Badger LBs Borland, Taylor, hope to stay on field togetherWisconsin Sports
-- The University of Wisconsin’s two best linebackers will make a rare appearance together tomorrow night in the Badgers’ opener against Nevada-Las Vegas at home. Chris Borland and Mike Taylor are not saying much about it – but they hope they can stay on the field together for awhile.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin’s two best linebackers will make a rare appearance together tomorrow night in the Badgers’ opener against Nevada-Las Vegas at home. Chris Borland and Mike Taylor are not saying much about it – but they hope they can stay on the field together for awhile.
Taylor is a fourth-year junior who has only started 19 games for the Badgers in his career. Borland has just seven starts as a third-year sophomore. Last year against Arizona, Borland and Taylor were on the field for only six plays together when Borland aggravated a previous shoulder injury – and he sat out the rest of the season as a red-shirt. Taylor had knee surgery going into last season.
Taylor says he hears the hype, but he and Borland don’t talk much about it. He says they both know what they’re supposed to do on the field – and when both are playing at the same time, it’s better for the team. The coaches say they’re the Badgers’ best blitzers, and they would make quite a tandem if they can stay healthy. Borland was the Big Ten’s freshman-of-the-year, but he’s had surgeries on both shoulders. Borland was limited in his snaps at the Badgers’ pre-season camp, but he says he’s ready now. Taylor missed a couple days at camp with a bruised shin. But he could be in his best shape since arriving at Wisconsin three years ago.
UW head coach Brett Bielema says the team is healthier as they prepare to host Nevada-Las Vegas in their season opener tomorrow night. Back-up offensive tackles Casey Dehn and Rob Havenstein have been cleared to play, after both recovered from ankle injuries. Number-three tight end Brian Wozniak is expected to play, after coming off a bad hamstring. Kicker Philip Welch is out indefinitely with an injured quadriceps. Receiver Manasseh Garner will miss tomorrow night’s game after hernia surgery – but he’s expected to return next week against Oregon State.
Bielema says running backs James White and Montee Ball will get most of the carries in the first half. The coach says he wants to play backups Melvin Gordon and Jeff Lewis – who will wear a soft cast under a glove on his left hand. Lewis broke a small bone last week in the same place where he had a fracture in high school. Kick-off for the season opener is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.