September 1, 2014

Badgers falter in second half, lose to LSU

Gary Andersen

Gary Andersen

The first 35 minutes on Saturday night was looking like the Wisconsin Badgers would leave Houston with a season opening upset victory over LSU.  Unfortunately, the last 25 minutes was all LSU and the Tigers pulled away for a 28-24 victory.

The 13th ranked Tigers came from 17 points down to stun the Badgers.  They scored 21 straight points after Corey Clement’s TD run gave Wisconsin a 24-7 victory.  Just prior to that score, Melvin Gordon’s 63-yard run gave the Badgers 1st and 10 at the 12.

It was not a good night for Tanner McEvoy and the Badger passing game.  McEvoy finished 8 of 24 for 50 yards and two interceptions.  He rushed six more times for 40 yards.

Badger fans were wondering why coach Gary Andersen didn’t make the switch to last years starter Joel Stave.

AUDIO: Gary Andersen asked if he thought to put Joel Stave into the game :05

Andersen had little explanation for the lack of carries for Melvin Gordon.  He finished with 16 carries for 147 yards and a touchdown, but only three carries in the second half [Read more...]

Badgers kick off season tonight

Melvin Gordon - Photo: David Stluka

Melvin Gordon – Photo: David Stluka

The Wisconsin Badgers can make a major statement tonight when they open the college football season against LSU at NRG Stadium in Houston tonight (8pm).

Redshirt junior Tanner McEvoy is set to make his first start at quarterback for the Badgers.  The last time he started a game at quarterback came during his only season at Arizona Western College in the 2012 El Toro Bowl.  He started three games for the Badgers last season at safety.

Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen wants a quarterback that is a dual threat, being able to run as well as pass.  McEvoy has the running part down, but how will he do throwing the football.  The Badgers success tonight may greatly depend on it.

But Wisconsin’s bread and butter is still their running game and they feature an offensive line with plenty of experience.  That line will be blocking for Heisman Trophy candidate Melvin Gordon, and Corey Clement, who will share time with Gordon this season.

While the quarterback position is going through some change, the biggest change comes on defense where the Badgers feature a new front seven.  That unit will be tested by LSU’s veteran offensive line and talented running backs.  LSU hasn’t settled on a quarterback.  Freshman Brandon Harris and sophomore Anthony Jennings will both play against the Badgers tonight.

LSU’s lack of experience at quarterback could be the difference for the Badgers, who are trying to pull off the upset.  Wisconsin enters the game as a 5 1/2 point underdog.

 

Volleyball Badgers open with a win

The 6th ranked Wisconsin women’s volleyball team opened the 2014 season by sweeping Louisville 25-16, 25-22, 25-17 at the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Badgers improved to 28-13 all-time in season openers, including a 18-7 mark on the road.  The Badgers wrap up the weekend by facing Notre Dame this afternoon (4pm).

 

Andersen remains quiet on Badgers starting QB

Gary Andersen

Gary Andersen

The Wisconsin Badgers kick off the 2014 season against LSU in four days.  Head coach Gary Andersen said a week ago that he planned to keep the Badgers starting quarterback a secret until then and he’s sticking to that plan.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported last Friday that Tanner McEvoy will make the start on Saturday night, leaving last years starter, Joel Stave as the backup.  But Andersen on Monday maintained that the Badgers haven’t made the selection yet.

Andersen also told reporters at his Monday press conference that both quarterbacks could see playing time this season.

Andersen said, “We’ve got two quarterbacks that I think are going to help this football team throughout the year.  And whoever takes the first snap doesn’t necessarily say he is going to be the guy for the whole season.”

Stave started all 13 games for the Badgers last season, while McEvoy’s last game as a starting quarterback came in 2012 at Arizona Western College.  McEvoy did start three games at safety for the Badgers last season and played in 10 overall.

AUDIO: Gary Andersen still isn’t saying who is QB will be :18

AUDIO: Gary Andersen says McEvoy has learned the offense well :22

 

McEvoy wins Badgers QB job

Tanner McEvoy

Tanner McEvoy

Wisconsin junior Tanner McEvoy has been tabbed the starting quarterback for the Badgers season opener against LSU at Houston next Saturday night.

McEvoy was chosen over incumbant Joel Stave, a junior who started all 13 games last season and 19 games overall.  It’s the fourth straight year that the Badgers will start with a new quarterback.  Prior to Stave last year, the Badgers used Danny O’Brien, Russell Wilson and Scott Tolzien in season openers dating back to 2010.

Coach Gary Andersen did suggest last week that both quarterbacks could see time this season, suggesting that each quarterback would have a special package of plays designed for their skills.

But the Badgers have decided the 6’6, 222 pound McEvoy gives them more of a dual threat in both the run and pass games.  Andersen has made no secret about his desire to feature a multidimensional quarterback who can attack the edges and force opponents to defend against the run and pass.