MADISON - If anyone was wondering what life would be like without two main contributors at wide receiver, Saturday might just fulfill those thoughts.
Both Nick Toon (turf toe) and David Gilreath (concussion) have been ruled out for Saturday's showdown against Arizona State inside Camp Randall.
"All of the defensive guys practiced all week," Bielema said. "So it's really just the two big guys on offense."
Instead of having two trusty veterans, the Badgers will see Isaac Anderson and a stable of youngsters in Jared Abbrederis and potentially Manasseh Garner filling in.
"Manasseh has been right there every game to where we've been," Bielema said. "If you guys remember we didn't use Montee Ball until game four of last year. What we don't want to do with a young player, and this has kind of been our staff philosophy, is put somebody in there that's not ready.
"Manasseh has been right there and it's been tough to get him into those games."
At this point, the true freshman still has the ability to keep his redshirt status as long as he weren't to play a down. However, with the depth at the position where it's at, it seems the opportunity of playing may outweigh the benefits of redshirting.
"Because of the reps, even going back to last week, he's practiced a lot more," Bielema said. "We'll probably see him in action this week."
Other depth chart news:
-Ricky Wagner will get the start at right tackle over Josh Oglesby. Oglesby suffered a knee injury in the second half of the San Jose State game. While Bielema says Oglesby is close to being ready to play, he still wants to go with Wagner just to make sure Oglesby is fully healed.
"He's kind of surprised us," Bielema said. "He was mixed in their on Tuesday. Yesterday he did everything with the individual stuff and today he did some team. If he doesn't play Saturday he should be back full go next week."
-Bill Nagy will get the start but Kevin Zeitler will still get playing time. It's basically a similar situation to what it was a week ago.
"It's kind of the same plan now until one of them kind of takes over the position," Bielema said. "We split the reps equally all during practice. If anything ever happened at left guard we'd move Billy over there and Zeitler would pop in right away. That's why Ryan Groy is playing so much at fullback because he's not going to see the field unless something significant happens there."
Pleading with the crowd:
When a team like Arizona State rolls into Camp Randall trying to accumulate 80-100 plays from scrimmage, it can become beneficial for the home crowd to get noisy because it would affect the checks at the line of scrimmage.
Bielema, his staff and his players are well aware of that.
"Camp Randall, we've got an unbelievable record here over the past five years," Bielema said. "We're 37-4 which is like fourth or fifth in the country. Obviously I think we have a lot to do with it on the field but Camp Randall and the energy it brings is like a whole nother level when its rocking and rolling.
"The student section, with a 2:30 start should be there as well."
The following is the audio file from Bielema's presser.