Wisconsin Badgers Spring Game Preview

Finally, a football Saturday again! OK, so it's not the same as a Saturday in the fall, but we're going to treat tomorrow's spring game as such.

As always, B5Q will bring you comprehensive football coverage all day long. Since the game is not live on television, we'll provide a little more description in our live game thread than normal, but still bring you the same analysis you are used to. Of course, you can also follow along on Twitter @B5Q. After the game, we'll have all the reaction from players and coaches in the locker room as well as in-depth postgame analysis.

How will the game be played?

Bret Bielema has changed the format of the spring game a little bit as all offensive players will wear red and all defensive players will wear white. In that regard, the game will be run more like a normal scrimmage in practice.

There will be four 12-minute quarters and a 15 minute halftime. Sometimes they don't stop the clock in the second half, but that may be a decision that is made during the game.

Because all the offensive players are on one team, the white team can only score on defense or during the rapid-fire kick contests that take place in between quarters. Bielema said the white team would be spotted some points at the start of each quarter as well.

Where can we find a roster?

If you are going to the game, I highly recommend you print out a copy of the roster here. There will be no game programs to purchase at the game.

Also, I've been told the Badgers will wear new jerseys tomorrow which could become their regular jerseys in the fall.

What should we be looking for?

There are a number of storylines to pay attention to Saturday. First off, all eyes will be on redshirt sophomore quarterback Jon Budmayr who will lead the No. 1 offense. After Curt Phillips suffered another setback to his right knee recently, Budmayr appears to be the only real option to the start the season opener against UNLV Sept. 1.

But is he ready?

Budmayr has shown flashes of brilliance during the spring, but his inexperience has also resulted in a number of mistakes. Saturday Budmayr will have a chance to run the offense in a game-like atmosphere in front of a crowd at Camp Randall Stadium.

There's also the issue of who Budmayr will throw the ball to. Nick Toon has been out all spring after undergoing surgery on his foot in the offseason. With Toon out, Jared Abbrederis has taken over as the No. 1 wide receiver, but beyond him, there aren't a whole lot of options. It was revealed this week that Marquis Mason tore an ACL and will miss the 2011 season. That leaves Jeff Duckworth, Chase Hammond and true freshman Kenzel Doe as the other receiving options Saturday. You'll see plenty of all three.

At tight end, Jacob Pedersen is going to miss the spring game after tweaking his ankle in practice. Jake Byrne and Brian Wozniak will see most of the reps at tight end, but it will also be interesting to get a good look at Manasseh Garner who played wide receiver as a true freshman and has made the full time switch to tight end.

On defense, it's all about finding new voices and new leaders. J.J. Watt and Jay Valai are gone and while the defensive line and secondary will have a ton of returning experience, it will be hard to replace the leadership that Watt and Valai brought to the table. Look for Aaron Henry to fill that role in the spring game and Chris Borland to captain the defense in the fall when he returns.

With Borland out Saturday, redshirt freshman linebacker Marcus Trotter will see the majority of the time with the No. 1 defense. Keep an eye on him.

There is plenty more to examine Saturday and I look forward to bringing you all the analysis tomorrow from Camp Randall Stadium. Keep in mind that if you are going to the game, you can access Bucky's 5th Quarter on your mobile device and follow the live thread right from your seat inside the stadium.

Feel free to leave any questions you have in the comments section or send me a tweet @B5Q. You can also e-mail me at aahoge@gmail.com.

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