Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Loss of Hill means chance for freshman

[media-credit name=’JEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′]FBNote_JS[/media-credit]When running back P.J. Hill left the game late in the first quarter with what turned out to be a bruise to his left foot, the onus of carrying the Wisconsin running game fell to Zach Brown and Lance Smith.

The duo responded by rushing for a combined 119 yards and carrying the ball 29 times.

"They’ve done it in practice," tight end Travis Beckum said. "That’s something I’ve seen, and that’s something I think young players need to do, especially playing behind P.J."


Brown started out the game involved in the offense and carried the ball five times during the first quarter to spell Hill.

"Every game, you come in thinking you’re going to get the playing time," Brown said. "Fortunately, I got more playing time, so you just have to continue to do what you have to do."

Brown did just that, scoring his first collegiate touchdown on a six-yard run in the second quarter.

"Growing up you always have dreams of playing college football and getting that touchdown. Being able to do that is just great," Brown said, adding that the moment was "not as long as [he] thought."

A true freshman from Royal Palm, Fla., Brown’s running has gotten stronger and stronger as the weeks have passed. With Hill dinged up and Smith unable to travel to the upcoming road game at Ohio State Saturday due to suspension, there is the real possibility the true freshman who broke camp as the team’s number three running back could end up getting a lot of work against the nation’s top-ranked team.

With that game looming, the extra work can only help Brown get ready.

"I think that was good for a young player, especially playing a big team this upcoming week, getting those mental reps," Beckum said.

Just havin’ fun out there

The past two weeks have seen a dramatic turnaround in the overall play of the Wisconsin defense. After giving up nearly 26 points per game in the first seven games of the season, the Badger defense has responded by allowing only a field goal in each of the last two games.

The secret to the Wisconsin defense’s resurgence isn’t necessarily found in a new, intricate defensive game plan. Instead, the Badgers have been focusing on having fun.

"We weren’t doing that the previous two games that we lost, and we just realized you gotta have fun," defensive tackle Nick Hayden said. "It’s football. We love the sport. We just have to go out and have fun."

Can a simple "have fun" attitude make that big of a difference in a team’s play?

"I think it does. Plus we’re winning too," defensive lineman Mike Newkirk said. "It’s easier to go have fun when you’re winning. The hard part is to find a reason to have fun when you’re down. That’s the times that are the hardest."

If having fun is the magic solution, the Badgers have been spinning some tricks lately.

Against Northern Illinois, the Badgers held running back Justin Anderson — the nation’s sixth-leading rusher going into the game — to a mere 14 yards on the ground.

More impressive was the job cornerback Jack Ikegwuonu did on Indiana standout wide receiver James Hardy this past Saturday. Hardy caught only four balls for 17 yards, well below his 93-yard per game average prior to this weekend.

"[James] Hardy, he’s no slouch," cornerback Aaron Henry said. "Last week, you saw what he did against Penn State, and he’s a [6-foot-7] guy. So Jack Ikegwuonu, my hat really goes off to him … he just went out there and played ball.

Badgers on Big Ten Network … again

For the third consecutive week, Wisconsin’s game against national No. 1 Ohio State will be televised on the Big Ten Network, the network announced Sunday. The game will kickoff at 11 a.m. from Columbus, Ohio.

As part of the network’s agreement with the conference, each school must play at least two football games — one of which a conference game — on the network each season. The top-ranked Buckeyes have played three games thus far which were shown on the BTN, but none were against conference foes. With Ohio State’s season-ending game against Michigan already picked up by ABC, there were two options left for the Buckeyes to play on the BTN: the Wisconsin game this week or the Nov. 10 game against Illinois.

On campus, the BTN is only available in the dormitories or with a satellite dish.

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