When University of Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad made the decision in the middle of the third quarter to switch two starters, nobody blinked.

Sophomore Ryan Groy, who made his first start at center against Illinois for the injured Peter Konz (ankle), had just sailed a snap over the head of quarterback Russell Wilson.

It was the second consecutive snap issue for Groy, who on the previous play failed to snap the ball on time, drawing a penalty.

Bostad quickly made what seemed like a drastic move, swapping positions with left guard Travis Frederick and Groy, which was the backup plan all along.

Groy's shotgun snaps in practice were never an issue last week. He called the errant snap a communication issue between him and Wilson, while Bostad said it was a "timing issue."

"If this would have been a history (of problems), or a deal where you say you're concerned about snaps, you never would have put the guy there," Bostad said on Sunday.

When the snap issues happened, the Badgers trailed 17-14 and were struggling to move the ball against Illinois' tough defense.

But after the move, the line settled down and the Badgers scored two more touchdowns to win 28-14.

"We had a lot of reps invested in Ryan (at center)," Bostad said. "So, you say, ‘OK, he's going to be the guy (after Konz was hurt).

"It makes sense, one change. If you go the other way and change (two) guys and things don't work out, then everyone's going, ‘Well, what were you thinking?' "

Not surprisingly, Bostad said he would have Frederick at center and Groy at left guard for the game on Saturday against Penn State at Camp Randall Stadium, which will decide who wins the Big Ten Conference's Leaders Division and advances to the title game.

The Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in scoring defense, allowing 13 points per game, and are third in rushing defense (127.4), one spot behind the Illini.

"They're probably the best front seven," Bostad said of the Nittany Lions in comparison to this season's other opponents. "That might get redundant to hear, (because) we've played some good groups. These guys have good size and good length. They're tops in a lot of categories."

Bostad said it was easy making the switch because he he knew it was a possibility going into the game.

"I did have a plan in my head, if things did go that way, you've got an option," he said.

Frederick worked some at center in practices last week -- about 20 percent of the snaps, Bostad estimated. Also, Frederick started out at center in 2009, becoming the first true freshman to start a season opener in the offensive line.

He also started two games that season at guard, which is eventually where he settled in. He was redshirted last season due to a glut of linemen and has started 10 games at left guard this season, missing the second game with a knee injury.

"Travis has played center before," right guard Kevin Zeitler said. "Travis is probably the smartest out of all the O-linemen, so if anyone can handle it, he can."

Bostad said there is also carryover with the three inside positions, which also made the move easier for Frederick.

"When you're playing those inside three (positions), you've really got to be on the same page," Bostad said. "If you're playing guard, you're not making the call but you still understand what's going on. The fact (Frederick) is an intelligent kid, he's aware of (the center's calls), he learns that and he can carry it over and transfer."

The players don't make a big deal out of switching positions in the line, because that's what Bostad demands from them. That versatility helps UW make up for a lack of healthy bodies this season.

Not counting two freshmen who are being redshirted, the Badgers' backups on Saturday were down to redshirt freshman tackle Rob Havenstein, senior center-guard Jake Current and junior walk-on guard Robert Burge.

"It obviously goes to the coach," Frederick said. "He's prepared us to play in multiple positions. Not only the same positions on both sides, but different positions, tackles playing guard, guards playing tackle.

"Some guys can play all of the positions. So, to have a coach that really stresses that and stresses that you know that stuff, it not only helps you if you're switching around, but also that you know what everybody else is doing on the line. So, you know where you should fit and what kind of adjustments you should make."

It also helps to have smart players like Frederick, a double major in computer engineering and computer science.

"For me, it was kind of a natural thing," Frederick said. "I've played (center) before and it just goes back to following the rules and trying to plug in the game plan to what I know."

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