Stave, McEvoy to share time as quarterback against Illinois

first_imgFollowing Saturday’s 20-14 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said Monday that he expects quarterbacks Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy to be involved in the offense moving forward.“They could possibly be on the field at the same time. I’m hoping that happens because I think that it opens up a little can of worms for people to wonder what’s going to happen, so we’ll see if that can take place for a couple plays and then we’ll also play them in different situations,” Andersen said. “We’re best served to able to play both those quarterbacks.”Andersen believes that both quarterbacks are fully capable of running offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig’s offense.By using both of them, McEvoy and Stave will each be able to flourish by being put in situations that play to each of their respective strengths.“[Tanner] can also give us the flavor of some option stuff that he’s done which is great,” Andersen said. “Joel on the flip side of things can get that ball down the field and he showed two very, very nice balls that were thrown in the last game. His ability to take the top off the coverage, and his ability to be involved in the throw game, I believe to be a huge positive.”McEvoy started last week’s game against Northwestern and threw for just 24 yards and one interception before Stave replaced him in the second half. Stave went on to throw for 114 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Despite Wisconsin’s passing woes, Melvin Gordon had a career day on the ground, rushing for 259 yards and one touchdown.Without an effective passing offense to compliment their stellar rushing attack against Northwestern, the Badgers scored only 14 points, which was the least amount of points the Badgers have ever scored with Andersen as head coach.However, according to Andersen, the entire team was responsible for their disappointing performance, not just the quarterbacks.“We can still look at ourselves in the eye and say we’re all responsible for every one of those picks,” Andersen said at his news conference Monday. “It’s a team game; it’s a team effort. I look at myself first, but there are no individuals that cost us the football game.”While the Badgers will keep working to improve their passing attack, their rushing offense was at the top of its game Saturday. Gordon rushed for the most yards in any game of his career, drawing heavy praise from Andersen.“Right now, there is nobody better. He is an unbelievable force out there on the football field. Any time he catches it, he has the ability to go the distance.”Wisconsin’s defensive performance against Northwestern was “just okay,” according to Andersen, who expressed disappointment about the Badger’s inability to consistently stop the run, causing Wisconsin’s offense to start possessions deep in its own territory.“The fact of the matter is we allowed Northwestern to run the ball effectively on us,” Andersen said. “There were four starting drives that were very difficult for the offense and the defense had a lot to do with that.”Despite dropping their first game in conference play, the Badgers head coach was still confident about his team’s chances in the Big Ten and was not overly concerned about the spot they are now in.“Being 0-1 in conference is not the end of the world,” Andersen said. “I believe in this crew. They’re going to work hard, they’re going to fight back and we lost to a good football team.”Wisconsin will try to get their first Big Ten win this week when they host Illinois, who is also looking for its first conference win after dropping its first two Big Ten games to Nebraska and Purdue.While Illinois will be without their starting quarterback Wes Lunt against the Badgers, Andersen still expects it to be a challenge to prepare for their intricate, spread-out offensive system that features gifted running back Josh Ferguson.“The offense is very wide open. They throw the ball all over the place with a lot of different schemes,” Andersen said of the Fighting Illini. “They have a very, very talented tailback who we played against last year and he has continued to get better and better as he’s gone through his career.”last_img