WISCONSIN SPORTS BRIEFS: UW's Watt could return to line-up for Arizona State game
MADISON - University of Wisconsin fullback Derek Watt could be ready to play on Saturday night, when the Badgers face Arizona State in Tempe.
At a news conference this afternoon, coach Gary Andersen said Watt would be probable for the contest against the Sun Devils. Watt injured a hamstring nine days ago in the Badgers' 45-to-nothing season-opening home win over UMass. He sat out this past Saturday's 48-nothing home rout of Tennessee Tech. Andersen said Watt's injury has gotten better in the last two-to-three days -- and he'll know a lot more when the Badgers return to practice tomorrow. Also today, the UW said its Big Ten conference opener against Purdue on September 21st would start at 2:30 in the afternoon. ABC will televise the game.
University of Wisconsin running back Corey Clement has been named the Big Ten freshman-of-the-week. He ran for 149 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's romp of F-C-S school Tennessee Tech. One of those scores was a 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Three Wisconsin rushers have had at least 250 yards on the ground in their first two games -- Melvin Gordon with 284, James White with 252, and Clement with 250. Clement did not have any carries in the first half of either the games against U-Mass or Tennessee Tech. Today, coach Gary Andersen said his coaches are comfortable in using Clement at any point of a game -- for now, at least, the Badgers are not changing their running back rotation.
A defensive end from Florida says he'll play his college football at Wisconsin next fall. Rohan Blackwood gave his verbal commitment to the Badgers, after a visit during the weekend. Blackwood is from Brooksville Florida. He's a defensive lineman for Nature Coast Technical High School. He's the 12th known recruit for Gary Andersen's second recruiting class with the Badgers for next year. Blackwood reportedly had over a dozen scholarship offers including Louisville, Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, West Virginia, Mississippi State, and North Carolina State.
Green Bay Packers' guard Josh Sitton had only three holding penalties in all of last season. Yesterday, he had three penalties in the season-opening loss at San Francisco. Two of those calls were for holding. One was for the illegal use of hands. Sitton's penalties cost the Packers 30 yards. He said he was disappointed, but would not second-guess the officials for calling them.
Green Bay Packers' starting safety Morgan Burnett is not sure yet if he can play next Sunday, when the Pack has its home opener against Washington. Burnett missed his first game since 2010, when a bad hamstring flared up on Friday. He said it felt the same on Saturday, and that's when he knew he couldn't go. Burnett said the Washington game is too far away to predict whether he can return -- and he'll just take things day-by-day for now. Corner Casey Hayward was also out, and could not be in the Packers' nickel package. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick pretty much had his way with the remaining secondary players -- especially second-year safeties M.D. Jennings and Jerron McMillan. Kaepernick had first career 400-yard game yesterday, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-28 Niners' victory. The Packers are now 0-1. Their next opponent, the Redskins, play tonight against Philadelphia.
Clay Matthews says he's not worried about a potential fine from the NFL for his late hit on San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He said he already committed himself to hitting the quarterback once he got close to him -- and Matthews said he should figured that Kaepernick would go out of bounds. Niners' lineman Joe Staley went after Matthews. And the referees incorrectly called off-setting penalties, which gave the 49'ers a second chance to score a touchdown on third down close to the Packers' end zone. Matthews said it was not a smart play but he added that his hit was nothing personal -- and he was joking with Kaepernick later in the game. The hit occurred early in the second quarter, with the game tied at seven. On the next play, Anquan Boldin caught a touchdown pass when it should have been fourth down, with a field goal likely. Packers' coach Mike McCarthy said he eventually figured out what happened. He said it was part of the game and quote, "The ball doesn't always bounce your way."
Milwaukee Brewers' outfielder Khris Davis expects to return to the lineup tomorrow night in Saint Louis. Davis has missed three straight games with a sore left wrist. Today is Milwaukee's final off-day of the season -- and that's giving Davis his last chance to get some extra rest. He said he planned to get more treatment on the wrist today -- but in general, Davis said it was feeling better, and he expects to be in a rehab mode after he comes back.
The Milwaukee Brewers are off today, as they get ready to open a series tomorrow night in Saint Louis. The Brewers have won 14-of-their-last-22 road games. And they remain unbeaten in their last eight road series, after they took 2-of-3 games from the Cubs in Chicago during the weekend. It's been a while since right-hander Marco Estrada has taken the mound. His last start was on August 31st at home against the Angels of Anaheim. Estrada will get a start on Wednesday night against the Cardinals. He'll end up with 11 days between starts -- but he says he's been using his bullpen sessions to stay fresh, and the absence should not be a problem. A combination of off-days and a shuffling of the rotation kept Estrada the odd man out for a little bit. Manager Ron Roenicke expects Estrada to come back refreshed on Wednesday.
The University of Wisconsin men's soccer team remains undefeated after three matches. The Badgers are 2-0-1, after beating DePaul in Madison yesterday 3-2 in overtime. Tomislav Zadro sent the game to overtime with a last-minute goal. Jacob Brindle scored the game-winner at 2:18 into the extra period, as the Badgers went unbeaten in a pair of weekend contests. In other men's soccer, Marquette won the UW-Milwaukee Panther Invitation with a 4-1 victory over Drake in the title game. Coco Navarro had a goal and two assists, as the Golden Eagles improved to 2-1-1 overall. UW-Milwaukee won its tournament finale yesterday, 2-0 over Bowling Green. Freshman goal-keeper Liam Anderson recorded his first collegiate shutout. Milwaukee is 2-0-1 as well.
The 25th-ranked Marquette University women's soccer team won its own tournament yesterday with a 3-1 victory over Colorado College. Taylor Madigan scored twice for the Golden Eagles, who improved to 4-2 on the young season.
The UW-Green Bay women played to a 1-1 tie at Drake. Heidi Hartmann scored the only goal for the Phoenix, who are now 2-2-2 overall. UW-Madison lost on Friday at home to Vanderbilt 4-3 for its first loss of the season. The Badgers' record is 3-1-1.\
The Beloit Snappers are one victory away from advancing to the championship series. The Snappers and Quad Cities are tied at a game apiece in their best-of-three Western Division Finals. The third-and-deciding game is set for tonight in Beloit. The winner will play either Fort Wayne or South Bend in the title series. They also have a deciding Game-Three tonight. Snappers' manager Ryan Christenson said his team overcame a couple of rough stretches in the second half of the regular season. He said he lost five players who got promoted within the minors. Then the Snappers hit an 8-and-28 skid. Christenson said Beloit's pitching has gotten a lot better lately. The Snappers are 3-and-1 in the post-season, sweeping Clinton in the first round. Beloit has a new minor league affiliation this year, as the lower Class-"A" club for the Oakland A's. The Snappers were affiliated with Minnesota for a few years, and with the Milwaukee Brewers before that.