Freshman Connor Senger might not play a snap for Wisconsin this season, but his efforts are seen all over the field. Photo courtesy of UW AthleticsConnor Senger is listed as No. 14, one of two 14s on the Wisconsin roster. The other is Nate Hammon, a backup safety. This is a reality for many freshmen or redshirts in college football — your number is not your own.Senger fills both roles, a freshman buried on the depth chart almost surely redshirting his first season on campus. He was bound to share a number with another Badger — there are only so many digits to go around. Senger is different, though. He doesn’t need a number of his own because he gets a new number almost every week.That’s because Senger is the scout team quarterback. This week, he’s wearing No. 5. This week, he’s Wisconsin’s Braxton Miller.Of the many Badgers who won’t see the field this year, Senger is likely the most important. In addition to working on his own game in practice each week, Senger pulls double duty by working to imitate the next opposing quarterback.In any practice he’ll start with the quarterbacks, grabbing individual time with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig before switching to other side of the ball and doing his best impersonation of the opposing signal caller, straight down to the hand gestures, foot movement and pre-snap inclinations.“You’ve got to spend a lot of time picking it apart and finding tendencies through certain plays,” Senger said. “If they fake clap or they clap twice or they clap once, you’ve just got to try to pick it up. Sometimes you can’t; sometimes you can.”So that means Senger’s cadence is different on each side of the Camp Randall 50-yard line during practice. From watching film of Miller and notable backup Kenny Guiton — Senger starts watching clips on his iPad on Sunday nights — Senger mimics the one clap silent cadence that Miller is known for. He also sets players in motion with the lift of a leg.Wearing the No. 5 jersey, it would be easy to confuse the No. 5s practicing in Madison and Columbus. Senger would look just like Miller if only he grew a little more and added some weight. The Badger stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 175 pounds while the Buckeye ranks at 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds.But size isn’t important to Wisconsin’s defense. What Senger brings to the table is plenty enough to give the defense ample looks at what they’ll see under the lights at Ohio Stadium Saturday night.“He’s got some talent throwing the football, he can put it around in certain places like a quarterback should,” senior linebacker Ethan Armstrong said. “It’s not so much the [height] as it is the look he gives you physically out there. Whether it’s the moves he puts on or the speed that he brings, those kinds of things.”After all the work spent scouting the defense, at the end of practice, like Senger saw Tuesday, he’ll switch back to the offensive side of the field. When head coach Gary Andersen closes practice, it’s off to the sideline for Senger, where the quarterbacks finish out with sprints, sideline-to-sideline. That’s where you see Senger’s value, especially this week.Racing against starter Joel Stave and his backups Bart Houston and Curt Phillips, there’s no doubt the younger frosh is the first to finish each sprint. He’s the fastest to one sideline and the fastest returning to Ludwig on the other end. Speed is the trait that makes him a viable duplicate of Miller, Ohio State’s early-season Heisman hopeful.Senger ran the spread offense in high school at Milwaukee Pius, and boy did he run. The honorable mention all-state passer racked up 2,190 yards and 39 touchdowns on the ground in his career. Ironically, Miller has tallied similarly impressive stats in his Ohio State career — 2,368 yards and 20 touchdowns via the rush.Senger brings his knowledge of the spread to the field this week and there’s nothing lost in translation or anything needed to learn. The transformation is as easy as switching from white No. 14 with Senger on the back to white No. 5, nameless, which became pretty apparent to safeties coach Bill Busch.“It’s very, very important,” Busch said. “He understands when he sees the card or the play or the film, he goes, ‘Oh, I know what they’re doing.’ … He gets it right from the start.”And as far as being the scout team quarterback, he’s been doing a pretty good job.“It think he’s the best I’ve ever been around in whatever I’ve been coaching, 22 years … as far as the freshmen,” Busch said. “I know that for sure, and I’ve had some good ones at that.”And that’s only through four weeks of work in the scout team role. Senger simulated the dual-threat quarterback Darian Stone from Tennessee Tech. He also helped UW prepare for the rushing side of Arizona State dual-threat quarterback Taylor Kelly.By the end of the year, Senger will have been a man of many jerseys, this is for sure. Call it a small perk of the position, but it’s something he enjoys.“Its interesting because you go to your issued locker on Monday and every week for me it’s a new jersey,” Senger said. “You hold it up and it’s like ‘Oh, 17. I can roll with this.’ Then you just put it on and go.”Next week, with the Badgers on a bye and no opponent to prep for, Senger will don No. 14 again. But this week, if he does a good enough job miming the moves of one of the best players in the nation, Andersen will name Senger the Scout Team Player of the Week. That’s about as good as it gets for the fourth or fifth-string quarterback.
After a tough stretch of seven consecutive losses, the women’s basketball team may be turning its season around with back-to-back victories against Arizona and Arizona State over the weekend. While the Trojans struggled to find a rhythm on Friday night against Arizona, they fought throughout the game, ultimately earning USC its first wins since 2016.“You know what, we won,” head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said after her team’s first game against Arizona. “I didn’t think we played a great game. One of the things we talked about in pregame was grinding. We needed to grind out a win — do whatever it took to come away with a victory — and I thought we did that.”With the career-high performances from freshman forward Ja’Tavia Tapley and senior center Ivana Jakubcova, the team was able to clinch the much-needed victory over the Wildcats. Standing at6-foot-3 and 6-foot-6 respectively, the two were able to use their length and solid form under the basket to combine for 26 points and 18 rebounds.“It was very important,” Tapley said. “With boxing out and the height advantage, we just put two and two together and just made it happen on the boards.”Having players like Tapley and Jakubcova come through for the Trojans was even more important given the loss of yet another player due to injury this season. Sophomore guard Aliyah Mazyck had previously missed five games with a stress fracture in her foot but was able to come back for both games against UCLA last week. Those games exacerbated her injury, and there is now no timetable for her return to the court.“We were trying to work through it,” Cooper-Dyke said. “But it was clear after the UCLA game that she couldn’t play anymore. Not only did she reaggravate it, but it is also more swollen, more painful. So we had to almost restart her rehab.”The Trojans did not let Mazyck’s injury keep them from competing against Arizona State on Sunday. USC and ASU had the number one and two 3-point range defenses in the conference respectively going into the afternoon, meaning the game was played mostly from the inside. The Trojans shut the Sun Devils down from that range, holding Arizona State to 0-5 from beyond the arc in the first three quarters — much to the delight of Cooper-Dyke.“What a great defensive game by my Women of Troy,” she said. “This team came out from the beginning and established ourselves defensively, and we did not let up off that pedal. It allowed us to get out on the fast break and get some buckets that we needed to keep our engine going.”In the first half, neither team was able to pull ahead, and it was 26-25 at the break, with ASU barely holding on to its one-point lead. After the half, the Trojans were plagued with unforced turnovers, and the Sun Devils finally managed to surge ahead. By the end of the third quarter, however, the Trojans had come alive, igniting the fans in Galen Center with their play. A four-point play by freshman guard Minyon Moore started a USC scoring run, and ASU would never recover.“When we turned over the ball it was demoralizing,” junior guard Sadie Edwards said, “[but] we didn’t put our heads down. Our coach called a timeout, and we said, ‘Let’s get this right, and let’s fix this.’ We did, and we made plays and played together.”The Trojans will now look to build a winning streak as they head onto the road for the next four games. Their newfound spirit could be just what the team needs to turn its season around.
Chennai: Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory on Thursday bemoaned the lack of ruthlessness in last season’s ISL, which saw the team finish last among the 10 teams.He also said it had been decided to ‘freshen’ things up for the 2019-20 edition. “After the poor performance in season-5, we decided to make a fresh approach. Maybe we didn’t work as hard as we had done in season-4. We just freshened up everything,” he told reporters here.He emphasised the importance of being ruthless and said the lack of ruthlessness was reflected in last season’s performance.”It is important to be ruthless. Maybe we were not ruthless in the season-5, which hurt our performances,” Gregory said.”We’ve made necessary changes to our squad for the coming season, and there’s a lot of positivity in the camp. We’ve had a great pre-season in Ahmedabad and Jamshedpur, and the boys have come together really well, a proper unit.”Now it is important for us to carry this preparation and momentum into the new ISL season,” Gregory said.Team for 2019/20 @IndSuperLeague season at their first press conference today. It’s always fun, interacting with the media 📹#ChennaiyinFC #PoduMachiGoalu pic.twitter.com/oktKjV1hdd— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) October 3, 2019 Speaking after the unveiling of the squad for 2019-20 season, Gregory said he had met CFC co-owner Vita Dani after the last-place finish in the fifth edition with his contract up for renewal and added she wanted him to stay on and offered a new deal.Admitting that the team had made a lot of mistakes on and off the field in the previous season, the CFC coach said for the players it was a learning.”We made a lot of mistakes on and off the field. Maybe we didn’t work as hard as we did during our winning run in season-4. I don’t see it (last season’s performance) as a failure, I look at it as a lesson. Now, generally there is a much better feeling around the camp,” he added.He also said that the role of the foreign players in a team’s performance was important and the (foreigners) in CFC could not replicate what they did in the season-4.India international Anirudh Thapa said the team was looking forward to the new season and a fresh start.”A new season with new faces and a fresh start. All we’re focusing on is to gel well together and make a good start. That’s all that matters right now,” said Thapa.Thapa will be away with the national team along with new signing Lallianzuala Chhangte ahead of their FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh on October 15 at Kolkata.Gregory was happy about roping in Chhangte, who he said could add a lot of value to the team.New signing Lucian Goian also reflected on his move to Chennaiyin FC, saying, “From my very first contact with the club and the coach here, I have always trusted in the vision to win the ISL championship. It’s a club that knows how to win, and I trust the project and the coach (John Gregory) to guide us in achieving success.The two-time ISL champions have retained 12 players from the start of the previous campaign and the club’s 25-man squad for the upcoming season comprises many youngsters like Rahim Ali (19), Hendry Antonay (19), Reamsochung Aimol (19) and Deepak Tangri (20).Local midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh is back to fitness after missing majority of the last campaign with a knee injury. Ganesh is joined by another top Tamil Nadu talent in right-back Edwin Vanspaul, who joined the club in the summer.CFC begin the ISL-6 campaign with a trip to FC Goa on October 23. Anirudh Thapachennaiyin fcfootballindian football First Published: October 3, 2019, 9:56 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.