UW Health Sports Medicine 

October 2010 Archives

Lucas at Large: Ross-Ade revisited

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One of the most stunning comebacks in UW history took place on the PAT (Prescription Athletic Turf) of Ross-Ade Stadium during the 1982 season.  Purdue coach Leon Burtnett was so shocked by the turn of events he said afterward, "This was the worst loss I've ever been associated with in coaching."

Remember, this was pre-Kyle Orton, pre-Scott Starks, pre-Joe Tiller.

This was Oct. 2, 1982. And many in the crowd (69,131) began heading for the exits after the Boilermakers grabbed a 31-23 lead with 2:24 remaining, even though it was still a one-possession game.

Taking the cue from today's high-octane Quack Attack (the Oregon offense), UW quarterback Randy Wright drove the Badgers 70 yards in 55 seconds for a touchdown that made it 31-29.

But the two-point conversion failed. And many more Purdue fans got up and left after the Boilermakers recovered the subsequent on-side kick at their own 47-yard line.

Defensively, the Badgers stiffened on first and second down, but they were now out of timeouts. On third down, Purdue quarterback Scott Campbell tried to execute a simple roll-out which was designed to eat up more precious seconds. He was supposed to fall down in-bounds.

But he kept rolling and rolling ...

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State in pictures

No. 1 Wisconsin defeated Minnesota State, 3-2, at the Kohl Center on Oct. 29, 2010. Check out photos from the Badgers' victory at UWBadgers.com.

Wisconsin vs. Minnesota State, Oct. 29, 2010

Archived Blog: Wrestling Intrasquad Scrimmage

Allison Metcalf chronicled all the action from the Badgers' Intrasquad Scrimmage on Oct. 28, 2010. 

Updates from Big Ten Basketball Media Day

Big Ten Basketball Media Day is well underway here at the Crowne Plaza in Rosemont, Ill. Men's head coach Bo Ryan is in the middle of cycling through interviews with Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and ESPN, while women's head coach Lisa Stone is awaiting the start of her press conference.

Here are few Tweets from @BadgerMBBall at Media Day:

Bo Ryan: "Jared Berggren could be the sleeper sophomore that people don't know about, but will."

Ryan: "The best thing u can say about a PG is that Jordan Taylor raises the level of his teammates. He'll be governor in 10 yrs."

Beilien to Ryan: "How's Krabbenhoft looking this year? He was around so long I'm expecting to see him again this year when we play you."

Ryan to ESPN: "Keaton is delightful. He goes to his own drummer, but he's got a strong beat going right now. This could be his year."

E'twaun Moore told Jordan he could avg 20 pts this year and Jordan said, "Nah, I'll avg 3-4 pts. I'm just going to pass the ball to Leuer."

Taylor: "Being from MN, I hated the Badgers til I was about 15. Then I got my first letter from them and I flipped sides. Then I loved em."

MSU's Draymond Green: "Working out in the off-season, I was thinking about getting quicker cuz of what Jon Leuer did vs. me."

Read what Bo Ryan had to say at this year's Big Ten media day press conference:

Tom Crean on Leuer: "I put him in a Kyle Singler class - and Jon might be bigger. He's going to have a long career after he's gone from UW."

Ann Arbor News did an unofficial poll of Big Ten media. Guess who has two of the most underrated players in the league? http://ow.ly/31uXg

Archived Gameday Blog: Men's Soccer vs. Milwaukee

Cristin Fitzpatrick chronicled all the action in Wisconsin's 2-0 win over Milwaukee on Oct. 27, 2010 at the McClimon Complex.

Scoring three for all

Decker_101022WH-0387-Goal.jpgThree series sweeps. Three players. Three hat tricks.

People often theorize that things happen in threes. The No. 1 Wisconsin women's hockey team's recent success, including the team's scoring pattern, fits right into this concept.

Prince earns multiple Player of the Week honors

After his five-goal effort last week, freshman forward Chris Prince (Naperville, Ill.) has been honored with two player of the week awards. In addition to being named the Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Week, Prince has been named ChicagoLandSoccerNews.com's Player of the Week.

Lucas at Large: Like coach, Johnson's Badgers can score

Crossing paths Monday outside the Camp Randall Stadium media room, UW women's hockey coach Mark Johnson and men's coach Mike Eaves exchanged NHL flashbacks much to the amusement of Badger football offensive coordinator Paul Chryst and defensive coordinator Dave Doeren.

Eaves spoke of a collision with New York Rangers defenseman Barry "Bubba" Beck (6-3, 215) - the equivalent of a decleater - the impact of which lifted Eaves' skates off the ice. The result was a concussion during which for 90-minutes following the game Eaves was in another world.

Johnson, who carried less than 170 pounds on his 5-10 frame, recalled getting run over at the blue line by Boston Bruins behemoth Gord Kluzak, who dwarfed most players in the league back then.

"When I got back to the bench,'' Johnson recounted, "our trainer came over and asked, 'How much time is left in the period?' I looked up and said, 'On which clock. I see three of them.'"

 Concussions, of course, are no laughing matter. Not then. Not now. No one is more painfully aware of that than Eaves, who had a string of concussions as a pro; and Johnson, whose son, Patrick, is just coming off a concussion. Patrick Johnson (5-9, 158) is a senior forward on Eaves' team.

"After Patrick went through the testing on Monday and Tuesday of last week, he started skating again Wednesday," Mark Johnson said. "He felt pretty good and he was fortunate enough to get back in the lineup this past weekend at Denver. We have a great medical staff and a protocol to follow.

"It's no different with our female players. The emphasis now is to make sure you follow the protocol and if the player is not ready to return - irrelevant of the importance of that player to your team - they're not going to let them play."

Both the men and women will be playing this weekend at the Kohl Center. Johnson and his No. 1 ranked team will take on Minnesota State at 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday afternoon. Eaves will see how his players respond in their first WCHA home series against Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. both nights.

The Voice: Tolzien's timely toss set stage for 'instant classic'

The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgIf ever a team needed a bye week, it would be the Wisconsin Badgers. When we taped Bret Bielema's TV show late Saturday night, the Badgers' coach let out a huge sigh of relief. To say the least, it is a much-needed break for a banged-up football team.

No doubt it is an elated group, but it is one that needs some time to heal and get ready for the second half of the Big Ten season.

As special as the victory against Ohio State will always be, perhaps last week's effort at Iowa trumped it. It is the perfect example of what a coach means when you hear the words "find a way to win." In Iowa City, Scott Tolzien completed passes to 10 different players, and none of them is named Nick Toon, who had to miss the entire game with a leg injury.

As the game unfolded, key players such as Lance Kendricks, James White and Peter Konz joined Toon as spectators. On defense, Jordan Kohout had to sit out after being injured the previous week, and during the Iowa game, Beau Allen had to miss some time with a leg injury.

Mike Taylor, who also was hobbling in the days following the Ohio State game, shuttled in and out of the lineup last Saturday, playing a game of tag team with fellow linebacker Kevin Claxton. Still, tender knee and all, Taylor made the final tackle of Hawkeyes running back Adam Robinson, making sure he remained inbounds as the final seconds ran off the clock.

There were so many key moments and key players in this latest "Instant Classic." The work of Montee Ball. J.J. Watt blocking an extra point, tackling holder Ryan Donahue on an aborted field goal try, and of course, his final series sack of Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi.

Bill Nagy sliding into the center position after Konz had to give way because of an ankle injury. Ethan Hemer's effort at defensive tackle for the injured Kohout. The list goes on and on, but in what I guess is becoming a bit of a theme in these blogs, I look to another play that helped keep the Badgers alive in the fourth quarter.

In the stat book, it will go down as a 3-yard gain, but it was so much more than that.

BTN profiles Watt's winding road to Wisconsin

As part of its Saturday pregame show, Big Ten Network profiled Wisconsin junior defensive end J.J. Watt's unconventional path to becoming one of the Big Ten's most dominant defenders.

Watt joined the Badgers in 2008 after playing tight end as a freshman at Central Michigan in 2007. After a humbling six months back in his hometown of Pewaukee, Wis., he quickly went from a walk-on with no promise of a scholarship to an anchor of the Badgers' defensive line.

Badgers climb in rankings after win

Thanks to its 31-30 win over Iowa on Saturday, the Wisconsin football team heads into its open week listed among the top 10 in all three major rankings.

The Badgers (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) have cracked the top 10 in the Bowl Championship Series standings, moving up to No. 10 in the rankings released Sunday evening.

UW also moved up in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the USA Today Coaches Poll. The Badgers are ranked No. 9 in both polls.

Only unbeaten Michigan State is ranked above the Badgers among Big Ten teams, checking in at No. 5 in the BCS and both polls. The league's other ranked schools are Ohio State (No. 11 BCS/No. 10 AP/No. 10 Coaches), Iowa (18/18/19) and Michigan (NR/NR/25).

Wisconsin has the week off after knocking off ranked foes in consecutive weeks for the first time since 2004. The Badgers, a solid second in the Big Ten standings, return to action on the road at Purdue on Nov. 6.

- Week 9 Rankings (ESPN.com)

Lucas at Large: Evans' exploration continues

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After coming off the UW bench and averaging 13 minutes of playing time during his redshirt freshman season, Ryan Evans knew that he had to expand his game. Little did he know then that he would be expanding it overseas to Belgium and Germany.

But that was the case after Evans joined the Global Sports Academy Team for its five-game European Tour in August. Along with Evans, the Big Ten was represented by Purdue's D.J. Byrd and Illinois' Tyler Griffey and Brandon Paul. Illini assistant Jay Price was the head coach.

"As a player, it expanded my game,'' said Evans, who helped Global Sports to a 5-0 record by averaging nine points. "They kind of flood the lane over there, so you have to be able to shoot.

"In every aspect of the game, I think I've gotten better this off-season. I feel stronger.  My feet are quicker. My ball-handling is better. My shot feels a lot better. I have more confidence,''

Evans led all scorers with 14 points in the Field House Madness scrimmage prior to the Oct. 16 Wisconsin-Ohio State football game. He also scored 12 in Sunday's Red-White Scrimmage at the Kohl Center.

Archived Blog: Women's soccer vs. Michigan

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Krista Lundgren and Allison Metcalf chronicled all the action from the Wisconsin women's soccer team's victory over Michigan on Oct. 24, 2010. 

Ceremonial puck-drop

Wisconsin's game against Ohio State on Oct. 23 was Breast Cancer Awareness Game, and senior captain Meghan Duggan (Danvers, Mass.) faced off against Ohio State's Christina Mancus for the ceremonial puck drop.  

Archived Gameday Blog: Men's Soccer vs. Northwestern

Cristin Fitzpatrick chronicled all the action in Wisconsin's 4-3 overtime loss to Northwestern on Oct. 23, 2010 at the McClimon Complex.


Archived Blog: Women's soccer vs. Michigan State

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Krista Lundgren and Allison Metcalf chronicled all the action from the Wisconsin women's soccer team's victory over Michigan State on Oct. 22, 2010. 

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State in pictures

No. 1 Wisconsin defeated No. 10 Ohio State, 6-5 in overtime, at the Kohl Center on Oct. 22, 2010. Check out photos from the Badgers' victory at UWBadgers.com.

Wisconsin vs. Ohio State, Oct. 22, 2010

NCAA launches new scoreboard

The NCAA recently launched a new online soccer scoreboard feature. Fans can now find all of the day's college soccer scores in one place with separate scoreboards for men's and women's soccer.

Lucas at Large: Gasser and Smith point out backcourt potential

Wquinton Smith can see the same thing as Josh Gasser. Even though they have much different sight lines on the UW basketball team, they both see available "minutes" in the backcourt.

Smith (5-10, 205) is a senior walk-on from Milwaukee Rufus King, who originally claimed a roster spot through an open tryout and has since shored up the scout team with his aggressive play.

Gasser (6-3, 185) is a scholarship freshman from Port Washington, who drew plenty of recruiting traffic after averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists during his senior year.

Along with freshman Ben Brust, both are eyeing some playing time behind starting point guard Jordan Taylor. And by the sounds of it Gasser has already made a favorable early impression on UW coach Bo Ryan.

"He can see the floor; he played in AAU for a young man (Tyler Selk) that I recruited and had at Platteville," Ryan said. "His knowledge of the game and his court sense is really good. So he's ahead of a lot of freshman. And he's tough physically. He already had a run-in with Jordan. Josh came in second."

Ryan explained that the two players collided while diving for a loose ball on the floor during a drill in practice. "They hit pretty hard," Ryan added. "He got banged up a little bit, so he's nursing that. But that's a good sign. I wouldn't want to run into Jordan or Q (Wquinton) as a guard."

Lucas at Large: Garner has it both ways

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UW freshman Manasseh Garner is enjoying his dual role as an apprentice wide receiver and an apprentice rush end. So what does he prefer? Offense? Or defense?

"It still doesn't matter," Garner said Tuesday. "I've been rotating both ways throughout practice. Basically, it's wherever the team needs me, that's where I jump in."

But does he feel more comfortable on one side of the ball over the other?

"No sir, actually, I feel very comfortable both ways," said Garner, a super polite product of Brashear High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. "I've always been an athlete throughout midget league and high school. It's a God-given thing, just natural. So when the coaches ask me to step in and play both sides, it was a natural thing for me to do. I'm a team player and I just want to help the team out."

Garner expanded his impact to special teams during Saturday night's victory over Ohio State -- so much so that he drew the attention of UW coach Bret Bielema, who noted during his Monday presser that Garner "was a terror on kickoff coverage. He kind of ignited the whole unit."

Bielema later expanded his thoughts on the 6-foot-2, 204-pound Garner. "He's very gifted, he's very fast," Bielema said. "He's got a little bit of an understanding of ball awareness, a football IQ. He's played a lot of football at different positions, so I think his general football awareness is really good."

With each sprint downfield, Garner seemed to gain in confidence, too. "Once he got excited, he got faster on the kickoff every play," Bielema said. "He's a guy that we'll probably get involved a little bit more on the defensive side of things (against Iowa). When we were running out of guys to rush Terrelle Pryor, I about subbed him in without even checking with our defensive coaches just because I knew he would be a guy that had a fresh set of legs that could go out there and run people down."

Garner was excited to be contributing on special teams, especially against the Buckeyes.

"My motivation was to help my team out, and do my job and beat the No. 1 team in the nation," Garner said matter of factly. "Pennsylvania and Ohio don't get along, period, so that was another motivation. We lost to Ohio in the Big 33 game that I played in, so I wanted revenge, I wanted payback."

Badgers earn No. 1 national ranking

The University of Wisconsin women's hockey team (4-0-0, 2-0-0 WCHA) earned the No. 1 national ranking this week in USCHO.com's poll, while the Badgers are currently No. 2 according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine national poll.

Archived Gameday Blog: Men's Soccer vs. Green Bay

Cristin Fitzpatrick chronicled all the action in Wisconsin's 4-3 overtime loss to Green Bay on Oct. 20, 2010 at the McClimon Complex.


The Voice: Saturday's lasting image came before kickoff

Not long after last Saturday's electrifying game at Camp Randall Stadium, one of the players asked me where I would rank it. "Well, it is certainly on the short list of the all-time best," I responded. Now that truly is insightful analysis, isn't it? 

No doubt my broadcast partner and UWBadgers.com writer Mike Lucas would have another chapter to add in the book he wrote a few years ago, The 25 Greatest Moments in Camp Randall History.

In the days leading up to last week's game, I was trying to compare the hype with the 1999 matchup against Iowa, when Ron Dayne broke the NCAA career rushing record (another book plug -- Justin Doherty's The Dayne Game -- pick it up at your favorite Madison area bookstore), or perhaps the 2003 tilt with Ohio State, when the Buckeyes came to town as the defending national champions and owners of a 19-game winning streak (to my knowledge, there is no book about that game).

What struck me last week is how the media world has changed in the last decade. In the days leading up to the '99 game, the fans were giddy at the chance to see Dayne break the rushing record, and oh by the way, see the Badgers win another Big Ten title.

It was a crazy week, but the game was a regional ABC telecast, and we had no idea about this thing called HDTV. The ESPN College GameDay crew was elsewhere, in part because it already made a visit to Madison several weeks earlier for the conference opener.

Since they handed out a championship trophy after that Iowa game, I still lean to that day for genuine atmosphere, but what might put last Saturday's game as "1-A" on my list -- at least for now -- is the number of cameras and media folks in the stadium.

Lucas at Large: Badgers' trips to Kinnick an adventure

Ben Strickland can remember each of the bus trips that he took from Madison to Iowa City during his playing career at Wisconsin. Some were more memorable than others.

The three-hour ride can be quite picturesque at this time of the year with the explosion of fall colors framing the countryside. Yet, the big picture is always on the mind of the riders.

"With a game coming up, you're obviously thinking about a lot," said Strickland, who's now a graduate assistant coach with the Badgers. "On the bus, I'd review the game plan, and go over some stuff on the scouting report. But I'd also take some time to relax and get my mind off football."

Hit rewind to Nov. 10, 2006. On that Friday afternoon, the UW caravan, numbering four buses, took off for Iowa City. But the No. 3 bus encountered some mechanical problems near Dubuque.

The disabled bus was emptied of players, who jumped aboard the No. 4 bus and bumped the supervisory personnel. In order to stay on schedule, the three team buses got back on the road, while the UW administrators, cheerleaders , etc., got some unexpected ground time in Dubuque until one of the buses came back for them.

The moral of this story is:

A) Never assume you're anything but expendable if you're riding the fourth bus of a four-bus caravan and the team mascot is sitting across the aisle;

B) Never leave home without checking your front air brakes;

C) Never sweat the little things;

D) Never doubt the resolve of a first-year head coach (Bret Bielema) and a first-time starter at quarterback (Tyler Donovan) and cornerback (Strickland);

E) Never underestimate the value of chemistry or camaraderie in team sports.

Speaking to the last point then was Strickland, who replaced the injured Allen Langford in the secondary against Iowa. Langford rolled his ankle during that Tuesday's practice, which Strickland had to miss because of a class conflict. So how was the '06 team defined by chemistry or camaraderie?

Wojta still snaps, despite 'pop' in knee

Running downfield to cover a punt during Tuesday's practice, Kyle Wojta, the UW long snapper, felt something that every athlete fears.

"I felt two pops in my knee," he said.

While planting his foot to make a cut, Wojta tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

"Watching the film, I was grabbing my knee before I hit the ground," he said. "It was a bad feeling; something that I had never felt before."

Archived Blog: Women's soccer vs. Penn State

Allison Metcalf chronicled all the action from the Wisconsin women's soccer team's 3-2 win over Penn State on Oct. 17, 2010.

White takes Field House Madness, 65-44

Final Stats Get Acrobat ReaderPhoto Gallery 

The White team carried its halftime lead into a 65-44 win over the Red team as a crowd of 2,650 turned out for Field House Madness Saturday at the UW Field House.

Ryan Evans, playing for the White squad, led all scorers with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the floor and added four rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists to his line.

Jon Leuer (5-for-10 field goals) and Keaton Nankivil (5-for-9) each added 12 points for the White squad, with freshman Josh Gasser chipping in nine.

Jordan Taylor led the way in a losing effort for the Red squad with 11 points, three boards and three assists. Jared Berggren had 10 for the Red team, with Rob Wilson adding nine.

Field House Madness update: Halftime

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Behind 12 points from Keaton Nankivil and 10 points from Ryan Evans, the White team leads, 41-30 at the half.

Rob Wilson had nine points to lead the Red team, with Jared Berggren adding seven.

The teams combined to shoot 9-for-19 (47 percent) from 3-point range in the opening half.

The second half has been shortened to 12 minutes.

Field House Madness update: 9:47 1st half

An evenly-matched start to the scrimmage has opened up in favor of the White squad, which used a 10-2 run to open up a 23-13 lead over Red as we hit the first scheduled timeout of the first half at the 9:47 mark.

Ryan Evans had a 7-0 run of his own for White, draining a 3-pointer from the wing, grabbing a steal at midcourt on Red's ensuing trip and throwing down a dunk. He picked freshman Duje Dukan's pocket on Red's next possession, too, and dropped in a layup to open things up at 20-11.

Jon Leuer added a basket and Rob Wilson hit a free throw to take us to the break.

Evans and Keaton Nankivil each have nine points in the early going, with Nankivil hot from outside on a long jumper and a trey.

Video: ESPN GameDay comes to Madison

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The highlights from today's visit to Camp Randall Stadium by ESPN College GameDay:

Red, White teams set for Field House Madness

Here's the breakdown of how the team will be split up for today's Field House Madness scrimmage:

- Jordan Taylor, Rob Wilson, J.D. Wise, Duje Dukan, Mike Bruesewitz, Evan Anderson, Jared Berggren. Coaches: Gary Close, Michael Finley and John Erickson.

- Wquinton Smith, Josh Gasser, Brett Valentyn, Ryan Evans, Ben Brust, Jon Leuer, Keaton Nankivil. Coaches: Greg Gard and Lamont Paris.

The Madness is about to begin

We're about 5 minutes out from the start of Field House Madness, and it's a who's who of Wisconsin basketball history inside the UW Field House.

The current Badgers squad has been split in two, with associate head coach Greg Gard and former Badger Michael Finley coaching the White team and assistant coach Gary Close and former Badger head coach John Erickson handling the coaching duties for the Red team.

In addition to the dignitaries on the benches, the event has also brought out former players Joe Chrnelich, Dick Cable, Rick Olson, Tim Valentyn and Jason Bohannon. Then there's the ESPN tandem of Scott Van Pelt and Madison resident Andy North. The crew from ESPNU Road Trip is also in the house to grab some video.

The scrimmage will consist of two 20-minute halves with a running clock. There will be scheduled timeouts at the 10- and 5-minute marks of both halves to facilitate some of the many contests -- including a shooting contest with new assistant coach Lamont Paris -- and giveaways planned for the day.

We'll have updates as the scrimmage progresses.

Badgers and Buckeyes head into third dimension

Tonight's matchup between No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 1 Ohio State isn't just available on ESPN, but is also being broadcast live by ESPN 3D. We went behind the scenes of the network's production to learn what it takes to put on a 3D broadcast.

ESPN GameDay kicks off Badgers' game day

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Photos:  GameDay Setup - Friday  |  ESPN College GameDay

The gates opened at 6:30 a.m., the show started at 8 and, by 11 a.m., the fans that made their way to Camp Randall Stadium for Saturday's broadcast of ESPN College GameDay were cheering as Lee Corso returned to the stage dressed as Bucky Badger from head to toe.

Corso, famous for announcing his picks by donning the heads of mascot costumes, went the extra mile in Madison by putting on the full Bucky outfit to show his confidence in a Badgers win tonight against No. 1 Ohio State.

The move capped an exciting morning that saw Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews go around the world of college football over the course of their three-hour show.

Beyond Corso's pick, the highlight for UW fans was the inspiring story of Jaxson Hinkens, a 6-year-old cancer patient befriended by Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien and his teammates. Tolzien helped tell the story of how he and Jaxson grew close through phone calls and visits to American Family Children's Hospital in Madison.

Head coach Bret Bielema and Jaxson's parents also were featured to help tell the special story.

The UW Marching Band and spirit squads were in attendance, as well. We'll have a full photo gallery and video recap of the event soon at UWBadgers.com

Ready for some Madness?

The UW men's basketball team makes its first public appearance of 2010-11 later today with Field House Madness, a scrimmage beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the UW Field House.

The event, which is free and open to the public, marks the Badgers' first appearance at the Field House since 1998. Doors open at 2 p.m.

Marianela of ESPNU Road Trip did a little freelance work for us at UWBadgers.com on Friday, getting Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor's thoughts on opening the season. The Badgers had their first official practice of 2010-11 on Friday. Check out the video:

Video: Previewing a Badger Weekend

A look just at some of what's on tap as part of Badger Weekend:

Let the Weekend of the Badger begin


In case you haven't noticed -- and it's been impossible not to notice if you work at Camp Randall Stadium -- Madison has spent the past two days being transformed into the center of the college sports universe.

It began Thursday when crews from ESPN, ESPN 3D, ESPN Radio, ESPN College GameDay, ESPNU Road Trip and the Sports Illustrated College Football Experience literally invaded Camp Randall to begin setting up for Saturday's matchup between No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 1 Ohio State.

The madness has continued today and quickly enveloped the men's basketball and men's hockey teams, as well. Both programs have already been the subject of pieces filmed for the ESPNU Road Trip show.

'The Herd with Colin Cowherd' broadcast live this morning from the terrace at the Memorial Union. 'The Scott Van Pelt Show' is airing live as I type this with co-host Ryen Rusello orginating his portion of the broadcast from the lawn in front of the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center.

That set is the same one that Rusello and company will use for the day-long College GameDay on ESPN Radio broadcast Saturday.

Then there's the live broadcast of ESPN College GameDay live from inside Camp Randall beginning at 8 a.m. Gates open at 6:30 for those of you who want to join Chris, Lee, Kirk and Desmond.

And that's all before ESPN and ESPN 3D offer their live broadcasts of the showdown between the Badgers and Buckeyes. That's what we're all here for, remember.

But that's not stopping ESPNU Road Trip from picking up some color from around town by stopping by men's hockey practice and getting ice cream at the Union with Jon Leuer and Jordan Taylor of the men's basketball team.

The hockey Badgers take on Alabama-Huntsville at 7 p.m. tonight to open their weekend series, with the basketball team then taking over the UW Field House at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for Field House Madness.

And we're going to be there. Keep checking back here all weekend for behind-the-scenes access and updates from hockey, College GameDay and Field House Madness, among others.

We'll chronicle the Weekend of the Badger here on the UWBadgers.com blog, on the Wisconsin Athletics YouTube  channel and on Twitter through @UWBadgersdotcom. If you're tweeting, be sure to use the #beatohiostate hashtag.

It's going to be a fun ride over the next 48 hours. Buckle up.

Lucas at Large: Best of Bucky under the lights

The first time the Wisconsin Badgers played under the lights, they literally played "under the lights'' against the Carlisle Indians (pre-Pop Warner, pre-Jim Thorpe) at the Chicago Coliseum, an indoor arena twice the size of New York's Madison Square Garden.

That was in 1896 (predating even Beano Cook by several years).

The Badgers lost, 18-6.

Since then, they have "shined'' under the lights (Musco or otherwise).

Over the last 28 night games, the Badgers have won 25.

Following are the three of the five greatest at Camp Randall Stadium.

Archived Gameday Blog: Women's soccer vs. Ohio State

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Allison Metcalf chronicled all the action from the Wisconsin women's soccer team's game against Ohio State on Oct. 15, 2010. 

Lucas at Large: Taking down No. 1, part three

Sept. 12, 1981: No. 1 Michigan vs. Wisconsin
UW coach Dave McClain, a former Bo Schembechler assistant at Miami (Ohio), looked for any psychological edge that he could gain to motivate his players for the season-opener against his mentor.

McClain needed something since the Wolverines had outscored the Badgers, 176-0, in the four previous meetings, although the 1980 game was competitive, a 24-0 loss.

On Thursday, the UW marching band showed up and played "On Wisconsin" while the Badgers were practicing at Camp Randall Stadium. That same day, McClain tried to make a statement on behalf of his team with this message on the scoreboard: Wisconsin 17, Michigan 14.

On game day, McClain tacked another message on the bulletin board in the locker room. Mike Jolly, a safety on the 1977 Michigan team, had some inflammatory things to say about sensing fear in an opponent like Wisconsin.

Jolly was quoted as saying some players used to stand on the sidelines and bet on how many points the Wolverines would score on the Badgers. Those quotes were on the board. "That was an insult,'' said UW offensive guard Leo Joyce.

McClain never let up, either.

Lucas at Large: Taking down No. 1, part two

Nov. 10, 1962: No. 1 Northwestern vs. No. 8 Wisconsin
Tom Myers vs. Ron VanderKelen.

Paul Flatley vs. Pat Richter.

That's how it was being marketed:  quarterback vs. quarterback, receiver vs. receiver. Northwestern's Myers and Flatley vs. Wisconsin's VanderKelen and Richter.

In passing offense, Myers was No. 1 in the Big Ten. VanderKelen was No. 2. In total offense, VanderKelen was No. 1. Myers was No. 2. You get the idea.

In receiving, Flatley was No. 1 in the conference. Richter was No. 2.

"The question you'd hear most often was, 'Who was going to be able to shut off the receivers?''' said Richter who would usher in another era of winning after becoming the school's athletic director. "And we'd say, 'Okay, if they had Myers and Flatley, we felt Vandy and myself could match up with them. We had a cadre of guys. And we felt pretty good about our running backs.''

Richter listed Louie Holland, Gary Kroner, Ralph Kurek and Jim Purnell. "That's where you see the real value of a balanced attack and what it can do for you,'' Richter reasoned.

Compared to the '42 game against No. 1 Ohio State, which created a national buzz, this game was barely a regional curiosity. It was not even televised. "But when you play No. 1, you don't want to be embarrassed. I know they were touted and we weren't,'' Richter said.

What they are saying

The Wisconsin women's hockey team opened its 2010-11 season with four-straight victories, sweeping Rensselaer Polytechnic and Bemidji State at home. The Badgers have this weekend off before hosting WCHA foe Ohio State Oct. 22-23. Read what they are saying about the Badgers' early success this season. 

Lucas at Large: Taking down No. 1, part one

Oct. 31, 1942: No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 6 Wisconsin
On Friday night (Halloween, no less), some 9,000 Badger fans attended a 40-minute "We Can't Lose'' pep rally on the lower campus. It was definitely a ''feel-good'' event.

But it later turned ugly after some 5,000 rioted in the downtown area. Thirty-two were arrested for disorderly conduct, and destruction of property. Tear gas was used to disperse the mob.

It was worthy of an ESPN scroll at the bottom of the screen and a Dr. Lou commentary.

Back then, the equivalent of ESPN's GameDay crew was NBC's Bill Stern who would handle the radio play-by-play, which was to be carried by 184 stations in the United States.

In addition, the game was to be short-waved to 11 South American stations, two in England, two in Ireland, two in Alaska, one in Hawaii and one in Australia.

The Paul Brown-coached Buckeyes got 80 first-place votes in the Associated Press poll.

The Harry Stuhldreher-coached Badgers got one first-place vote.

Stuhldreher, the player, was immortalized as one of the Four Horseman of Notre Dame by Hall of Fame sportswriter Grantland Rice. Stuhldreher was the quarterback, Don Miller and Jim Crowley were the halfbacks and Elmer Layden was the fullback. All were outlined against a blue-gray October sky.

Stuhldreher, the coach, was overshadowed by Paul Brown, the legend. Both hailed from the football hotbed of Massillon, Ohio. But they were not known to exchange X-Mas cards.

That was one storyline. There were others, including the hype surrounding the fullbacks: Wisconsin's Pat Harder and Ohio State's Gene Fekete. There was even more hoopla for the halfbacks: the UW had Elroy Hirsch and Mark Hoskins and OSU had Paul Sarringhaus and Leslie Horvath.

Hoskins made up one half of Lancaster's "Touchdown Twins. '' The other half was Dave Schreiner, who was designated as the team captain for Ohio State.

The Badgers were confident, not cocky. And the game played out that way as they grabbed a 10-0 first half lead and parlayed their confidence and momentum into a memorable 17-7 win.

The Badgers held Fekete to 65 yards and Sarringhaus to 55, while Harder rushed for 97 and Hirsch picked up 118. At the end of the game, the aforementioned Stern was given the "bird'' by the cheering section just below the broadcasting booth. Stern had picked Ohio State to win.

The Badgers would go on to lose the following Saturday at Iowa. The Buckeyes would go on to run the table and win the national championship. They would also go on to labeling their loss at Camp Randall as the "Bad Water Game.''

Brown blamed an outbreak of dysentery on his team to the drinking water in Madison. Others believed the Buckeyes were exposed to contaminated water or foods somewhere on their train ride from Columbus, which included an overnight stop in Janesville.

Ohio State's Jim Tressel can be thankful for small favors.

Bottled water.

PAC the MAC in pictures

The Wisconsin soccer teams held this year's PAC the MAC doubleheader at the McClimon Complex on Oct. 10, 2010. The Badger men fell to Michigan, 3-2, in a heartbreaking loss, and the UW women battled to a double-overtime scoreless tie with Illinois. Check out pictures from the games at UWBadgers.com.

PAC the MAC: Wisconsin men vs. Michigan, Oct. 10, 2010

PAC the MAC: Wisconsin women vs. Illinois, Oct. 10, 2010

Lucas at Large: Badgers have history against No. 1

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The last time it happened, the indefatigable Charles Woodson was more effective as a "quarterback'' than a defensive back or a wide receiver or a kick return specialist.

 Yes, that Charles Woodson, the indispensable playmaker of the Green Bay Packers secondary and the former Heisman Trophy winner from Michigan.

The last time it happened, a Griese was the quarterback and not merely a color analyst (though that's where you will find Brian Griese today doing college football, just like his old man, Bob Griese).

The last time it happened was 1997. That was the last time the Badgers played a No. 1 ranked team at Camp Randall Stadium.

The Voice: Opportunity lays before Badgers in No. 1 Ohio State

For the record, there are three occasions in Badger football history when Wisconsin beat the top-ranked team in the nation. In 1942, the Badgers bumped off Ohio State 17-7. That is the season Terry Frei covers in the superb book he wrote a few years ago, Third Down and a War to Go.

In 1962, the eighth-ranked Badgers of Pat Richter and Ron Vander Kelen fame hammered Northwestern 37-6. That Wisconsin squad eventually rose to No. 2 in the polls before the epic Rose Bowl game against USC.

Finally, in the 1981 season-opener, Dave McClain's Badgers made magic by shocking Michigan 21-14.

Badger fans old enough to remember those games cherish the moments, as well they should. Who wouldn't want to be part of that atmosphere? Just ask South Carolina fans, who witnessed the Gamecocks defeat previously top-rated Alabama last Saturday.

The Badgers are 16th in this week's coaches' poll, but as they head into this Saturday's showdown with No. 1 Ohio State, fans and media types continue to be unsure about this group. A popular belief is that Wisconsin is overrated. An elite team would find a way to win at Michigan State, and it would not need a blocked PAT to get past Arizona State.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that this team is good, but not elite. I also mentioned that we can all check back in a few weeks to learn whether Wisconsin can be such a squad. That time is approaching.

Lucas at Large: Applying lessons learned in loss

A year ago, Wisconsin statistically dominated Ohio State in first downs (22 to 8), in passing yards (250 to 87), in total offense (368 to 184) and in time of possession (42:47 to 17:13).

But the Buckeyes still beat the Badgers, 31-13, in Columbus.

"Looking back, I see those two 'pick-sixes' as being big game-changers,'' UW senior quarterback Scott Tolzien said of Kurt Coleman's 89-yard interception return and Jermale Hines' 32-yard return for touchdowns. The Buckeyes also had a 96-yard kickoff return for a score.

Tolzien, who was sacked six times, believes the Badgers can learn from that experience when the No. 1-ranked Buckeyes show up here Saturday night.

"Every one in this program,'' Tolzien said, "dreams of those opportunities of knocking off a team like that. But we have to put in the work the next five days and have a great week of preparation.''

A year ago, Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor completed just 5-of-13 passes for 87 yards against Wisconsin. But he has finally matured as a passer.

Last Saturday, Pryor was nursing a quardriceps injury and didn't attempt a single run against Indiana.  But he completed 24 of 30 passes for a career-high 334 yards and three touchdowns.

"Should be a great test of where our football team is at,'' UW defensive end J.J. Watt said.

Archived Gameday Blog: Women's soccer vs. Illinois

Krista Lundgren chronicled all the action the Oct.10, 2010 matchup between the Badgers and Illinois with the Gameday Blog.

Tolzien gets the 'look,' Toon gets the receptions

Quarterback Scott Tolzien and wide receiver Nick Toon have been "looking" to get on the same page of the playbook since the season opener when Toon came down with turf toe. Toon was subsequently on the sidelines for three games before returning for the Big Ten opener.

Going into Saturday's matchup against Minnesota, there were certain looks that Tolzien and Toon anticipated getting from the defense.  Whenever the Badgers went "Twins" - splitting Toon and wide receiver Isaac Anderson  to one side of the formation - Tolzien had some automatics, or options.

Especially when the Gophers were playing ''soft" on the corner. That separation occurs when the defensive back is lining up off the ball by five or more yards and giving a cushion to the receiver.

Archived Gameday Blog: Men's Soccer vs. Michigan

Cristin Fitzpatrick chronicled all the action in Wisconsin's 3-2 loss to Michigan on Oct. 10, 2010 at the McClimon Complex.


Archived Gameday Blog: Football vs. Minnesota

Ben Fromstein and Brian Mason chronicled all the action the Oct.9, 2010 matchup between the Badgers and Minnesota with the Gameday Blog.

Lucas at Large: Best of the Border Battle in Madison

You wouldn't normally associate "memorable'' with a tie game (hence the hackneyed expression that a tie is akin to kissing your kin). But there are some notable exceptions.

Like the 1966 Battle of the Unbeatens -- No. 1 Notre Dame versus No. 2 Michigan State -- which resulted in a memorable 10-10 draw and co-national champions.

On a different level, Minnesota and Wisconsin battled to a 21-21 tie in the final game of the 1952 regular season at Camp Randall Stadium.  Even though the teams combined for 14 turnovers, there were many highlights, including Alan Ameche and Harland Carl each rushing for over 100 yards.

So what was so memorable? With the tie, the Badgers wound up tied for first place in the Big Ten with Purdue. Both finished with 4-1-1 records. And since the Badgers and the Boilermakers didn't play each other that season, the tie-breaker was a vote of the conference's athletic directors.

Overall, Wisconsin was 6-2-1, while Purdue was 4-3-2 and that made it a no-brainer. The Badgers got the nod over the Boilers by a 7-3 vote and represented the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl (where they lost 7-0 to Southern Cal despite outrushing the Trojans, 211-48.).

That's the backdrop for our five most memorable games between the Badgers and the Gophers in Camp Randall history. There's no particular order and you can rank them on your own. Or, you can add to our list any other memorable Border Battles on Madison turf.

Hockey Canada names 2010 Four Nations Cup team

Former Badgers Meaghan Mikkelson (St. Albert, Alberta) and Bobbi-Jo Slusar (Swift Current, Saskatchewan) have been selected for Canada's National Women's Team for the 2010 Four Nations Cup in St. John's and Clarenville, Newfoundland and Labrador, from Nov. 9-13, Hockey Canada announced. 

Archived Gameday Blog: Men's Soccer vs. Northern Illinois

Cristin Fitzpatrick chronicled all the action in Wisconsin's 2-1 overtime loss to Northern Illinois on Oct. 6, 2010 at the McClimon Complex.


Lucas at Large: Borland watches, White puts on show

When someone competes with as much passion and energy as UW linebacker Chris Borland, the 2009 Freshman of the Year in the Big Ten, you can imagine how challenging it would be for Borland to separate himself from the competition as a spectator.

That was the case last Saturday when Borland, who was anything but detached emotionally from his Badger teammates in East Lansing, Mich., was relegated to watching the Wisconsin-Michigan State game on television in his off-campus Madison apartment.

"It was difficult," said Borland, who has been lost for the season with a shoulder injury. "I had a hard time watching the very end of the game because we were about to lose. I've never really watched a game as intensely as I watched that game and I've been a football fan forever. It was tough."

The Voice: Throw out assumptions with Axe on the line

It's Homecoming Week in Madison, and what better opponent to play than Minnesota?  Here comes the annual Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, an item that has been in the Badgers' trophy case for the last six years.

One word of caution to those who simply assume the prize will stay in town for another season -- never underestimate the power of a rivalry.

While the Badgers are eager to prove they are better than what they showed last Saturday in East Lansing, the Gophers are smarting in a big way after losing four straight home games, including a gut-wrenching setback to Northwestern at TCF Bank Stadium.

Having already lost to South Dakota, USC and Northern Illinois, the assumption, dangerous as it might be, is that the Gophs will just punch out between now and Thanksgiving weekend. A rivalry such as this suggests otherwise.

Archived Blog: Women's soccer vs. Iowa

Jordan Ozer chronicled all the action from the Oct. 3, 2010 matchup between the Badgers and Iowa with the Gameday Blog.

Lucas at Large: Dantonio's situation a familiar one for Alvarez

The uniqueness of Michigan State's Mark Dantonio "coaching'' his football team from a hospital room was not lost on UW athletic director Barry Alvarez, the former Badger head coach.

Been there.

Done that.


"Probably the most unique and unusual day that I've ever spent in my life,'' Alvarez recalled Saturday morning before the Badgers played the Spartans in the Big Ten opener.

Badgers recognized by FloTrack readers

The Wisconsin women's and men's track and field teams find themselves receiving accolades in the 2010 FloAwards from flotrack.org.

The UW men were voted as a sleeper pick in the FloAwards, as the Badgers are returning four of their top five teams from last year's seventh-place NCAA team. FloTrack highlights the Badgers' top returnees, including sophomore Mohammed Ahmed and senior Landon Peacock.

Freshman Alex Hatz looks to be a threat in the upcoming indoor seasons according to FloTrack, after receiving 83 votes from fans to earn a spot on the site's FloFrosh rankings. Based on his performance as a high school athlete, the readers ranked him fourth in the FloFrosh rundown.

On the women's side, freshman Emily Sisson is expected to contribute significantly in the upcoming season and earned the top spot in the women's FloFrosh. Sisson's performance in the summer looks to have sky-rocketed her status, as she finished third at the 2009 Footlocker Championships and ran personal bests in both the 3,000 meters and 5,000 meters at the World Junior Championships. Sisson has the fastest 5,000-meter time of any woman in the NCAA field.

Both the UW men's and women's cross country teams will be running this Saturday in the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, and you can catch Emily Sisson among those competing for Wisconsin.

Pre-Snap Reads: Michigan State

Some Michigan State fans might have a flashback to 6-foot, 254-pound Todd Jeffery Duckett when they once again cast their eyes on the 6-1, 255-pound John Clay. There are similarities in running style. Duckett, a consensus prep All-American out of Kalamazoo, rushed for 3,379 yards (sixth best in school history) and 29 touchdowns during his MSU career (1999-2001). Duckett, who ran for 186 yards against the Badgers in 2001, went on to be a first-round draft choice (18th pick overall) of the Atlanta Falcons and bounced to Washington, Detroit, and Seattle.

T.J.Duckett was the second-best running back in his own family. Older brother Tico Duckett finished his Spartan career (1989-92) with 4,212 yards, third-best behind Lorenzo White (4,887) and Javon Ringer (4,398). Clay must like the sight of green. In 2008, he rushed for 111 yards (7.9 yards per carry) and one touchdown at Michigan State (P.J. Hill added 106 rushing yards). Last season, Clay had 32 carries for 142 yards and a score against Sparty.

Michigan State and Wisconsin are blessed with depth in three-deep tailback rotations. Whereas the Badgers have been getting considerable production from Clay (125.2 yards per game), James White (67.2) and Montee Ball (46.2), the Spartans have developed a nice one-two punch with 5-9, 208-pound sophomore Edwin Baker (112.2) and 6-2, 230-pound freshman Le'Veon Bell (99.0). Rounding out the rotation is 5-11, 220-pound sophomore Larry Caper, who has missed two games with a hand injury.

Caper, who led the team in rushing last season, had 38 yards in last week's game against Northern Colorado. Bell, who leads the Big Ten with seven rushing touchdowns (one ahead of Clay) has been a pleasant surprise. Especially since so little was expected out of the Ohio native (Reynoldsburg, Groveport Madison). One recruiting service had Bell ranked No. 219 nationally out of the available RBs coming out of high school.

The Spartans have opened the season by rushing for more than 200 yards in each of their first four games, the first time that has happened since 1968 (when Duffy Daugherty was the coach and Tommy Love was the tailback). Bell is one of the reasons why MSU can play smash-mouth with Bucky.  

Last Saturday, the Spartans had four interceptions, the most by a Mark Dantonio-coached MSU team. Through four games, they have six picks, matching their number from last season. With 11 takeaways (just three shy of the 2009 total) and six giveaways (four lost fumbles), Michigan State is a plus-5 in turnover margin, third-best in the Big Ten behind Ohio State (plus-10) and Northwestern (plus-7). By contrast, the Badgers are tied for eighth with Purdue. Both are a minus-1. Wisconsin has the fewest takeaways (one fumble recovery and two interceptions) of anybody in the conference.

What accounts for the dropoff? One factor has been the loss of playmakers like O'Brien Schofield, who had three forced fumbles and hurried quarterbacks into mistakes, and Chris Maragos, who had four interceptions. Another factor has been the loss of Chris Borland, who had four quarterback hurries against the Spartans last season while playing in Wisconsin's nickel scheme. "As he does more and more things, people are going to be aware of No. 44,'' UW coach Bret Bielema said afterward. Sad (in Borland's absence now) but true.  A year ago, the Badgers scored 21 points off four Michigan State turnovers. Two years ago, in East Lansing, neither the UW's Dustin Sherer, nor MSU's Brian Hoyer threw a pick.

Saturday's matchup will mark only the third time that Wisconsin and Michigan State have been both nationally-ranked coming into their game. That bodes well for the Badgers, who won both times: 40-10 in 1999, and 6-0 in 1954.

The Badgers have scored touchdowns on their opening drives in three of four games. Under Bielema, they are 31-4 when they score first. One of the losses was at Michigan State in 2008.

UW fullback Brady Ewing on scoring two touchdowns (one rushing, one receiving) against Austin Peay:  "Anytime you can help the team get some points on the board, it's special. We opened up the playbook a little bit more last week. It will be interesting to see what defenses do. Each week, I will kind of morph into different roles depending on the kind of defense and the type of team we're playing. But it's exciting just to be an option out there."

What they are saying

The Wisconsin men's soccer team opens Big Ten Conference play this weekend, traveling to Bloomington, Ind., for a meeting with the Hoosiers on Sunday at 4 p.m. (CT). The game will air live on the Big Ten Network. Read what the media is saying about the matchup along with checking out additional coverage the Badgers have received recently. 

Plenty of ways to follow the Badgers on Saturday

Saturday's Big Ten opener is just over 24 hours away and there are several ways that fans can follow the action from East Lansing, Mich.

For starters, the game will air live at 2:30 p.m. (CT) on ABC/ESPN, depending on your location. The majority of fans in the Big Ten footprint can watch the game on ABC, but those out of market will have the game on ESPN.

Check out the coverage map to see which channel the game will be on in your area.

In addition, ESPN3.com will be airing the game live.

Another avenue that can be utilized is UWBadgers.com. Fans can follow along the Gameday Blog, get live stats with GameTracker or listen live on the Badger Radio Network.

Fans on the go can also watch the game using ESPN Mobile TV, which is available to FLO TV subscribers and on phones or other mobile devices through several national wireless carriers, including AT&T, Sprint and Verizon.

Lastly, the Big Ten Network recently announced the debut of the Official 2010 Big Ten Network Football App now available on the App Store. Developed in conjunction with Double Encore, the app, available for iPhone and iPod touch, is free to download and offers a one-time premium upgrade through In-App Purchase for $7.99.

The Big Ten Network Football App offers in-game tracking with live team and individual statistics, detailed play-by-play updates and a visual drive chart, plus the latest Big Ten news, schedules, conference standings, national rankings and conference leaders. There is also easy access to the Big Ten Network's television schedule.

The premium upgrade includes live radio feeds from all 11 schools' radio network as well as on-demand video clips of Big Ten highlights, and features and interviews from the Big Ten Network.

Lucas at Large: Brinkley, Kendricks put 'pain' in the past

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You can understand why tight end Lance Kendricks and cornerback Niles Brinkley might have some painful recollections from Wisconsin's last trip to Michigan State. Literally painful for Kendricks, who broke his leg. Figuratively painful for Brinkley who got "attacked.'' By his own admission.

Going into the 2008 game at Spartan Stadium, there was a reasonably high expectation level for Kendricks, who was in line for more playing time after the "go-to'' receiver Travis Beckum  broke his leg the previous Saturday against Illinois and was lost for the season.

Kendricks, a converted wide receiver from Milwaukee Rufus King, was still somewhat of an unknown as a tight end though he had three catches for 94 yards in a non-conference win over Marshall, which provided a small glimpse of his upside at the position.

While Garrett Graham took over as the "featured'' tight end in the rotation, Kendricks was just hoping to earn the trust of the coaching staff against the Spartans. And he got off to a "fast'' start by catching a 10-yard pass from Dustin Sherer on the UW's first offensive possession.

"That's the one thing I do remember -- I was playing fast -- the fastest I had played up until that point,'' Kendricks said. "After Travis got hurt, coach (Paul) Chryst told me, 'It's up to you now.' And I took it as an opportunity to show them what I could do, and why I should be on the field.''