Pokes Practice Report: Texas Tech is Officially On The Clock
LARAMIE -- Texas Tech is officially on the clock.
Craig Bohl's Cowboys wrapped up fall camp Friday in rain-soaked Laramie. The heavy lifting -- physically, anyway -- is done. The depth chart is set. Now, prep is fully underway for the Red Raiders, who will pay a visit to War Memorial Stadium next Saturday night.
"The guys have a great attitude," Wyoming's 10th-year head coach said. "We're honing some stuff down with some pretty intense, structured practice, but as we go on to next week we'll start to pull way, way back to make sure that we're fresh at kickoff."
If the weather is anything like it was today on the high plains in eight days -- advantage Pokes. That famous wind whipped through Jonah Field, accompanied by sideways showers. The temperature hovered in the high 50's. The 10-day forecast, which we all know means very little around these parts, says high 70's and partly cloudy for the opener.
There is a 22% chance of rain, though. If that is indeed the case, this team got tested today.
"Woody Hayes once said, If you're going to play in the North Atlantic, you have to train in the North Atlantic," Bohl joked. "So, we got acclimated to that."
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Bohl added, it's not easy to replicate the wrath of mother nature.
"While that may seem like a little thing to some of the other people, if you're a quarterback or wide receiver or a specialist, you know, we had wet balls and there was some wind and rain," he said.
Here are some other notes from the Cowboys' final day of training camp:
* Can any youngsters help early on in special teams? Bohl didn't skip a beat. "I think Keany Parks can," he said. "He has shown some really good ability on coverage teams and stuff like that. He'd be a guy I think that you can count on starting on special teams." It's been an eventful couple of weeks for the Kenosha, Wisc., native, who came to Laramie as a running back and was recently flipped to cornerback. Parks, per Rivals.com, was the No. 2 prospect in the state of Wisconsin.
* With kickoff just eight days away, is Bohl, the veteran coach of more than four decades, starting to feel nerves yet? "I'm excited about it," he said. "You know, I sit out by the fire in the evening, have an adult beverage and get pretty excited because game time is coming up. I've always said this, you (don't) have a feeling of what kind of team that we're going to have until we get into the middle of the first or second quarter. Then you start to look and go, 'OK, this is where we're at.' So I'm anticipating that, but, you know, the arrow is pointing up and we're glad that we're at home."
* DQ James was cleared for full participation by doctors two weeks ago. The sophomore running back suffered a torn right ACL at Colorado State last December. How's he feeling? "He's 100%," Bohl said. "It's been good to see him out there. We did not know he was behind a little bit, but he worked really hard on his rehab and got caught up. He has the same speed. I've looked at all his GPS speeds, we looked at his loads, acceleration and deceleration -- he's right on task."
* Jamari Ferrell will be the starting running back for the Cowboys when Texas Tech rolls into town. The Saddleback Community College transfer earned that title on Monday when Bohl released the official depth chart. As you know, the title of ball carrier comes with many more responsibilities -- pass protection right near the top -- than the title would suggest. How has the junior been able to digest all this info so quickly? "He's a bright, bright guy," Bohl said. "And, you know, we knew a lot about him from (tight end) Colin (O'Brien). It's important to him. He pays attention. He's an intelligent football player, and we're going to need that in that first ballgame."
* Team captains will be voted on tomorrow. There are plenty of players to choose from, too. Bohl said it won't be limited to the four the program typically selects, either. "You all know the importance of having those types of guys in the locker room, how they manage practice and how they take care of business," he said. "That sets a high bar, and what it also does, it sets a tremendous example for some younger players."
* Wyoming's new left guard, Wes King, will make the first start of his young career next Saturday. The 6-foot-5, 301-pound Appleton, Wisc., product outlasted Luke Sandy for the starting gig this fall. Bohl said "stressful situations" in practice, along with facing what should be one of the best defenses in the Mountain West each day, has aided in his preparation for Texas Tech.
* The Cowboys will practice tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. inside War Memorial Stadium. It's the 20th workout of the fall. That, of course, is closed to the public and media.