The Cowboys are almost done putting in new plays on offense.
And that should make things a little more even during practice, Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn said.
"You install, you install, you install, at breakneck speed," he said, "but you're not trying to beat the defense that's out there. You're just trying to put the plays in."
It showed on Monday. The first-team defense dominated 11-on-11 drills, consistently shutting down Glenn's new-look offense and making things tough on quarterbacks Chris Stutzriem and Dax Crum.
The duo worked with the first team on Monday, and neither was able to find open receivers or move the ball with any regularity. Their struggles peaked when Stutzriem threw an interception to cornerback Marcell Gipson toward the end of practice and Crum followed that up by throwing a pick of his own to linebacker Mike Juergens on the next play.
"We put a lot of stuff in, and we're not scheming to beat our defense," Glenn said. "So we looked a little sloppy tonight."
Even running back Devin Moore got in on the sloppiness, fumbling the ball two plays after Crum's pick.
"I hadn't fumbled in a while," said Moore, who used the play as motivation. "It's good to get brought down to earth and let you know where you need to work the hardest at."
Now that nearly all their new plays have been put in, the Cowboys will take some time to begin reviewing their offense, and players said they are confident the new system will give defenses a few more problems during the season than it gave the Pokes' first team on Monday.
"We're putting in a whole new scheme of things, which is going to look very good when we get 100 percent execution down," senior running back Wynel Seldon said. "That just comes with repetition, so we'll be alright."
QB Battle Still Undecided…
Glenn was in no hurry to declare any favorites in the signal caller race on Monday.
"We're going to go another week and see what the quarterbacks are like after a week and then try and evaluate them and all positions on offense," he said. "We'll go through Saturday and try and get some kind of a depth chart. We think we have a depth chart, but we've really rotated the quarterbacks, which is another thing that doesn't necessarily help you (in practice)."
Glenn said he wants each of the Cowboys' four gunslingers (Stutzriem, Crum, Karsten Sween and Ian Hetrick) to get plenty of reps in the new offense before coaches make any decisions about who will take the reigns in the fall.
Sween has been the most consistent of the quarterbacks through the Pokes' first four spring practices, and he also has the most experience working with the team's receiving corps.
"He was the starter last year, and I went with him in seven-on-seven (drills) this winter," said senior wideout Chris Johnson. "I did everything with him, and I've kind of got a rhythm with him more. Me and Dax have been doing a lot of one-on-ones, but I haven't been on the field with him as much as Karsten."
Johnson said it would be nice have the quarterback competition wrapped up so that the first-team receivers could begin getting more reps with the starting signal caller.
"There are little things that change the football," he said. "You know, Karsten's rotation on the ball compared to the other quarterbacks' rotation on the ball, so I mean, yeah, it'd be nice."
Out of the Elements…
With the weekend snowfall still laying on Jonah Field and temperatures dipping below freezing for much of the day, Glenn smiled as he compared his team's practice conditions to those of archrival Colorado State.
"I read with particular interest an article in the Rocky Mountain News and the Denver Post about CSU's practices, and they were going to go Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday—weather permitting," he said and then covered his mouth and chuckled. "We have no more weather permitting here.
"This is sensational. The soccer coach worked out right before us, and he just said how much more you can get done and how special it is that you don't have to layer it up, and it just makes it so much more efficient."
Other than opening up last Saturday's practice outside at War Memorial Stadium, the Cowboys have been indoors throughout the first week of spring drills.
Two-Sport Star? Not likely…
Wyoming star point guard Brandon Ewing made an appearance during Monday's football practice. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior watched a few minutes of passing drills but assured a reporter that he would not be suiting up in pads.
"Coach (Heath) Schroyer (UW basketball coach) probably doesn't even want me in here," he joked.
Ewing said he played wide receiver in high school and put up decent numbers, but college scouts knew he was focused on basketball.
He predicted that Memphis and North Carolina will play in the NCAA men's basketball championship game next week.
Senior safety Michael Ray injured his left toe during one-on-one drills midway through Monday's practice. He sat out the second half of the session without his left shoe on and appeared to be limping as he exited the indoor facility after practice ended.
There is no word yet on when he will be ready to return. Ray's injury appeared to be the only one sustained during Monday's drills.
The Cowboys will practice again on Wednesday at 3 p.m.
Spring Practice Report, Monday 3-31
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