UW Health Sports Medicine 

Practice Report No. 14

Aug20_morning 052.jpgThe warm temperatures continued Friday morning, but the Badgers rose to the challenge and had a spirited practice for 30 periods in full pads.

It was the first of two practices on Friday as the team goes again tonight in spiders (helmets/light shoulder pads) at 7:30 p.m.

Bend but don't break
The Badgers ran their initial "move the ball" drill midway through practice, and while the defenses did give up some yardage, they were able to keep the offensive units out of the end zone.

The No. 1 units were up first and in just three plays, the offense moved the ball from its own 20-yard line to their own 49 thanks in large part to a 19-yard completion from Scott Tolzien to Nick Toon. The defense gave up another first down, but held strong from there. A fumbled snap on first-and-10 at the defense's 38-yard line caused a loss of three yards. A six-yard reception by John Clay set up a third down, but defensive back Devin Smith came on a blitz to sack Tolzien and end the drive.

The defenses stepped it up next as both the No. 1 and No. 2 units forced three and outs. The No. 2 unit's second attempt saw the offense march from the defense's 48-yard line down to the 14, but a sack from Pat Muldoon and bat down on third down ended the drive there.

Defense gets a spark
Initially in fall camp, the defenses seemed to have the upper-hand. As of late however, the offenses have been clicking on all cylinders. David Gilbert may have swung the momentum back the other way though when he got into things with offensive lineman Robert Burge. During a third-down drill, Gilbert and Burge got in to a brief scrum but things calmed down pretty quickly. The defensive unit responded to the show of emotion though, coming back with a strong effort when "move the ball" resumed.

The very first play after the incident saw linebacker Culmer St. Jean stop Montee Ball for just a one yard gain. Next, the defense swarmed Tolzien as he dropped back to pass for a loss of three. Faced with a third-and-13, the offense went to the air, but J.J. Watt batted the ball down at the line to put an exclamation mark on the series for the defense.

The No.2 unit was just as good, getting a three-and-out of its own as Zach Brown was stopped for a short gain when he needed at least three yards for a first down.

Taking the good with the bad
Moving to red zone drills, Smith saw the highs and lows for a defensive back in just two plays. Starting at the 18-yard line, quarterback Jon Budmayr hooked up with Kyle Jefferson for score on the first play, beating Smith on a pass down the sideline.

He would have a chance to redeem himself though because the No. 2 units were put right back out there. Smith made up for the miscue as this time he picked off the Budmayr pass in the end zone on the very first play of the series. Defensive backs coach Chris Ash praised Smith for the interception, but also warned him that his play needs to be consistent at all times, not up and down.