Four Defensive Starters Questionable As Wisconsin Prepares for Michigan

Four Defensive Starters Questionable As Wisconsin Prepares for Michigan

Football

Four Defensive Starters Questionable As Wisconsin Prepares for Michigan

MADISON, Wis. – Heading into arguably its toughest opponent to this point in the young season, the University of Wisconsin released an injury report that lists four potential defensive starters as questionable.

And considering how shorthanded UW was at the end of its 41-24 victory over Nebraska last Saturday, the early news is disconcerting with a primetime road game at No.12 Michigan coming up.

The big hit could be in Wisconsin’s secondary, as cornerbacks Deron Harrell (head) and Caesar Williams (left leg) are both listed. Williams missed the game and Harrell did not return after leaving in the second quarter. UW also has safety D’Cota Dixon (right leg) and cornerback Faion Hicks (right thumb) banged up. Both are expected to play but likely won’t be 100 percent.

Without Harrell and Williams, true freshman Rachad Wildgoose stepped into every-down role next to Hicks and sophomore Madison Cone.

“Confidence is to be earned,” Chryst said of his defensive backs. “They have to have something to fall back on and trust. And that’s when you have got to trust the techniques that are being taught. You have to trust that the other people around you are doing their job. Those are all areas that we need to grow and get better at.”

UW’s pass rush could also suffer defensive end Isaiahh Loudermilk (left leg) and outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel (right leg) listed as questionable. Loudermilk was injured late Saturday and exited the field on crutches. He missed the 2018 season opener following a leg injury suffered late in spring practice.

Van Ginkel was injured Sept.15, played sparingly Sept.22 and registered a couple quarterback hurries against the Huskers.

“Hopefully he continues to progress,” Chryst said of Van Ginkel. “And as everyone knows, it sure helps your pass coverage when you get pressure on the quarterback.”

The secondary and pass rush struggled against the Huskers, which registered 407 passing yards and over 500 yards of offense. The Wolverines are averaging 38.2 points per game (nearly 17 ppg more than Nebraska) and are averaging 220.8 yards per game, throwing 12 touchdowns to only four interceptions.

Here is the rest of this week’s injury report.

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