Afternoon State Sports Briefs: UW football drops back to No. 13 in pollsWisconsin Sports
The University of Wisconsin football team dropped one place to 13th in the both major polls today.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin football team dropped one place to 13th in the both major polls today.
That’s after the Badgers barely got by FCS opponent Northern Iowa by five points in their season opener last Saturday in Madison. Alabama jumped from second-to-first in both the AP media poll and the USA Today coaches’ survey released this morning. USC is now second in both polls, after dropping from first in AP while moving up one spot by the coaches. LSU is now third in both.
Junior Zac Matthias will continue to start at right guard for the Wisconsin football team, when it plays at Oregon State on Saturday. Matthias and sophomore Kyle Costigan were both at the top of the depth chart a week ago. Matthias started in last Saturday’s win over Northern Iowa, and coach Bret Bielema said he did a nice job – especially in pass protection. Meanwhile, Bielema expects running back Melvin Gordon to get some carries before long. He did not have any carries against Northern Iowa, but Bielema said it was the game-plan to give Montee Ball more carries than usual. That’s because Ball had limited plays during the Badgers’ preseason camp, after he got beaten up by five men on a Madison street August first. Bielema said Gordon understood why Ball got more work against Northern Iowa and quote, “we’ll probably try to turn that off a little bit.”
Madison golfer Steve Stricker was named today to the U.S. Ryder Cup team that will play a squad of European pro golfers September 28th-through-30th near Chicago. U.S. team captain Davis Love-the-Third also named Jim Furyk, Dustin Johnson, and Brandt Snedecker as his four personal picks to the 12-man roster. The others were automatically determined by point standings. Tiger Woods made the U.S. squad that way, along with Bubba Watson, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, and Phil Mickelson. The 45-year-old Stricker will be playing in his third straight Ryder Cup. He was an automatic pick for the last event in 2010, when the Americans lost. And Stricker was a captain’s selection in ’08, when the U.S. beat the Europeans. Stricker told reporters it’s an “understatement” that he’s excited about making the U.S. squad. In his words, “We all know how much fun it is, and how much pride we take to be a part of this team.”
Milwaukee Brewers’ fans who are giddy about a possible playoff berth forget that the team only has two experienced starters. And one of them could have been traded in August. That’s right-hander Shaun Marcum, who will start tonight in Game-Two of Milwaukee’s four-game set at Miami. Marcum suffered a cramp in his right calf last Thursday, and he had to leave after throwing 85 pitches in a no-decision against the Cubs in Chicago. It was only his second start after being out for two months with tightness in his right throwing elbow. Marcum was said to be trade bait in late August – but the Brewers couldn’t find any takers. He’s 5-4 with a 3.55 ERA. The Marlins’ will send left-hander Wade LeBlanc to the mound tonight. He’s 2-3 with an ERA of just under two-and-a-half. He’s making his first start losing to Arizona on August 2nd. LeBlanc appeared out of the bullpen three times since then. Miami is 15 games below .500, while Milwaukee is four below the break-even point. The Brewer players and fans started talking about revived playoff chances after they swept Pittsburgh last weekend. But that talk got quashed a bit, after the Crew committed four errors in a 7-3 loss at Miami on Labor Day.
Wisconsin sports fans will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline in Green Bay if they look hard enough. Ex-University of Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien has been named as the third quarterback for the San Francisco 49’ers – and he’ll be in uniform on Sunday when the Niners open their regular season against the Packers at Lambeau Field. Niners’ coach Jim Harbaugh said he had a tough choice between Tolzien and Josh Johnson. Harbaugh called it a dead heat between those two players – and it stayed that way through training camp. Johnson appeared to have the edge last Thursday night, when he engineered two scoring drives against San Diego. Tolzien threw an interception in that same game.