MADISON - With the Badgers recovered from the illness that plagued them last week, it looks like Wisconsin is recovering from the injuries that has knocked three members of its offensive line.
With the Badgers going into their final tune-up before the Big Ten conference season with a match-up against FCS school Wofford, juniors John Moffitt and Bill Nagy, out since the beginning of fall camp, practiced Thursday and should see playing time on Saturday, according to head coach Bret Bielema.
"We definitely want to get them both in the game," Bielema said. "Yesterday and today were their most extensive work days and both of them were really good going into today, meaning that they weren't sore from yesterday. If they feel good tomorrow, I probably won't start them, but they'll definitely get reps."
After starting six games at left guard in 2007, Moffitt started all 13 games at center for the Badgers (the only lineman to start every game at the same position) but was put on the shelf when he hurt his pectoral muscle during weight training. Nagy played in eight games, starting three, and was slated to be the starting right guard until an off-season moped accident caused him to be limited because of an ankle injury.
Bielema plans to insert both upperclassmen into the lineup at some point, depending on the flow of the game and how they are feeling physically, especially with Moffitt, as the head coach has been pleased that there have been no problems on center-quarterback exchange.
"We don't want to go down that path unless we feel comfortable," Bielema said.
While redshirt freshman Kevin Zeitler has filled in admirably for Nagy, true freshman Travis Frederick, who started week one, was knocked out early in the first quarter in week two with a sprained right ankle, forcing him to miss the remainder of the game.
Placed in a walking boot throughout the week, Frederick is day-to-day with the injury.
"Travis Frederick, we have a good chance at getting him back on Saturday," Bielema said. "He might be a guy that, if we don't play him Saturday, he'll be good for next week."
With question marks at center, redshirt freshman Peter Konz, who held his own filling in for Frederick last week, will get his first career start.
"Pete was the next man in and did a great job," Bielema said. "I admit, if that happened on Tuesday in practice and practice all week … You just have that unknown …When it happens during the course of the game, you have no recourse."
Ball's time running out
After missing Thursday's practice with an illness, freshman Montee Ball is questionable to play Saturday, not good news for the Missouri running back that had high hopes of receiving time in the Badgers loaded backfield this season.
Through two games, Ball has yet to see the field, thus keeping his redshirt option open. With the Badgers primarily using John Clay and Zach Brown in the backfield with the occasional carry from Erik Smith, Ball's chances of receiving multiple carries remains slim.
"He's a guy that's been right there," Bielema said. "Because of the flow of the game, we didn't get him in in those first two. Now you're getting at a critical point because with those freshmen, there's a cutoff (sixth game of the season) when it's too late to play them."
Extra Points: Game plan is still to use both Scott Tolzien and Curt Phillips in the game preparation for Wofford … After missing practice Tuesday, Bradie Ewing has practiced the rest of the week and will be ready for Saturday.