Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Glenn talks about a win, Stutz, Fulmer and playing Tennessee in November

Richard Anderson photo
Wyoming team members celebrate the win over San Diego State on Saturday.

By Richard Anderson
Wyoming Sports.org

Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn hasn’t had too many reasons to smile in the last month or so, but Saturday he was all teeth when walking into the media area in the Rochelle Athletic Center after the Cowboys blasted San Diego State 35-10.

“The feeling never changes,” Glenn said on Saturday. “It’s a great feeling to win and go out and have some success and see the kids smiling. I actually teared up at halftime when all of the linemen were walking around in the locker room with big smiles and high-fiving and head-butting each other. It’s sensational. It really feels good to taste the fruits of victory.”

On Tuesday, Glenn opened with a positive statement on the weekly MWC teleconference, something he hasn’t been able to do in a while.

“It was a fun victory for a bunch of guys who maybe had reason to turn tail and throw it in and they didn’t,” Glenn said Tuesday. “They fought back through the wrestle backs, as I like to say, and kept fighting, and have been fighting all of the way along. I feel like some of those scores weren’t indicative of what kind of football team that we have. If we protect the ball, which we did against San Diego State, we can be a pretty formidable opponent."

The Fulmer response
Eventually during the question and answer portion of the teleconference, that smile was turned into a frown in his voice when talking about Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer, Saturday’s opponent. Glenn also announced that redshirt freshman Chris Stutzriem would start against the Volunteers at quarterback. Stutzriem, filling in for the injured Karsten Sween, had a successful debut against the Aztecs, guiding Wyoming to five touchdowns.

Fulmer announced on Monday that he would step down (under pressure) at the end of the season after 17 years as head coach and 35 totals year with the Tennessee program.

“It’s the hard part of this game. I don’t understand it … the what have you done for me lately type deal. He coached that team to a national championship,” Glenn said.

Glenn said that former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne went through some of the same tribulations in his highly successful tenure.

“He almost left Nebraska and he never won less than nine games. But the fans were on him so hard for a couple of years, he actually had an interview at Colorado," he said. "That’s the way people can be. I’ve just spoken about maybe two of the greatest coaches in our time.”

Fulmer is 150-51 in his tenure with the Vols, winning a national title in 1998 and SEC titles in 1998 and 1999. His team, however, has struggled as of late and is just 2-6 overall this season.

“They have a tough football team," Glenn said. “Their record may not reflect it, but anybody knows that it is going to be a physical, physical game. I don’t know if we have enough turn around time to be at our best on Thursday.”

Stutz gets the nod
Glenn said that Stutzriem, regardless of if Sween would be cleared to play this week, has earned the chance to start again. Stutzriem was just 6 of 10 passing in the game, but he threw for 166 yards and one touchdown. More importantly, the Cowboys did not turn the football over.

“You can’t play a game like that and not get a chance to get back on the mound,” Glenn said.
“That is as good of a quarterbacking job as we have had in some time. To say nothing of anybody else, it was what he did to lead the team and to protect the ball and get us in the right play.”

Sween is still not cleared to play from the vicious hit that he took two games ago against TCU.

“As I understand it, you have to test once and come back at some other point and time to take another test, to see the difference of where they are at,“ Glenn said. “Karsten obviously would be our backup quarterback if he could get cleared.”

Tennessee in November?
If the Tennessee game seems like an odd time to schedule a non-conference opponent, it is, Glenn said. The Wyoming coach isn’t particularly fond of the timing.

“The hard thing about it is they put it here at this spot of the season and then we have to play on Thursday night. We have two games in five days over 1,000 miles away. That isn’t how you do it if I was doing the scheduling,” he said. “Sometimes that is how it goes down."

At the same time, money talks.

“They gave Wyoming a lot of money to play this game and that money exchanged hands probably seven or eight years ago. It is what it is,” Glenn added. “We get a chance to go play a quality SEC team and play in a great venue. I just wish we didn’t have to turn around and fly all of the way back here, practice Sunday, and then have to go play five days later.”

The Cowboys have to bounce back and play UNLV the next Thursday in Las Vegas.

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