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October 10, 2011
Notes: Camp Randall, byes and injuries
MADISON - It's pretty apparent how Camp Randall Stadium left its signature on the national landscape during Wisconsin 48-17 win over Nebraska more than a week ago.
From the Huskers point of view, the atmosphere has drawn the ire of the Nebraska faithful enough for them to lobby about changes. According to several news outlets, games at Memorial Stadium just aren't quite as exciting or as fun as that one was inside Camp Randall.
"From a storied point of view that was kind of shocking to me," UW head coach Bret Bielema said during his weekly press conference.
Whether it was the student section's rendition of 'Buttercup' or the much-publicized 'Jump Around,' there was just something about that game that left a lasting impact.
"Kudos to our fans," Bielema said. "Our student section was off the charts. All age groups were absolutely rocking."
That energy, much like it did a season ago when UW knocked off then No. 1 Ohio State, helped the Badgers gain momentum and pull away from Nebraska.
-Senior right guard Kevin Zeitler (ankle) has returned to practice. He will play against Indiana on Saturday.
-Tight end Brian Wozniak, who was apparently kicked during a kickoff return, is expected to return for Tuesday's practice.
-Junior strong safety Shelton Johnson missed UW's win over Nebraska while recovering from a calf injury. He returned to practice Sunday afternoon and will continue to practice throughout the week.
-Junior defensive end David Gilbert, again, is out for 3-5 more weeks.
According to Bret Bielema, UW sophomore quarterback Jon Budmayr continues to make progress with the nerve issue that has plagued his throwing arm since the start of fall camp.
While there still isn't a return date scheduled, the progress the right-handed thrower is making is encouraging.
"He's been getting some sensations in his fingers and a little bit of movement in the two fingers," Bielema said. "They still can't give us a time frame for when those two things will come about but it seems to be progressing.
"Hopefully he'll continue to go down that road."
By now anybody that covers or cheers for Wisconsin football is well aware of Josh Oglesby past injury record. When he went down during the second half of UW's win over Northern Illinois, it looked as though he added yet another chapter to that much-to-long book.
But the senior right tackle bounced back. So much so that he drew the praise of his head coach following his impressive display against Nebraska.
"A lot of times when you don't hear anything called it's a good thing for the tackle position," Bielema said. "He did a nice job. Most of the pressure did come up through the inside by their scheme, but Josh did play pretty well."
With his size - - Oglesby stands 6-foot-7 and weighs approximately 330 pounds - - several NFL scouts have been inquiring about the senior right tackle. There seems to be a legitimate interest in his services for the next level.
"They're just excited about the way he's playing," Bielema said. "It's a true testament to him as a person."
Resiliency of a punter:
Brad Nortman, UW's talented but rarely used senior punter, doesn't get many opportunities to display his leg strength simply because UW's offensive prowess has been too strong through the team's first five games.
Nortman averages two punts per game, but there have been a number of times throughout his career that he doesn't even see the field once. This year he has a long of 57 yards and an average of 43 yards per attempt. He's pinned opponents inside the 20 yard line four separate times and forced six fair catches.
He's been good when he gets the chance.
"He's as mentally tough as anybody I've had at that position," Bielema said. "Usually kickers and punters are a little off center, but he's been really good. He handles the pooch game as well. That really brings down his average, but he doesn't think of that."
Punters on the collegiate level need to get as much exposure as possible if they're going to have a future career in the NFL. Knowing that, Bielema has reached out to the two senior bowl games just to let them know that he has a pretty good punter that deserves some notoriety.
"Don't bypass my punter because he doesn't have the numbers," Bielema said. "Don't penalize him for us being good on offense."
Welch kicking well:
Senior place kicker Philip Welch made his season debut against Nebraska. He kicked extra points, but didn't attempt any field goals during that blowout win.
According to Bielema, Welch will continue to make his way back into the rotation as UW's place kicker.
"His leg is very strong and accurate right now," Bielema said. "I don't know if he's missed a field goal (in practice). We do the rapid-fire field goals at the beginning of practice and he's been 100 percent on hits. I think he's excited to play."
Welch, though he's handled kickoff duties in the past and though Alec Lerner continues to struggle with the depth of his kickoffs, is not going to be subjected to kicking off.
"Lerner's got it all the way through," Bielema said. "Kyle French is in there, too. We haven't had Philip hit a kickoff yet."
Bielema on the weight loss of Beau Allen:
"I think he kind of saw that he could be a lot more explosive at a lower weight and he did a nice job of getting it off and putting it back on correctly. Charlie Partridge and myself have been poised to see Beau take a big jump over the past couple of weeks and use it to move forward these next few weeks."
The following is the audio file from Monday's press conference: