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Wyoming's defense steps up in second scimmage

Aug 19, 2013 - By Bruce Tippets, Sports Editor

Wyoming's second scrimmage of the fall took place on Saturday in Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium, and it was a much more balanced scrimmage between the offense and defense.

The defense forced two interceptions by junior strong safety Darrenn White and sophomore linebacker Deven McKenna, and sacked Cowboy quarterbacks six times.

Junior linebacker Mark Nzeocha and senior defensive tackle and co-captain Patrick Mertens led UW with two sacks each and were credited with six and five tackles, respectively.

Wyoming head coach Dave Christensen was pleased to see the defense step up with some big plays on Saturday and balance out the second scrimmage after the offense dominated in the initial scrimmage of fall camp last Sunday.

"I was thinking about this walking over here -- I don't know how it could ever be the ideal scenario (in a scrimmage) because if the offense plays well, you want to know why the offense played so well and why the defense didn't," said Christensen.

"If the defense plays well, you want to know why the defense is so good and the offense didn't play as well. There were plays made on both sides today. I was pleased for the most part with our execution by our No. 1s."

Junior quarterback and team co-captain Brett Smith was also asked by media members after the scrimmage if it was good to see the defense's improved play on Saturday, knowing that it will take a total team effort for the Pokes to have a successful season once the regular season starts.

"They (the defense) definitely came to play, and you have to give them credit," said Smith. "It's kind of two-sided for me. I don't like when the defense beats us, but I also like it because once the season comes I know they are going to be as important to our success."

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