UW Health Sports Medicine 

Practice report #1: Getting down to business

The Badgers endured a heavy rainstorm but still got through their first practice on Christmas Day on one of the practice fields adjacent to Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., as they prepare for the Champs Sports Bowl against Miami on Dec. 29.

Lasting 18 periods, Friday's practice was greeted with rain in periods 3 through 12. Ranging from a light drizzle to a heavy downpour, the precipitation left the field wet and muddy, causing puddles to form and water to fly into the air during the later stages of practice.

The players didn't seem too affected by the elements.

Junior quarterback Scott Tolzien, for one, was not bothered.

"It affected little things, like guys aren't as fast in the rain, but I think the guys handled it well," he said. "We just try to move forward on each and every play, just focusing on the play rather than the weather."

All in all, Tolzien thought the team had a good first practice.

"It went pretty smooth considering all the rain we just had," he said. "It was like a monsoon out there. I think guys kind of embraced it and had fun with it, and that's what you have to do. You can't sit there and worry about the elements, you just have to play your style of football."

Having the day off on Thursday seemed to help, Tolzien thought.

"I think everyone got the outside distractions off their chest and now we can just focus on Miami and prepping for the bowl game."

As part of keeping the team focused, the coaching staff has treated preparation like a normal game week. Thursday served as a Monday off-day, while Friday's practice was like a Tuesday practice.

"The coaches have really tried to make it as much like a game week as possible, so it feels really similar to an in-season Tuesday out here today," Tolzien said. "I think it's good to get guys into the rhythm of a game week and just focus on the game and not any of the outside distractions."

Junior offensive lineman Gabe Carimi concurred.

"I don't even know what day it is," he said. "I assume it's Tuesday because that's what day we would be practicing normally, so it's Tuesday to us."

The team will be back at it again Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. (ET) practice.
ON WISCONSIN