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Badger Bits: Toon and Gilreath Likely Out for Saturday

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Junior wide receiver Nick Toon is dealing with a nagging turf toe injury, and the same injury that forced to him to miss the San Jose State game will also likely keep him out of Saturday's matchup with Arizona State. Senior wideout David Gilreath suffered a scary concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit in last week's game, and it's unlikely that we'll see him on the field Saturday. If both of these guys are out, look for more playing time for Jared Abbrederis and Kyle Jefferson.

It's not like the Badgers have been going with much of an aerial attack so far this season anyway (only 42 pass attempts compared to 96 rushes), but generally, the tougher the opponent, the higher the likelihood that you'll need to throw the ball more often. With only three receivers healthy who have ever caught a pass for the Badgers in a game (Isaac Anderson, Jefferson, Abbrederis), either the Badgers will be limited in how many receivers they can have out on the field, or we may see some new faces at wideout (Jeff Duckworth perhaps?). Either way, expect everyone on the offense who is healthy on Saturday to pick up the slack accordingly, but don't be surprised if the offense struggles more than usual.

After the jump, we've got more Badger links, and a recap of Wisconsin's business trip to Hawaii last season.

Wisconsin used a bye week to recover from the loss to Northwestern before heading out west to take on Hawaii. Not a whole lot at stake here for the Badgers, except for the difference between going 9-3 and 8-4. On the other hand, Hawaii needed this victory to become bowl-eligible. Could the Badgers take care of business in the Aloha State?

Link to 2009 Wisconsin/Hawaii Game Highlights

Wisconsin Badgers (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten) at Hawaii Warriors (6-6), December 5, 2009 - The last time the Badgers had a bye week to prepare for their opponent, they came out and destroyed Purdue by a score of 37-0. I'm sure Hawaii would have preferred playing the Badgers one week earlier. Hawaii had a lot to play for and there were concerns that the Warriors would tear up the Wisconsin secondary, but the Badgers came to play. John Clay opened up the scoring on a 2 yard run, his first of three rushing touchdowns. He also racked up 172 yards.

Four other Badgers scored rushing touchdowns for a grand total of seven on the night: Montee Ball, David Gilreath, Scott Tolzien, and Dustin Sherer. Yes, you heard me correctly, Dustin Sherer. The former starting quarterback turned player-coach got the call to play in the fourth quarter and responded with a 11-yard QB bootleg touchdown run that couldn't help but make you smile. Hawaii could have intrepreted it as running up the score, but it was a great moment for the senior. Other oddities in this game included Chris Borland kicking three extra points after Philip Welch botched one. All in all, a solid performance for Bucky, who finished the season 9-3 and earned an invite to the Champs Sports Bowl for the second year in a row. This time, the opponent was Miami.

More Links:

Tight end Jacob Pedersen pretended he was Terrelle Pryor last season.

Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson was close to becoming Wisconsin's head coach in 1986.

Don't place bets on Kraig Appleton returning to play for the Badgers.

The Heisman buzz for John Clay has been low at best, but he's still in the hunt.

Patrick Butrym and Antonio Fenelus discuss the Arizona State matchup.

Here's a video preview by Adam Rittenberg with his prediction for Arizona State/Wisconsin.