By TOM LEA
MADISON – Senior Curt Phillips opened Wisconsin's two-minute drill with the No. 1 offense.
It was the final drill of Tuesday’s lone practice and it was a drive that wouldn’t end until time ran out, the defense forced a turnover, the offense scored or a turnover on downs ended the series.
Phillips’ time with the starting offense lasted one play, even though he was going against the No. 2 defense.
You can thank freshman safety Mike Caputo for that.
Dropping back with hopes of finding Jared Abbrederis in a deep post, Phillips forced a throw in the direction of UW’s top receiver and two defenders. Caputo slipped in front of Abbrederis and made the pick, his second in as many days.
Joel Stave, leading the second-team offense, didn’t throw an interception, but he didn’t necessarily have much more success.
Other than a 17-yard strike to Manasseh Garner on the drive's first play and an 8-yard completion to A.J. Jordan on the second play of the drive, Stave failed to move his offense deep into the No. 1 defense’s territory.
David Gilbert, UW’s top defensive end, dropped Jeff Lewis for a two-yard loss on the third play of the two-minute drill and Stave finished the drive by overthrowing Garner on third and four and taking an Ethan Armstrong sack on fourth and four. UW never got past the 49-yard line.
Danny O’Brien, playing with the No. 2 offense, also didn’t accomplish much during the two-minute drill, though the drive started off on the wrong foot when Kyle Costigan was too anxious at right guard and recorded a false start.
From there, UW went four and out, gaining a meager 11 yards — a six-yard crossing route to Jared Abbrederis and a five-yard Melvin Gordon run — that ended with an incompletion to Jacob Pedersen.
Of the three drives, UW’s No. 1 and No. 2 offense only mustered a combined 17 yards of offense.
LIVE TACKLE SCRIMMAGE
With his team in the midst of its customary warm-up and stretch routine to start Tuesday’s practice, head coach Bret Bielema told his team to make sure to prepare for a live-tackling scrimmage midway through practice.
He didn’t disappoint.
The team went through a 25-play full tackle scrimmage, the first of its kind this fall camp and a precursor to Saturday’s extended scrimmage.
Joel Stave opened that portion of practice with the No. 1 offense. The offense played first and second down before resetting with a first and 10 situation. Stave received six reps with the No. 1 offense before stepping aside for Phillips.
He didn’t throw the ball once during his time under center with the No. 1 offense. He did, however, receive seven snaps with the No. 2 offense and completed 1-of-2 passes for nine yards.
Curt Phillips received six reps with the No. 2 offense, but didn’t log a pass. And Danny O’Brien, playing with the No. 1 offense, completed 2-of-3 passes for five yards. The Badgers never really enjoyed success down the field.
The scrimmage belonged to the running backs.
Here are some quick, unofficial stats from that position:
-Melvin Gordon: Four carries, 28 yards
-James White: Four carries, 11 yards
-Jeff Lewis: Four carries, 11 yards
-Vonte Jackson: Three carries, seven yards
-Kenzel Doe: One carry, six yards
-Joel Stave: One carry, five yards
THE ARM’S RACE:
These are unofficial stats for the three quarterbacks competing for the starting job, split up by various drills they participated in.
First down situations:
-O’Brien: 2-of-3 passing, three yards (8 reps)
-Stave: 2-of-4 passing, nine yards (8 reps)
-Phillips: 0-of-0 passing, one sack (4 reps)
Inside Drill (handoffs only):
-Stave: (4 reps)
-Phillips: (4 reps)
-O’Brien: (9 reps)
Team drill (predetermined second down, play third):
-O’Brien: 3-of-3, 16 yards (7 reps)
-Stave: 2-of-4, 15 yards (6 reps)
-Phillips: 2-of-3, 41 yards (5 reps)
Scout team drill (No. 1 offense vs. scout team):
-O’Brien: 2-of-2 passing, 68 yards (8 reps)
-Stave: 2-of-2 passing, 61 yards (4 reps)
-Phillips: 2-of-2 passing, 18 yards (8 reps)
-Phillips: 0-of-1 passing, interception (1 rep)
-Stave: 2-of-3 passing, one sack (5 reps)
-O’Brien: 2-of-4 passing, 12 yards (5 reps)
-Beau Allen returned to practice and competed during individual and team drills, including the live tackling scrimmage.
-Mike Taylor and Chris Borland did not participate. They will be limited throughout various portions of fall camp.
-Ethan Armstrong did participate. He made a few plays, including a sack.
The Badgers will have two practices Wednesday. The first is open to the media and will start at 9:20 a.m. Defensive players will be available following that practice. The team will reconvene inside Camp Randall Wednesday night for the second of two practices at 7:30 p.m.