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Saturday, October 1, 2011
Wisconsin defense shorthanded vs. Huskers

By Adam Rittenberg

MADISON, Wis. -- While Nebraska's defense will be at full strength for the first time this season, Wisconsin's defense likely will be without two starters.

The Wisconsin State Journal first reported Friday night that Badgers starting defensive end David Gilbert is out after suffering a foot injury in practice this week. A source close to Gilbert told the newspaper that Gilbert suffered a broken foot and will miss six to eight weeks. Gilbert leads Wisconsin with three sacks and has added 10 tackles and a forced fumble.

The Badgers also likely will be without starting safety Shelton Johnson, who suffered a calf injury last week against South Dakota.

Defensive line depth is a strength for Wisconsin this season, but the team needs junior Brendan Kelly to step up in Gilbert's absence. Kelly, who has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career, came on strong during preseason camp. He has 10 tackles in the first four games.

Dezmen Southward, who competed with Johnson for a starting spot throughout preseason camp and nearly won the job, would step in at safety alongside Aaron Henry.