Afternoon State Sports Briefs: Packers will be without on starting lineman on defense vs. MinnesotaWisconsin Sports
-- The Green Bay Packers are expected to be without at least one of their starting defensive linemen on Sunday, when they host Minnesota.
The Green Bay Packers are expected to be without at least one of their starting defensive linemen on Sunday, when they host Minnesota.
Defensive end C.J Wilson is not likely to play, after he injured a knee in last Sunday night’s loss to the New York Giants. Starting end Ryan Pickett bruised a thigh in that game – but even though he sat out of yesterday’s practice, he’s expected to play against the Vikings. Still, it’s not a great time for Green Bay’s front-three to be banged up – especially because the onus will be on them to contain the NFL’s leading rusher. Adrian Peterson has rushed for 12-hundred-36 yards this season, in an amazing comeback following an ACL knee injury last December. Rookies Jerel Worthy and Mike Daniels filled in for Wilson after he got hurt. Wilson says Daniels and Worthy are both considered to be pass rushers -- but Wilson says he’s confident that they can help contain Minnesota’s running game. Mike Neal is also expected to fill in as well. Green Bay comes into Sunday’s contest at 7-and-4, a game behind front-running Chicago in the NFC North. The Vikings are third in the division at 6-5.
Pickett returned to practice today, but tight end Andrew Quarless was added to the team’s injury report. Pickett bruised a thigh in last Sunday night’s loss to the Giants at New York. He sat out of yesterday’s practice – but he did not appear to be hampered by his condition during the part of today’s workout that was open to reporters. Pickett is expected to play on Sunday, when the Packers host Minnesota. Meanwhile, Quarless has continued to struggle with an injured knee since he came off the physically unable-to-perform list. He practiced yesterday, but he’s not expected to play against the Vikings. Quarless has not been in a game since he was activated off the PUP list earlier this month.
UW-Oshkosh senior quarterback Nate Wara is one of 10 finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy. It’s the Division-Three version of the Heisman – and the winner will be announced next month during the week of the national Division III title game in Salem, Virginia. Wara has started all 42 games Oshkosh has played during his four years with the Titans – and he’s third all-time in the WIAC with 10-thousand-722 passing yards. His 78 touchdown passes put Wara at Number-five all-time in that department. This season, Wara has thrown for 28 TD’s and 2,808 yards. During the regular season, he threw just one interception in 252 passing attempts. Wara has also run for 724 yards and seven touchdowns. And he leads an Oshkosh team that has advanced to the Elite Eight round of the Division III playoffs. The Titans play at Linfield of Oregon on Saturday. Fans will have a say in the Gagliardi winner, along with a 38-member selection committee. To vote, go online to D3football.com
The Marquette University men’s basketball team will play its first game on an opponent’s floor tonight, when it takes on seventh-ranked Florida at Gainesville. The Golden Eagles are 5-1 – and their only loss was to Butler on a last-second shot at the Maui Invitational. The Gators are 5-0 – and one of their victories was a 15-point home win over Wisconsin on November 14th. Florida eliminated Marquette from last spring’s NCAA Tournament with a 10-point victory in the Sweet-16 round. The Eagles only shot 31-percent in that game. Junior guard Vander Blue is expected to return for Marquette, after missing one game with a sprained knee suffered eight days ago against USC. Tonight’s contest is part of the Big East-SEC Challenge. Also this evening, the UW-Milwaukee women will play at Illinois State.
UW-Milwaukee guard Paris Gulley is practicing for the first time this fall, after he broke his non-shooting left hand during a preseason practice. The 6-2 senior returned to practice on Tuesday, after having surgery. Coach Rob Jeter says Gulley is the best “catch-and-shoot” player on the Panther squad, and the team misses that talent. If the hand feels okay by Saturday, Gulley could get some limited playing time in Milwaukee’s game at Northern Iowa. Junior college transfer Thierno Niang has been starting in Gulley’s place. Niang leads the team with one-and-a-half steals a game, while averaging close to seven points, four rebounds, and two assists. Meanwhile, Panthers’ forward Kyle Kelm has been playing off the bench as he deals with a chronic foot issue. Kelm is averaging almost seven points this season. Milwaukee hopes to end a three-game losing streak against a Northern Iowa team that’s 3-3.
The UW-Milwaukee women’s basketball team will play at Illinois State tonight. Both teams are 3-2. The Panthers are coming off a four-point win over Eastern Kentucky last Sunday at the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico. Angela Rodriguez scored 19 for Milwaukee in that game – and she made all four of her free throw attempts in the final 16 seconds. Illinois State is coming off a 15-point victory over Western Kentucky. Candace Sykes leads the Redbirds in scoring with just over 18 per night.
Non-conference games make up tonight’s schedule for Wisconsin’s Division III college basketball teams. On the men’s side, UW-Oshkosh plays at Augustana. Wisconsin Lutheran has a cross-town matchup in Milwaukee against Cardinal Stritch. Concordia-Mequon travels to suburban Chicago to face Elmhurst. And Maranatha Baptist is at Grace Bible College of Michigan. In women’s basketball, UW-Platteville is at Cardinal Stritch. UW-Eau Claire hosts Wartburg. And Northland College of Ashland is at Mount Mary of Milwaukee.
University of Wisconsin women’s hockey forward Brianna Decker has been named the WCHA’s offensive player-of-the-week. Decker, a senior, racked up seven points in the Badgers’ two-game sweep of Saint Cloud State last weekend. And she became the 15th player in NCAA history to score 100 goals for her career.
Tim Nelson of UW-Stout and Christy Cazzola of Oshkosh have been named the WIAC men’s-and-women’s cross country runners of the year. Nelson, a senior, won the men’s award for the second straight year after taking the NCAA Division III gold medal with a time of 24-minutes, 26.80 seconds. Cazzola, a senior, was named the league’s top runner for the third year in a row. She also won her national crown with a time of 20:53. Matt Schauf of Stout was named the men’s cross country coach-of-the-year, after leading his team to a seventh-place finish in the Division III regionals. Dan Schwamberger of Eau Claire is the honored women’s coach, after he led the Blugolds to their sixth straight conference title. Eau Claire also won its NCAA regional and finished fifth at the national meet.