The Wyoming football team wrapped up its third of four fall scrimmages this morning at War Memorial Stadium. Shorter than the first two, this scrimmage lasted about 75 plays and saw the offensive and defensive units battle to a 26-26 draw.
For anyone who has followed UW's scrimmage scoring system under Dave Christensen, you know that a tie is like a victory for the defense. UW's defense forced a pair of turnovers today, both interceptions, and finished with two sacks and six tackles for loss.
I chatted with senior cornerback Tashaun Gipson about the unit's progress after the scrimmage was over. Here are some of his thoughts:
It doesn't get much easier than your interception does it? I mean, it basically came right to you: "Yeah, I kind of baited him. It's hard to get action my way out here, so I've kind of got to bait him a little bit. I gambled that time and it worked out."
On the defense's drive to get more takeaways this season: "We're trying to get the ball out as many times as possible. If they choose to throw it up in the air, our motto is: 'All balls is our balls.' Any time they put the ball in the air, I feel like they're testing us and we've just got to come down and make the plays. ... We emphasize getting turnovers. I feel like that's going to be one of our key aspects for our defense, because we've got a lot of speed out there. A lot of speed, a lot of veteran guys out there, a lot of playmakers and I feel like we can get that job done."
The secondary has some younger guys stepping up as well, like Darrenn White and Blair Burns, particularly in dime coverage: "Coming in, seeing guys like that, both of them are freshmen coming in playing, it's a wonderful sight for the Cowboy program and the future. Both of those guys is great guys and they want to know about football. They pick my brain. I have Blair Burns sit by me in the meetings, that way any question he needs to ask, he can pick my brain about it. If he can continue to do that, the sky will be the limit for those guys. Most definitely look for those guys to have an impact this year, whether it's special teams, nickel or dime."
Are you happy with where this No. 1 defensive unit is right now?: "As you can see the score, a tie is most definitely a win. Seeing that, that lets you know the defense made huge strides from the first scrimmage. We gradually made it to the second scrimmage and then today I felt like we was right where we wanted to be. We're not perfect yet, but we're most definitely trying to get there."
For more on the team's defense, particularly Mark Willis' return from injury, check out tomorrow's Star-Tribune or trib.com.