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August 20, 2008 2:09 pm

UW special teams include question marks, experience

Written by Tribune Staff

When the University of Wyoming football team enters its first game of the season Aug. 30 against Ohio University, it will do so with what appears to be a mixture of experienced players and some new faces on special teams.
According the UW head coach Joe Glenn, one of the strengths of the Cowboys' special teams will be at the return positions. At the end of last week, the Cowboy coaching staff released an updated depth chart and senior Devin Moore (5-10, 191) and sophomore Marcell Gipson (5-10, 178) were listed as the No. 1 kickoff return tandem. Moore, a players listed by many coaches as one of the most exciting players to watch in the Mountain West Conference, tallied 271 yards on 10 kick returns last season. Of those, one went for 98 yards and a touchdown. Gipson, a cornerback, also provides good speed at his return spot.
“Devin is our most experienced kickoff returner,” Glenn said. “He finally ran one back for a touchdown in the season finale at Colorado State.”
The No. 2 kick return tandem is manned by seniors Chris Johnson (5-10, 178) and Wynel Seldon (6-0, 217).
As for punt returners, redshirt freshman Brandon Stewart enjoyed an impressive showing in spring drills and looked to be the No. 1 player at that position. However, a left shoulder injury sustained Monday is expected to keep him out of the lineup for several weeks. That opened the door for a trio of players, all of whom Glenn believes can handles the punt return duties. Freshman Tashaun Gipson (6-0, 190) was listed behind Stewart on last Friday's depth chart. Behind him are Seldon and Moore.
At placekicker, junior Jake Scott has established himself as the top player this fall. In last week's scrimmage. He connected on four of five field goals. Scott hit two from 41 yards out and connected on attempts from 26 and 23 yards. His one miss came from 37 yards. Austin McCoy, a freshman from Winter Haven, Fla., was listed as the No. 2 placekicker entering this week.
Scott also is expected to handle the kickoff duties this fall. Nick Landess, a sophomore from Casper, holds the No. 2 spot on the depth chart at that position.
Landess and McCoy are both the frontrunners for the role of starting punter. In last week's scrimmage, Landess averaged 45 yards on five punts, while McCoy averaged 39.2 yards on five punts. Making that a three-way battle is sophomore Cody Bousema, who averaged 48.8 yard on five attempts.
“Most of our punts were over 40 yards, some over 50,” Glenn said following last week's scrimmage. “Our operation time was good, and our hang time was pretty good. All three are real, real close.”
The holding duties for PATs currently is in the hands of Ian Hetrick, a senior quarterback. Backing him up are Kyle Jacobo, a senior receiver, and David Leonard, a sophomore receiver.
Senior Danny Dutmer (6-3, 248) entered this week as the No. 1 snapper for field goals and PATs. Listed at No. 2 at that position is Garrett King, a 6-6, 312-pounder from Greybull.
Dutmer also has established hims
elf as the No. 1 long snapper for punts. His backup, according to last Friday's depth chart, is Chris Sundberg, a 6-5, 250-pound junior.
The Cowboys were scheduled to conduct their final scrimmage of the fall Wednesday (yesterday) at 5 p.m. in War Memorial Stadium.