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All is well with Borland

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Benjamin Worgull
December 31, 2010
— After seeing his sophomore season cut short because of a series of shoulder injuries, Chris Borland has no doubts that he'll be back to full form when summer conditioning begins in June.

"It's been a great process so far," said Borland. "I am on track to be 100 percent by the end of spring ball or the beginning of the summer.


Borland underwent surgery on his left shoulder on Oct. 13 to fix a broken bone after undergoing surgery last spring to repair a torn labrum. The left shoulder is mostly healed, but Borland was sporting a sling to mobilize his right shoulder, which he had surgery on Dec. 22.


Borland was last season's Big Ten Freshman of the Year after recording 54 tackles, five sacks, 10.5 TFLs, five forced fumbles, recovering three fumbles and intercepting a pass in 13 games last season.


Borland played in two of UW's first three games, registering seven tackles, but had to leave both games early due to his shoulder injury. Even so, Borland admittedly has grown as a linebacker by taking plenty of mental reps on the sideline.


"The mental reps have been tremendous," Borland said. "I am at practice every day and still go to meetings. When you are playing, you have to memorize the game plan. When I am out, you get to look at the position and the defense has a whole. It's been a great learning experience and it (has) really inspired me watching this team play."


TCU offers different look

For the fourth time in five years, the Horned Frogs finished in the top two nationally in total defense, surrendering just 215.4 yards per game this season.


The two constants in Fort Worth during that span? Head coach Gary Patterson and his 4-2-5 alignment, using three safeties instead of linebackers. That allows the defense to try and confuse the opposing quarterback by masking coverages, something that has had Tolzien logging extra hours in the film room.


"First of all, it's different," he said. "You're used to seeing a two-high look and a one-high look. With three, they can do different rotational stuff and it helps disguising their defense. They run it well. It's going to be different, but it's going to be exciting."


Paul Chryst, UW offensive coordinator, praised TCU's speedy defense, specifically how players maintain their assignments and cover gaps.


"You can kind of see it all fit. If you weren't playing them, it was actually pretty to watch," he said.


Badgers turn to Lasorda again


There's nothing wrong with a little routine—or superstition. So with Wisconsin back in the Rose Bowl, the Badgers again called on former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda to address the team.


Lasorda spoke after practice Monday, talking about the need to execute. However, the mere presence of the 1997 baseball Hall of Fame inductee could be enough to tip the game in Wisconsin's favor.


Each of the Badgers' three Rose Bowl wins—1994, 1999 and 2000—was preceded by a visit from Lasorda.


A lot of meat

The Badgers took part in the Lawry's Beef Bowl on Tuesday night.


The event is held every Rose Bowl and put on by Lawry's the Prime Rib in Beverly Hills. Players can eat all the prime rib, creamed corn, salad, and pie they want.


Badger linebacker Blake Sorensen said that not only was he told Wisconsin out ate TCU, but that freshman offensive guard and Walworth native Travis Frederick was cut off after eating seven 16-ounce prime rib steaks.


The restaurant ran out of meat.


"She had been serving for 20 years and she said she never seen somebody eat seven," Sorensen said of a waitress that served the team. "I think he could have got 10. The record was 10 and he wanted it."


Actually, according to the Los Angeles Times, the record is eight steaks, consumed by Michigan lineman Ed Muransky in 1978.


Frederick, who is redshirting this season after playing in four games last season, was apparently on a mission to make sure his team won every match-up this week, even though the eating contest is now almost non-existent.


"He figured he wasn't playing the game, so he was going to keep eating," Sorensen said.


The restaurant reported that TCU consumed 670 pounds of meat, with Wisconsin shoveling down 650.


Pass the antacid.



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