Spring Forward

Apr 182008
Authors: Nick Hubel

Football was back at Hughes Stadium Saturday, with the offense and defense running a controlled scrimmage to close out the team’s spring camp. Backlit by a perfectly sunny Colorado sky, the defense pulled away from the offense for the win, 49-35.

Using a specially designed point system that rewarded positive plays on both sides of the ball, the defense scored in bunches with four interceptions over the course of the afternoon.

Junior cornerback Nick Oppenneer, who head coach Steve Fairchild said has played his way into consideration for a scholarship this spring, made the most acrobatic of the interceptions Saturday, fully extending a dive to his left to hang onto a poorly thrown ball from quarterback Billy Farris.

“I just really felt pretty good today,” Oppenneer said. “After four weeks straight with the same receivers you start to learn some tendencies and formations. I really caught on to some of the things that they were doing and felt good.”

Other players with interceptions were sophomore defensive lineman Ty Whittier (who picked off a tipped pass on the first play of the scrimmage), freshman safety Gary Stecklein and freshman linebacker Matt Wright.

Senior safety Klint Kubiak, who finished the scrimmage with four tackles, said that he thought the spring went well, and that the defense’s play in camp will give them confidence as they head into the summer and fall.

“I don’t think you can tell from one day, because obviously the defense had a great day,” Kubiak said of the camp as a whole. “Overall, I was impressed with the way that we handled the new staff, they pushed us real hard and I thought we responded well.”

The team will start their summer strength and conditioning regiment on Tuesday, but (as per NCAA rules) will not hold organized practices until the first week of August.

Check Monday’s Rocky Mountain Collegian for further coverage of Saturday’s scrimmage, including stats, highlights and player/coach reactions.

Sports writer Nick Hubel can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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