Big Ten: Maurice Moore
A few afternoon nuggets for you.
- As expected, Iowa junior quarterback Ricky Stanzi doesn't appear on this week's depth chart for the Ohio State game. Head coach Kirk Ferentz will address Stanzi's status Tuesday, but said Saturday that he expected the quarterback to miss the final two regular-season games. Redshirt freshman James Vandenberg is listed as the starter and classmate John Wienke is the backup. Safety Brett Greenwood (neck) also doesn't appear on the depth chart, as Joe Conklin likely will make his second straight start.
- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema expects star running back John Clay to play against Michigan after the sophomore suffered a head injury in the Indiana win.
- Bielema has indefinitely suspended reserve wide receiver Maurice Moore after his arrest for operating while intoxicated early Sunday. Moore was involved in a one-car accident near Camp Randall Stadium and was hospitalized with minor injuries. He played in Saturday's road win against Indiana.
- Bielema wants the Big Ten to review a bizarre muffed punt from the Indiana game. Wisconsin return man David Gilreath signaled for a fair catch, only to have the ball hit his helmet. Indiana's Collin Taylor then caught the ball before it hit the ground, which by rule impedes Gilreath's chance to make a legal fair catch.
- Michigan running back Brandon Minor continues to be bothered by injuries. The Wolverines senior re-aggravated an ankle sprain against Purdue and also sustained a bruised shoulder. Head coach Rich Rodriguez isn't sure how healthy Minor will be for the Wisconsin game.
- Juice Williams is still listed as the starting quarterback on Illinois' depth chart even though he's questionable to play against Northwestern because of an ankle injury.
- Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald said X-rays were negative on the throwing hand of backup quarterback Dan Persa, who sustained an injury in the second half at Iowa. Fitzgerald lists Persa as day to day, while starter Mike Kafka (hamstring) is improving.
Wisconsin reserve wide receiver Maurice Moore was arrested early Sunday for operating while intoxicated following a one-car accident near Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.
Moore reportedly suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. The junior has three receptions for 45 yards in nine games this season. He played in Wisconsin's 31-28 victory on Saturday at Indiana and had one punt return for 3 yards.
Head coach Bret Bielema is expected to address Moore's situation his weekly news conference Monday afternoon.
The 20th-ranked Badgers next play this week against Michigan (Big Ten Network, noon ET).
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Quarterback play tops Paul Chryst's priorities list this spring, but the Wisconsin offensive coordinator will also keep close tabs on the wide receivers.
The Badgers' struggles at quarterback last fall are well documented, but neither Allan Evridge nor Dustin Sherer got much help from their wideouts. Dropped passes began surfacing in the spring game and became a common theme during preseason camp and after the real games began.
For the third consecutive season, a tight end (Garrett Graham) led the team in receiving yards, while the Badgers' wideouts accounted for only four receiving touchdowns.
The good news is everyone returns, and none of the Badgers' primary wideouts -- David Gilreath, Isaac Anderson, Maurice Moore, Nick Toon, Kyle Jefferson -- will be a senior this fall. Toss in heralded freshman Kraig Appleton, and the group should see better results.
"They've got to drop that young tag," Chryst said. "They've always been known as a group of young receivers. Well, they've got a lot of experience in games under their belt. So they've got to step up."
Graham and fellow tight end Lance Kendricks will continue to play key roles in the offense, but Chryst wants to give Wisconsin's next starting quarterback as much help as possible.
"You look at the receivers, Isaac Anderson, the Minnesota game did some good things for us, but also put the ball on the ground three times," Chryst said. "Nick Toon grew as the year went on, but didn't show up much in the early games. Kyle Jefferson may have been better as a freshman than a sophomore. David Gilreath, he's got to bring something.
"They can help the quarterback by being guys you can count on. It's exciting because we know a lot about a lot of these guys, but shoot, we've got a lot of work to do."
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Wisconsin's defense suffered a pretty significant blow when head coach Bret Bielema announced after Saturday's practice that starting weak-side linebacker Jonathan Casillas and two other players would not travel to the Champs Sports Bowl.
Casillas underwent surgery last week after battling knee problems all season. Though the two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten selection was never 100 percent this fall, his experience and speed will be missed against Florida State. Casillas' absence shuffles the Badgers' linebacker group, with Jaevery McFadden moving from the middle to the weak side.
Sophomore Culmer St. Jean, who has 16 tackles this season, moves into the starting middle linebacker spot. Both McFadden and starting strong-side backer DeAndre Levy will need big games against the Seminoles and running back Antone Smith.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
What had long been anticipated came true Wednesday as Wisconsin tabbed fifth-year senior Allan Evridge as its starting quarterback to open the season. Evridge was the clear choice, even though most of his experience comes from 2005, when he started seven games for Kansas State. Wisconsin needs a game manager, a guy who limits mistakes and lets the running backs do what they do. Of the three candidates, Evridge best fits the bill, though it's hard to say if anyone really dazzled during the preseason.
Other notes from the Badgers depth chart:
- With sophomore cornerback Aaron Henry sidelined again, freshman Mario Goins clinched a starting job for the season opener. Goins will start opposite Allen Langford, who has come back successfully from a torn ACL.
- Kyle Jefferson is the team's leading returning wide receiver, but he might lose his starting job to sophomore Maurice Moore. The depth chart lists that either player could start along with David Gilreath against Akron.
- No major surprises on defense, as junior Jaevery McFadden officially becomes the starter at middle linebacker after practicing with the first team for weeks. Freshman Brendan Kelly is making a push for time at defensive end, and sophomore Jay Valai will start at strong safety.
- Kickers Matt Fischer and Philip Welch continue to compete for the starting job.
A few Big Ten items:
- Thanks to my colleague Graham Watson for passing along this hilarious Big Ten Network commercial featuring all 11 of the league's coaches making their recruiting pitches. Warning: JoePa gets a little fired up.
- Michigan raised about $15,000 for the family of offensive lineman Elliott Mealer during a bowling event Wednesday. Mealer's father and girlfriend were killed in a car accident last Christmas Eve, and his brother was critically injured. The Wolverines also will honor Michael Phelps at their Big Ten opener against Wisconsin.
- Want a glimpse of Penn State's quarterback competition? Thursday's practice will be aired on the Big Ten Network.
MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin will be featured on the blog throughout Monday, but before I hit the road, here are some final thoughts and tidbits from Badger land.
I came away from Saturday's practice/scrimmage with some mixed feelings about this team. Until the scrimmage got going at the end of practice, the offense really didn't look good. Some questionable throws from the quarterbacks, a lot of dropped passes from the receivers. The performance in the scrimmage made some of those issues go away a bit, but Wisconsin will have some obstacles on offense, especially early in the season.
Allan Evridge seems like a really grounded guy who can lead the offense and manage the game, which is all Wisconsin asks its quarterbacks to do, but he'll face a huge test in Week 3 at Fresno State. If the Badgers survive at Bulldog Stadium and beat Michigan in their Big Ten opener Sept. 27, they'll be in excellent shape for a BCS push. But this team has some issues, particularly in the secondary and on special teams after losing All-Big Ten performers Taylor Mehlhaff and Ken DeBauche. The wide receivers might seem a bit shaky, but David Gilreath is big-time playmaker and Kyle Jefferson, Isaac Anderson and Maurice Moore all are capable.
The good news is every Big Ten team but Ohio State has some flaws, and Wisconsin's home schedule sets up well. The more I look at Penn State, the more I like what they have coming back. Wisconsin remains my No. 2, but things might change between today and Aug. 30.
A couple of quick-hitters from coach Bret Bielema's news conference:
- Wisconsin is perfect at home under Bielema and has lost only one home contest [Iowa in 2005] since the 2003 season. The good news is the Badgers host Ohio State, Penn State and Illinois at Camp Randall Stadium this fall.
"It's a very intimidating atmosphere," Bielema said. "I remember coming here as a competitor. ... Just the simple thing that we all love and kind of joke around. The fourth quarter, you're in a tight ballgame and you're trying to tell somebody how to line up against a certain formation or make an adjustment in the kicking game and all of a sudden, you've got 80,000 people jumpin' around to 'House of Pain,' from 60-year-olds down to 16-year-olds. It's hard to stop those people from kind of looking around and taking it all in."
- Bielema anticipates playing 6-8 true freshmen this year and listed several possibilities: defensive end Brendan Kelly, defensive backs Kevin Claxton, Antonio Fenelus and Shelton Johnson, offensive lineman Kevin Zeitler, running back Bradie Ewing and punter Brad Nortman. Dan Moore, a junior-college transfer, also will see action at defensive end.
- Special teams is a top priority in training camp as Wisconsin tries to replace Mehlhaff and DeBauche. Brad Nortman has stepped forward at punter, while Matt Fischer and Philip Welch continue to compete at place-kicker.
"Those guys are getting charted on every kick, on every opportunity that they have," Bielema said, "not only when the bullets are flying and we're out there together, but also during their pre-practice. Fish, right now, has probably got a little bit of an advantage, but we're going to put the heat on 'em this week. We'll do some scrimmage situations that involve the kicking game in the red zone. That will hopefully bring the best guy out."