Wisconsin defensive end Garrett Rand tackles Central Michigan running back Kobe Lewis. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
MADISON – Wisconsin defensive end Garrett Rand is eager to return to the lineup.
The junior did not travel with the team to Ohio State after suffering a concussion in practice. He had little choice but to watch the game on TV.
“I was hoping for the best for them,” Rand said after practice Monday. “Obviously, it didn’t go as planned.”
Rand, who missed last season after suffering a torn Achilles’ during summer workouts, was cleared last week after going through the team’s concussion protocol. He started by riding a stationary bike, moved to like exercise and then participated in a couple walk-throughs before practicing on Thursday.
Rand, who said Monday this was the first concussion he has suffered, could play a key role when UW hosts Iowa at 3 p.m. Saturday.
With Rand out and nose tackle Bryson Williams (knee) playing sparingly, UW surrendered 264 rushing yards in the 38-7 loss to the Buckeyes.
“We need to do our jobs really well,” Rand said when asked about facing Iowa. “That is all you can ask for. Just execute your job. Have a good mentality. Just fly around. That’s what the team needs.”
UW used only three ends against the Buckeyes. Isaiahh Loudermilk and Matt Henningsen started and fifth-year senior David Pfaff filled in at times.
“Missing Garrett was tough for us,” Loudermilk said. “We couldn’t get the rotation we normally have going. Being one man short can be tough. It is a challenge but you have to kick it into a different gear.
“But having Garrett back is going to be huge for us.”
Baun’s play recognized
Senior outside linebacker Zack Baun is among 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, given annually to the nation’s top linebacker.
Baun, a graduate of Brown Deer High School, leads UW in sacks with nine. He is second on the team in tackles with 44.
“That’s crazy,” said Baun, who was a decorated quarterback in high school. “Just thinking about my freshman year, coming in as a quarterback, my development. … It really speaks to the program and how they develop guys that come from anywhere.”
From the infirmary
Except for the six players who are out for the season, UW’s injury list released Monday was clean. No other players were listed out or questionable for Iowa.
By contrast, Iowa could be without three starters, middle linebacker Kristian Welch, wide receiver Brandon Smith and tight end Nate Wieting.
Those players did not play in the 20-0 victory over Northwestern on Oct. 26 and they were not listed Monday on the team’s initial depth chart for the UW game.
Nebraska start time TBD
The Big Ten announced Monday it would wait until the conclusion of Saturday games before setting the start times for the Nov. 16 schedule.
UW plays at Nebraska that week and kickoff will be at 11 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. The game will be on BTN.
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