Offense Remains Focus For Cowboys; Final Closed Scrimmage Saturday

LARAMIE, Wy. -- It's more than just another scrimmage for the Cowboys football team on Saturday. Coach Craig Bohl is looking to firm up the depth chart in what will be the final closed scrimmage of the spring.

“This will be our last closed scrimmage before the Spring Game (on Saturday, April 21)," Bohl said. "We hope to finalize a good portion of our depth chart, and get some more playing experience for some of our younger players who have not yet played a lot.

“This scrimmage will provide us as a coaching staff with one of our final evaluations of the spring.  The Spring Game is more an opportunity to give the players a feel of a game-like situation in War Memorial, with officials on the field and fans in the stands as opposed to an evaluation.  We’ll look at the Spring Game some in evaluating our players, but this Saturday will be a big, big day for our guys.”

Junior wide reciever Austin Conway is on hold. He suffered a hip injury during Thursday's workout.

"He did something to his hip, hopefully it’s not serious," Bohl said afte the workout. "He wanted to try and finish practice but he couldn’t.  We’ll find out a little bit more (Friday)."

 In making evaluations, the offense will be the focus.

“We’re certainly going to be looking at quarterback -- number one,” said Bohl.  “We’re looking to solidify our offensive line.  It’s a little bit difficult to evaluate running backs right now, simply because a lot of them are not going to be in a position to play on Saturday.

 “Over on defense, we’re going to take a hard look at who are going to be our back-up safeties.  What’s going to happen at corner?  Antonio Hull can play well, but between Keyon Blankenbaker and C.J. Coldon, which guy is going to rise to the top at cornerback."

One of the running backs who will not be participating in Saturday’s scrimmage will be redshirt freshman Xazavian Valladay.  The freshman had a good first scrimmage, but Bohl said they haven’t gotten final word on the injury to Valladay’s hand that he suffered in that first scrimmage. 

Bohl said Valladay would definitely be held out of the upcoming scrimmage.  He joins running backs Kellen Overstreet and Trey Woods, who are out with shoulder injuries.

Bohl said some veteran players will be held out again this week to give the staff a better chance to evaluate depth at positions.

“ As we try to find back-ups -- say at safety -- it is counter productive to rep someone like Andrew Wingard, who has played a lot of football for us," Bohl said. "It is better for us to give those repetitions to the younger players.  Some of the other guys who we will likely not scrimmage will be Logan (Wilson) and Youhanna (Ghaifan).  Those are the guys who you have to ask is it really prudent to have them take reps away from younger players.”

The quarterback situation is far from settled, but Bohl did see progress, especially with redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal.

“I think he is making good decisions," said Bohl. "We have made it hard for those quarterbacks.  They’ve had to read disguised coverages and have had to change pass protections.  He is a bright football player.  He did some nice things in the scrimmage with his feet.  There are some things he needs to improve on, but there are things for a freshman that I think he has done well.  Nick (Smith) has also done well.  Nick has gotten better.”                                                           

 Following its scrimmage on Saturday, April 14, Wyoming will conclude its fifth and final week of spring drills with practices next Tuesday and Thursday prior to the Brown and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 21.  The Spring Game will be open to the public, with a 2 p.m. kickoff planned.

Tracy RingolsbyComment