MADISON - Poor weather forced the Badgers to practice inside the McClain Center once again on Wednesday afternoon, but they still let local media members in to watch the final 30 minutes of practice. I jotted down a few notes from the sidelines, which I've included below.
-- Both Joel Stave and Curt Phillips had some nice passes today. Phillips showed some surprising arm strength and zipped a pass into Jacob Pedersen's hands near the end of practice. Stave also had a 40-yards touchdown pass to Jordan Fredrick, who beat cornerback Peniel Jean and got behind the coverage.
It's still too early to say whether one or the other will start this season, but I feel comfortable saying that the competition will come down to the two of them and Tanner McEvoy once the junior college quarterback gets on to campus. Bart Houston has shown flashes for most of spring, but he's still a little too inconsistent to really compete with Stave and Phillips for the starting job.
-- Ray Ball took reps with the first team at right guard today, in place of Zac Matthias. I'm not sure if Matthias is hurt or if the coaches just wanted to see Ball work with the first team, but that's definitely an interesting move for the redshirt sophomore. Ball has spent most of his time working with the second team offensive line at left guard, so we'll see if moving him over to the right side is just a temporary thing or something the coaches would like to see more of in the future.
-- Running back Melvin Gordon took team reps again, and looked pretty good for someone that's not 100 percent healthy. As long as he stays healthy, I'm going to stick by my admittedly not very bold prediction that Gordon leads the team in rushing this year. A lot depends on how the offensive line plays together, but he has the talent to be a top rusher in the conference.
-- I don't think Kyle French is in any danger of losing his starting job, but Chris Borland hit a 20-yard field goal at the end of practice. Beau Allen got in on the action as the holder.
-- In case you were planning on attending another open practice: inclement weather is forecasted for Friday, so the Badgers have opened up their Monday practice to the public instead. That practice is scheduled for 4 p.m., and will run for about 90 minutes. The practice is free to attend, and one fan will win two season tickets.
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