August 19, 2010

Heat returns during Thursday practice

MADISON - Following a brief reprieve from Mother Nature, the old weather wizard was up to her old tricks yet again during Thursday's only practice.

With temperatures reaching 90 degrees on the thermometer, the 2:30 start time for the 11th day of fall camp signified the start of an exhausting practice in uncomfortable weather yet again.

But like it has ever since the inception of fall camp, UW plowed through Thursday's two and a half hour camp without many issues springing up.

The following is a look back at Thursday's single practice.

Toon at peak form:

Throughout fall camp, at least since reporters have been let in, it's become apparent that Nick Toon and Scott Tolzien have developed a great confidence with one another. It can be said that Toon is Tolzien's go-to target, and the junior wideout has backed up that distinction with his play.

On Thursday, it seemed as though he put together one of his more complete practices of the week, if not, fall camp. His routes were crisp, his concentration was high and his receptions were fantastic.

He proved yet again why he is UW's No. 1 receiver and why he should be tabbed as one of the Big Ten's best.

On one specific play, Toon ran a deep fly route before Tolzien decided to bomb it in his direction. Though Antonio Fenelus had excellent coverage on Toon, the fourth year player was able to adjust at the last minute and make a shoestring grab for a 42-yard gain. It was surely the play of the day.

But on a consistency level, Toon is performing at a peak level. His athleticism and willingness to cross the middle of the field should grant him an opportunity to become a household name not throughout Big Ten country, but the entire landscape of college football.

Quick injury update:

-Kevin Zeitler, who is recovering from an ankle sprain, ditched the walking boot he's been wearing all week. He did not practice, though.

-Blake Sorensen, nursing a calf issue, was seen jogging across the field during practice. He was not in full pads and did not practice.

-Jordan Kohout was back in full pads and participated in individual drills. He did not take any reps during team drills.

-Eriks Briedis, who was in the midst of an impressive fall camp, suffered an apparent knee injury during the latter portion of Thursday's practice. On the play, he was trying to track down James White on a sweep when he left his feet and landed awkwardly. He fell to the ground in obvious pain and waited for the trainers to arrive before getting up. He did not return to practice and the extent of his injury is unknown.

Offense stays hot:

Though the majority of practice was somewhat uneventful, the Badgers offense sparked some life into the gathering of donors and reporters taking in practice inside the Camp Randall bowl.

During move the ball drills, the No. 1 offense was methodical in moving the ball. After starting out on their own 33 yard line, Tolzien led a 10-play drive that eventually ended with a Kyle Jefferson touchdown reception.

Toon's aforementioned big play was the spark of the drive as it gave the offense a first down instead of forcing it to settle for a punt. Then a few Montee Ball runs and a David Gilreath end around later, Tolzien hit Jefferson for the score.

The No. 1 defense, who had played particularly well up until the particular drill, never really got momentum in its favor.

The Badgers return Friday morning for the first of two practices. As usual, will be there first hand to take in the action.

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