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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Gilreath dazzles before hometown fans

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— Before the Wisconsin football team even arrived in Minneapolis, return man
David Gilreath was there. With the permission of head coach Bret Bielema, the
New Hope, Minn., native left the UW campus early to spend some extra time with
his friends and family. For the 23 who went to the game courtesy of Gilreath,
they saw the freshman put on quite a show.

single-handedly changed the field position game with the two longest punt
returns of his career of 51 and 56 yards.

been excited since he came to camp last summer," Bielema said of Gilreath.
"He's very agile, very quick, and for him to be able to come in and make
an impact in the return game — I thought he was really gassed up — had a huge
impact on the game today."

first return set the Badgers up at the Gophers’ 26-yard line with less than
a minute to go in the first half, a drive capped by kicker Taylor Mehlhaff's
second missed field goal of the game. Wisconsin would not let Gilreath's second
return go for naught, as running back Zach Brown punched it home on a 16-yard
run to give the Badgers a 17-13 lead early in the second half.


line did a good job and the wings did a good job sealing Minnesota up the gut, and I
just made people miss and did my job out there," said Gilreath, who leads the
Big Ten with a 14.9 yards-per-punt-return average.

he felt like he let his blockers down for not scoring on either runback.

think [my
were more disappointed with me that I didn't score for them," Gilreath said.

January Bowl

successful defense of the Axe Saturday gives it another nine-win season — the
fourth consecutive for the Badgers, good for a school record. To do so, UW won
four of its final five games after two consecutive losses to Illinois and Penn

that the regular season is over, however, all Wisconsin can do is wait until
the voters decide where the Big Ten's fourth-place finisher will play,
and whether it will be on New Year's Day. The most probable bowl games are the
Outback Bowl Jan. 1 in Tampa, Fla., and the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio,
Texas, Dec. 29.

it doesn't stop Bielema from offering his two cents.

know we deserve one. Unfortunately we were able to drop three football games
and we didn't play well at times," said Bielema, who reiterated that Wisconsin
defeated SEC teams the past two years at the Capital One Bowl. "I believe this
team right now is probably playing the best football as it did a year ago."

Tyler Donovan hopes the voters recognize the fact that the Badgers have played
well down the stretch when they consider Wisconsin's options.

finally come together as a team," Donovan said. "As the season winds down, you can
see it in our eyes, the enthusiasm, and we're a good team."

Defending option spread

again Wisconsin's defense proved that the spread option offense gives it
problems. Redshirt freshman quarterback Adam Weber had 66 rushing yards in the
first quarter alone, and finished with 87 yards on the ground.

played his butt off today.He played a great game," UW linebacker
Jonathan Casillas said of Weber. "I don't think we did the best of jobs on him.
I think he took advantage of the mistakes that we were making."

the defense did a much better job containing the fleet-footed Weber, it still
struggled, giving up 34 points and 501 total yards.

have to improve, especially if we have to face a team like that in the bowl
game," Casillas said.

Injuries mount

for the better part of three weeks and four games, running back P.J. Hill
didn't even make the trip to Minnesota.

on Thursday he wasn't doing the things we felt would put him in a position
Saturday [to play]," Bielema said.

injured receiver Luke Swan went because Bielema wanted the senior to be on the
sidelines for his final regular-season game.

addition to Swan and the other starters out of action heading into the game — cornerback
Allen Langford, defensive tackle Jason Chapman, offensive tackle Eric Vanden
Heuvel —
special teamer Blake Sorenson missed the entirety of the game with mono.
Additionally, middle linebacker Elijah Hodge played sparingly due to an
unspecified leg injury and Donovan, tight end Travis Beckum and coverage man
Paul Standring were hurt during the game.

returned in time for the second half following an injury to his left hand on a
touchdown run late in the second quarter. Standring and Beckum, however, did

appeared to have dislocated his elbow on punt coverage, while Beckum was hit
and landed awkwardly following his fourth-quarter touchdown catch.

status for the bowl game was not mentioned. Bielema did acknowledge that his
leading receiver should be ready to go by then.

indications, doctors feel that he'll be there for the bowl game," Bielema said
of Beckum. "We'll kind of wait and see how this next week ends up."

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