Spring Practice: Day 12

With Saturday being a day designated for scrimmage work and redzone offense, quarterbacks Allan Evridge and Dustin Sherer show that the battle for starting quarterback is going to go down to the wire.

MADISON – For whatever reason, the Wisconsin weather just will not cooperate with head coach Bret Bielema and the rest of the Badger football team. Looking to have a full-go scrimmage at 10 a.m., and having a large audience of recruits in the stands, snow flurries and temperatures in the high 30s forced the Badgers back inside for their 12th practice of the season.

Wisconsin started off with field goal kicking with Matt Fischer and Phil Welch. With former Badger Taylor Mehlhaff looking on, Welch made all three of his field goal attempts from the left hash from 25, 25 and 31 yards. Fischer made his first from the right hash from 25 yards, missed his second from 32 yards wide right and made his 38-yard field goal from the center.

After five periods of individual work, the Badgers spent the rest of practice in team scrimmage work.

Six Offense vs. Seven Defense

Senior quarterback Allan Evridge tested No.1 left cornerback Mario Goins in coverage and succeeded, floating a perfect pass to Isaac Anderson that was just out of the reach of Goins.

Following suit, junior quarterback Dustin Sherer completed a nearly identical pass to Daven Jones and followed that up with a flawless pass on a 15-yard out route to tight end Lance Kendricks.

After putting his struggles to catch the ball behind him for the time being, the only thing Maurice Moore struggled to hold on to was his right shoe, as he lost it on a juke move after catching a pass in the middle of the field from Sherer. That did not stop him though, as he kept going downfield until the whistle blew.

Sophomore quarterback Scott Tolzien continued his push to get a look for the starting job, needling a pass between three defenders to Daven Jones on a slant over the middle.

On the very next play, Tolzien executed the very same play, only 20-yards deeper and Maurice Moore was the recipient of the pass, out racing cornerback Otis Merrill along the sideline.

Freshman Curt Phillips tried to equal that play, but his pass had too much air under it and allowed No.2 free safety Chris Maragos to catch up to the pass and nearly come up with the interception.

11 v. 11 (all plays run from the 20-yard line)

Mike Linebacker Elijah Hodge sniffed out a P.J. Hill screen, bull rushed into the backfield and tackled Hill after only a three-year gain.

Running back Lance Smith, seemingly stymied by safety Aubrey Pleasant and linebacker Erik Prather, pulled a double juke, which the two defenders bit on, and allowed Smith to see some daylight for a marginal gain.

Isaac Anderson caught a 15-yard out pass but as he went to tuck the ball safely away, No.1 free safety Shane Carter came from behind, got his hand on the ball and knocked it out, for the incomplete pass.

Redshirt freshman James Stallons had Daven Jones wide open on a crossing route over the middle as he bootlegged to the right but led Jones too far, as the pass was thrown too far in front of him.

Stallons went for the deep ball to Jones on a slant-and-go but got too much air under the pass, allowing Merrill to get another pass deflection and almost another interception.

After plenty of near picks, the defense finally registered a turnover when cornerback Prince Moody leaped to grab a Tolzien thrown pass for the interception.

The only skirmish of the afternoon came between junior defensive lineman Jeff Stehle and freshman lineman Jake Current, as the junior took exception to Current apparently grabbing him. The shoving match ended as quickly as it started, as the two were quickly separated with Stehle yelling some unpleasantries in Current's direction.

The play of the session was executed by Zach Brown, who took the handoff and sprinted around the end untouched. Out running everybody except Jay Valai, who eventually caught up to Brown around the 10 yards line, Brown made a tremendous cut back that made Valai grab nothing but air and allowed Brown to score the touchdown.


Notes on Allan Evridge's first series at quarterback. First-team offense vs. first-team defense.

On third and seven, Evridge completed a pass to Mickey Turner, who corralled it with his left hand, for an eight-yard gain and a first down.

On the very next play, Evridge connected with wide receiver David Gilreath, who was running a post route, on a perfect pass that went for a 40-yard gain.

Although he juggled the snap as he dropped back to pass, Evridge maintained his composure, rolled out to the right and connected with Lance Smith in the flat.

Evridge did more than pass the ball well, as he sold the hard count well enough to draw senior end Matt Shaughnessy over the line of scrimmage and gain five yards for the offense.

On the next play, Evridge handed off to Lance Smith, who looked to be stuck with nowhere to go in the backfield. Smith cut back to the middle, however, found a hole, bolted through it and dove over the goal line.

Notes on Dustin Sherer's first series at quarterback. First-team offense vs. first-team defense.

On his first play under center, Sherer went on a five-step drop and spotted a wide-open Kyle Jefferson, who snuck behind the secondary. Sherer delivered the pass and Jefferson went for 38 yards.

After two holding penalties (one being announced on Current) and two sacks, Sherer wasn't deterred on third and 19, as he found Moore for a 20-yard gain over the middle.

Lance Smith found the end zone for the second-straight series on a three-yard outside run. Getting the handoff, Smith simply out ran everybody to the corner and crossed the goal line untouched.

Notes on Allan Evridge's second series at quarterback. First-team offense vs. first-team defense.

One of Evridge's best passes was to Gilreath. With the sophomore running an eight-yard curl route, Evridge threw the pass just as Gilreath planted and was about to turn. By the time Gilreath turned to face Evridge, the ball was halfway there and the receiver had an easy catch.

Running the bootleg to the right, Evridge threw across his body to Anderson, who was open in the middle, for a nine-yard gain.

Another great pass from Evridge came on a perfect touch pass to Anderson, who has turned in his best two practices of the spring season this week. Anderson got separation from cornerback Niles Brinkley and Valai and Evridge connected with the touch pass down inside the five.

With his arm doing much of the work, Evridge decided to earn some props with his legs. Bootlegging out to the right and with all his receivers covered, Evridge put his head down and plowed into the end zone.

Notes on Dustin Sherer's second series at quarterback. Second-team offense vs. second-team defense.

Sherer started his series with a 14-yard pass to Maurice Moore but free safety Maragos was Johnny-on-the-spot, laying a big hit on Moore as soon as he turned up field. Moore was sent straight to the turf, where he lay motionless for a minute or two before catching his breath and returning to the huddle.

After watching Evridge run the bootleg, Sherer one-upped his teammate, selling the run to the right perfectly and keeping the ball no a naked bootleg. With the entire defense buying the run, Sherer had a wide open field in front of him. The only thing that stopped him was the 20-yard line, as he tripped trying to make a cut move over a pursuing safety.


Drive Number One with Evridge (first team vs. first team)

Evridge went for the touchdown right away, throwing the pass in the direction of Jefferson. The only problem was Goins had excellent coverage on the receiver and forced the incompletion.

On the next play, Zach Brown took the handoff through the right side but was stripped from behind by lineman Jeff Stehle. The ball bounced right to Will Linebacker Jae McFadden, who returned it 10 yards up-field. Drive Number Two with Sherer (second team vs. second team)

First play was a handoff to Smith for three yards.

Second play was a bootleg to the right, but good coverage by the secondary force Sherer to try to run. The result was a coverage sack and a four-yard loss. Stehle continued to have a good scrimmage when he found a hole through the middle and tagged Sherer for the sack.

On fourth down, Matt Fischer nailed a 35-yard field goal.

Drive Number Three with Evridge (second team vs. first/second team offense)

John Clay took a sweep to the right that only garnered three yards.

Shaughnessy made up for the false start earlier by getting Evridge on a sack; a sack that was caused by him just muscling through the offensive line.

Jay Valai missed out on an interception when Evridge's pass from the shotgun formation hit him square in the chest and bounced off. Adding insult to injury, Valai was pounding the ground in frustration when Jonathan Casillas dog piled on him.

Second and Third Team Scrimmage, 9 vs. 9

Scott Tolzien unleashed a bullet spiral to Daven Jones that went for a 10-yard gain.

Tolzien avoided a rushing Ricky Garner by stepping up in the pocket and completing a pass to Smith.

James Stallons avoided another sack by stepping up in the pocket and spotted Jones down the left sideline. With Jones having a step on the defender, Stallons delivered the 60-yard pass that led Jones perfectly, as the freshman caught the ball and waltzed into the end zone.

Freshman safety Adam Hampton foiled a sideline route by Smith with excellent coverage, extending his arm into the passing lane and knocking the ball away.

Patrick Butrym beat Josh Oglesby on the end for the sack, but he stopped short to allow freshman Curt Phillips to complete the pass to fellow-freshman tight end Jake Byrne.

After a shaky pass to Lance Smith, Phillips overthrew Mickey Turner in the flat and overthrew Daven Jones, which turned out to be the last play of the two hour, 35 minute scrimmage Saturday.

Wisconsin returns to the practice field Tuesday night for spring practice number 13 at 7:55 p.m.

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