Practice Report No. 13

After a couple days of cool, comfortable weather, the high temperatures were back on Thursday afternoon as the Wisconsin football team practiced for 30 periods in Camp Randall Stadium.

The Badgers return to two practices on Friday, first at 9:15 a.m. in full pads and then again at 7:30 p.m. in half-packs.

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Move the ball
Sandwiched around punt return drills, blitz pickup work and scout offense/defense, were two editions of "move the ball."

The first units were up to begin at the offense's own 33-yard line. After two short runs, quarterback Scott Tolzien hooked up with wide receiver Nick Toon on a 26-yard completion on third-and-seven as Toon had to reach back and make a shoestring catch as cornerback Antonio Fenelus provided coverage. A five-yard pass to receiver Kyle Jefferson and a pair of runs by Montee Ball put the Badgers into the red zone.

Three plays later, the Badgers had a second-and-eight at the 10-yard line. They tried to run a slant to Toon, but safety Shelton Johnson was there to break it up. The next play saw the Badgers go to the same play again, but this time it was intended for Kyle Jefferson and he was able to make the grab to cap off a 10-play, 67-yard drive.

The No. 2 defense fared better, holding the No. 2 offense without a score on two drives. The first drive featured six plays and one first down, but defensive end Tyler Dippel was able to sack quarterback Jon Budmayr on third-and-eight at the 45-yard line to put a stop to things.

The second drive also encompassed six plays, but this time the offense was able to reach the red zone. Tight end Rob Korslin caught a 17-yard pass over the middle and freshman receiver Manasseh Garner added 15 yards on an end around. The drive stalled from there though as the offense couldn't get the 10 yards for the first down.

When the second session of "move the ball" took place, the No. 1 defense made its stand.

Starting at its own two-yard line, the offense used four straight runs from freshman back James White to get out to the 15. A hurry from J.J. Watt and defense from Fenelus brought up third down. On third-and-nine, Patrick Butrym was able to get the sack while also tipping the ball into the air where linebacker Chris Borland made the interception.

The No. 2 defense also made a stand, giving up just a 10-yard pass to Ball before getting three straight stops, including a tipped pass by freshman Warren Herring.

The No. 1 offense got another crack, this time starting at its own 26. After an incompletion, Tolzien hooked up with Toon for a big 42-yard pickup down the defense's 32-yard line. On the very next play, Tolzien found tight end Lance Kendricks on a swing pass and Kendricks did the rest, finding the end zone for a 32-yard score.

Red zone move the ball
After Kendricks' score, the No. 1 offense started in the red zone against the No. 1 defense. Beginning at the 12-yard line, the offense came up empty as the defense forced a three-and-out. An incomplete pass was followed by a three-yard scramble by Tolzien. On third-and-seven from the nine, Tolzien tried to throw a fade to David Gilreath in the end zone, but Fenelus had tight coverage and prevented the completion.

The No. 2 offense was up next and proved very efficient, scoring two touchdowns on three plays. The first drive started at the 21-yard line and Budmayr connected with Jared Abbrederis on a 21-yard score on the first play. The next series began with a 10-yard slant to Garner and was followed by a nice play-action strike to Jeff Duckworth in the back of the end zone.

Doing what you need to do
As was noted in last night's practice report, a number of players from the team have suffered injuries, while others are going through the usual bumps and bruises. After practice on Thursday, head coach Bret Bielema stressed to the players the importance of taking care of themselves away from the field.

Bielema said the best things players can do to help themselves is to take advantage of the ice tubs near the locker room, rehydrate themselves and rest. In addition, Bielema praised several players who had standout days. Directed at the first and second-year players, he urged them to keep improving themselves because that will make the team as a whole better. In addition, he told the other players to not get stagnant. They're midway through fall camp and need to keep driving and pushing.

Highlight package
As part of a reception put on by Athletic Development, a number of Badger donors were in attendance for practice on Thursday. Afterward, they were joined for a bit by Bielema, Tolzien, Culmer St. Jean, offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, defensive coordinator Dave Doeren and athletics director Barry Alvarez.

As the players walked off the field, a highlight package from last season was shown up on the stadium's board and a large portion of the team stayed to watch. Players laughed and smiled as plays like David Gilbert's blocked punt against Purdue, Tolzien's hookup with Isaac Anderson on the first play of the season and Butrym's interception against Minnesota were shown.

ON WISCONSIN