(Laramie, Wyoming) The Wyoming Cowboys completed the first third of their 2017 spring practice schedule on Thursday with the fifth of 15 spring practices being held in War Memorial Stadium. Â The Cowboy defense came from behind in a two-period scrimmage that focused on third-down situations. Â After the offense took an early lead, the defense won six of the 11 possessions contested during the situational scrimmage.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl conducted a post-practice press conference with media to talk about Thursdayâ€™s late afternoon practice.
â€œI thought it took us awhile today to get up to speed, but as practice went along I thought they adapted pretty well, â€œ said Bohl. Â â€œWe had a third-down scrimmage that was indicative of the dayâ€™s practice. Â I was really pleased with the offensive production early in the scrimmage, and the defense came back and had some good plays.
â€œWe did sustain a pretty significant injury today. Â I think Andrew Wingard broke his hand. Â Weâ€™ll get confirmation on that tomorrow, but I would say there is a great likelihood that he will likely miss the rest of spring, which is disappointing, but itâ€™s where it is.â€
Bohl was asked with safety Anthony Makransky already out after suffering a torn achilles tendon last week, and now with Wingardâ€™s injury how important it is for some other individuals to step forward at the safety position.
Bohl also shared his impressions of several other position groupsâ€™ performances during Thursdayâ€™s two-and-a half hour practice.
â€œI think weâ€™re doing a good job is some aspects of the kicking game,â€ said Bohl. Â â€œI thought Cooper (Rothe) really struck the ball well today, so that was encouraging.
â€œThe quarterbacks were a little bit of a mixed bag, and weâ€™re going to need to continue to improve there. Â We do some exceptional things with the ball, but then at times we need to make sure we take care of the ball better.
â€œOur outside receivers are catching the ball well. Â I think our tight ends need to come on a little bit.
â€œI think the running back position is looking pretty solid.â€
Asked if it was typical for the offense or the defense to be ahead of one another at this stage of spring practice, Bohl responded, â€œTypically, when you get really good as a program the offense has a hard time moving the ball against the defense in the spring. Â That has been my experience. Â I wouldnâ€™t say weâ€™re there yet, but I have seen some signs of more play-making ability (on defense).
â€œA guy like Logan Wilson has been around the football an awful lot. Â Youhanna Ghaifan is doing some good things. Â I think weâ€™re getting some good play out of our corners, as well. Â Iâ€™m encouraged there, but I would like to see a little bit more dominant defensive play — thatâ€™s probably because Iâ€™m an old defensive coach.â€
On a more personal note, the fourth-year Cowboy head coach was asked what it is like to have his son Aaron Bohl on the Wyoming staff as a graduate assistant coach for the first time this spring.
â€œQuite frankly, most of the time I donâ€™t even think about it. Â Weâ€™re all coaching,â€ said the elder Bohl. Â â€œThen every once in awhile Iâ€™ll recognize, â€˜wait a minute, thatâ€™s my son over there.â€™ Â Iâ€™ve really tried to empower our defensive coaches to make sure that heâ€™s doing the things he needs to as a graduate assistant. Â And I trust those guys to the point where I know theyâ€™re doing a good job of mentoring him.Â Several members of our staff have known Aaron for a long time. Â I told him Iâ€™m going to stay out of his hair, but if thereâ€™s only 10 guys out on the scout team heâ€™s probably going to hear from me.â€
As the Cowboys prepare for their next practice on Saturday, Bohl was questioned about whether Saturdayâ€™s practice would incorporate anything new.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to do some more competitive things each practice,â€ said Bohl. Â â€œSaturdayâ€™s practice will likely have a similar makeup as todayâ€™s. Â It wonâ€™t be a full, all-out scrimmage. Â The first all-out scrimmage I think will be up in Casper.â€
This Saturdayâ€™s practice will conclude Week Two of spring ball.
The first spring scrimmage in Casper that Bohl mentioned is scheduled for April 8, a week from this Saturday, at 1 p.m. on Cheney Field at Natrona County High School.