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September 25, 2010MADISON - When Manasseh Garner committed to Wisconsin, people following recruiting knew the Badgers were getting a versatile athlete.
In high school, the standout played both sides of the ball and was above average at every position he took. On Saturday, in UW's historic 70-3 rout of Austin Peay, he displayed that versatility in front of 77,000-plus of his newest friends by playing wide receiver and rush end for the Badgers.
"I just threw it out there because we've seen Manasseh do things on high school film," head coach Bret Bielema said following the win. "He's so athletic. I grabbed him out of individuals on Tuesday and gave him to Kevin Kane (a defensive graduate assistant).
"You can see right away that he has great instincts pass rush wise."
During his first two plays at the position, Garner burst into the backfield and applied pressure to the Austin Peay quarterback. Though he wasn't able to record the sack, he proved his quickness can become an asset with Chris Borland set to miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.
Considering Garner only practiced a couple of days on the defensive side of the ball this past week leading into Saturday's game, he's also a quick study.
"He played rush end all of two days," Bielema said. "We kind of shined it up on Thursday and went with it today."
Garner, who said he was excited to play multiple roles, was in a familiar position.
"They asked if I would go in there and step in on defense and help out a little bit," Garner said. "I didn't think twice. That's something that's natural to me. I got recruited to play defense as well as offense.
"For me it's just a natural thing."
Get 'Er Dehn:
With Josh Oglesby still recovering from a banged up knee, it seemed the right tackle spot was Ricky Wagner's for the taking. That was until the sophomore nicked up his shoulder late in the week opening an opportunity for Casey Dehn.
"He practiced there all week," Bielema said. "Ricky had a little shoulder issue that he wasn't cleared to play until basically Friday. He (Dehn) got in there today. Josh has been harping on me for two weeks now that he's ready to go. We just didn't feel he was at 100 percent.
"Those guys will be able to get back out there and move forward."
-Scott Tolzien's completion percentage of 88.2 percent during Saturday's win tied for the fifth-best mark in school history.
-With yet another 100-yard receiving performance, senior tight end Lance Kendricks became the first Badger player to record back-to-back 100-yard receiving days since Travis Beckum did so against Michigan and Ohio State in 2007.
-In addition to rushing for 100-plus yards 10-straight times, John Clay has also scored a touchdown in 10-straight games.
-Of his six career carries, Bradie Ewing has scored two touchdowns. During Saturday's game, he also recorded his first ever receiving touchdown.
-James White's four-touchdown day marked the seventh time that's happened in UW history. White also recorded his first 100-yard day on 11 carries. His four touchdowns also tied UW's freshman single-game record. In 1996 Ron Dayne rushed for four touchdowns on two separate occasions.
-Quarterback Nate Tice saw his first action as a collegiate quarterback when he got reps during UW's final possession. He did not attempt a pass.
-Aaron Henry made his debut as a punt returner in the fourth quarter of UW's win. He returned one punt for 30 yards.
-John Moffitt on what the team can take away from the win:
"I think we played clean and that's what we wanted. It was a clean game. There was one penalty in the end, but it was with the two's. Penalties are not a factor and I think that's what we're trying to get out of it. Put together a clean game and have everything go and be assignment smart.
-Jon Budmayr on how the coaches put him in with the No. 1 offense:
"I'm not exactly sure what their mindset was but coach Paul Chryst just said go in and we were rolling. Let's keep this thing going."
-Ewing on his contributions:
"It was awesome just to be able to score some points to help the team win the game. It was awesome. Like you said, the fullback doesn't usually get all the glory, but as long as we're winning I'm happy with it."
-Lance Kendricks on whether Saturday was the most focused the team has been this year:
"I think so just because though it was a 1-AA opponent our coaches emphasized us to focus in and being able to block and being on assignments with no penalties. We just wanted to play a clean game and I think we did a pretty good job of that."
-John Clay on whether James White needs to take his day with a grain of salt:
"Oh no, this is a building block for him. He did an excellent job today. He stepped up and he made the best of his opportunities when he got the ball. As you can see he did very well."
-Jay Valai on taking the win with a grain of salt:
"A little bit, yeah. It is what it is but we still won. If we would have lost, what would everybody have said. We had Cal Poly a couple of years ago and the Citadel when we were struggling. Everybody came out and did what they did and we were the mature team we are."
-Abbrederis on his punt returning:
"I had a couple of good ones, but I wasn't satisfied with the two I dropped. I've just got to go out there and just practice and really try to perfect that."
-Aaron Henry on his big hit:
"I felt pretty good. I actually felt real good. My whole life I was always not known as the great tackler or the guy who's going to knock somebody out. I'm glad to see I could hopefully change people's opinions of me."
-Henry on the fact that Bucky did 385 pushups during the course of the game:
"Oh my gosh. He's probably a couple hundred behind the mascot from Oregon, but man, that's a lot of pushups. That's a ton of pushups."