Good morning! It's Wednesday, and not even the Wisconsin Badgers' quarterbacks know what they'll be doing this weekend. Join the party, Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy.
"You play the player with the hot hand," [offensive coordinator Andy] Ludwig said. "We want to put our best players on the field. Right now, we're trying to figure out who the best player is."
McEvoy and Stave split reps on Tuesday, according to a variety of media reports. McEvoy also hasn't yet taken snaps at receiver this week, which Gary Andersen indicated could be a possibility in his Monday press conference. Stave likened the situation to a camp scrimmage, "where he doesn't know which drives he'll be in charge of until just before he takes the field." Talking about a mid-October conference game like that is super weird, though I don't know if we should expect any more concrete information from players or coaches (ha, remember this is college football in 2014) at this point.
My unsolicited two cents: the players truthfully don't know who'll start at QB vs. Illinois, and the coaches likely don't either. One one hand, why make the decision now? Sure, there are practice reps to be divvied up. But at this point, both Stave and McEvoy are versed enough in the offense to be able to start on a given Saturday. Sure, their performances have been incredibly underwhelming this season, but I don't know if, like, 20 percent more reps in practice will make a difference at this point. UW seems intent on letting this play out for the rest of the week, and I can't necessarily argue with that at this point.
One final thought: while I'm not entirely familiar with Ludwig's previous coaching stops -- I'd defer to B5Q's resident Ludwig expert, Andrew Rosin -- he seems to relying on it as support for this two-QB plan. At Utah from 2005-08, Ludwig used Eric Weddle as a Wildcat quarterback, plus *two* other passing QBs. I hope to dive in a little bit more this week and see how Ludwig's history might (or might not!) influence Wisconsin's offense as long as it remains in flux.
"The plays that stick out in your mind are the ones where you mess up," Rob Havenstein said.
"They hang around. I'm still thinking about them. I was thinking about them on the bus ride home.
"It's those plays where you've got to shore things up. If I did my job better, that one interception doesn't happen to Joel early, which doesn't lead to that touchdown, and maybe the game goes differently.
"It is weighing on my mind pretty heavily."