MADISON – Wisconsin wrapped up its spring practice schedule with its annual spring game Friday night, an hour-long scrimmage in which the defense won, 20-17, and one in which there were as many penalties as touchdowns.
*The scrimmage was heavy on reserves, as Alex Hornibrook, Troy Fumagalli, Michael Deiter, Derrick Tindal, Nick Nelson, D’Cota Dixon, Beau Benzschawel, Jazz Peavy, Alec James, Conor Sheehy, Olive Sagapolu, Leon Jacobs, Jack Cichy and Garret Dooley did not participate in the scrimmage. UW also severely limited Bradrick Shaw (four carries) and Chris James (two).
*Wisconsin’s backup quarterbacks really struggled. Kare Lyles finished 2-for-6 for 16 yards and Jack Coan finished 10-for-17 for 121 yards. He ended the spring game with a wide-open touchdown pass of eight yards to Zander Neuville but also threw an interception to cornerback Caesar Williams on a pass he was trying to throw out of bounds.
“If you're going to throw the ball away, you've got to make sure it gets all the way out of bounds,” head coach Paul Chryst said. “That one bothered him, which means I think he's going to learn from that, and so I thought both – (spring) was really good for them.”
*Tight end Kyle Penniston was the leading receiver with three catches for 33 yards, but A.J. Taylor had the longest pass play of 28 yards on a crossing route – a play the sophomore has made consistently all of spring.
*Redshirt freshman Kendric Pryor had one of the day’s top catches, leaping for a 14-yard grab along the sideline to put UW first-and-goal inside the five.
*Kicker Rafael Gaglianone says he’s back to feeling 100 percent and felt good getting some of the rust off this spring. He hit a pair of 42-yard field goals from the right hash and the center hash but missed a 35-yard try from the left hash marks.
*Redshirt defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk beat left guard Micah Kapoi one-on-one and delivered a sack on Coan. Loudermilk said afterwards he feels he can carve out a niche for himself on a veteran defensive line.
Chryst on redshirt freshman Tyler Biadasz’s development
“I thought Tyler had a really good spring, and I think probably that natural progression, he understood what to do, and I felt like by the end of spring, he trusted it, and therefore was playing more. I think when you do that, you can finish better, you can focus on technique a little bit more. So I thought that happened. Boy, he did a ton this spring. He got a lot of reps, and you saw every one of those, and the way he approaches it, it's important to him. So he's going to take advantage of those reps.
“Tyler is not a guy that really has many wasted moments, so it was really good, and at times I felt like he wasn't in his first spring, especially in the offensive line. There's so much, and I thought he did a really nice job this spring.”
Chryst on if Michael Deiter playing left tackle and Biadasz starting at center is a real possibility in the fall
“Absolutely there's a chance. I think that we've always kind of had the philosophy of get your best players on the field, and when there is versatility, then it allows maybe not just your best -- if you're an inside guy or an outside guy. I think he said to me tonight, I'm much more athletic than people give me credit for. But he didn't look out of place. How it's going to shape out; I really don't know. But it's good, and spring is a great time to work on those things.
“We'll have camp and different things will come up in camp where we'll have to shuffle it, and we'll see, but I think whatever we need to do to get the best five on the field, and then you're developing your depth, and so the more guys can do, play different spots, whether it be right side, left side, center guard or tackle, it's helpful. No doubt.”