Morning State Sports Briefs: Southward to make first start for BadgersWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin sophomore safety Dezmen Southward could make his first start on Saturday night when the Badgers host Nebraska in their Big Ten opener.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin sophomore safety Dezmen Southward could make his first start on Saturday night when the Badgers host Nebraska in their Big Ten opener.
Southward practiced with the Number-one defense yesterday, while starter Shelton Johnson sat out with a calf injury suffered last Saturday against South Dakota. Southward played more than a half last weekend after Johnson got hurt. Southward had three tackles. Badgers’ senior tackle Josh Oglesby is expected to return against Nebraska, after getting over a knee injury. Meanwhile, senior kicker Philip Welch could make his season debut on Saturday. He’s been out with a quadriceps injury. Welch booted field goals at practice for the first time since the injury, and he said he felt no pain or discomfort. Even if Welch does return, the Badgers say sophomore Alec Lerner will handle the kickoff duties.
Nebraska has beefed up its secondary, in the hopes of matching up better with Wisconsin’s bigger receivers on Saturday night in Madison. The eighth-ranked Cornhuskers made changes at three of the four defensive back spots. Strong safety Daimion Stafford has been replaced by a slightly taller P.J Smith. Stafford is now the nickel back. Alfonzo Dennard has moved to left corner. He’s 20 pounds heavier than the man he replaced, Ciante Evans. And Corey Cooper is playing at right corner for the first time ever. He’s also about 20 pounds heavier and an inch taller than the original player at that spot, Andrew Green. Nebraska is 80th in the country in passing defense, giving up 233 yards a game. Defensive coordinator Carl Pelini says he wants his backs to challenge Wisconsin receivers Nick Toon and Jared Abbrederis and tight end Jacob Pedersen. Toon matched a career-high with seven catches for 155 yards when the seventh-ranked Badgers whipped South Dakota last week.
West Allis gymnast Chellsie Memmel has withdrawn from this fall’s Pan American Games, after having surgery for a torn biceps tendon in her right shoulder. The 23-year-old Olympian was hurt last month, while competing on the uneven bars at the U.S Championships in Saint Paul. Memmel’s father and coach Andy said the operation uncovered no surprises – and she could be ready to resume her training in about three months. The surgery was performed last Friday in Milwaukee, soon after Memmel returned from a national selection camp. She wanted the operation now, to give her enough time to train for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team for next year’s Games in London.
In men’s soccer, Wisconsin and Marquette played to a 1-1 tie in Madison last night. The Badgers out-shot the Golden Eagles 20-11. A.J. Cochran scored for Wisconsin, which now has a four-game unbeaten streak. The Badgers are 4-3-2. Eric Pothast scored for Marquette, which is now 3-4-2.
Gerardo Saavedra of UW-Milwaukee has been named the Horizon League men’s soccer player-of-the-week. The freshman midfielder has two assists in UWM’s 3-1 victory over Butler. The win snapped the Bulldogs’ 15-game unbeaten streak.