The way it has been going for the University of Wisconsin football team’s kickers this season is whoever is the backup seems to kick better during practices. That seemed to be the case this week.

Badgers coach Bret Bielema said freshman Jack Russell, who missed a 33-yard field-goal attempt last week — his only attempt of the season — remains the starter. But sophomore Kyle French hit the ball well in practice all week.

The biggest problem with both kickers is one bad kick tends to impact the next one. “If they have a bad kick, the next one is really bad,” Bielema said.

Bielema said French was especially strong on kickoffs on Thursday. But he sent his only kickoff last week out of bounds, the second time he’s done that this season.

“Kyle was killing the kickoffs today,” Bielema said. “His only issue is the two out of bounds. We just can’t spot the ball on the 35(-yard line). That’s been our biggest hangup.”

Injury update

Defensive end Brendan Kelly (hamstring) will not make the trip. It will be the third game he has missed out of the last four. Defensive end Pat Muldoon will miss a third straight game with a broken hand that still has pins in it. Bielema said the pins should be removed next week and Muldoon is expected back on Tuesday.

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