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Pokes complete week four of spring football in Laramie

Apr 15, 2012 - The Associated Press

LARAMIE -- Friday saw the Wyoming Cowboys complete their fourth week of spring football practice. The Pokes will have only four spring practices remaining next week, including the Annual Brown and Gold Spring Game on Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.

Head coach Dave Christensen announced on Friday that the Cowboys will draft teams next week for the Brown and Gold Game.

"We will draft teams for the Spring Game," Christensen added. "Our plan is to play four quarters, probably with a running clock except for the last two minutes of each half. We'll score it like a regular game. The quarterbacks and running backs will play for both squads since we have some injured guys sitting out the spring at those two positions."

On Friday, the Cowboy coaching staff hosted a coaches' clinic for high school coaches. Over 60 high school coaches from Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska attended sessions throughout the day with presentations by members of the UW football staff. High school coaching staffs from as far away as Omaha, Neb., also attended Friday afternoon's practice session.

The Cowboys practiced for two hours and 10 minutes on Friday in what was there 11th out of 15 spring practices. Christensen gave a brief evaluation of his team heading into the final week of 2012 spring drills.

Most 'D' installed

"From a defensive standpoint, I think we've installed 90 to 95 percent of our defensive system that we're going to use next fall," said Christensen. "Offensively, we're probably close to that same percentage. We'll of course add things in the fall, and we'll work on more specific situational things in fall camp.

"I've been pleased with the way kids have picked up our systems -- offensively, defensively and in special forces. I think their concentration level has been good throughout spring ball. The team has definitely given us great effort, and as I've said, it has probably been the most physical spring practices we've had in my four years here."

In terms of the progress of specific position groups, Christensen was pleased with the development of both the defensive and offensive lines, as well as the depth in the defensive secondary.

"The defensive line has performed well this spring," said the fourth-year head coach of the Cowboys. "I think the offensive line has gotten better each practice. I'm happy with our development on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

"On defense, I like the way our secondary is shaping up. Obviously, we have Luke Ruff out this spring, but we have several guys making plays there, so we're starting to develop some depth in the secondary. At linebacker, we've had some guys banged up, but Korey Jones and Zack Berg have both been very consistent.

"On offense, we've got a lot of young guys out there, but they're getting better. The running backs, are improving. Brandon (Miller) has been real consistent. Kody (Sutton) is getting better, and just needs to continue to do that every practice. At receiver, it will of course be nice to get Chris (McNeill) back in the fall, but we have some guys who gained valuable experience last year in Robert Herron and Dominic Rufran. Trey Norman had a good scrimmage earlier this week. Trey just needs to continue to get bigger and stronger.

Special teams

"Our special forces -- I think Daniel Sullivan (place-kicker) has really improved this spring. He has been much more consistent kicking the ball. There is no question that Tim Gleeson (punter) has a strong enough leg. He just needs to continue to work on his fundamentals."

Christensen said he plans to announce team captains for next season following next Monday's practice.

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