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Cowboy Defense Shines in Second Spring Scrimmage

Spring Practice
Photo by David Settle, Townsquare Media

Three interceptions, 2 of which were returned for touchdowns, and 9 total tackles for loss, which included 4 sacks, led to the Wyoming defense winning the second scrimmage of spring drills 72-62 Wednesday morning. The Cowboys ran 109 total plays from scrimmage and had a kicking period during the two-hour session in the Indoor Practice Facility (IPF) at UW.

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen said of the defensive effort, “We created takeaways. I thought they played much better today. I thought they were much more sound, more physical. Breaks on the ball were good, and pressure was good.”

Senior cornerback Marqueston Huff intercepted a pass by Junior quarterback Brett Smith and returned it 84 yards for a touchdown. Junior safety Darrenn White also picked off Smith and went 22 yards for a score. The third interception was by Junior corner Blair Burns off Sophomore quarterback Jason Thompson.

Huff said of the three INT’s, “That’s what we try to thrive on. What wins games is turnovers and taking care of the ball. So anytime we can get the ball out or catch picks, it’s a great thing.”

Christensen like the way the DB’s performed. He said, “We’re counting on those guys to be big play-makers for us. Today they played really well.”

Middle linebackers Jordan Stanton (Jr.) and Devyn Harris (Sr.) led the defense with 11 and 9 total tackles, respectively. Senior defensive end Jeff Roueche had 2.5 tackles for loss, including a sack and Sophomore buck Siaosi Hala’api’api added 2 tackles for loss and a sack.

Offensively the Cowboys threw for 399 total yards and three touchdowns, but did have the 3 picks. They managed only 122 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 46 attempts. Smith went 11-20 for 221 yards, 3 td’s and 2 interceptions. He owned up to the not so great day.

Smith said, “Yeah, I gotta be better. That’s it.”

Other offensive performances saw Thompson go 7-of-19 for 119 yards and 1 INT. The leading receiver was Junior Dominic Rufran who had 6 receptions for 134 yards, which included a 69-yard t-d catch during the two minute drill. Freshmen Omar Stover led the ground game with 46 yards on 11 carries.

Christensen’s assessment of the offense was, “Certainly have a lot of things from an offensive standpoint we gotta get straightened out. It’s hard to run an offense if you can’t snap the ball to the quarterback, and we had balls everywhere today.”

Christensen also said, “The great news is that we went out last week and the offense completely dominated the scrimmage. We came out today, the defense pretty much completely dominated. They made adjustments, they got better, and that’s encouraging.”

The Wyoming Cowboys have five practices remaining this spring. Friday is slated to be another full padded practice, as the coaching staff is hosting a Coaches’ Clinic this weekend. Spring football wraps up April 27 with the Spring Game at 2 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.

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