Wisconsin is used to struggling though its non-conference schedule shorthanded.
The well-documented Shoebox suspensions hamstrung both sides of the ball for the first four games of 2000. If UW’s offense sputters early in the season once again, at least it knows a form of relief is coming for that fifth game — this year’s Big Ten opener at Penn State.
Broderick Williams is expected to return from a sprained knee that sidelined him for five months on Sept. 22.
Williams was slotted as the No. 1 tailback in spring football until April 2, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on the turf at the Badgers’ indoor practice facility. When a MRI revealed that the injury would require surgery, the 200-pound sophomore was expected to sit out for six to eight months, which would have left his return questionable for this fall.
“He’s looking pretty good for being hurt so recently,” senior tight end Mark Anelli said.
Williams was reportedly moving well when he joined his teammates in practice, just five days after he started participating in drills on Aug. 7.
In preparation for the Eddie Robinson Classic, Wisconsin began camp earlier than most schools, and Williams’ presence was encouraging. Redshirt freshman Anthony Davis said Williams’ return enabled the group vying for the tailback spot to “come together.”
Davis, as well as fellow freshmen Tyron Griffin and Jerone Pettus, competed for most of the summer for the job of Williams’ replacement.
Williams, no stranger to injury after suffering a similar sprain on his right knee in high school, said he had not thought the recovery period would be as long as the doctors predicted.
“Nobody knows your body but yourself,” Williams told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “When I injured my knee in high school, it was ugly. I couldn’t even walk. This time I didn’t even think I was hurt that bad.”