One of the primary factors in the Badgers ranking 10th in the Big Ten in passing offense has been the lack of a tight end that's a receiving threat.
Sophomore Bob Docherty has missed almost the entire Big Ten season with a nagging ankle sprain, and the Badgers have felt the effects of his absence.
"The (tight ends) haven't been a factor," Coach Barry Alvarez said Monday. "When Docherty was healthy early, when we had (Mark) Anelli and some people, there are some things you can do there for your intermediate (passing game). Intermediate routes, intermediate third-down situations where you can pick up first downs, and we haven't been able to go to that. That has been a factor."
That situation will be alleviated with the return of Docherty this weekend.
Tight Ends Coach Paul Chryst said he expects Docherty to step up and and play well.
"I think this week, he's finally getting over the hump," Chryst said. "Like anything, you think you're good with (the injury) and then you get out and you have to push on it and move, and you find out you're not quite as healthy as you need to be to play. It's been a long injury and he's just now coming out of it."
But Chryst said he wouldn't blame the injury for the Badgers' woes in the passing game.
"I'm confident with Tony (Paciotti) too. His strengths and weaknesses are different," Chryst said. "But if you're going to be good, if somebody goes down you have to be able to just plug another guy in. And not everybody is the same. You just have to use them the way you can."
Docherty Will Return This Week
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