players celebrate after their 59-24 win over Nebraska
in an NCAA college football game Saturday in Madison.
MADISON - A
two-quarterback system is working out just fine after all
for No. 14 Wisconsin.
Joel Stave is the pocket passer. Tanner McEvoy is the
change-of-pace running threat. The Badgers (9-2, 6-1 Big
Ten) are undefeated since coach Gary Andersen started
alternating the tandem behind center in Week 6, with the
frequency of switches picking up as the comfort level grew.
Minnesota (8-3, 5-2) is the next team that will try to
figure out Wisconsin's two-quarterback operation Saturday in
what is a de facto Big Ten West division title game. The
victor faces East winner Ohio State in the conference
championship game next week.
I think it puts (defenses) in a tough spot, just because
they know the kind of power offense that we're going to run,
the downhill running and the play-action pass," Stave
said. "But then when I come out and Tanner goes in, the
offense completely changes — a spread running game."
case, it helps immensely to have Heisman Trophy candidate
Melvin Gordon in the backfield to take handoffs. There's
nothing quite like a 2,100-yard rusher to draw the spotlight
away from quarterback play.
surely, though, the two-QB look is improving.
don't see that going away anytime soon," Andersen said.
"I think our ability to use that this year and moving
forward is going to be even more of a vicious weapon as we
continue to grow as an offense."
26-24 win at Iowa was the most impressive outing yet for the
for 62 yards on six carries, including a 45-yarder for a
score after a well-executed fake handoff to Gordon. Stave
finished 11 of 14 for 139 yards.
unexpectedly made one of the biggest plays with his feet.
Stave scrambled 12 yards on third-and-8 for a first down
late in the game to help secure the win.
quite the reversal of fortune for Stave, who lost his
starting job to McEvoy in training camp.
matters worse, Stave developed a problem with this throwing
motion that forced him to the sideline. Stave didn't see
action until relieving McEvoy during the 20-14 loss to
Northwestern on Oct. 4.
been a starter ever since. Stave and McEvoy more frequently
have alternated within a series.
one hell of a journey when you go back and start looking at
that journey that that young man has been through,"
Andersen said about Stave. "I'm so proud to see him get
off that field with a smile on his face and really
throughout the season as he's got back to normal."