QB Battle Still Open, Crum has Big Day

The starting job is far from decided, but Dax Crum's numbers in the Cowboys' first spring scrimmage didn't hurt him…

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn was in no hurry to declare a winner in the quarterback competition after his team's first spring scrimmage on Saturday.

He doesn't seem to have a problem letting it go down to the wire either.

"It's 139 days til we play," Glenn said, "and I'll bet it goes about 132."

After two weeks of spring drills, incumbent Karsten Sween remained atop the depth chart, with senior Ian Hetrick sitting in the No. 2 spot. Junior college transfer Dax Crum came in third heading into Saturday's practice, and redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem brought up the rear.

But the scrimmage gave the Pokes their first chance to play at full contact for more than a few plays, and Crum had by far the hottest hand of the afternoon. The Arizona native completed four passes on nine attempts for 131 yards and two touchdowns.

"Dax probably made some plays that the others didn't," Glenn said. "Now, it might have been down the line with the threes, but still, he's done that in practice. He's got a penchant for making the long throw and hitting the guy on stride and letting the guy go in."

Crum hit walk-on wide receiver Kaither Holiway for a 61-yard touchdown midway through Saturday's practice and followed that up with a 60-yard strike to junior Zach Bolger on the next series. Both plays were against the No. 3 defense, but through three weeks of spring practice, Crum has thrown more touchdowns than any other Wyoming quarterback.

"I'm just trying to make plays," he said. "If it opens up down the field then you got to be able to throw the ball and put it on the money.

"I'm not trying to gamble too much, but if my read takes me down the field then I'm going to try to throw a touchdown, obviously."

The only other quarterback to throw for a score on Saturday was Sween, who tossed a 20-yard pass to senior Darion Donnelly in the corner of the end zone on the second-to-last series of the day. None of the four signal callers threw an interception on Saturday, but only Crum was able to move the ball with any consistency. Sween's TD pass was only his second completion of the day, and he finished the scrimmage just 2-of-7 for 26 yards. Hetrick posted similar numbers, completing three passes on eight attempts for 22 yards.

Stutzriem had by far the worst outing of the four, failing to complete a pass on seven attempts and losing 16 yards in sacks.

"Karsten…made some good plays. Stutz just looked a little bit slow, and Ian's still got to slow his feet down and stay in the pocket and try to find the guy," Glenn said. "I'm sure we'll grade it and grade it close and reevaluate after we look at the tape."

Even then, Saturday's evaluation won't be the team's last. Wyoming will conduct its annual Spring Game this weekend, and with Glenn content to let the competition play out, all of the gunslingers will have plenty of time to erase any mistakes—or progress—they made in the first scrimmage.

"You always want to play the best that you can, (but) you can't be perfect every day," Crum said. "I just go out there and try my best, and wherever they put me, that's where they put me."

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