Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sween leads QB race going into fall drills

Spring game statistics

Spring game photo slideshow

By Bobby Abplanalp
Special to Wyoming

For much of spring drills, Karsten Sween appeared to have a little firmer grasp of Dave Christensen no-huddle, spread offense. Apparently, Sween will go into fall drills atop the depth chart at quarterback.

Sween threw for 154 yards on 16 of 34 passing to lead the Brown team to a 20-3 victory on Saturday in the Brown and Gold spring game at War Memorial Stadium. The senior also threw one touchdown pass and one interception.

“We’ll set the depth chart on Monday, but I would say it is a pretty fair assessment to say that he will be the No. 1 guy when we start camp,” Christensen said. “But we’re getting two other quarterbacks in and we have three here. We have to let them all compete.”

Redshirt freshman Adam Barry was 7 of 24 passing for the Gold team on Saturday for 64 yards and one interception. Junior Dax Crum did not play, as he was suspended for the spring game for violating team rules.

Coming to Laramie for the fall to compete at quarterback will also be junior college transfer Robert Benjamin and freshman Austyn Carta-Samuels.

The spring game was four quarters, but with 12-minute increments instead of the traditional 15. The game-clock ran continuously up until the last two minutes of each half. This allowed regular NCAA timing rules to be used to let both offenses work two-minute drills.

The final drive for the Brown team concluded with 13-yard touchdown pass by Sween to junior wide receiver David Leonard, finishing up a 65-yard drive.

‘‘I thought Karsten (Sween) did a nice job in that last two-minute drill," said Christensen. "That's why we put the regular timing rules in the last two minutes to get practice in that situation. I thought he moved the football team well. It wasn't a situation where his team was down by two points or six points and he had the pressure of coming back to win the game, but he did a nice job and led us to a touchdown. He managed the clock well on that drive and didn't take any negative plays. It was probably the best executed two-minute offensive drill we've had all spring.”

However, Sween felt there was still room to improve.

“We missed some passes today, it was really windy and cold, but we got to get over that mindset for our spread offense,” he said. “Even if it’s windy and even if it’s cold, we got to still be able to perform and run the offense.”

Leonard also feels the spread offense, when executed, can be very hard for opposing defenses to stop.

“It’s a great advantage We train in the off-season, we run conditions, and for people to come up to 7,220 feet, it’s going to be really hard for people to try and defend this offense,” Leonard said. “It’s really up-tempo and we need to keep it that way. If we keep it that way this is going to be a real tough offense to stop.”

Alumni game?
The UW coaching staff invited all former Cowboys (who they had contact information for) to return for a pre-game function prior to the spring game. Over 50 former players returned for that function and some put the pads on one more time to participate in the spring game.

In addition to the current Wyoming roster, the home fans got to see some familiar faces in Sean Claffey (2004-07), Ward Dobbs (2005-08), Jake Edmunds (2005-08), John Prater (2004-07) and Guy Tuell (2001-04), Adam Diehl (2003-06), Mike Groover (2003-06) and Jake Mayes (2003-06). All of which played on the defensive side of the ball.

“They knew most of the calls, but they went over the calls and they actually executed it very well,” defensive coordinator Marty English said. “There were a couple of times we didn’t get lined up right, but those guys came back and played and made some big plays. I’m very grateful for them to come back and help out. They had fun and that is something we might interject through the rest of the springs that we are here.”

Current Cowboy defensive end Mitch Unrein said he enjoyed playing with some former teammates, as well as other alumni who competed.

“I was talking to somebody earlier and it just seemed like it took the pressure off of us," Unrein said. "Those guys brought a fun attitude back into the locker room and we talked about good times. Everything was fun, to go out and watch them play. They are a little older than they once were. I looked up to a lot of them, watching them play, so to come in and play with was fun. Hopefully, it starts a tradition here.”

Dobbs, fresh off an outstanding linebacking career with the Cowboys, said they just came in and played a game.

“They’re on their own page and they’re coming together as a union," Dobbs said. "It will be interesting to see how much more they can progress throughout the summer.”

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