Though two of the Wisconsin Badgers' projected starting linebackers are out due to minor injuries, the opportunity has risen for several less experienced players to step up in their absence in not just the first team, but second team reps as well.
That includes true freshman Alec Ingold, who showed some athleticism and power during Friday's practice.
The 6'2, 237-pounder intercepted a Joel Stave pass over the middle, as well as made some plays in the run game. Ingold received some first team reps, though senior Kellen Jones and redshirt freshman Ryan Connelly received the majority of the snaps with the starting defense.
Speaking of Jones, his reps did increase on Friday, and he laid a solid smack on junior running back Dare Ogunbowale midway through practice during team drills.
Jacobs still had the boot on his right foot, but Edwards did not have the sling on that was reported earlier this week.
Hayden Biegel injured
I arrived at Badgers practice about midway through practice on Friday and noticed redshirt freshman Beau Benzschawel taking reps at right tackle, with sophomore Hayden Biegel not on the field. He left practice before I arrived, and it was later confirmed he left with a head injury. BadgerNation.com's Ben Worgull noted offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph doesn't believe it is serious.
So, from what was seen mostly during the practice were the following (from left tackle to right tackle): Tyler Marz, Ray Ball, Dan Voltz, Michael Dieter, Benzschawel. Junior Walker Williams did see some time in on the rotation as well on the right side.
Rudolph noted Marz, Voltz and Dieter -- the latter a redshirt freshman who received first team reps during spring 2013 practices due to injuries to Voltz and Dallas Lewallen -- have earned their starting spots. That leaves left guard and right tackle open.
From what I saw during practice, the second string offensive line looked to be (from left tackle to right tackle): Jacob Maxwell, Micah Kapoi, George Panos, Jon Dietzen, Williams.
- Leo Musso intercepted two passes during practice, the last stepping in front of a Bart Houston throw and taking it for what could have been a pick-six if they would have kept the play going. The junior safety also picked off a Stave pass earlier on Friday.
- My first live look at the passing game was a mixed bag of intriguing, impressive completions and some errant throws. Stave had some nice zip and laid the ball out perfectly to Tanner McEvoy for a couple passes that would have been touchdowns, had some good strikes to wide receiver Alex Erickson and had a nice completion to sophomore Troy Fumagalli over the middle during skelly drills. There were a couple overthrows, but then again, it's only one practice.
- McEvoy played primarily on offense again in that red No. 3 jersey. Has been all week. Sophomore Lubern Figaro worked with the first-team defense in his place.
- There was a lot of red zone work today.
- Looking at the wide receivers, seniors Erickson and McEvoy received many reps with the first team, with Reggie Love, Robert Wheelwright, Jordan Fredrick and Jazz Peavy working in with the starting offense as well. Love caught a nice pass, going up for the ball over the middle that would have been a score.
- Senior safety Michael Caputo is a leader. Even when he's off the field, he's teaching. He was talking to true freshman safety Arrington Farrar, who was sitting out due to injury, and instructing the first year player as to the safety's responsibilities.
- Always fun to watch one-on-one drills between position groups. There were blitz pick-up drills where the offensive player needed to hold his own against a blitzing defender. Among those that stood out include sophomore Keelon Brookins getting the best of Benzschawel, sophomore cornerback Natrell Jamerson pushing past Ogunbowale and Caputo beating senior tight end Austin Traylor for would-be sacks.