WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Packers' Hayward may be put on IR
GREEN BAY - The Green Bay Packers' interception leader from a year ago might be heading to injured reserve. Second-year corner Casey Hayward aggravated a severely-pulled hamstring in last Sunday's loss to Philadelphia.
Yesterday, coach Mike McCarthy said Hayward would be out "multiple weeks" after two recurrences of the hamstring problem that first cropped up August 23rd in an exhibition against Seattle. McCarthy wouldn't say if Hayward was headed to the I-R but quote, "To lose a whole year I know is frustrating for him." Hayward played in the Packers' last three games, but was not much of a factor. The Packers will need to open a roster spot if they want to activate safety Sean Richardson and-or defensive end Jerel Worthy. Both returned to practice this week as they remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list. The Packers must decide in two weeks if they want to activate Richardson and Worthy, cut them, or place them on injured reserve. Meanwhile, the Packers have no new changes to their injury report. McCarthy said he'll wait to decide the playing status of right tackle Don Barclay, who hurt a knee against the Eagles. The 5-4 Packers play the 3-6 Giants at New York on Sunday.
John Kuhn has quietly become a bigger part of the Green Bay offense -- and the Packers will be counting on him Sunday against the Giants. The veteran fullback is in his eighth year with the Pack. Kuhn has more than doubled his number of plays since tight end Jermichael Finley went out with a season-ending neck injury on October 20th. Kuhn had a season-high of 17 snaps during his first five games. Last week against Philadelphia, Kuhn was a part of 43 plays as the main blocker for running backs Eddie Lacy and John Starks. Finley had that role until he went out. Kuhn was on the field for 54-percent of the offensive snaps against the Eagles, mainly to plow a path for the rookie Lacy -- who had 73 yards against the Eagles. That was down a bit from recent weeks. Running backs coach Alex Van Pelt blames that on a lack of decisiveness on the part of the rushers. Van Pelt said Kuhn stayed on his defender 99-percent of the time. Kuhn hasn't run with the ball as much -- but he says he likes the "old school" running offense that Lacy and Starks bring. Kuhn has four carries for 11 yards, plus six catches for 34 yards.
Indiana is a game under .500 as it heads into Madison to play the Wisconsin football team tomorrow. There's not been much talk about the offense for a Hoosier team that's 2-3 in the Big Ten and 4-5 overall. But Indiana does lead the Big Ten in passing offense with 327 yards a game -- and they're second in the league with 28 touchdown passes. Hoosiers' receiver Cody Lattimer is third in the Big Ten with 98 receiving yards a game, to go with eight touchdowns. Wisconsin corner Darius Hillary has played better the last two games, after giving up a 51-yard pass play that set up a touchdown by Illinois last month. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda said Hillary would be challenged tomorrow, because Indiana does some of the same things on offense that Illinois does. Lattimer has 55 catches this season. The Badgers come in a 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference, a game back of unbeaten Ohio State. Saturday's game kicks's off at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon has been named a semi-finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given each year to the nation's top running back. Gordon could give Wisconsin back-to-back honors, as Montee Ball won the Walker award a year ago. Ten players remain in contention for it. The Badgers have had semifinalists the last four years, and in nine of the last 16 seasons. Gordon, a redshirt sophomore, ranks eighth in the nation with 129 rushing yards per game. He amassed a-thousand yards in just 104 carries, as he leads the nation with an eight-point-one yard average per attempt. Gordon has 11 rushing touchdowns, tied for second in the Big Ten.
The Milwaukee Bucks will take their turn tonight to try-and-hand the Indiana Pacers their first loss of the season. The injury-riddled Bucks did not practice yesterday, as they took a flight from Orlando to Indianapolis where they'll face the Pacers. Indiana is 8-0, the NBA's only unbeaten team just over two weeks into the season. Milwaukee is 2-5. The Bucks only dressed eight players in their three-point loss Wednesday night at Orlando. Starting forward Caron Butler left that game with a left shoulder injury. Yesterday, the Bucks learned it was a mild sprain -- and team officials were relieved that it wasn't worse. It's not known how long Butler will be out.
Five University of Wisconsin-Madison women's basketball players scored in double figures for the first time since 2009, as the Badgers easily won at UW-Milwaukee last night 85-60. UWM led by up to seven points in the first half, before the Badgers took a four-point lead at the break and dominated in the second half. Wisconsin led by as many as 30 with two-and-a-half minutes to play. Michala Johnson led the Badgers with 21 points. Jacki Gulczynski had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Taylor Wurtz added 13 points and 10 boards. The Badgers out-shot Milwaukee 45-to-32 percent. Angela Rodriguez scored 18 for UWM, as the Panthers lost their season opener. Wisconsin improved to 2--0, and will host Northern Illinois on Sunday. Milwaukee will play Western Illinois at home Sunday.
Heavy rains held up the first round of the PGA golf tournament in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. Jerry Kelly of Madison only completed 14 holes of his first round of the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He's at one-under-par. Pewaukee native Mark Wilson never started his first round yesterday after three delays. Play was called around 3:30 yesterday afternoon, after just 15 players completed their opening rounds. Brian Stuard is the lead at five-under after 15 holes. Play resumes early this morning, but more thunderstorms are in the forecast for the day.
UW-Stevens Point has won its first NCAA Division III volleyball tournament match since 1984. The Pointers came back from two sets down yesterday to eliminate Wartburg 3-2, in their first-round match at Saint Paul. Stevens Point was close to being eliminated in the third set when it scored the final seven points. Emma Brunkhorst had three kills near the end of the decisive fifth set. She had 24 kills on the day, while hitting .435. The Pointers will now play Saint Benedict this evening. Saint Benedict blanked Cornell, Ia. College last night in three sets. Meanwhile, UW-Whitewater was eliminated in the first round at Elmhurst, Illinois. The Warhawks were shut out 3-0 by Washington University of Saint Louis. Whitewater committed six service errors.
The University of Wisconsin men's hockey team will try to get its first road victory of the season tonight at Miami-of-Ohio. The 12th-ranked Badgers are 3-2-1 after having last weekend off. Badgers' forward Nik Kerdiles has an 18-game point streak. The sophomore has scored goals in seven of his last 10 contests, with two goals and an assist against Lake Superior State two weeks ago. Miami is ranked eighth at 6-3-1. On the women's side, second-ranked Wisconsin is in Vail, Colorado for games against Northeastern tonight, and Boston University tomorrow night. The Badger women are 8-2, with a six-game winning streak after a pair of losses to top-ranked Minnesota.