Wyoming coach Dave Christensen was less than impressed with Tuesday‘s practice, albeit the first time the team was able to spend some extended time outside in War Memorial Stadium.
The Cowboys were practicing for the first time since the previous Thursday, as they had the weekend off because of the Easter weekend.
On Thursday, back in the Indoor Practice Facility because of a spring snowstorm, it was more to Christensen's pleasing.
"I thought it was a good practice, uptempo, upbeat," Christensen said. "I thought the kids worked hard and gave a great effort. They were physical at times. It was good work today."
Christensen was especially pleased coming off the rough Tuesday practice.
"I'm not here to make excuses, but I know one thing; we had a few days off and we came back and were not very good," Christensen said. "We were better today and I was pleased with the way the kids came out, and I told them that. They came out with their minds right, they came out hard and executed their practice."
The Cowboys practiced in shells on Thursday with no scrimmaging, although they were physical at times in situational offense versus defense drills.
"We went out and got more work done," Christensen said. "It was physical in certain areas. We did a nice job of keeping guys healthy and we'll go at it Saturday morning."
The Wyoming coaching staff cut the last scrimmage (April 4) short because of injuries. That also led to no scrimmage on Thursday, "We want to have a good scrimmage on Saturday morning," Christensen said. "We can't do that if we get more guys banged up."
The Cowboys will scrimmage for about 85 plays on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. in the IPF.
"Numbers-wise we can't (go more plays)," Christensen said. "We have to go with lowest that we can handle in a scrimmage. That's what we have to base it on. We're hoping to get in an 85-play scrimmage."
Just what is Christensen looking for on Saturday?
"We're looking to see which players are ready to compete at the highest level in the Mountain West Conference," Christensen said. "After we evaluate the film, we'll have each coach go through each of his players and tell me which ones are, which ones are close and which ones have a ways to go and what we have to do to get them there."
Near the end of Thursday's practice and after junior quarterback Dax Crum scrambled untouched for a touchdown run, tempers flared between the offensive and defensive line. A little wrestling and one major takedown was about all that came from it, although it once again fired up the troops.
"They're competitive," Christensen said. "Hopefully, you have a whole team of competitive guys and that is going to happen once in a while. We'll take care of that. Those things don't carry over to the locker room. There's a little bit of heat on the field and that is fine. That's competitiveness."
On the sidelines
Christensen said it is nice to have them around for a few days.
"It's their spring break, so they can come up, check things out and spend some time here," he said. "It's great to have them here."
Also observing Thursday's practice were several region and state high school football coaches who will be here for Friday's coaching clinic.
"It is also a great opportunity for us to get to know high school coaches in the area and build relationships with them. There are a lot of coaching clinics out there this time of year. We felt we wanted to make ours free of charge and open up our program to any area coaches who wanted to come and learn about how we do things."