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September 30, 2010

Henry set to return punts against MSU

MADISON - When it comes to punt returns on the Wisconsin football team, it seems there may be another changing of the guard.

Junior safety Aaron Henry, who returned his first career punt a week ago against Austin Peay, is set to assume that duty Saturday against Michigan State.

"He wants to do it and he's been trying to do it and he had a little spark when he had it," Bielema said at his Thursday press conference. "Jared Abbrederis has been good all week. He hasn't had any issues pop up. It will actually be a discussion in tomorrow's staff meeting."

Abbrederis muffed two punt returns a week ago against the Governors, granting an opportunity for Henry. On his only return, Henry was able to burst through the initial wave of tackler and sprint for 30 yards on the return.

As a result, it seems he will be given more opportunities.

-David Gilreath, who had been returning punts prior to his concussion against San Jose State, will likely not return punts this week as the coaching staff doesn't feel he should be placed in that situation so soon.

Wide receiver factor:

Bielema said Nick Toon looked fresh and ready to go during the week of practice and shouldn't have any lingering effects from his turf toe injury that's sidelined him for each of the past three weeks.

"I know Nick will start," Bielema said. "He's looked good all week. He's got fresh legs and he hasn't gone through the two-week grind of practice all those other guys did. So you notice a little difference with him."

Whether or not Gilreath starts depends on the package offensive coordinator Paul Chryst calls.

"He's been great too," Bielema said. "It will depend on the personnel grouping whether or not David starts, but he'll play in the game for sure."

At this juncture it's difficult to forecast how much each player will play, but it's certain both wide receivers will get plenty of action.

"I don't know if we'll ease them 100 percent in like they were before they got injured," Bielema said. "But again, it's within the flow of the game and what personnel."

The right tackle situation:

Since suffering a knee injury against San Jose State, junior right tackle Josh Oglesby has since to return to the lineup. Now with Big Ten play on the horizon, it seems likely to stay that way.

"Ricky Wagner will start," Bielema said. "Josh has practiced and looked very good. We'll put Casey Dehn back over on the left side, but Ricky will start on Saturday."

Though he didn't play last week against Austin Peay, Bielema has still noticed an up tick in Wagner's confidence at the position.

"I think that was a big game for him," Bielema said. "It was unfortunate he tweaked that shoulder late so he wasn't able to come back and play that next week, but he's been out there all week and has no issues."

Quick hits:

-Manasseh Garner will play both sides of the ball again Saturday afternoon.

-Game time is set for 2:30 central time and will be televised regionally on ABC.

The following is the audio file from Bielema's presser.
Bielema, 9/30/10


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