After a rough Thursday practice in which Alex Hornibrook threw five interceptions during team drills, the redshirt freshman quarterback put together his most impressive performance of the spring during the University of Wisconsin’s scrimmage Saturday inside the McClain Center.
He completed 15-of-21 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions after finishing 6 for 8 during team drills earlier in the day.
Hornibrook ended practice with a perfect back-shoulder throw to George Rushing that went for a 27-yard touchdown and also connected with Reggie Love for a 20-yard score on third-and-10.
The defense did drop a potential Hornibrook interception and sacked the quarterback four times during his 10 series under center, but he showed more consistent accuracy and decision making than in previous practices.
Fifth-year senior Bart Houston completed 10-of-24 passes for 134 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The two continue to split first-team reps. On Saturday, Houston led the first-team offense on six different series, while Hornibrook took four with the first team.
SHAW, RUSHING STAND OUT
Redshirt freshman Bradrick Shaw showed flashes of brilliance Saturday, most notably on a 25-yard touchdown run.
The Badgers’ No. 4 running back broke multiple tackles and tightroped the sideline to score perhaps the most impressive touchdown of the day. He later broke off a 16-yard run and scored a 1-yard touchdown.
Junior George Rushing, another unproven player looking to crack the rotation this season, led all receivers with eight receptions for 134 yards and a touchdown. He hauled in three catches that went for 20 or more yards, including a 41-yarder from Houston on third-and-10.
TINDAL AT WR?
Junior Derrick Tindal has taken nearly all of UW’s first-team reps at cornerback opposite Sojourn Shelton this spring.
Over the last few practices, though, he’s also looked impressive on the offensive side of the ball.
Tindal began running routes during one-on-one drills Tuesday, and he was given reps at wide receiver during Saturday’s scrimmage. He even caught a 48-yard pass from Hornibrook.
UW wide receivers coach Ted Gilmore said Thursday that Tindal was only giving the position group an extra body while Krenwick Sanders, Henry Houden and Ricky Finco were injured and that the team wasn’t considering Tindal to play wide receiver during the season.
Following Saturday’s scrimmage, though, Badgers coach Paul Chryst didn’t rule out the possibility of Tindal seeing time on offense.
“It’s both,” Chryst said when asked if Tindal’s wide receiver reps were strictly due to low numbers or if they could turn into actual playing time. "Every individual, you’ve got to see if, you can’t put too much on their plate. But I love (Tindal) and Sojourn, they saw we were low on receivers, and both of them came up and said, ‘Coach, if you need me to run some routes, I’ll run some routes.’ You appreciate that because these guys care about this team."
FROM THE INFIRMARY
Redshirt freshman cornerback Titus Booker missed Saturday’s practice with a right thigh injury, while Houden returned to practice on a limited basis for the first time since injuring his right thigh during the first practice of spring.
Offensive lineman Logan Schmidt suffered an undisclosed injury during the scrimmage.
Safety D’Cota Dixon (right thigh), wide receivers Finco (head) and Sanders (left thigh), offensive lineman Ben Hemer (head), running back Mark Saari (right hand) and outside linebacker Jake Whalen (right thigh) remained out Saturday, while fullback Austin Ramesh (groin) remained limited.
Safety Keelon Brookins took some first-team reps alongside Leo Musso during team drills. … Peter Roy earned some first-team reps at wide receiver during team drills. … Hundreds of high school and small college coaches and players from around the state watched practice Saturday while in town for the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association clinic.
SCRIMMAGE STATS (unofficial)
Houston: 10-24, 137 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 1 sack
Hornibrook: 15-21, 242 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 4 sacks
Bradrick Shaw: 10 carries, 56 yards, 2 TDs
Taiwan Deal: 15 carries, 34 yards
Jazz Peavy: 1 carry, 16 yards
Leon Jacobs: 4 carries, 13 yards
Alec Ingold: 2 carries, 6 yards
George Rushing: 8 catches, 134 yards, 1 TD
Reggie Love: 6 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD, 1 drop
Derrick Tindal: 1 catch, 48 yards
Jazz Peavy: 1 catches, 30 yards, 1 drop
Kyle Penniston: 3 catches, 34 yards
David Edwards: 2 catches, 31 yards, 1 TD
Bradrick Shaw: 1 catch, 13 yards
Peter Roy: 1 catch, 8 yards
Taiwan Deal: 1 catch, 6 yards
Troy Fumagalli: 1 catch, 3 yards
Rafael Gaglianone: 2-3, Made: 50, 37; Missed: 48
Arrington Farrar: 1 INT
Derrick Tindal: 1 INT (returned 78 yards for a TD)
Chris Orr: 1 sack, 2 TFLs
Jack Cichy: 1 sack, 2 TFLs
Nick Thomas: 1 sack
T.J. Watt: 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
Natrell Jamerson: 1 PBU