Sojourn Shelton

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Badgers hold 13-6 lead on Spartans in Big Ten defensive battle

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Wisconsin closed out the first half in East Lansing with a 13-3 run to take a 13-6 lead on Michigan State into the halftime break. If you were looking for a good defensive battle this afternoon, look no further than Michigan State vs. Wisconsin, because the Spartans and Badgers are playing tough on that side of the football.

Michigan State scored a field goal midway through the first quatre for the 3-0 lead, but the Badgers have managed to string together a 16-play drive covering 65 yards for a touchdown. Alex Hornibrook tossed a short pass to tight end Eric Steffes for a one-yard touchdown pass and the lead. Badgers running back Corey Clement scored from the goal line midway through the second quarter to cap a much shorter six-play, 28-yard drive setup by the defense. Sojourn Shelton picked off a pass from Michigan State’s Tyler O’Conner to put the Badgers up in great position. Michigan State would tack on another field goal before halftime.

The Spartans are playing without linebacker Riley Bullough, who was ruled out for the game and could potentially be out longer according to Vinnie Duber of CSN Chicago. Bullough is out due to an injury, the school announced prior to kickoff today. The injury was reportedly sustained last week against Notre Dame.

Wisconsin has taken advantage of their third and fourth-down opportunities so far. The Badgers have converted five of eight third down situations, and are a clean two-for-two on fourth down thanks to the fullback dive.

Wisconsin receiver working at defensive back this spring

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Looking for a chance to get some more playing time, Wisconsin’s Natrell Jamerson is embracing a chance to play some defense with the Badgers this spring. Jamerson played wide receiver last season but never had a chance to play any real role in the offense. With room to fill on the defensive side of the passing game, Wisconsin has been working Jamerson at defensive back with the first team defense.

“It’s very exciting,” Jamerson said of playing a position he previously played in high school. “I switched positions so I’d get more playing time, so it’s a big deal going in with the ones. And then when I’m not getting in, I’m getting mental reps.”

Wisconsin returns two starters at cornerback in 2015 with Sojourn Shelton and Darius Hillary each back this season. Jamerson can get the extra reps with the first team though and show the ability to add some depth at the position. Wisconsin is currently showing eight cornerbacks on the roster right now. By contrast, the Badgers show 12 wide receivers on the roster (a number that currently includes Jamerson).