Spring Practice Report - 4.12.15

Wisconsin goes through its first major spring scrimmage Sunday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium, getting mixed results on offense and seeing the defense make some positive strides.

MADISON - Count Mickey Turner as one of the many Wisconsin staff members and alumni who were caught up in the journey the men’s basketball team put the state through this past season.

The Wisconsin tight end coach, and former Badgers tight end from 2006-09, loved watching the basketball team so much that he’s trying to inject a little bit of Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s team into his group.

“Momentum is something that never really fazed them if they got down a little bit,” said Turner of the hoops team. “They were constantly consistent. They trusted each other. We just have to keep building that with this group, too. Coach Ryan puts up a pretty tough bar to get to, so why not shoot for the high one?”

Wisconsin took another step towards consistency during practice number nine Sunday afternoon with a full refereed scrimmage in Camp Randall Stadium, the first major scrimmage of the spring. The end result for the offense? A lot of work that still needs to be done.

Starting quarterback Joel Stave, who finished 4-of-10 passing for 107 yards, led every first-team series but one. While he threw a 70-yard touchdown to Alex Erickson and surprised everyone with a two-yard run off a naked bootleg for a touchdown, his four completions were the fewest of the quarterbacks who had multiple series. He also threw an interception to Tanner McEvoy.

Current number two quarterback Bart Houston went 7-for13 and had one series with the starting offense and the rest with the twos. He led the starters 57 yards on 10 plays before tailback Dare Ogunbowale was stopped for a loss by safety Leo Musso on fourth-and-4. Houston had a chance to cash in earlier but overthrew an open Erickson for could have been a 40-yard touchdown.

D.J. Gillins took one second-team series, completing both passes he attempted for 33 yards. He also threw an interception to Musso in 7-on-7 drills.

True freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook was given two of the second-team series and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the second one, leading a 65-yard touchdown drive. His favorite target was sophomore Jazz Peavy, who he hit for 23, 19 and a 5-yard touchdown.

“A lot of inconsistencies, but the effort I thought was pretty high, which is something they have to bring on their own,” said Turner. “I thought they did that, which is encouraging. From that point it’s just adding the details and the more they can handle the more you can give them. We don’t want to put a ceiling on them, but I think we still have a lot of details that can be gained.

“Like I told the guys, there was nothing bad about every play. Some were really good and others need to be cleaned up. As long as they have the mentality that we’re going to keep cleaning them up we’ll have a chance.”

Of the 14 series that were completed, two of which began inside the defense’s 5-yard line, the defense held the offense to four touchdowns and one made field goal and defended the run consistently well.

“I think the defense had a great day,” said Turner. “Coach Aranda has been here awhile, so he’s pretty familiar with the plays and he has those guys playing hard. You’ll see some years when you have a more veteran group on the offensive side, maybe that’s the ways it goes for the day. They were tuned up for the day. They were playing detailed, because I thought the effort was good on both sides.”

Tindal Creates Scary Moment

What ended up being the last play from scrimmage caused a scare when sophomore cornerback Derrick Tindal was injured going low to try to make a tackle on tailback Taiwan Deal, causing the UW medical staff to rush to his side and an ambulance to be called. Tindal’s head was immobilized, the facemask of his helmet was removed and a back board was placed beneath him.

A UW official said Tindal was taken to the hospital for evaluation and that he did have movement and feeling in his extremities. Tindal saw action in 12 games as a true freshman, recording 10 solo tackles, one sack and one pass defended.

Extra Points: Junior center Dan Voltz suffered a left ankle injury in practice, causing his day to be shorten and require crutches … Rob Wheelwright remained out from an injury he sustained Friday. Reggie Love earned first-team reps opposite Erickson with Wheelwright out and caught four passes for 66 yards … True freshman Austin Kafentzis took his first team rep of spring ball during the scrimmage. His first play was the handoff to Deal that led to Tindal’s injury … Wisconsin returns to practice Wednesday night.

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