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Wisconsin spring football: Tanner McEvoy, Joel Stave take majority of QB reps Tuesday

Tanner McEvoy and Joel Stave took first-team reps at quarterback, with McEvoy receiving a few more.

Luke Mueller

MADISON -- Wisconsin's practice on Tuesday was just like any other over the last few weeks in the McClain Center, but there were a few more eyes watching. Former players J.J. Watt, Scott Tolzein, Chris Borland, James White and Jared Abbrederis all took in practice.

On the field, the practice focused on a balance of running and passing plays. Joel Stave and Tanner McEvoy led the quarterback unit, with McEvoy taking a few more reps. After practice, each was asked about the spring thus far and expectations for the season.

Since an abysmal performance last Tuesday, the defense has played like a group with a fire lit under it. This time around, Wisconsin's defenders recorded six sacks and an interception in the half-hour of practice open to media. The defense has stopped the run well and defended the ball well through the air.

Practice highlights:

--Melvin Gordon only saw a few carries, but looked extremely quick and displayed great vision.

--Rob Wheelwright still was not back at practice. Wide receivers coach Chris Beatty had hoped to get him back this week.

--D.J. Gillins took five snaps in the media portion of practice and was 0-for-1. He was hurried once and sacked, as well. He practiced with the second- and third-teams.

--Bart Houston took nine snaps and was 3-for-6.

--Joe Ferguson is still in a no-contact jersey. He practiced with the second- and third-teams.

--McEvoy took 17 snaps. He was 9-for-13, sacked once by Dare Ogunbowale and hurried once. He also nearly threw an interception to Leo Musso. McEvoy received mostly first-team reps.

--Stave took 15 snaps and went 8-for-13. Marcus Trotter gave him fits, sacking and hurrying the quarterback once. He was also intercepted by Derek Landisch when a high pass went off the hands of his receiver. Stave also took mostly first-team reps.

--Chikwe Obasih practiced with the first-team defense and continues to make the most of his opportunities this spring. He had another sack Tuesday.

--Arthur Goldberg had two sacks.

--Michael Trotter's move to linebacker has gone well so far. He had a sack and a hurry.

--Landisch intercepted a pass from Stave.