Sophomore tight end Brian Wozniak must be sick of standing on the sidelines for the University of Wisconsin football team.
During at least two occasions in the last year, Wozniak had a chance to earn a significant role on offense - only to suffer an injury setback.
It appeared to happen again earlier this spring when Wozniak suffered an injury to the medial collateral ligament in his left knee and was expected to miss four to six weeks, according to UW coach Bret Bielema.
Wozniak returned less than a week later and was one of the standouts during the final scrimmage on Saturday prior to the spring game.
Playing mostly with the second offense, Wozniak had receptions of 26, 23 and 28 yards.
"He had a minor MCL strain," tight ends coach Joe Rudolph said. "I appreciate him fighting to get back out there. They did a great job downstairs (trainers) getting him back out there."
Wozniak went into spring a year ago with a chance to be the second tight end behind Lance Kendricks but was slowed by a knee injury. In fall camp, Wozniak suffered a fractured shoulder, which limited him to seven games.
That opened a spot for Jacob Pedersen, who caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns as a redshirt freshman.
With Kendricks now departed for the NFL, senior Jake Byrne has emerged as the starter for the "Y" position, which is the tight end on the line of scrimmage
Pedersen is the No. 1 H-back, which is the tight end that often splits out wide or goes in motion. He suffered an injury to his right ankle late in the scrimmage,but walked off under his own power after practice.
The 251-pound Wozniak has a bigger body - 13 pounds heavier than Pedersen - but is effective in the passing game, making him capable of playing both spots.
"I think he has the ability to back up both," Rudolph said. "His body type, he'll naturally grow into that Y."
Offense hot, then cold
The scrimmage held inside the McClain Center started out as redemption for the offense, which was dominated by the defense during the previous scrimmage a week earlier.
Three of the first four times the No. 1 offense had the ball starting at its own 20 on the 80-yard field, it scored a touchdown.
But things quickly deteriorated, with a slew of turnovers, penalties and sloppy play.
"Every time we go out there, there's some good stuff," offensive coordinator Paul Chryst said. "There really is. There's always good teaching stuff, stuff you've got to learn from, stuff you've got to keep doing and stuff you've got to improve on."
The No. 1 offense marched 60 yards the first time it got the ball, with sophomore quarterback Jon Budmayr making a nice throw to tailback Montee Ball for a 16-yard touchdown on third-and-8. Ball also ran four times for 22 yards and Budmayr was 2-for-3 in the series, with the other completion an 11-yarder to tight end Sherard Cadogan.
The second drive was more of the same, with Ball scoring on a 5-yard run around left end. Budmayr had a 21-yard completion to Byrne on a seam route and a 6-yard completion to Pedersen on third-and-5 to keep the drive going. Backup tailback James White had a 15‑yard run around right end.
White later exploded for a 49-yard touchdown run through a big hole behind left guard Travis Frederick, with strong safety Shelton Johnson missing a tackle a few yards past the line of scrimmage.
After that, the momentum swung back to the defense. The turnover problem started when fourth tailback Jeff Lewis fumbled and cornerback Marcus Cromartie recovered.
The Badgers then worked on a "sudden change," with the first offense going back on the field at the opponent's 35-yard line, but Budmayr failed to get a first down on a scramble on third-and-8.
There were two more turnovers, including one by redshirt freshman quarterback Joe Brennan, who threw the ball right to safety Adam Hampton.
The last was a desperation sidearm throw by Budmayr on a fourth-and-16 scramble during a two-minute drill in which the offense trailed and he had no other option. Cornerback Devin Smith picked off that pass.
"They kill you," Chryst said of the turnovers. "They bother you and therefore, because they bother me, they bother Jon and the others. You've got a chance to learn from them. Now, if we keep doing it and don't learn from it, then you start getting more (upset)."
- Jim Polzin contributed to this report.