Practice report: Badgers tune up for important scrimmage on Saturday afternoon

2010-08-20T23:14:00Z 2010-08-21T07:35:44Z Practice report: Badgers tune up for important scrimmage on Saturday afternoonBy Tom Mulhern madison.com
August 20, 2010 11:14 pm  • 

 Both practices on Friday, including a lighter practice in "spiders" inside the McClain Center in the evening, will be covered in this report:

 SCRIMMAGE PREP: UW coach Bret Bielema closed the evening practice with a talk to his players about the importance of today's scrimmage. With injuries at safety and tight end, as well as competition at running back and receiver, Bielema will be looking to see who steps forward at those spots.

 "Jay VAlai (concussion) isn't going to practice (Saturday), so some safety has to step up," Bielema said. "Whoever that guy is going to be, whether it's (Josh) Peprah, (Shelton) Johnson, (Adam) Hampton. One of those guys. Young linebackers between (Kevin) Rouse and A.J. Fenton. That's going to be an exciting time."

 SNAP DECISION: After three errant shotgun snaps in the morning practice by No. 1 center Peter Konz, he was replaced by sophomore Travis Frederick. But Konz was back in his regular spot in the evening practice.

 Bielema didn't realize at first why offensive line coach Bob Bostad replaced Konz and worried momentarily he was injured.

 "(Bostad) said, `No, he had three erratic snaps,' " Bielema said. "The good news is we've got depth there. Pete by no means is annointed the starting center or annointed to be the only guy that can snap the football for us. So, he needs to get that corrected and move on."

 KENDRICKS COMES BACK: Starting H-back Lance Kendricks was knocked out of the morning practice with what appeared to be an injured finger on his right hand. But he returned in the evening and showed no ill effects, making a great catch early in practice, snaring a high throw while being covered by Johnson.

 Kendricks had a drop later in practice and had another pass bounce off his chest in the end zone, although that one seemed to be a result of quarterback Scott Tolzien firing a bullet from close range.

 There were a couple other drops in the practice, including one by Jared Abbrederis. After a critical comment by Bielema following a drop a couple days ago, Abbrederis caught just about everything -- including a couple of the spectacular variety -- before that drop.

 There were a couple other drops, including one by running back James White.

 BREAKUPS: Defensive end J.J. Watt continued to effectively break up passes at the line of scrimmage, doing it two more times, including once in a third-down, red-zone drill.

 The other came on a trick play, where quarterback Scott Tolzien faked a spike in the two-minute drill, then attempted a pass. Watt wasn't fooled and swatted it away.

 SMITH JUST "SCARED:" Junior cornerback Devin Smith, the top nickel back, injured his right knee and went down when his leg appeared to catch on the indoor turf. A hush fell on the practice after that, but Smith got up eventually and walked off under his own power. Bielema later said it was just a scare.

 "Everything was there," Bielema said of the check on Smith's knee. "I think it scared him. They started saying the OB (O'Brien Schofield) award. We'll maybe name that at a later date."

 INTERCEPTION BINGE: Redshirt freshman quarterback Jon Budmayr has limited his interceptions thrown since having four in one practice earlier in the week. But he had another bad one in the end zone during the evening practice.

 "That was a changeup by our defense," Bielema said. "We have always played a certain technique with that safety. We brought him over the middle. A good mental rep for (Budmayr) because the defense made a little tweak to change it. I knew what was coming because I knew the call. I knew that reaction was going to come ."

 Linebacker Chris Borland also made a nice play on an interception over the middle, reaching in front of his body to snatch a pass from Tolzien.

 INJURY UPDATES: Linebacker Blake Sorensen (calf) returned on a limited basis. Defensive tackle Jordan Kohout (knee) is also close and is expected back on Monday. Running back John Clay sat out of the evening practice but took part some strenuous conditioning on a treadmill. Defensive end Pat Muldoon sat out with an unspecified injury.

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