August 18, 2009

Carimi carted off with right leg injury

MADISON, Wis. - They say bad things come in three's. If the Wisconsin offensive line was oblivious to that statement, they now know where that saying gets its merit. Near the end of Tuesday's practice, starting left tackle Gabe Carimi suffered an injury to his right knee and had to be carted off the field.

The injury occurred during a two-minute drill with only minutes remaining in practice. Carimi, engaged in a run block, went down in obvious pain and grasped his right knee. The UW training staff quickly rushed to his side and eventually helped him walk off the field.

Once Carimi, who missed three games a season ago with a knee injury, reached the sideline, they found it necessary to cart the junior off the field and into the training room.

UW head coach Bret Bielema made a brief comment to the media where he said the injury "is not as serious as they thought." But he also made it clear that he "won't know anything until tomorrow."

The injury, if serious, would be a major blow to an already battered offensive line. Both starting center John Moffitt and right guard Bill Nagy have missed the entirety of fall camp to this point.

Though Moffitt was in full pads and doing drills on the sideline, his return has is not expected this week. Meanwhile, Nagy has received clearance in regards to his hand but is still suffering from an ailing foot following a July scooter accident

Freshman Ricky Wagner, a converted tight end prospect, filled in for Carimi following the injury. Joining him was Jake Bscherer at left guard, Peter Konz at center, Kevin Zeitler at right guard and Josh Oglesby at right tackle.

Fellow freshman Travis Frederick has also been taking reps at center with the No. 1 offensive unit throughout camp.

Top two quarterbacks struggle in two-minute drill:

Both Dustin Sherer and Curt Phillips threw drive-ending interceptions during a two-minute drill near the end of practice. Both players took the reigns with the offense down 21-19 with just less than two minutes left at their own 32 yard line.

Sherer brought his team inside the opponent's 35 yard line after picking up a critical third down conversion near midfield. However, with less than 20 seconds remaining in the drill, Sherer threw a pass that was a touch high to Garrett Graham. While the senior tight end should have made the catch, the ball shot through his hands and softly into the hands of Jay Valai to end the drive.

Phillips, on the other hand, struggled from the start in the drill and eventually overthrew a pass that was easily intercepted by Kevin Claxton on a third and eight play. While Phillips did not have much time due to poor pass protection, he still forced the pass that was doomed from the start.

Scott Tolzien was the only quarterback that led a touchdown drive against the No. 1 defense during the drill. Although the offense got off to a shaky start that included a false start and a holding penalty, as well as dropped balls from Nick Toon and Isaac Anderson, he recovered well and led the scoring drive.

On third and long, Tolzien threw a picturesque pass to Anderson on a deep post to pick up the first down. Just a couple of plays later, he found Anderson again who redeemed an earlier dropped pass by making a nice play on a ball in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.

Moore making plays:

As one of the wide receivers that does not get much publicity, junior Maurice Moore has been quietly making plays during each of the past three practices. The Texas native has shown great hands and an ability to make some of the more difficult catches look mundane.

Moore easily made the catch of the day during Tuesday's practice. During one-on-one drills with the cornerbacks, Moore made an acrobatic one-handed catch when matched up with Antonio Fenelus[/db[ down the sideline. The ball was a bit overthrown, but Moore leaped into the air and reeled in the pass by pinning it to his shoulder. It was easily the highlight of the day.

Oglesby gets into scrum:

During Monday's evening practice, it seemed as though Oglesby nicked up his right leg when doing drills with the defensive ends. Though he walked with a noticeable limp, he continued to stay in and work for the remainder of the practice.

On Tuesday, the sophomore showed a bit of fire when matched up with freshman [db]David Gilbert. After the play during 11-on-11 drills, Oglesby, who still had a noticeable limp, was locked into a shoving match with Gilbert before teammates and coaches were able to separate the two. It was unclear what sparked the altercation, but the tussle did not elevate to anything other than a shoving match.

Plays of the day:

-Phillips dropped back and threw a deep ball down the far sidelines in the late stages of practice. Though the ball seemed to be overthrown, Toon, in a full sprint, completely laid out for the ball and made a great diving catch, much to the delight of his offensive teammates.

Hits of the day:

-Though the team was not tackling during any portion of practice, Jay Valai still put a pretty good pop on Elijah Theus when he made a catch across the middle of the field.

-It is seemingly becoming a daily occurrence. Freshman Chris Borland once again broke through the line on a blitz and completely leveled Zach Davison who attempted to block him. Though Borland was unable to reach the quarterback, he still managed to have an impact on the play as he forced a rushed throw that went for minimal yardage.

The Badgers return to practice Wednesday morning for the first of two practices.

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