Practice Report No. 11

The first of Wednesday's two practices is complete as the Wisconsin football team completed 28 periods in full pads.

The Badgers go again tonight at 7:30 p.m. for 24 periods in half-packs.

Clay_Rouse_8_18.JPGIntensity, thy name is Inside Run Drill
A staple of fall camp practices is the "Inside Run Drill." It consists of the offense, sans wide receivers, vs. the defense, without cornerbacks. It's similar to a goal-line or short-yardage situation in that the offense usually has a "big" package in (multiple tight ends, fullback, etc.) and the defense has nine or 10 guys in the box. The offense has to run the ball and the defense knows it so it is pretty much a battle of wills.

Coach Bielema started today's drill by saying, "This has to be our best two periods of practice. We need to run the ball and we need to stop the run." Fitting since the Badgers led the Big Ten in both categories last season. It also set the tone for an intense 10-plus minutes.

Under the watchful eye of offensive line coach and run game coordinator Bob Bostad, the offense ran through a variety of inside running plays, including straight iso plays and traps, with a staple of the UW run game, pulling o-linemen. When they didn't connect on their blocks or weren't as clean as they needed to be, they heard about it.

On the defensive side of the ball, coordinator Dave Doeren and line coach Charlie Partridge focused on the LBs and line respectively, with Coach Bielema watching from behind the D. One thing that stood out on that side of the ball was that it really didn't matter if it was Gabe Carimi, John Moffitt, Lance Kendricks or anyone else in red, LB Chris Borland is just very tough to block. He made a number of plays at or around the line of scrimmage, using his combination of speed, vision and instincts.

Clay showing no signs of rust
The team ended its practice with a live-tackling scrimmage. For John Clay, it was the first taste of live action since last season's Champs Sports Bowl as he missed spring practice after ankle surgery and didn't participate in last weekend's scrimmage. As linebacker Kevin Rouse can attest, Clay picked up right where he left off.

Starting at the 20-yard line, Clay took a handoff over the right side and burst forward for 11 yards, barreling over Rouse along the way. That run set the tone for the rest of the drive as the No. 1 offense marched right down the field for a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Clay, who unofficially gained 55 of the team's 80 yards on the drive on seven carries, capped it off with a one-yard plunge.

Clay carried the ball on the first four plays and added a 13-yard run off left tackle to his earlier 11-yard gain. Montee Ball added 15 yards on three carries on the drive, while quarterback Scott Tolzien was two-for-two for 10 yards. The final three plays belonged to Clay as he gained eight yards thanks to a nice kickout block by Bill Nagy, 10 yards on a run up the middle and then a one-yard dive for the score.

More from the scrimmage
After being forced to a three-and-out on its first attempt, the No. 2 offense engineered an eight-play, 64 yard scoring drive against the No. 2 defense. True freshman James White led the way as he dashed for 37 yards on five carries, including a two-yard score. His best play though came on a 14-yard sweep left as he showed a great burst to get around the corner and zoom past defenders. Another big play on the drive came from wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, who caught an 18-yard post.

Moving to the red zone, the No. 1 offense struck again, needing just three plays to score from the 18-yard line against the No. 1 defense. It started with a nine-yard drag to Kendricks. Ball then carried for one yard before breaking off an 11-yard romp that included a great deke on defensive back Shelton Johnson. It appeared as though Johnson had the angle along the sideline as Ball approached, but a quick fake to the outside and cut back inside enabled Ball to get by Johnson and reach the pylon.

The No. 2 defense stepped up on the next two series, holding the No. 2 offense to no touchdowns. The first drive went three-and-out as a third-and-nine pass to Abbrederis was off-target. The second drive came to an end as defensive back Devin Smith stepped in front of a pass intended for Abbrederis on third-and-10 from the 11.

Following the No. 1 offense's first red zone score, Carimi was overheard saying "I love playing football! We should scrimmage all the time."
ON WISCONSIN