Houston-scrimmage notes

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Bart Houston (13) passes the ball as head coach Paul Chryst, background, looks on during the team's first fall practice at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. M.P. KING -- State Journal

M.P. KING -- State Journal

University of Wisconsin quarterback Bart Houston had one of his best performances of fall camp Friday during the Badgers’ second scrimmage of the month.

Houston completed 18-of-27 passes for 212 yards and was more accurate than in many previous practices.

Alex Hornibrook didn’t have a bad day, either, completing 16-of-29 passes for 143 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown to Robert Wheelwright.

Hornibrook did throw two interceptions, but one was due to a drop from wide receiver A.J. Taylor.

Besides Taylor’s two drops on the day, he did impress with 95 yards on five catches — taking advantage of even more reps with other true freshmen wide receivers Quintez Cephus and Kendric Pryor out with injury.

“A.J., being that he did a lot of running back (in high school), he really has running back skills with the ball in his hands,” wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore said Wednesday. "Obviously, we’ve got too many drops. We’ve got to focus in on catching that ball, and a lot of it’s coming when he’s tired. We’ve got to work on that endurance."

George Rushing, who’s battling Reggie Love for UW’s No. 3 wide receiver spot, was also impressive, catching five passes for 92 yards.

Notable performances on defense included outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Griffin Grady.

Watt, expected to start opposite Vince Biegel, had two pass breakups that ended drives. The first was a pass over the middle from Bart Houston to Eric Steffes that would have converted a fourth-and-2. Later in the scrimmage, he batted down a third-down pass at the line.

Grady, a true freshman that isn’t expected to contribute this season, intercepted one of Taylor’s drops and returned it for at touchdown.

Rafael Gaglianone, who has had a fantastic camp thus far, made all four of his field-goal attempts in the scrimmage, including a 52-yard kick.

Bell joins practice

Alabama transfer linebacker Christian Bell participated in his first practice with UW on Friday.

He did positional work in half-pads and did not scrimmage.

Bell was an early enrollee with the Crimson Tide this spring and decided to transfer after one semester. He will sit out this season due to NCAA transfer rules and have four years of eligibility remaining in 2017.

Punting competition heats up

UW’s punters kicked against pressure Friday for the first time in an open practice this fall, and Anthony Lotti appeared to have the advantage over P.J. Rosowski.

Lotti, a true freshman, took the first two reps and averaged 42 yards on six punts. Rosowski punted four times and averaged 36.75 yards per attempt.

The punt team also took two reps trying to down the ball inside the 10-yard line. Rosowski punted from the 47-yard line and kicked his ball into the end zone, while Lotti’s kick from the 39-yard line was downed on the 6.

Running back Corey Clement took reps at as the punt returner during the drill, along with Jazz Peavy and Sojourn Shelton.

From the infirmary

The Badgers saw some injured players return to the field since their last open practice Wednesday.

Running back Dare Ogunbowale (right leg), offensive lineman Jon Dietzen (head), fullback Alec Ingold (right leg), outside linebacker Jake Whalen (right leg), safety Keelon Brookins (groin) and inside linebacker Nick Thomas (head) all practiced in full.

Wide receiver Kendric Pryor (left arm) and fullback Austin Ramesh (right leg) were upgraded from out to limited.

Running back Bradrick Shaw and cornerback Dontye Carriere-Williams both missed Friday’s practice with right leg injuries.

Wide receivers Quintez Cephus (right leg) and Henry Houden (head), offensive linemen George Panos (right shoulder) and Logan Schmidt (head) and inside linebackers T.J. Edwards (left foot) and Mason Stokke (head) remained out. Running back Taiwan Deal (right arm) was still listed as limited.

Left guard Dan Voltz and right tackle Jacob Maxwell rested again Friday, while wide receiver Jazz Peavy (chest) remained in a yellow, non-contract jersey.

SCRIMMAGE STATS

Passing:

Bart Houston: 18-27, 212 yards, 2 sacks,

Alex Hornibrook: 16-29, 143 yards, TD, 2 INTs

Rushing:

Corey Clement: 11 rushes, 49 yards

Dare Ogunbowale: 4 rushes, 19 yards

Sam Brodner: 3 rushes, 20 yards

Chris James: 6 rushes, 17 yards

Bart Houston: 1 rush, 0 yards

Leon Jacobs: 2 rushes, 8 yards, TD

Jazz Peavy: 1 rush, 9 yards

Robert Wheelwright: 1 rush, minus-1 yards

Receiving:

Robert Wheelwright: 4 catches, 40 yards, TD

Jazz Peavy: 0 catches, 0 yards

Reggie Love: 2 catches, 22 yards, 2 drops

George Rushing: 5 catches, 92 yards

A.J. Taylor: 5 catches, 95 yards, 2 drops

Troy Fumgalli: 4 catches, 11 yards, drop

Eric Steffes: 2 catches, 36 yards

Kyle Penniston: 1 catch, 7 yards

Corey Clement: 1 catch, 4 yards

Dare Ogunbowale: 3 catches, 11 yards

Chris James: 3 catches, 15 yards

Sam Broder: 2 catches, 12 yards, drop

Leon Jacobs: 1 catch, 4 yards

Notable defense:

Vince Biegel: Sack

T.J. Watt: 2 PBUs

Derrick Tindal: PBU

Nick Nelson: PBU

Caesar Williams: INT

Griffin Grady: INT, TD

Max Praschak: Sack

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Jason Galloway is the Wisconsin Badgers football beat writer for the Wisconsin State Journal.