He's Seen Enough: Wyoming coach calls off final fall scrimmage

2011-08-20T00:00:00Z He's Seen Enough: Wyoming coach calls off final fall scrimmageBy ERIC SCHMOLDT Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

The Wyoming Cowboys don't need the extra scrimmage after all.

That's what their coach says.

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen announced heading into fall football camp that he would add a fourth scrimmage, one more than  last year.

The Pokes were bracing themselves for a quarterback competition and the staff also felt the team's tackling was not up to par to begin the 2010 season.

But, with just two weeks remaining before the Cowboys open their season against Weber State, Christensen cancelled the fourth and final scrimmage that was scheduled for today.

Instead, the team will go through a structured gameday walkthrough that is still open to the public.

"Things change over 18 practices and if they're going the way you want them to go, you don't need to beat the crap out of each other continuously," Christensen said. "We're in a good position now from a health standpoint and a live reps standpoint, so we're going to work on some other things.

"We'll script it all and work on substitution and different scenarios."

The abrupt change in schedule means most, if not all, of Christensen's questions heading into camp have been answered.

He all but announced true freshman quarterback Brett Smith as the team's starter following Tuesday's scrimmage.

Smith, the only one of three quarterbacks competing who was here for spring camp, has beat out sophomore junior college transfer Colby Kirkegaard and true freshman Adam Pittser.

"They both have shown quite a bit of improvement," Christensen said. "They still have to make better decisions with the ball. They're still learning the offense; they're a ways behind from that standpoint. But you see constant progression."

Christensen said he has seen enough live repetitions from his quarterbacks and also from his defense when it comes to tackling.

For the players, the cancellation of the fourth scrimmage was a welcome announcement.

"[This camp] has been way harder," junior defensive tackle Mike Purcell said. "At the beginning of camp, they said they were adding the scrimmage. That kind of had our thoughts going on picking up our tackling from last season."

Christensen added that, while the team will have an equal number of scrimmages this year compared to last, the players have seen more live action than they did in 2010.

After today, players will have Sunday and Monday -- the first day of class -- off. They begin regular season practice leading up to the Sept. 3 opener on Tuesday.

Today's practice begins at 10 a.m.

CARTA-SAMUELS TO VANDERBILT: A current Wyoming player close to Austyn Carta-Samuels confirmed Friday that the former Cowboys quarterback has transferred to Vanderbilt.

Carta-Samuels started 11 games last season, completing 61.1 percent of his passes for 1,702 yards. He threw nine touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The 2009 Mountain West Freshman of the Year transferred following last season but didn't specify his reasons. Carta-Samuels must sit out the 2011 season due to NCAA transfer rules.

KICKING OLD HABITS: UW coach Dave Christensen said Tuesday the most glaring issue for his football team was its kickoff coverage unit.

Not surprisingly, the team has spent much of the rest of the week sorting that issue out.

"We've done a lot more work on it this week live," Christensen said. "It's getting cleaned up, that's for sure."

Contact sports reporter Eric Schmoldt at eric.schmoldt@trib.com. ​Follow him on Twitter @ericschmoldt. Check out his blog at trib.com/cowboys

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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