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WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Badgers to face their first real test Saturday night at Arizona State

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The Wisconsin football team will get its first real test on Saturday night, when it plays at Arizona State. The 20th-ranked Badgers are coming off a pair of easy wins in which they out-scored U-Mass and Tennessee Tech by a combined 93-to-nothing. Wisconsin will face a couple of new challenges at Tempe. The first is a tough Sun Devil defense that only gave up 167 total yards last week in a 55-nothing rout of F-C-S opponent Sacramento State. The Wisconsin defense has been just as strong, giving up 162-and-a-yards to Tennessee Tech. The other big challenge for the Badgers is the Arizona weather. Forecasters say it could still be 100-degrees during the prime time kickoff. The team will leave Madison on Thursday to get acclimated. Safety Dezmen Southward says the key is to stay hydrated and avoid heat-cramps. Badgers' coach Gary Andersen says he tries to keep his team steady emotionally and strong at the end, without getting too high or too low during the games. Andersen said his players did a good job of that in its first two games. The coach also said the kicking job is quote, "unsettled," after junior Kyle French made one-of-his-two field goal attempts this season -- and he had missed an extra-point attempt against Tennessee Tech.

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Mequon Homestead remains in first place among large schools in the new A-P state high school football poll. Kimberly is still at Number-two, followed by Sun Prairie and Hartland Arrowhead. All those teams are 3-and-0. Among the medium-sized schools, West De Pere remains at Number-One. Waukesha Catholic Memorial remains second, and Waupaca third. Walworth Big Foot rose one place to fourth. In the A-P small school category, Fond du Lac Springs still leads the way followed by Edgar, Amherst, and Lancaster.

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The Milwaukee Brewers have a streak of seven unbeaten road series -- but it will hard to keep that string intact when the Crew opens a set in Saint Louis tonight. The Cardinals are 10-and-3 against Milwaukee this season, and 4-and-2 at Busch Stadium. The Cards also have a three-game winning streak, while the Crew has won its last two. Mired in fourth-place in the National League Central, Brewers' manager Ron Roenicke is trying to win some games while getting a look at fresh talent. Second baseman Scooter Gennett has made his boss look good in that regard. Gennett has been the Brewers' everyday second baseman ever since Rickie Weeks went out for the season almost a month ago with a bad hamstring. Gennett has hit .389 in his last 29 games with five homers and 14 RBI's. For August, he batted .423 and won his team's player-of-the-month award. Roenicke said Gennett is off to a nice start in his rookie season -- and eventually, he'll probably draw more walks and steal more bases. The skipper said Gennett is quicker than he expected -- and as a result, he should be a more well-rounded player in the future.

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The Beloit Snappers ended their season by losing to Quad Cities 9-to-5 last night in the third-and-deciding game of the Midwest League Western Division Finals. Carlos Correa homered, tripled, and drove in three runs for Quad Cities. Rio Ruiz and Teoscar Hernandez also went yard for the River Bandits, who advanced to the Midwest League title series. They'll open the best-of-five set tomorrow night at South Bend. The Silver Hawks eliminated Fort Wayne with a 9-to-5 win in the third-and-deciding game of the East Division Finals.

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The Wisconsin volleyball team has its first national coaches' poll ranking in five years. The Badgers are ranked 25th this week, after going 6-and-0 to start the season. Wisconsin is among nine Big Ten teams in the Top-25. Penn State was Number-One a week ago, but the Nittany Lions dropped to third this week. Minnesota is fourth, and Michigan seventh. The other ranked Big Ten teams are Nebraska, Ohio State, Illinois, and Purdue.

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Wisconsin men's soccer senior Tomislav Zadro has been named the Big Ten's co-player-of-the-week on offense. He had two goals and two assists in a pair of Badger victories over Western Michigan and DePaul. Zadro shares the weekly league honors with Joey Calistri of Northwestern.

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Jason Schulte
Jason Schulte has been with the Herald since 2006. He covers County government and anything else that happens in Pierce County on a daily basis.
(715) 273-4334
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