Badgers use bye week to get healthy
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst stressed after UW's 40-6 victory over BYU that it was his job to maximize the Badgers' bye week before the opening of Big Ten play.
According to Chryst, this week has been a mix of resting key veterans and pushing younger reserves who may be asked to contribute more during league play.
“There are certain guys that aren't practicing or aren't practicing as much,” Chryst said Thursday morning after practice, the team's second of three scheduled sessions this week.
Left tackle Michael Deiter and right guard Beau Benzschawel are nursing right-ankle injuries. Left guard Jon Dietzen missed the BYU game because of problems with his right ankle.
Benzschawel missed almost three quarters of UW's victory over Florida Atlantic in Week 2 but played most of the way at BYU. Deiter tweaked his ankle late in the first half against BYU but stayed in the lineup until the staff went with the No. 2 line in the final quarter. Dietzen was in a walking boot in the days leading to the BYU game and did not travel with the team. Reserve tailback Taiwan Deal (ankle) has been out since suffering an injury in camp.
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“There is a group of guys that are that next guy in and it is a really good time for them to get some good work,” Chryst said. “Maybe they're not sore after playing a lot of snaps after three games, although we've been fortunate to get a lot of players some snaps. But it can be a really good week for our (reserves). …
“The starters, you're in a rhythm of a season and you want to stay sharp. So you try to balance that.”
UW's players had off Sunday after returning from Provo, Utah. The players went through weight-room sessions Monday and Tuesday before returning to practice Wednesday.
The team is scheduled to practice Friday and the players will be able to rest Saturday and Sunday before resuming preparation for the Big Ten opener Sept. 30 against visiting Northwestern.
“It's all about putting the focus and energy on yourself and make sure you're improving,” Chryst said. “That is what we have to do this week. We're getting ourselves better, more than anything about the opponent.”
Getting their kicks: Kickers Rafael Gaglianone and Collin Larsh, a freshman walk-on from Monona Grove High School, engaged in a bit of one-on-one inside the McClain Center on Thursday.
Gaglianone and Larsh set the ball at the 20-yard line and, kicking toward the main entrance to the indoor practice field, tried to put the ball into one of two trashcans along the wall.
Larsh finally banked one in near the end of the contest. Gaglianone wanted one last shot and vowed to pay Larsh $10 if he missed.
Gaglianone missed and let out an expletive. Larsh celebrated: “Game's over.”
Extra points: Defensive end Chikwe Obasih (knee) doesn't appear on the verge of returning. Obasih traveled with the team to Utah but was using crutches. …
UW enters the bye week No. 3 in the Big Ten in scoring offense (43.3 points per game) and No. 3 in scoring defense (10.0).
Last updated: 11:38 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017