Morning State Sports Briefs: Badgers face red-hot Utah State squadWisconsin Sports
-- While the University of Wisconsin football team continues to search for itself, while the Utah State Aggies are on a roll as they prepare to face the Badgers in Madison on Saturday night.
MADISON - While the University of Wisconsin football team continues to search for itself, while the Utah State Aggies are on a roll as they prepare to face the Badgers in Madison on Saturday night.
The Aggies are 2-0 for the first time since 1997, and they snapped a 12-game losing streak to rival Utah last weekend with a 27-20 overtime victory. Sophomore quarterback Chuckie Keeton has been playing well for Utah State. He completed 22-of-32 passes against the Utes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. And Keeton ran for 86 yards. Utah State coach Gary Andersen expects Wisconsin to rally in the wake of its 10-7 loss at Oregon State last weekend, and Sunday’s firing of offensive line coach Mike Markuson. Second-year assistant Bart Miller ran his first practice yesterday as Markuson’s successor. Left tackle Ricky Wagner said Miller explained the situation and quote, “He wanted to get through to us that we will be the ‘O’-line of the last couple years here.” He said the players have the skills and the experience – and now, they need to produce against a stingy Utah State defensive line that gives up just 76 rushing yards per game – the 20th best in the nation.
UW-Platteville kicker Zach Litchfield has made the national Team-of-the-Week from D3Football.com. Litchfield, a junior, went 7-for-7 in extra points in Platteville’s 52-35 win over Dubuque last Saturday. He also booted a 44-yard field goal, the second longest of his career. Litchfield was also named yesterday as the WIAC’s special teams player-of-the-week.
For the second time in three years, Wisconsin taxpayers will help pay for maintenance work at Milwaukee’s major sports arena. The Administration Department has given five-million dollars to the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Spokesman Evan Zeppos says it will help pay for much-needed upgrades in many of its basic structural systems – and they’ll also consider some new safety-and-security features. Zeppos said the state funding is appreciated. But he says more will be needed on a public-and-private basis to maintain the 24-year-old Bradley Center, while a new arena continues to be discussed in the community. The new funding represents a change-of-heart for Governor Scott Walker. A year-and-a-half ago, he rejected $10-million in bonding for maintenance work – and he said the Bradley Center would have to raise money “on its own merits.” Yesterday, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie would not characterize the new funding as a flip-flop. He said the Administration Department made the grant on its own.
The Brewers will keep their Triple-“A” farm club in Nashville for at least two more years. The Nashville Sounds have extended their player development contract with Milwaukee through the 2014 season. The previous contract was due to expire in 19 days. And there was speculation that the deal would not be extended due to the condition of Nashville’s Greer Stadium, which is 35 years old. Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin said the current facility and conditions are quote, “not totally satisfactory.” But the GM said the Brewers remain supportive of Frank Ward and the team’s ownership to get funding for a new ballpark. Melvin said that if Nashville officials provide the same support as the Brewers, quote, “Nashville will be one of the most desirable franchises in Minor League Baseball.” Milwaukee has been affiliated with the Sounds for eight years.