By TONY CARTAGENA
Special to ESPNWisconsin.com
MADISON - After Ethan Armstrong sustained a knee injury last week against Purdue head coach Bret Bielema used one word to describe his junior linebacker, ‘resilient.’
“He’s a guy that has had both shoulders operated on, a hip, and broke his finger in week three,” Bielema said. “He is just a very gifted football player.”
Bielema also said some of the limelight is stolen from Armstrong when he plays alongside talented linebackers Chris Borland and Mike Taylor.
Saturday afternoon the limelight found him, at least for one play during Wisconsin's 38-13 win over Minnesota.
Minnesota’s true freshman quarterback Phillip Nelson did not have much success passing the ball against a stingy Wisconsin defense, completing just 13-of-24 passes for 149 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. A good portion of his completions came on play action passes with a receiver cutting into the middle of the field.
“It was just a play they kept hitting us on up the middle,” Taylor said. “A little run action with a pop in the middle.”
Borland also chimed in.
”It was a good play that they utilized real well five of six times,” he said.
While on the sideline, Wisconsin’s defense made an adjustment anticipating the route being ran again.
“We just knew they were giving us the play action on the route,” Armstrong said.
“They just wanted me to hold that seam longer and make the throw a little harder. I was able to read it and do what I was coached to do.”
Next time the Gophers ran the play Armstrong was able to intercept the pass and record the first interception of his career.
“It was an exciting moment, something I had been hoping to get to pretty soon,” he said. “I was glad I hung onto it.”
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