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Post-Practice Roundup, Day 6: Wisconsin preps for Monday scrimmage

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With a Saturday-morning two-a-day, the Badgers ended the first week of fall camp. With the first scrimmage looming on Monday, we could be close to getting some clarity among the most significant position battles.

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Wisconsin went through the first two-a-day of fall camp on Saturday, taking the Camp Randall Stadium field from 9:30-11:15 a.m. before the second session 5:50-7:20 p.m. The Badgers will be off Sunday before scrimmaging for the first time Monday.

That scrimmage will be open to the public, with Gate 1 opening at 3 p.m. before the scrimmage starts at 3:30.

Reports from Saturday morning indicate a fine, but occasionally sloppy effort from the Badgers in their final practice of fall camp's first week.

That would be reserve safety Isaiah Williams replacing freshman linebacker Garret Dooley, who dislocated his knee cap on Wednesday, Wisconsin's first significant injury of fall camp. Not long after that practice, Dooley tweeted he was "ok" and should "be good to go in just a few weeks."

Seems like a pretty standard, weekend morning practice in the first week of camp. Some more depth chart notes and quick-hits:

-- Kyle Costigan and Zac Matthias continue to split reps at first-team right guard. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chatted with Costigan, who continues to work back into shape after right knee surgery kept him out of winter conditioning and spring ball.

"I haven't played football since the Rose Bowl so I am a little rusty," Costigan said after UW's practice Saturday morning. "I've just got to focus on what coach Woods tells me to do every day. Hopefully within a couple weeks I can be back to where I need to be. It just takes a little time.

"I know my assignments. It is more technique...Before I was just an effort guy who didn't have the best technique. Coach Woods is trying to correct that. He is a technician."

-- Senior Conor O'Neill and junior Derek Landisch continue to battle for one of the inside linebacker spots.

-- Today's injuries, via Potrykus: Marcus Trotter (right leg), wide receiver Reggie Love (left knee), tight Austin Traylor (left foot) and running back Austin Ramesh (right knee).

-- Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal has a column-y look at the quarterback race, noting the coaches will begin moving back from working within the huddle to observe how Joel Stave, Curt Phillips and Tanner McEvoy progress through the fall. It's impossible to handicap the race at this point; Stave and Phillips are neck-and-neck, and probably a half step ahead of McEvoy. But for every mistake that first pair makes, McEvoy continues to compensate for his newness to the team with impressive play.

Phillips' decision-making has been sharp, while Stave might be the most well-rounded of the bunch. McEvoy is raw and not always mechanically sound, but his ability to create outside of the pocket and tailor his game more naturally to Gary Andersen and Andy Ludwig's offense will keep him in the race until a starter is announced.

One note: Oates seems to indicate redshirt freshman Bart Houston has a puncher's chance at reentering the race. That'd be all Houston has, if any, in my book. His arm has been as powerful as expected, but as Ludwig says, "He's got to tighten up who he's throwing it to." The new staff isn't looking for a quarterback to be the central playmaker in this offense; between the backfield combination of James White and Melvin Gordon and the advantage presented by a varied, complex offense, the quarterback will really only have to be slightly more than a game manager.

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