Auburn Outback Bowl Preview: Wisconsin Badgers Offense

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  Nov 15, 2014; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Joel Stave (2) looks the throw a pass during the second quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin Badgers Quarterbacks

The Wisconsin Badgers have had two starting quarterbacks this season. After not playing in the first four games following a troubling case of the “yips,” junior Joel Stave has started each of the last eight, earning a 7-1 record for the Badgers over that time.

So far this season, Stave has completed 96 of 179 (53.6%) pass attempts for 1,229 yards and eight touchdowns with seven interceptions. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound signal caller was dreadful in the Big Ten Championship Game, throwing for 187 yards and three interceptions on 17-for-43 passing.

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  • However, Stave played very well prior to the poor performance against the Buckeyes. He completed 60.7% of his passes for 928 yards, seven touchdowns and only one pick since taking over as the starter prior to the October 11 game against Illinois. Stave also ranks in the top ten in school history in passing yards (4,827) and touchdown passes (36).

    “It’s one of the best stories in college football, in my opinion, the way he fought through such adversity and just kept on battling every single day,” Andersen said earlier this year. “His ability to fight was amazing. That’s why he’s such a competitor and he’ll be so successful in life.”

    Despite Stave’s career success, Tanner McEvoy, also a junior, beat him out for the quarterback job in fall camp and started the first five games of the season. Under McEvoy’s direction, Wisconsin was just 3-2.

    However, McEvoy had his moments. The 6-foot-6, 223-pound New Jersey native completed 65 of 112 passes (58%) for 709 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions. But he made the biggest impact on the ground.

    McEvoy is the team’s third leading rusher with 574 yards and six touchdowns, which gives Wisconsin three players that have run for 500-plus this year. Georgia Tech and their triple option offense is the only other FBS team that has that distinction. The performance also makes him the program’s single-season rushing leaders among quarterbacks.

    Even though he hasn’t thrown a pass since November 8 – a period of four games – McEvoy has 132 rushing yards and two scores. A versatile athlete, he is expected to even play some defense against Auburn as a linebacker or defensive back.

    Next: Wisconsin Running Backs