Redshirt safety Michael Trotter (right toe) and junior Peter Konz (right ankle sprain) both sat out Tuesday's practice after getting injured in the scrimmage. Both were wearing walking boots and while Trotter is expected to be back this week, Konz is expected to be out the remainder of spring football.
The injury is the exact one that Konz suffered last season, causing him to miss the second half of the Iowa game and the contest against Purdue. Peter Konz worked with the first team in his absence and the snaps were much better compared to past practices.
In the Stands
There wasn't a ton to report on during these two segments the Badgers ran Tuesday other than Jon Budmayr and Curt Phillips received a good helping of the repetitions. Budmayr threw with good velocity, finishing 8 of 11 during the two drills and took a couple shots in the direction of redshirt sophomore Jared Abbrederis that paid off.
Budmayr's best pass came when he snuck a spiral in between Devin Smith and Aaron Henry that hit Abbrederis between the numbers on an outside slant that was good for 18 yards. The best catch came when Budmayr aired out a deep pass for his favorite target, who got a step on Smith. Abbrederis got his right hand on the ball, tipped it to himself and hauled it in for a 64-yard touchdown.
Phillips was 6 of 13 passing and saw one of his passes turn into a fumble, as Jeff Lewis lost the handle before hitting the ground, causing a defensive score and the redshirt freshman to jog a lap.
Although new Wisconsin assistant coach DeMontie Cross was brought in as the special team's coordinator, tight end/recruiting coordinator Joe Rudolph is hanging on to his job as the kickoff return man. Working with the nine blockers, Rudolph ran blocking drills on one side of the field while Cross did the same on the other.
"Coach Rudolph had (a) good unit last year so (Bielema) didn't want to change that right away," Cross said Saturday. "I am going to be doing punt return and kickoff and I just want to make some strides as a group and make sure we're all doing the same thing on Saturdays and have some success."
11 on 11 Move the Ball
After Wisconsin briefly ran some stationary 11-on-11 drills, a drill where Budmayr threw an interception right into the waiting arms of Antonio Fenelus, Wisconsin gave each of the three offenses two chances to move the length of the field against their respective defenses.
The first team offense started to gain a little traction until its fifth play from scrimmage, where Aaron Henry threw his shoulder into James White, stopping the sophomore one-yard short on a 3rd-and-3 play that forced a punt. After the second team offense saw Joe Brennan misconnect on three throws, the third-team offense, under the direction of true freshman Joel Stave got moving.
Stave made some solid decisions on the drill. He first hit senior Jake Byrne for eight yards at the left hash mark on 3rd-and-6 to move the chains. After Lewis ran through the left side for 12 yards, Stave hit Marquis Mason for 19 yards on 2nd-and-9. It was a low throw, but Mason reached down to haul the pass in on a play that showed a sliver of his athleticism. Stave came right back with a 25-yard strike to Isaiah Williams that got his offense to the five. On the ninth play of the drive, Stave did his Nate Tice impression, reeling off a quarterback bootleg for a four-yard touchdown.
The luck stopped there for UW's offense. With the first team back for another crack at the first team defense, Budmayr saw his first-down pass attempt broken up with an athletic play by safety Shelton Johnson and threw too low for Abbrederis on third down. Bielema overruled the play on the field, giving the UW offense a catch, but the defense any doubts to rest when Marcus Trotter caught a deflection off Garner's pads and went 50 for the touchdown.
Brennan and Stave each had similar fates. Brennan under threw Williams, which allowed for linebacker A.J. Fenton to create the turnover, and Stave threw a deep ball that redshirt freshman Cody Byers to pick off. Byers' pick ended practice and caused the entire defense to come out and celebrate at midfield.
Wisconsin returns to the field Thursday afternoon for practice number eight.