Thursday, September 27, 2012
UW's Ball cleared to play, Gilbert benched
By Adam Rittenberg
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball has been cleared to play Saturday night at No. 22 Nebraska after sustaining a concussion last week against UTEP.
Badgers coach Bret Bielema told local reporters Thursday that Ball is "cleared 100 percent full-go." As long as nothing changes in the next 48 hours, he'll play against the Huskers. The concussion is Ball's second in as many months after he was attacked by a group of men Aug. 1 in downtown Madison. Bielema said the second concussion wasn't as severe as the first, and Ball vowed to play earlier this week.
Wisconsin certainly will benefit from having a full complement of offensive weapons against Nebraska, which boasts the Big Ten's top offense. Although James White and Melvin Gordon also are good options, Ball lit up the Huskers in last year's win. Ball has 360 rush yards and three touchdowns on 93 carries this season.
Bielema also said defensive end David Gilbert won't start after Gilbert made critical comments Wednesday about Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez.
"He'll be skipping rocks on the sideline with me for the first play," Bielema said Thursday, referring to Gilbert's comment about how Martinez throws passes.
Tyler Dippel and Konrad Zagzebski will start at the defensive end spots for the Badgers, who will be without ends Brendan Kelly and Pat Muldoon because of injuries.