Punters could have dual role

Wisconsin coach has been impressed with R.J. Morse and Ken DeBauche

R.J. Morse and Kenneth DeBauche have been through this before. During fall camp last season Morse was the incumbent punter, DeBauche a walk-on freshman brought in to compete for the starting job.

Morse held off DeBauche in a tight competition last fall and went on to have a respectable season, improving his per-punt average from 37.4 yards his sophomore season to 40.7 this year.

DeBauche, though, has also improved and used a strong spring during which Morse was on the shelf with an injury to propel himself into another fall camp competition. It is a competition that is far from settled.

"I haven't looked at the numbers. I think they both have been punting pretty well and fairly consistent," head coach Barry Alvarez said. "I tell you what, I feel pretty good about both of them right now. I think they're both much improved. Kenny's much more consistent. He really has hit the ball well. He's turning it over. R.J.'s really gotten his leg back… I think (the competition has) served us well. I think one of them will be a good punter for us."

Wisconsin could end up using each punter.

"I don't care who kicks. I don't care if it's two. It doesn't make any difference to me," Alvarez said. "I just want somebody we can depend on. And we may use both."

Alvarez did not specify who might play each role, but said that Morse or DeBauche could end up specializing as a pooch punter.

"I like to get as many guys involved as we possible can," Alvarez said. "If they've both kicked well we'll probably use them both, particularly if they are both very close."

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