MADISON — No. 14 Wisconsin won’t disclose its starting quarterback until he jogs on to the field for the season opener on Aug. 30 against No. 13 LSU.
That decision was relayed Monday by coach Gary Andersen following the team’s second scrimmage, which lasted about 60 to 70 snaps. Andersen said that returning starter Joel Stave and challenger Tanner McEvoy had solid efforts in a scrimmage that included three offensive turnovers and one defensive touchdown.
Andersen will sit down with offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig and make a decision about the starting job within the next few days, but he doesn’t plan to share it.
“There’s no big announcement,” Andersen said. “We don’t make a big announcement for the right tackle, don’t make a big announcement for the starting nose guard and we’re not going to do that for the quarterback, either.”
It’s the same way Andersen handled the quarterback competition last preseason before going with Stave.
McEvoy, a junior who played 10 games at safety last season, improved consistency during the second week of camp. Stave, who threw 22 touchdowns in helping Wisconsin to a 9-4 record in 2013, has been the front-runner.
Based on McEvoy’s running skills, the Badgers coaching staff will draw up packages to make the most of his mobility, even if he doesn’t get the starting nod.
The choice to not name the starter is more a tactical decision, as opposed to a philosophical one for Andersen, who said if people have observed practices, they’d likely be able to tell who the starter would be. Stave, also a junior, has a slight edge with performance and more reps with the No. 1 offense.
“I think you could probably sit down and watch practice and see the direction it’s headed,” Andersen said.
DJ Gillins, a 6-foot-3, 201-pound freshman quarterback from Jacksonville, Florida had a strong showing at Monday’s scrimmage, according to Andersen. There is a chance Gillins could redshirt, depending on the team’s effectiveness and direction at the position.
Andersen said is optimistic with the Badgers’ overall health, especially considering at least 16 players dealt with injuries, bumps and bruises last week.
Wide receiver Jordan Fredrick and fullback Derek Watt participated in portions of Monday’s scrimmage, though Andersen said he sat five to seven of his defensive starters, including linebackers Marcus Trotter, Michael Trotter and Derek Landisch, to preserve their health.
“There were a number of guys that could’ve gone today if we needed them defensively for LSU instructional purposes,” Andersen said, “but we’re going to be real close firing at all cylinders as long as we stay healthy the rest of the way through.”