Friday's UW Spring Practice Report

With the spring game less than 24 hours away, practice 14 for Wisconsin was a light day without pads. Nevertheless, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien and freshman Jon Budmayr were thrown into the fire with a two-minute drill.

MADISON - Going only 18 periods in only helmets, it was evident from the beginning that Friday's Wisconsin football practice would have a conservative tone. With time spent mostly on individual work, skelly and 11-on-11 work, a better gauge of the Badgers will be how they perform tomorrow in the annual spring game, which is expected to be a decently-sized crowd with weather projected to be sunny in the low 60s.

After an injury-free practice Friday, the only player expected to miss the spring game is junior wide receiver Nick Toon, who fell awkwardly on his back in an in-practice scrimmage last Saturday. Toon did not participate in drills Friday.

One player on the fence for tomorrow is linebacker Kevin Claxton. Suffering from tightness in his back, Claxton was limited Friday and the staff is hopeful he will be able to participate tomorrow.

Saturday's spring game will be set up with the No.1 offense against the No.2 defense and the No.1 defense against the No.1 offense. The team in red will be the ones and the white team will be the twos. According to Bielema, points will count double for the white team and both kickers – junior Philip Welch and freshman Alec Lerner – will have a kicking competition in the middle to earn extra points for their respective team.

Two-minute drill

The biggest thing UW worked on Friday was running the two-minute offense, a drill that was second nature at times to senior quarterback Scott Tolzien but seemed to rattle freshman Jon Budmayr.

Early in the drill, Isaac Anderson was on the receiving end of a beautiful sideline throw by Tolzien. Tolzien aired out the pass just far enough to keep it out of the reach of junior cornerback Niles Brinkley and place it where only Anderson could get his hands on it. The senior receiver secured it and got two feet in bounds before crossing out of the field of play.

One play later, Tolzien looked back in Anderson's direction on an out route. Anderson secured the pass on a leaping catch as Brinkley pushed him out of bounds. The defense stepped up later in the drive after Tolzien got the ball inside the 20. After J.J. Watt forced pressure into the backfield, allowing the pass to be knocked down at the line of scrimmage, junior defensive tackle Patrick Butrym, the only experienced defensive tackle on the roster, burst through the center of the line for a sack.

Two defensive stops on third and fourth down allowed the defense to keep points off the board.

Budmayr's drive didn't get started off so cleanly, as A.J. Fenton jumped an out route for an interception. Budmayr rebounded immediately, hitting Jared Abbrederis on an inside slant route to get UW to its own 45.

After two incomptions, Budmayr hit Brian Wozniak open in the flat for a first down. Unfortunately for him, Fenton popped up again, intercepting a poorly thrown pass in the flat for another interception.

UW gave Budmayr another chance on third-and-3, which he converted by hitting Abbrederis on an underthrown pass. Abbrederis connected on a 16-yard comebacker to move the chains to the 12 and get a first down with 45 seconds left. Unfortunately for him, Budmayr got jumped again, this time by Marcus Cromartie. Rolling out to his left, Budmayr tried to hit Jeff Duckworth inside the goal line, but Cromartie jumped the route to record Budmary's third interception in 10 minutes.

In the Crowd

One day after accepting a scholarship offer from the University of Wisconsin, Merrill tight end Sam Arneson made the two-hour drive with his parents to Madison to watch practice and will spend the night for tomorrow's spring game. Arneson, who has yet to be ranked by, watched practice wearing his red Wisconsin windbreaker and spoke with Joe Rudolph during UW's water break.

Joining him at practice were Minnetonka (Minn.) defensive tackle Beau Allen and Cypress Bay (Fla.) lineman Joe McNamara, both in town for the spring game.

Of the many UW targets at practice, the biggest name was County Day High (Mich.) wide receiver Kenny Knight. At 6-foot-4 and with a 4.5 40-yard dash speed, Knight has already received offers from Central Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Up Next

Wisconsin will close its 15 practice spring schedule tomorrow with its annual spring game. The game is at 2 p.m. and admission is free.

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