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Spring practice No. 15: scrimmage time

Spring practice concluded with an extended scrimmage inside the McClain Center.
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The Wisconsin Badgers capped off their final week of spring practice donning full pads inside the McClain Center with an extended scrimmaging session that was highlighted by a couple of deep touchdowns throws and some stellar pass rushing by a pair of young outside linebackers. 

Here is a breakdown of what went down...

Did not participate:

  • Defensive line: Isaiah Mullens, Keeanu Benton, Rodas Johnson, Gio Paez, Isaac Townsend
  • Safeties: Travian Blaylock, Preston Zachman
  • Wide receiver: Stephan Bracey, Jordan DiBenedetto
  • Inside linebacker: Bryan Sanborn, Spencer Lytle
  • Cornerbacks: Semar Melvin, A'Khoury Lyde
  • Outside linebacker: Aaron Witt
  • Tight ends: Clay Cundiff, Cam Large, Jack Eschenbach, Jack Pugh
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  • Running backs: Julius Davis, Brady Schipper, Chez Mellusi, Isaac Guerendo
  • Offensive line: Joe Tippmann

Top plays

  • Graham Mertz with a deep 60-yard touchdown throw to Chimere Dike who was wide open on play action.
  • Deep touchdown throw from Wolf to Skyler Bell over the top of the second defense in 7-on-7. Bell beat the walk-on safeties in coverage. 
  • Chase Wolf with another deep touchdown throw against the second unit to Markus Allen, who got behind redshirt freshman Al Ashford. 
  • Owen Arnett intercepted a Chase Wolf pass that was broken up by Max Lofy. 
  • Amaun Williams intercepted a Deacon Hill deep ball, though the play would have likely been called dead on a TJ Bollers sack. 
  • Chase Wolf delivered a back-shoulder throw to Markus Allen who made a pretty play at the back of the end zone for a touchdown against Aveyonne Jones. 

Standout performers

  • Freshmen Darryl Peterson and TJ Bollers each got into the backfield for sacks. Bollers had, by my count, three or four sacks, including a pretty bull rush in which he tossed back Nolan Rucci. Peterson worked primarily with the first team, while Bollers did his damage with the second group.
  • Dean Engram and Markus Allen each had multiple catches on the day. Both primarily worked with the second group, but they made the most of their opportunities. Allen had two touchdowns on the night.
  • Chimere Dike put together another strong practice. He had a long touchdown and added several other grabs from the arm of Graham Mertz.
  • Vito Calvaruso kicked the ball well, making multiple long-field goals, one of greater than 50 yards.
  • Max Lofy was very active on Friday night. The sophomore cornerback had a pass breakup that led to an interception and made a nice move off the edge to blow up a pass play with the second team.
  • Cade McDonald made a couple of run stops during the team portion of practice and teamed up with TJ Bollers on a sack.
  • Jordan Turner was flying all over the field during practice. He was around the ball on every run play and provided pressure up the middle as a blitzer. 

Offensive notes

  • Jackson Acker continued to earn this starting fullback reps and also reeled in a swing pass for a decent gain. Fellow Verona native Haakon Anderson also had a solid practice as a receiver. 
  • The starting offensive line remained unchanged with Jack Nelson available. From left to right it was Nelson, Tyler Beach, Tanor Bortolini, Michael Furtney, and Logan Brown. 

Defensive notes

  • Tate Grass and Jordan Turner took the bulk of the first-team reps at inside linebacker, with the combination of Jakey Chaney and Maema Njongmeta working in the second group. 
  • Ricardo Hallman, Justin Clark, and Alexander Smith were the top three cornerbacks for most of practice. Jay Shaw also rotated in at times. 

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