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Wisconsin Football: Winners and Losers of the 2013 Spring Game

Dave RadcliffeContributor IIIApril 20, 2013

Wisconsin Football: Winners and Losers of the 2013 Spring Game

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    A result of some interesting scoring stipulations courtesy of head coach Gary Andersen, the Wisconsin football spring game featured plenty of scoring. There were only two touchdowns scored, but the Cardinal team defeated the White team 61 to 47.

    The score was reflective of what we saw on the field, as the Cardinal team (defense) made several plays and got to the quarterback upwards of a dozen times. This was despite the defense hiding a lot of what it wanted to do as a result of the game being televised (via Dave Heller of JSOnline).

    As far as the offense was concerned, there was barely any read option—which could also be a result of being on television—and the offensive line lost a majority of the battles in the trenches, resulting in a rather stagnant running attack.

    With the spring practice season complete in Madison, let's take a look at the winners and losers of the Badgers 2013 spring game.

Winner: Vince Biegel

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    A foot injury derailed Vince Biegel's freshman season, forcing him to redshirt in 2012. Now back to full strength, Biegel proved why he was so highly touted coming out of high school in the spring game.

    Playing outside linebacker, Biegel recorded three sacks and seemed to get his name called quite a bit. This performance was certainly enough to catch the attention of his head coach (via Heller).

    Andersen: Vince biegel last 2 practices & again today really jumped out at me #badgers

    — Dave Heller (@dave_heller) April 20, 2013

    Based on Andersen's praise, Biegel standing out has become a trend as of late, and he couldn't have possibly closed out spring practice on a higher note.

Loser: Zac Matthias

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    The 6'5" and 323-pound Zac Matthias is in a fight to earn a starting position on the offensive line, but things aren't looking good for the senior lineman.

    The only reason he lined up with the first-team offense was because of the absence of Kyle Costigan due to injury, and the offensive line was thin overall because of players sidelined with knocks and bruises.

    Matthias didn't exactly make a good impression on Andersen when he slammed linebacker Jake Rademacher to the ground after the conclusion of a play in the early going. As of now, the line from left to right looks like this—Ryan Groy, Dallas Lewallen, Dan Voltz, Costigan and Rob Havenstein.

    That doesn't leave a spot for Matthias, and he didn't help himself any during the spring game.

Winner: Joel Stave

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    Joel Stave looked like a guy that's been there before during Wisconsin's spring game.

    He completed over 70 percent of his passes and led the only two touchdown drives of the game for the White team. The only complaint with Stave would be his inability to hit an open receiver on a deep ball, but he squeezed some nice throws into receivers who had defenders draped all over them.

    It's also never a bad thing to get some kudos from your head coach (via Heller). 

    Andersen: Joel was poised today. He wasn't perfect but doesn't have to be. #badgers

    — Dave Heller (@dave_heller) April 20, 2013

    Sixth-year senior quarterback Curt Phillips wasn't terrible by any measure, but Stave was undoubtedly the head of the class and might have reached out and grabbed that No. 1 spot—for now.

Loser: Bart Houston

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    While Phillips and Stave continued to distance themselves from the rest of the quarterback competition, redshirt freshman Bart Houston left a chance to make his mark on the table.

    Houston failed to even lead the offense to a first down and was forced off the field after three downs on multiple occasions. During spring practice, there was already a feeling that Houston was falling behind, and that was confirmed in Saturday's spring game.

    It doesn't help that both Stave and Phillips have valuable in-game experience at the college level, nor the fact that Houston received a lot of attention coming out of high school. Houston's time will come, but he still has a lot to learn. Waiting behind Stave and Phillips will do the youngster some good moving forward.

Winner: Sojourn Shelton

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    One of two early enrolled freshman in the Wisconsin football program, cornerback Sojourn Shelton entered the spring game as a member of the No. 2 unit behind Peniel Jean and Darius Hillary.

    Following the spring game, that may very well have changed.

    Shelton is small—just 5'9" and 162 pounds—but it's his stature that allows him to make up ground fast with his quick feet. He showed that ability during the spring game, breaking up a few passes and earning the praise of Andersen (via Heller).

    Andersen: Sojourn was good today .. Happy where he is. #badgers

    — Dave Heller (@dave_heller) April 20, 2013

    Could Shelton really start at corner in his freshman season? It's possible, and enrolling early at Madison has helped his cause tremendously, but Shelton still needs to get bigger in order to take the next step.

Winner: Kenzel Doe

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    Junior wide out Kenzel Doe might already be locked into the slot receiver role, but he was on the field a bunch for the spring game and had the ball in his hands often.

    With no Jared Abbrederis to turn to, the quarterbacks had to look in someone else's direction, and that player was Doe, who was sure-handed and had multiple grabs. 

    Doe is known for his ability to return kicks and could have an impact in that regard next season, but if he continues to grow a rapport with the Badgers' signal callers, he could be on the field in two or even one receiver sets instead of three-plus receiver sets.

    Should we see more read option this fall, Doe could also be used out of the backfield and via the reverse, so his versatility is what could keep him on the field for a majority of Wisconsin's snaps.

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