With the Champs Sports Bowl less than two weeks away, the Badgers have started shifting their focus from snow and finals to warmth and Miami. One of the first steps in that process was Sunday's practice.
The Badgers practiced for 18 periods, using the first portions of practice to work on Miami with the one and twos on offense and defense both getting some work in against the scout teams. However, one of the benefits of bowl practice is getting an extended look at some of the young players who didn't get much time during the regular season.
UW devoted about 20 minutes (four periods) to a "developmental scrimmage." It was mainly true freshmen, redshirt freshmen and sophomores squaring off in a live scrimmage. Quarterback Jon Budmayr looked god on a couple throws and Bradie Ewing, playing at tailback, had a long run and powered in for a score after catching a short pass. On defense, there were a lot of new faces up front including freshmen Tyler Dippel, Jordan Kohout and Ethan Hemer, UW's defensive scout team player of the year.
Coach Bielema said after practice that more than 15 players had final exams on Sunday morning at 7:45 but he liked how focused the team was. He also mentioned that five seniors (Jaevery McFadden, Garrett Graham, T.J. Theus, Will Hartmann and Drew Woodward) were participating in graduation activities. Among the people spotted at practice were former Badger standout running back Brian Calhoun.
The Badgers will practice two more times, Tuesday evening and Wednesday afternoon, before leaving for Orlando at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Finals continue right through Wednesday with a number of players having tests at 7:45 that morning.