Jack Russell, UW football vs. UTEP

Wisconsin kicker Jack Russell gets congratulations from the sideline after kicking his first extra point in the Badgers' 37-26 victory over UTEP on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium.

University of Wisconsin defensive line coach and co-defensive coordinator Charlie Partridge, who handles the kickers, was able to find a bright spot with the Badgers’ kicking woes last week.

“I could find reasons to be excited, for sure,” Partridge said. “Jack Russell kept the ball in play on kickoff.”

But Russell, a true freshman from Waunakee, was off the mark on his first field goal attempt of the season, from 33 yards, when he picked his head up too soon. That threw the kicking competition back open for at least another week. Sophomore Kyle French is 3-for-4 on field goals, with a miss from 36 yards.

Russell figures to hold onto the kickoff job, showing good hang time on his five kickoffs. French knocked his only kickoff out of bounds, the second time he has done that.

“We go into the week with Jack being the starter (and) Kyle’s job to try to win back,” Partridge said earlier in the week of field goal duties. “We’ve got a kicker competition on our hands.

“The good thing is, you know how mental kicking is. If someone has a bad hit, you feel like you have a quality guy that can come in and take the next snap, if necessary, which is a little bit of what happened (Saturday).”

Bucky!

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