Badgers ready for two-a-days

MADISON, Wis. - The Badgers practiced in full pads for the first time this fall on Friday afternoon at Camp Randall Stadium, which allowed the team to do some live contact drills throughout the session. Media members were allowed in to watch about 45 minutes of practice, and my notes from the open session of practice and some quotes from Gary Andersen are included below.
Badgers getting closer to scrimmage
The Badgers will hold their first scrimmage of fall camp on Monday from 3:40 to 5:10 p.m. Andersen said the scrimmage will look a lot like their spring game from late April, with a unique scoring system to keep track of points. The Badgers will do live kickoffs and kickoff returns to start the scrimmage, but then they'll break down into some team drills.
Andersen said the Badgers will run a few "drive-it" drills during the scrimmage, much like the spring game where the offense will start at either the 25-yard line or the 30-yard line. Andersen said they'll do live punting, but the team won't do live punt return just yet. The specialists will get some PAT and field goal work in the middle of the scrimmage, and then the team will run a few redzone drills to finish off the practice. Andersen is hoping to get about 100 reps in during the scrimmage, and if the Badgers need a few more they'll add on a two-minute drill session at the end.
Arms Race
The quarterback battle should jump up a notch over the next few days. Andersen and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig originally said they'd like to narrow their three-man field down to two either before or after the team's scrimmage on Monday afternoon. That means that Joel Stave, Curt Phillips and Tanner McEvoy have two practices and a scrimmage to show the coaches something that might separate themselves from the pack.
Andersen also said that the Badgers obviously won't let the defense tackle or hit the quarterbacks during the scrimmage, but he still wants to see how they react to a little extra pressure from the defense.
"The live reps that we get are so very important," Andersen said. "We're not going to tackle the quarterback on Monday, but we're going to buzz the quarterback pretty tight on Monday just to see how we can truly react to pressure and the ability to get out of things."
"Skelly" Drill
Curt Phillips: 3-for-8, TD (eight total reps)
Joel Stave: 6-for-7, TD (seven total reps)
Tanner McEvoy: 2-for-5, TD, INT (five total reps)
Joel Stave: 4-for-7 (eleven total reps)
Curt Phillips: 0-for-1 (six total reps)
Tanner McEvoy: 2-for-4 (ten total reps)
Joel Stave: 1-for-2 (six total reps)
Curt Phillips: 3-for-3, TD (seven total reps)
Injury Report
The following players missed all or part of practice:
Matt Miller
Devin Gaulden
Marquis Mason
Ethan Armstrong
Marcus Trotter
News and Notes
Whatever expectations the Badgers had for true freshman running back Corey Clement, it's pretty safe to say that he's meeting or exceeding all of them. Clement had another strong day of practice on Friday afternoon, at least during the part that was open to the media. Clement is a very decisive runner for a young player, and Andersen had a few positive things to say about him after practice.
"What I saw was, number one he's tough," Andersen said. "Number two he's very smart and he's handled the offense well. Number three he has unbelievable ball security for a freshman. He came in here well rounded, and what we'd hoped to get out of him in camp- it's definitely moving in that direction."
Andersen also said Leon Jacobs has impressed him so far, considering just how little organized football the 6-foot-2 outside linebacker has played during his career.
"Leon is doing well. Getting to this point in camp- mentally he's handled it well," Andersen said. "There's a lot coming at him. He hit a wall with just all of it coming at him I thought yesterday, but he bounced back."
I think Jacobs is pretty explosive for such a raw player. I'll be interested to see what he can do after a season or two in the weight room and on the team's nutrition plan.
Senior inside linebacker Chris Borland had a few nice plays today too, but that's kind of the norm for Borland. Andersen raved about Borland's anticipation and instincts after practice:
"It's all coaching," Andersen joked. "He is unbelievably instinctive. I can go on and on about that kid- you know my feelings about him. Great defenders a lot of times play the snap before the snap is played. It'll hurt some of them sometimes, and it'll hurt him sometimes but he's right more than he's wrong."
Andersen said Borland reminds him of San Diego Chargers All-Pro safety Eric Weddle, who played for Andersen at Utah.
Name that tune
Do you know who likes Top Five lists? Everybody, that's who.
My top five songs the Badgers played at practice today:
Cups - Anna Kendrick (It's her birthday!)
U Can't Touch This - MC Hammer
Ring of Fire - Johnny Cash
Short Skirt Long Jacket - Cake
Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
Up Next
The Badgers will practice twice on Saturday morning and again in the evening. The first practice will run from 9:30 to 11:15 a.m. That practice is open to members of the media at 10:30. Their second practice (closed to the media) is scheduled to run from 5:50 to 7:20 p.m., and there is no availability at the conclusion of the second practice.
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