MADISON -- Through a week-and-a-half of fall camp, the Wisconsin Badgers have not had a day off. That will change come Thursday, after head coach Gary Andersen announced Wednesday that practice would be canceled:
#Badgers second practice done. A lot of guys sitting out. Andersen has cancelled practice tomorrow to give guys some time to heal.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) August 13, 2014
GA cancels practice Thurs so guys can heal bumps and bruises. It will be #Badgers first off day since camp stated. Also moving day upcoming— Benjamin Worgull (@TheBadgerNation) August 13, 2014
I only saw sessions 8-to-12 Wednesday afternoon, but here's what I gathered:
George Rushing drawing attention
I like to temper enthusiasm for true freshmen coming into camp. Any talk and hype can be premature. It's only a week-and-a-half into camp, so the true adjustment to college life really doesn't start until classes begin, and a lot can happen between now and the first game on Aug. 30.
Wide receiver George Rushing is starting to challenge my timidness.
The 6'1, 190-pound athlete caught two touchdown passes from junior quarterback Joel Stave in red-zone skeleton drills, along with going up and making a nice reception from Tanner McEvoy -- contested heavily by a defensive back -- during 11-on-11 drills.
There are many true freshmen that have a chance of making a definite impact besides Rushing. Kicker Rafael Gaglianone has impressed with his accuracy and
cannon for a leg distance. Rushing's counterparts at wide receiver, Natrell Jamerson and Krenwick Sanders, have flashed as well. Safety Lubern Figaro (pronounced Fi-GAR-o) has played opposite junior Mike Caputo with the No. 1 defense the past couple of days.
There's a nice mix of talented upperclassmen and freshmen on this year's team.
Stave and McEvoy: The dueling saga continues
I only saw them throw during red-zone skelly drills and some 11-on-11 work. Stave got most of the work with the No. 1 offense, with McEvoy getting the majority of the snaps with the 2s.
Evening #Badgers practice is wrapping up. I had Stave at 6-for-9 in team drills, McEvoy at 4-for-9.— John Veldhuis (@JohnVeldhuis) August 13, 2014
Both QBs had good and bad moments in redzone skelly. Stave & McEvoy combined for 5 TDs but struggled inside the 5. #badgers— John Veldhuis (@JohnVeldhuis) August 13, 2014
Also among the skelly highlights was Stave hitting Rushing for those two scores, along with McEvoy hitting Alex Erickson. I liked the zip on McEvoy's passes.
The bad during the skelly: McEvoy had a couple of overthrows to the tight ends, and Stave couldn't find some of the receivers in coverage.
Is Stave starting to grab a lead in the quarterback competition? Maybe, but then again, this is only what the media's seeing.
- It was interesting to see some option work during practice. You saw very little read-option in 2013. From my vantage point, there may have been one read-option out of the shotgun (maybe pistol?) formation when Stave was in. One option play did not go as well, as the pitch between McEvoy and true freshman running back Taiwan Deal was fumbled and returned for a touchdown by senior inside linebacker Derek Landisch.
- I didn't make it out to the morning practice, so here's a Twitter roundup of the a.m. news and notes:
#Badgers worked on kickoff coverage today: Endicott with top unit, then Gaglianone and then Russell.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 13, 2014
#Badgers OLB Vince Biegel left practice today -- possible head injury. Suspected to be minor.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 13, 2014
Tidbit of the day: #Badgers freshman NG Jeremy Patterson's nickname is "Smoke." Teammate: "That’s what we call him. Don’t know really why."— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) August 13, 2014
#Badgers NG Warren Herring: "I feel like we have one of the best coaching staffs in the country, if not the best."— Evan Flood (@Evan_Flood) August 13, 2014
- Afternoon injury report: I didn't see Biegel out there, and saw wide receivers Connor Cummins, Robert Wheelwright and Jazz Peavy catching balls on the jugs machine. BadgerNation's Ben Worgull has more notes from those who did not participate in the afternoon practice. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus also noted Krenwick Sanders left with an unspecified injury. I saw guards Trent Denlinger and Ray Ball working with the No. 1 offense, probably giving some rest to seniors Dallas Lewallen and Kyle Costigan during this two-a-day.
#badgers hurting. Biegel (head) out. Landisch hurt hammy this afternoon and will need time off. Many others nicked up.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 13, 2014
When Landisch went down, #Badgers had Marcus Trotter and Ben Ruechel at ILB. Ruechel a SR walk-on from Oconto.— Jeff Potrykus (@jaypo1961) August 13, 2014