Badgers' spring game to be held April 12
FEB 03, 2014 3:52p ET
MADISON, Wis. -- For those Wisconsin football fans that think the spring game can't arrive soon enough, there's good news: University officials have announced the date for the 2014 game. And it's earlier than years past.
Wisconsin will hold the spring game on Saturday, April 12 at 3 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium, it was announced Monday. Tickets go on sale beginning Wednesday for $5 online at UWBadgers.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BADGERS. Proceeds from the annual game will help fund the School of Education.
The spring game -- the second under head coach Gary Andersen -- takes place one week earlier than a year ago, when it was held on April 20. In 2012, it took place on April 28.
"Gary and I talked about this," athletic director Barry Alvarez said Monday during a news conference to announce the game. "I told him when you start, you may not get any days outside depending on our spring. But he wanted to work some days. It all pertains to full cycles and lifting and also getting some work done prior to spring break.
"This is the first time he's ever done it. We used to do it. I like that. It allows you to have a period of time if someone has a sprained ankle or is banged up a little bit that they can come back healthy. It also makes them think about football over a longer period of time. But it is early."
Wisconsin will look to put several pieces in place offensively and defensively during the spring season. The Badgers lose top wide receiver Jared Abbrederis (78 catches, 1,081 yards, seven touchdowns), as well as tight end Jacob Pedersen (39 catches, 551 yards, three touchdowns) and running back James White (1,444 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns). Quarterback Joel Stave, who struggled during the latter half of the season, also could be in for a starting battle with Bart Houston, among others.
Alvarez said he thought partnering with a campus department could help increase spring-game attendance. The announced attendance in 2012 was 10,479 people, and that number increased to 12,050 last season.
Alvarez on Super Bowl: Alvarez was asked what type of impact having four former Badgers win the Super Bowl with Seattle -- Russell Wilson, Chris Maragos, O'Brien Schofield and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell -- might have on the Wisconsin program. Also, former Badgers running back Montee Ball played for Denver, which lost 43-8 to Seattle.
"I think, as many times as they mention Wisconsin, that's free advertising," Alvarez said. "With the attendance number and those viewers and the ratings normally for the Super Bowl, when you have that many that were involved, and you include Darrell Bevel, who they mentioned his name, and they didn't give him enough kudos for having played here. But it's free advertising. The majority of the kids that are going on to play in college, they have a dream that maybe someday they can be on that stage. And if you see that many players from our program participating, then they identify us with a team that can prepare you to play at that level.
"So I was very proud of all five of them that participated. I thought Montee played well. He didn't have much room to operate. I thought that first down he made was a strong finish and good run. Maragos got a lot of air time, played well on special teams. O.B. had a play. I thought they all represented us very well. Darrell called a magnificent game."
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