Time: 3 p.m. CT
The spring game is the last of the Badgers' 15 allotted spring practices by the NCAA. The team will play two halfs; the first consisting of game-like play, but with very little contact, according to head coach Gary Andersen. The second will feature two quarters that will be like a real game with full contact. The teams will not punt; instead, a "punt" will result in the ball being placed 35 yards downfield and the other team will take over on offense.
The biggest position battle was at quarterback, but with Joel Stave out for the spring game because of lingering shoulder issues, the first-team reps will belong to Tanner McEvoy. The position battle still is interesting, though. McEvoy, who played safety last year, will be getting his first crack at commanding the offense and showing his skills. Aside from McEvoy, Bart Houston and early enrollee D.J. Gillins will also have the opportunity to showcase their abilities. Houston has a very strong, albeit occasionally erratic, arm, and Gillins is a dual-threat quarterback who has impressed in his early playing time.
For most of spring, Rob Havenstein, Dan Voltz and Dallas Lewallen (all projected starters) have sat out. This has given valuable first-team reps to Ray Ball and early enrollee Michael Deiter. Gary Andersen has been very impressed with Deiter's skill set and maturity. Look for Ball and Deiter as they go up against the first team-defense in a game setting. They both could challenge for a starting spot this season.
As has been chronicled throughout the spring, the wide receivers have been hampered by injuries. Jordan Fredrick, Alex Erickson and Connor Cummins are not expected to play. Reggie Love and Rob Wheelwright, who both just returned to practice this week, may only see limited action on Saturday. This provides a window of opportunity for guys like Jazz Peavy and Lance Baretz to display their talents. Although they may not be battling for starting positions, they are fighting for reps this summer when five incoming freshmen are expected to make an instant impact. Watch speedster Kenzel Doe and his maturation from last year to this year. He may be this year's break-out wide receiver as the team looks to replace Jared Abbrederis.