Day 3 of Wisconsin's preseason camp marred by uneven play from top two quarterbacks

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
PLATTEVILLE – Wisconsin held its third practice of preseason camp Friday at UW-Platteville.
Overall, the uneven play of quarterbacks Tanner Mordecai and Braedyn Locke was the most noteworthy development.
Both Mordecai and Locke, who are currently No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, had more errant throws than in the first two days of camp.
Locke saw two of his passes toward the boundary intercepted. Had the plays come in a game, both likely would have been returned for touchdowns.
Cornerback Nyzier Fourqurean, a transfer from Division II Grand Valley State, intercepted the first ball. Reserve safety Owen Arnett, of Arrowhead High School, got the second.
Wisconsin quarterback Braedyn Locke runs an option play as coach Luke Fickell watches during the team's intrasquad scrimmage last April in Madison.
Here are some comments from Fickell and other observations:
Several coaches during the spring talked about the importance of the players performing with emotion without losing their poise.
No fights through three days has been a good sign.
“I think there is great competition,” Fickell said. “I haven’t seen us lose our emotions. That is one of my challenges is: Can we push ourselves and compete like we do but not lose our emotions? So all in all it has been really good.”
Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell gestures during training camp in Platteville.
Fickell optimistic Michael Mack will be able to play in 2023
UW’s staff added two transfer cornerbacks since the end of spring ball, Michael Mack of Air Force and Fourqurean of Grand Valley State.
Mack and Fourqurean have worked with the No. 2 defense in camp, sometimes together and sometimes separately.
Air Force Academy rules require Mack to gain a waiver from the NCAA to play this season and Fickell is planning on the waiver being granted.
“I don’t know where we are with that,” he said, “(but) the great thing about that one is the Academy is on our side. They want to help Michael out…We’re optimistic. We’re tying to get him up to speed…I think he’s got a great attitude.”
UW in good hands with wide receiver Bryson Green
Wide receiver Bryson Green, a transfer from Oklahoma State, made an impressive catch between two defenders during and 11-on-11 segment Friday.
Green ran a deep, vertical route down the sideline and Locke showed nice touch on the ball to give his receiver a chance to make a play.
Green went up high between cornerback Jonas Duclona and safety Austin Brown to get his hands on the ball. He absorbed contact from both defenders and secured the catch.
The 6-1, 215-pound Green, who had 36 catches for 584 yards and five touchdowns last season, should be a significant contributor for UW this season.
"I think the first couple days he was just so anxious to do everything," Fickell said. "He is a play-hard guy, do everything at 100 miles an hour. There is a point in time when you've got to take a couple of deep breaths and relax a little bit."
"Today was a really good day for him. I think we're seeing all the other things he can do as opposed to just being a guy that can just catch the football. He can set an example. He can block the perimeter. And then when you need to be physical, there is a guy that I promise you is going to get it done."
Nathanial Vakos, Nate Van Zelst get their kicks
UW's staff gave Nathanial Vakos five field-goal attempts and Nate Van Zelst four.
Vakos, a transfer from Ohio, appeared to go 5 for 5. The distances: 29 yards from the left hash, 34 from the right hash, 38 from between the hashes, 42 from near the right hash and 49 from the right hash.
Van Zelst, who hit 11 of 14 attempts last season, appeared to make three of his four attempts. He was good from 29, 34 and 38 yards but it appeared the ball faded right on his 42-yard attempt.
Trench warfare provides interesting battles
UW opened practice Friday with a one-on-one blocking drill, offensive linemen vs. defensive linemen/outside linebackers.
The drill favors the defense but three battles were noteworthy.
Nose tackle Gio Paez used a spin move to get away from center Tanor Bortolin and get into the backfield.
End Rodas Johnson and outside linebacker Darryl Peterson won their individual battles against left guard Joe Huber and left tackle Jack Nelson, respectively.
Both Johnson and Peterson got up underneath of the pads of the linemen and walked them into the backfield.
Low man wins.

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