WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUND-UP: Still many uncertainties over UW injury situation
MADISON - University of Wisconsin football coach Gary Andersen was not sure at mid-day, whether three injured starters can play on Saturday night at Ohio State.
Tight end Jacob Petersen injured a knee in the Badgers' 41-10 home rout of Purdue this past weekend. Center Dallas Lewallen hurt a knee, and corner Penial Jean suffered a leg injury. Andersen said the next 48 hours-or-so will determine whether any or all of the three would play against the Buckeyes. The coach also said today that freshman Andrew Endicott would kick-off for Wisconsin on Saturday night. Endicott made the Badgers' last five kick-offs against Purdue with hang times averaging a half-second longer than Kyle French in that same game.
University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon was named today as the Big Ten’s co- Player-of-the-Week on offense. Gordon, a redshirt sophomore from Kenosha, ran for 147 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 41-10 Badger home rout of Purdue. Gordon leads the nation with 156 rushing yards per game, even though he averages only 13 carries per contest. He’s also tied for second among BCS schools with seven rushing touchdowns in his first four outings. Gordon shares the weekly Big Ten honors with Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton, who threw a Buckeye-record six touchdown passes in the first half of a 76-nothing rout over Florida A&M. The Buckeyes are 4-0, and will host Wisconsin on Saturday night.
The Milwaukee Brewers will try to break an eight-game losing streak at Atlanta, when the two teams open a three-game series tonight at Turner Field. Milwaukee has seven contests left, all on the road. They're 69-86 -- and their only challenge left is to avoid finishing in last place in the National League Central Division. The Brewers can finish no higher than fourth in the Central, where they have a four-and-a-half game lead over the fifth-and-last-place Chicago Cubs. The Braves clinched the National League East yesterday, while Saint Louis clinched a playoff spot. In both cases, a loss by the Washington Nationals sealed the Braves' and Cardinals' accomplishments -- and the Brewers and Cubs did not have to hand anything over to their opponents. Milwaukee avoided that plight anyway with a 6-4 win over the Cards last night. Marco Estrada starts for the Crew this evening against Braves' southpaw Mike Minor.
Steve Stricker of Madison has become the seventh-best golfer on the planet. That’s according to the new World Golf Rankings. Stricker moved up two spots from a week ago, when he was ninth. He tied for second over the weekend at the Tour Championship in Atlanta, and he finished in third place in the Fed-Ex Cup season-long standings. Stricker is gearing up for the President’s Cup, where he’ll join a U-S team that will compete against an International squad in early October. Henrik Stenson, who won the Fed-Ex title, moved up two spots to Number-Four in the new World Rankings. Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Phil Mickelson remain first-second-and-third.
Clay Matthews says his fifth annual in-season hamstring injury is not as bad as some of the others -- and he fully expects to play after the Packers return from their bye week. The four-time Pro Bowl linebacker was one of three Green Bay starters injured yesterday, when the Pack lost at Cincinnati 34-30. Matthews left the game in the second quarter after registering a sack and two forced fumbles. He said his second-half absence was quote, "more of a preventive measure than anything." Matthews said he could have returned, but the team must play smart going into a bye week. He expects to return for Green Bay's next game on October sixth at home against Detroit. A year ago, Matthews missed four games with a bad hamstring. Green Bay's bye is unusually early, and coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn't like it. On the other hand, it will give the Packers' injured players a chance to recuperate -- and Matthews is not the only one. Tight end Jermichael Finley suffered a concussion yesterday. Running backs James Starks, Johnathan Franklin, and Eddie Lacy are all hurt to various degrees. Fullback John Kuhn joined safety Morgan Burnett and corner Casey Hayward with bad hamstrings. And corner Jarrett Bush is still trying to get over an ankle injury.
Ever since Training Camp began in late July, Packers' coach Mike McCarthy has sung the praises of rookie safety Chris Banjo. Yesterday, Banjo played almost the entire game in the Packers' loss to Cincinnati -- while second-year pros M-D Jennings and Jerron McMillian shared time at the other safety spot. Banjo had two tackles, as defensive coordinator Dom Capers worked in several new coverage schemes. They worked for the most part, as Green Bay gave up just 297 yards of total offense to the Bengals. The Packers racked over 100 more total yards than Cincinnati did, but it was the turnovers that decided this game -- four on each side. Green Bay came through with four straight takeaways -- a fumble recovery by Jennings for a touchdown, two other fumble recoveries by Brad Jones and A-J Hawk, and an interception by Sam Shields. Also, rookie defensive end Datone Jones had Green Bay's first block of an extra point in eight years. Cullen Jenkins was the last to do in October of 2005 against Oakland.
Matt Kenseth of Cambridge has his first legitimate chance to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup title in a format he inadvertently helped to create a decade ago. Yesterday, Kenseth became the third driver in the 10-year-old Chase for the Sprint Cup to win the first two events in the 10-race season-ending series. Tony Stewart and Greg Biffle were the others, and Stewart went on to win the 2011 season crown. Kenseth won the 2003 title by building up points with steady lower-place finishes, and winning only one race during the year. The Chase was created to prevent that from happening again. Kenseth still defends the way he won his 2003 title, saying he's proud of how his team performed -- and despite what some think, it wasn't easy. Now, Kenseth has a 14-point lead over second-place Kyle Busch going into the third Chase event next weekend in Dover Delaware.
Stevens Point native Janel McCarville helped the Minnesota Lynx make it to second round of the WNBA Playoffs. The Lynx swept their best-of-three Western Conference semi-finals yesterday with a 58-55 victory over Seattle. McCarville averaged just over 24 minutes a game as the Lynx' center. She was second on the team with an average of three-and-a-half assists in each of the two playoff contests. She also averaged six rebounds, one-and-a-half blocked shots, and two points per game. Maya Moore scored 22 points for Minnesota, which is going for its second WNBA crown in three years. They'll play either Los Angeles or Phoenix in the next round. Those two teams will close out their first round series tonight.
The UW-Milwaukee men's soccer team remains unbeaten after winning at Western Michigan 2-0 yesterday. Rami Younes had one goal and one assist, as the Panthers improved to 6-0-1. UWM is one of just 15 unbeaten teams left in the NCAA's Division I.
The University of Wisconsin men are now 6-1-1 after losing their first game of the year. The Badgers were blanked by Gonzaga 2-0 yesterday in their final game of UIC Classic in Chicago. The Badgers tried seven shots. Lars Ludwig and Conner Bevans scored for the Bulldogs. The UW-Green Bay men edged the New Jersey Institute of Technology 2-1 at a weekend event in Evansville, Indiana. Tyler Swanner tied the game for Green Bay, and Sam Krenzien scored the game-winner as the Phoenix improved to 4-2-2.
The University of Wisconsin women's soccer team is 1-0 in the Big Ten, after a 3-1 victory at Purdue yesterday. Kodee Williams scored the game-winner. Kinley McNicoll and Rose Lavelle also scored for the Badgers, who have won three straight and improved to 6-1-1 overall.
The Marquette University volleyball team swept UW-Milwaukee in three sets yesterday. Lindsey Gosh led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills and six service aces. Marquette improved to 6-4 on the season, while Milwaukee dropped to 4-8. Myanna Ruiz led the Panthers with six kills, and Taylor Golabowski had 10 digs.