Scrimmage shortened for banged up Cowboys

The Wyoming Cowboys showed a little more than Thursday, but less than originally planned on Saturday in their second scrimmage of the spring season. The Cowboys ran about 69 plays in Thursday's scrimmage and had hoped for about 120 plays on Saturday. Instead, they went through 85 plays for one simple reason; they are banged up and a little tired -- by design.

The Wyoming Cowboys showed a little more than Thursday, but less than originally planned on Saturday in their second scrimmage of the spring season.

The Cowboys ran about 69 plays in Thursday's scrimmage and had hoped for about 120 plays on Saturday. Instead, they went through 85 plays for one simple reason; they are banged up and a little tired -- by design.

"We cut it back before we even started today, because we were two deep," Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen said. "I would have run 120 plays if we were three deep. We had to cut it back."

It's a numbers game and the offense again had the upper hand in the special scoring system, 51-23.

"We moved the ball, but again, I will have to look at the film," Christensen said. "You have to understand that we have a number of guys defensively down. It's not a true indication of where we are at, but I am certainly happy with the progress that we are making and implementing the offense and getting the whole system of the plays called and getting them executed. We're making progress in that way."

The Cowboy offense is even a little short on numbers, especially in the receiver position. Is Christensen and his staff concerned about the large number of players struggling with injury at this point of the spring drills?

Not at this time.

"We have to become a much more physical football team," he said. "We're going to improve on it, but now we have some guys banged up because of our emphasis of being physical. But that's part of the program -- the program is not going to change."

What he is concerned about is the players being able to go at his pace.

"We have a tempo that we use here," he said. "We set the tempo and the players will get to the tempo. They'll get in better shape, they'll train harder and they will become better athletes going through our program. They'll learn from what they are going through right now."

There was one casualty on Saturday, when junior place-kicker Nick Landess strained the groin in his right leg in warmups prior to the scrimmage and didn't participate.

There were updates of prior injuries that affected Saturday‘s scrimmage. It was discovered after Thursday's scrimmage that sophomore starting linebacker Gabe Knapton suffered a sprained posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) in his right knee.

He did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage and may miss the remainder of spring drills.

Senior linebacker Jimmy DeAndrea, who was injured on Thursday, has torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee and will miss the rest of spring practice.

Junior wide receiver David Leonard, who caught six passes for 64 yards on Saturday, including an 18-yard score from senior quarterback Karsten Sween, said that they're putting their best foot forward offensively and defensively.

"We're down in numbers right now, so we have to stay in it mentally," Leonard said. "I think we're coming out, especially in the scrimmages, for the first time and getting a real taste of the speed of it."

Sophomore linebacker Brian Hendricks, who had 16 tackles in the scrimmage, certainly showed the effects of the extended playing time because of the injuries. Yet, with a smile on his face, it was a good tired.

"We had a few guys nicked up, so we had to jump in with the twos and get some extra reps," Hendricks said. "Coach (Marty) English, before the scrimmage, told us to not feel bad about things and just hustle to the ball and that's what we did."

Overall, Christensen said he was pleased with the effort of his squad after two weeks.

"They're not trying to get hurt, but that is a little bit of the process of us trying to get them in the type of condition they need to be in," he said. "I have no complaints abut their effort, and to me, that is the most important thing to get these guys to come out and have a great effort every single day, and they have been doing that."


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