Special teams see change

Jay Valai will see some playing time on the kickoff coverage unit Saturday against Austin Peay.

MADSION — With their kickoff coverage exposed Saturday at the hands of Arizona State, the Badgers made some changes during the week to the personnel.

UW gave up a 97-yard touchdown to Omar Bolden and a 95-yard return to Kyle Middlebrooks that was one-yard away from the end zone before Shelton Johnson took Middlebrooks down. Charles Partridge, both the defensive line and coverage units coach, said Tuesday that the problem was players getting beat by one-on-one blocking.

UW head coach Bret Bielema said three new players would take part on kickoffs, but only named Jay Valai as one of them, and didn't mention which players lost their spot on the coverage unit.

"I think there are three different guys," Bielema said. "We have Jay Valai involved … I would say 50 guys volunteered for kick off coverage this week. Charlie [Partridge] said 100 guys came to his office, but I am sure that was an exaggeration."

Injury Updates

Both wide receivers Nick Toon and David Gilrearth will be held from Saturday's game against Austin Peay.

Toon is still dealing with turf toe on his right foot. The junior wide out practiced this week, but hasn't come along far enough to play Saturday.

"He is actually still working on the finer points of how to modify the shoe, so it gives him maximum protection as well as being able to support, we obviously don't want to go down this road again," Bielema said.

Gilreath also took part in practice, albeit in a non-contact role as he has not been cleared to take a hit yet.

"He is practicing and we have him in a green non-contact," Bielema said.

"I don't expect anybody not to be ready for Michigan State."

Extra Points

Quarterback Curt Phillips has been cleared to practice, but he has yet to test his surgically repaired ACL with contact yet. Bielema said he could be available as early as Michigan State in two weeks. … Defensive end Tyler Dippel will miss Saturday's game as he is attending a funeral. … If all goes according to plan, Jon Budmayr, No. 2 on the quarterback depth chart will see some playing time Saturday. "I wanted to get him playing time in the first three games, so a lot of it depends on what is happening in the flow of the game," Bielema said.


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