Horton pleased with Sorgi's progress

Wisconsin quarterbacks coach Jeff Horton discusses the progress and performance of Badgers starter Jim Sorgi.

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BadgerNation.com: How do you feel Jim Sorgi has played thus far?


Jeff Horton: I think he has been really solid. I think he has managed the game very well, both football games. I think he has made great decisions with the football. He has picked the right spots to try to take chances.


We've really been pleased. He is very solid. He has been very efficient. He hasn't done anything to hurt us and I'm seeing him getting a little bit better each game.


BN: Were you concerned about him taking chances before the season?


Horton: Jimmy has always been a gunslinger and he has made a lot of big plays doing that. We talked about…those plays are going to come to him in a game. He doesn't need to force them. He is going to get plenty of opportunities to make those plays. If he can just stay in the flow of the game and not get ahead of himself—my big thing with him every time I say, ‘just take one play at a time. One play at a time.' We are not going to score a touchdown every play. I think he has done a good job with that.


BN: Sorgi entered this season known for his ability to throw the deep ball, but this season he has been very efficient on shorter and intermediate passes, but has missed some open receivers deep. Of course, he hit the big one against Akron, but are you surprised by this exchange of skills?


Horton: Yeah, but that is something we talked about in the offseason and stressed through spring practice and in the summer and into fall camp was just working through your progressions, knowing where your checkdowns are. It is OK to throw a pass for four yards, let a tight end or a back catch it and they might run for five or ten yards. Every pass doesn't have to be 10-to-15 yards down the field. He is starting to grasp that and I have been very pleased with that through the first two games. He has really done a nice job with that.


BN: (Wisconsin coach Barry) Alvarez said that not a single designed running play has been called for Sorgi this season, yet he has tucked it and run fairly often. Did you expect to see him run the ball this much?


Horton: On those certain plays he has to read things. If he reads where he needs to pull it then that is what he does. He has done a good job with that. He has probably run with that more than what we did in the past. He has done a great job reading that and has made some very good plays doing it that way. Also he has scrambled out of the pocket and picked up some crucial first downs for us.


BN: West Virginia and Akron blitzed frequently and UNLV will likely do the same. Do you think Jim feels pretty comfortable making those reads?


Horton: I think so. We work a lot on it. We talk about it. We watch film on it. We practice on it. Obviously there are going to be some new wrinkles that they haven't shown and we have to make those adjustments on the sidelines. Jim has prepared each and every week diligently and he has done a good job with that.


BN: Over the past few years there has been talk of the Badgers passing more. Now, it looks as if ‘Air Wisconsin' may be at least a partial reality. Do you expect that to continue? Do you feel Sorgi is where he needs to be or is there still room on the learning curve?


Horton: I think he has a lot of growth and lot of improving still to do. He has done some good things for us, but there are still a lot of areas, in his coverage recognitions and seeing things where we can get a whole heck of a lot better.


As a football team we are going to do whatever it takes to win. Whether that is running it 50 times a game or throwing it 50 times a game depending on how that game is going, that is what we are going to do.


Our staple is running the ball and we haven't gotten away from that. The first two games we ran the ball very successfully too. So I think that nice blend really helps us out. Hopefully defenses aren't allowed to stack up against one or the other. So hopefully we can keep that good balance we have right now throughout the season.

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