display with five sacks and four turnovers. There was some recovery late and some good offensive plays mixed in, but the second scrimmage was defensive oriented. 

That's okay. Heck, the head coach said earlier in the week that he privately roots inside for the defense every practice and scrimmage, probably because he has the confidence that against anybody else the offense will thrive. 

"I would prefer to see the defense win every day, but my message to the guys in the locker room after practice is to get over it," Gundy said of hos he handles it with the coaches that take everyday very personal. It is their job and everybody is competitive. "That's just the way it is in the spring. The defense kind of had their way last Friday. On Monday the offense had their way. ... It's just spring ball. Sometimes, coaches will go with ones vs. twos instead of ones vs. ones so that they can feel better about it. I would prefer good vs. good so they get good quality work and coaches have to get over it after practice."

Defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer was similar as he sees different drills favoring different sides. Pass pro is more of a defensive drill, inside drill should also favor the defense in his opinion, but pass skull, seven-on-seven is more of an offensive favorite. Team period should be balanced.

Spencer lamented the first scrimmage as a day the defense did not come to play.

"As a staff we let them know we were disappointed," he said.

Friday's scrimmage was much better as the defense came out strong early and had a lot of big plays in pass rush, forcing turnovers, both fumbles and interceptions. There was even a return for a touchdown.

The rubber match will be in the spring game on Saturday. Your chance to eyeball and see what the Cowboys look like. I honestly feel that this team has a chance to be very special. It takes more work, it takes a lot of caring and strong attitude, but I think this team has that along with plenty of talent. Now, it won't be strictly ones versus ones or twos versus twos. Mike Gundy knows that you as fans like to see it split up, so he and the staff will do that.

Each spring we always try to guess, so here goes with our Orange vs. White Spring Game Roster Guess-a-thon.

                      Orange                                                                                   White  

QB                  Mason Rudolph                                                                       Keondre Wudtee

                      Taylor Cornelius                                                                      John Kolar

                      Jelani Woods                                                                          Josh Green

RB                  L.D. Brown                                                                             Jeff Carr                                               Justice Hill is out for the spring

                      Ja'Ron Wilson                                                                         Jakeem Johnson

CW                 Keenen Brown                                                                        Britton Abbott

                      Dawson Bassett                                                                      Dayton Metcalf

                      Luke Hupp                                                                              Logan Carter

WR                 James Washington                                                                  Tyron Johnson                                       Dillon Stoner is out for spring

                     Chris Lacy                                                                               Marcell Ateman

                     Jalen McCleskey                                                                       Landon Wolf

                     Austin Parker                                                                           Tyrell Alexander

                     Cole McKnight                                                                          Obi Obialo

                     Mitchell Perkinson                                                                    Korie Frausto

OL                 Brad Lundblade - OC                                                                Johnny Wilson - OC

                     Larry Williams - RG                                                                  Lemaefe Galea'i - RG

                    Deionte Noel - LG                                                                     Marcus Keyes - LG

                    Zach Crabtree - RT                                                                   Shane Richards - RT

                    Arlington Hambright - LT                                                           Dylan Galloway - LT

                   Matt Kegel                                                                                Teven Jenkins

                   Ry Schneider                                                                             Walker Reed

                   Brett Wilson                                                                              Jacob Clark

DE               Jarrell Owens                                                                            Jordan Brailford                                   Vili Leveni is out for spring

                   Tralund Webber                                                                         Cole Walterscheid

                   Triston Grant

DT               Darrion Daniels                                                                         Trey Carter

                   Ben Hughes                                                                              DeQuinton Osborne

                   Taaj Bakari                                                                               Cameron Murray

                                                                                                                  Tyler Ferguson

LB               Patrick Macon                                                                           Chad Whitener

                   Devin Harper                                                                            Kevin Henry

                   Justin Phillips                                                                            Gyasi Akem

                   Amen Ogbongbemiga                                                         Kenneth Edison-McGruder - star

                   Kirk Tucker -star                                                                       Calvin Bundage - star

                   Brendan Vaughn - star                                                              Reshawn Parker

                   Zach Smith                                                                              Jake Dyer

                  Brian Ciszewski

CB               Darius Curry                                                                            Rodarius Williams

                   Madre Harper                                                                          A.J. Green 

                   Bryce Balous                                                                           Bryce Brown

                   Malik Kearse                                                                           Lamarcus Morton

                                                                                                                Javarius Blair

Safeties        Tre Flowers                                                                            Ramon Richards

                   Jerel Morrow                                                                           Za'Carrius Green

                   Chance Cook                                                                           Phillip Redwine-Bryant

                   Winston Westbrooks

Specialists    Matt Hockett                                                                           Matt Ammendola

                   Kevin Mahon                                                                           Zach Sinor

                   Sam Walkingstick                                                                    Tanner Morgan


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