Monday, December 10, 2007

P.J. out for bowl game

Mark Stewart of the Journal Sentinel is reporting that P.J. Hill is likely to miss the Outback Bowl. He got hurt in the first half against Indiana and aside from five carries two weeks later against Michigan hasn't played since. Three thoughts:

1. The injury is a bruised left leg. Anyone else ever hear of a bruise needing two months to heal?
2. Has an injury been more misdiagnosed right off the bat? Hearing Bret Bielema in the aftermath of the IU game and early in he week leading up to Ohio State, I was pretty sure he'd get 10-15 carries against the Buckeyes. Now he's out for the year.
3. After winning the last two games Bielema talked about how we'd be full strength for the bowl game, making us a more attractive choice. Any chance he withheld information about P.J.'s injury to assuage any doubts bowl reps may have had about us?

Overall, though, as long as Lance Smith can play, I'm not worried about the tailback spot for the bowl. He and Zach Brown should be fine, although Lance is better at doing his change-of-pace thing when P.J. is pounding away.

Also on the running back front, Quincy Landingham is apparently going to transfer. Bielema said that because Quincy and his dad see the depth at running back, they see the need to move on. Hard to argue, but didn't Landingham come is as a highly-regarded safety who only switched to running back, his high school position, because of eligibility issues with Smith and John Clay during fall camp? This loss bothers me for defensive backfield depth reasons.


mjschwal said...

The PJ situation is weird - maybe he needs some "toughen up" pills. Regardless, you wonder what the RB situation will be next year. You would think PJ will be the first guy in but with Brown, Smith and Clay, you wonder a bit. That said, it's a nice position to be in.

The Landingham situation is bothersome in that it would have been nice to see him stick at safetly. I can't really blame him for transferring given the depth at RB.

In other news, sounds like Bielema has decided on going the JUCO route to help get immediate help on the DL. It's not very often the Badgers have tapped the JUCO ranks so I think it speaks volumes about the razor-thin depth on the line.

Millie said...

From what I understand, the bruise on PJ's leg is right over the metal plate that was put in when he broke his leg last year. Perhaps that is adding to the difficulty in returning from the injury.

As far as Landingham goes, I would like to see the young man stick around, but I also am wary of anyone who is that afraid of competition for playing time. Besides, even though Pleasant and Carter weren't exactly sure things this year, they still are only sophomores, with Valai and whatshisnamefromCretinDerhamHall there to provide depth. Also, it's been a while since we've had a walk-on safety from a tiny school in Wisconsin, are they any kids from Tappa's neck of the woods that can step in?

Will said...

Maybe I didn't read the blog entries correctly, but is Landingham transfering because he now wants to play running back? Did BB offer him the opportunity to switch back to defense? Or was running back the position he wanted all along because he played the position in high school?

PJ's injury just sounds like one of those fluke things that probably BB and the doctors goofed on at the start. Don't think it was intentional (at least I hope).

Was our last big JUCO signing Alex Lewis? He turned out pretty well.

mjschwal said...

I think you're right on Lewis, Will.

My understanding is that they're after one of the top-rated JUCO DT's and then stumbled across one of his linemates that they liked.

I find it interesting that there seems to be somewhat of a stigma attached to JUCO kids, but I don't have a problem with it as long as they meet whatever the athlete admission standards are at the time. Heck, Taps and I had friends that spent two years at a "community college" and then went to Madison (Hill, Burch), although you could probably make a case they weren't exactly normal.

Fair or not, I think JUCO kids are viewed as flawed in some manner(usually academics), and that makes them less desirable. I would also say that there is a stigma attached with the practice of recruiting JUCO kids in that it says you're not able to get the job done the first time and fill your depth chart with four-year guys.

mjschwal said...

In other news, unconfirmed reports say Aaron Henry blew his ACL in bowl practice - obviously out for the game. That sucks.

Next man in! Benny Strickland!

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