Most people aren’t comfortable with change.
But change with the University of Wyoming football program is evident, and it has a lot of people interested.
Fans of all ages lined up along the end zones and sidelines of the school’s indoor practice facility last Saturday to watch the team practice in full pads for the first time during spring drills.
Even more people are expected to be in Laramie today for the team’s first full scrimmage of spring drills. So many, in fact, that UW will have security there to keep fans in one of the end zone areas for their own safety. Media covering the event will be required to have a credential to roam the sidelines.
All this for a spring scrimmage?
I don’t know how many games the Cowboys will win this season, but the change in coaches from Joe Glenn to Dave Christensen has fans, at very least, excited and curious to what the future holds.
Watching spring practices, or most college football practices, can be like watching paint dry.
Not under Christensen.
Practices are high-tempo, fast-paced and as physical as I’ve ever seen in more than a decade of covering college football.
There’s been more hitting in five spring practices this year than in all the spring practices combined over the last five years.
And that’s not just in scrimmage situations.
Ball carriers and defensive backs go against each other on a daily basis in a drill where the defense must try and keep the offense from scoring from about five yards out.
Offensive and defensive linemen go at each other in one-on-one situations at a furious pace.
Blink just once during one of these practices and you are bound to miss something.
Even some of the props used in these practices are cool to see.
In seven-on-seven periods, six-foot ladders are used to simulate defensive linemen and force the quarterbacks to throw over targets.
Offensive linemen throw around heavy sand bags to one another.
Punters and kickers participate in running back drills. It’s unfair to say punters and kickers are props, but you don’t see that often in any kind of football practice.
Christensen hasn’t coached a game for UW, yet the excitement he and his staff have generated in about the four months since they were hired is unprecidented.