Spring football in Laramie, WY is complete after the Spring Game on Saturday finished 3-0 in favor of the Gold Team (No 1 Defense and the No. 2 Offense) over the Brown Team (No 1 Offense and No 2 Defense). Now the football team will turn their focus to strength and conditioning and individual football drills without the aid of coaches until fall camp starts in August. Many of you may be concerned by the lack of production by the offense in the Spring Game, but here are three reasons you shouldn’t be dismayed by what you saw last Saturday.
The Spring Game Is a Glorified Practice
You may not want to hear this but the Spring game is nothing but a glorified practice and is no more important than the other 14 practices conducted during the spring. The game is in place for the fans and some recruits to make the trek to Laramie to see some quasi football in April. In some parts of the country 50,000 plus fans will head to their fall cathedrals to see a out of season practice. Wyoming is not one of those places which makes the Spring Game feel even more like a glorified practice to the players. Even the coaching staff admitted this, saying the closed scrimmage held the weekend before last would be used more for evaluation purposes than the actual Spring Game. The spring is all about evaluation and the coaches seemed pleased with what they have seen over 15 practices and so should you the fan.
Scottie Hazelton Is Making a Difference
The defense has a new voice calling the shots in former Jacksonville Jaguars linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton. The new defensive coordinator has reportedly simplified Bohl’s Tampa 2 system to get the defensive scheme back to its roots as used by Bohl and his staff back in their NDSU days. This has resulted in a defense that is more cohesive and plays at a faster speed. Craig Bohl has stated post practice several times that the defense has taken considerable strides forward this spring and the Spring Game certainly illustrated that. Hopefully the defense will be able to continue to improve over the summer and during fall camp to bring the level of intensity and play-making ability games that count in 2017. This improvement would make Wyoming a much more balanced football team and would take pressure off the offense who at times last season was under immense pressure to score points.
Should Provide Offensive Motivation
Offensively the numbers were ugly in the Spring game. Just three points scored and a total of 307 yards gained. Josh Allen only completed 10 of his 26 passes and the first team offense scored zero points. In the spring it is typical for the defense to be ahead of the offense so there isn’t cause for great concern. It must be remembered that Wyoming is replacing their top running backs (Hill and Wick), wide receivers (Gentry and Maulhardt) and tight end Hollister). It will take time for the offense to gel as a group when replacing so many key players. Not to mention that Wyoming was playing without two of their top tackles (Ryan Cummings and Brinkley Jolly) due to injury. The offensive line is also breaking in a new center with Gavin Rush who played guard last season as a true freshman.The lack of offensive in the Spring Game should only spur the offensive players on to work harder in the summer to get the type of chemistry we saw last fall when the Pokes were scoring 35 points per game.