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Wisconsin Badgers news, 9/24: Joel Stave update; Chris Beatty confident in receivers

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After steamrolling their last two opponents by a combined score of 105-20, the Wisconsin Badgers are enjoying a generally quiet week heading into Saturday's non-conference finale vs. South Florida. Melvin Gordon's Heisman Trophy hopes seem to have been reinvigorated, Tanner McEvoy is continuing to improve at quarterback (albeit against weaker defenses) and a couple running back targets could be close to committing.

That leaves a variety of understated (albeit still worthwhile) topics for us to discuss this week. Let's run through a couple of them for Wednesday's Badger Bits.

Joel Stave

We haven't received any official updates from Gary Andersen (or Stave himself) this week, but Fox Sports Wisconsin's Jesse Temple did have some information Tuesday night.

While Stave still seems far away from reclaiming his No. 2 quarterback spot as he struggles with his throwing motion, it's clear he has the full support of the team at his back. After that bizarre, brief kerfuffle regarding the question of whether Stave was actually injured, Andersen's been nothing but supportive and various players have been seen propping him up at practice and before games. Tanner McEvoy's going to have the starting job locked up for several games, so we'll have to see how this plays out for Stave. Hopefully it goes as well as possible.

Wide receivers

"We're never going to be Texas Tech" coming from a Wisconsin coach is a fairly unremarkable statement, but these quotes from wide receiver Chris Beatty were interesting.

That issue of sample size seems especially relevant here. I have no issue with Beatty's confidence that the receivers can step up if/when a greater workload is needed, but the Badgers have been able to coast post-LSU on their running game and the fact that Western Illinois and Bowling Green have significantly weaker defenses than Wisconsin's upcoming Big Ten opponents. The fact that Alex Erickson is the only wide receiver with more than one reception thus far is also pretty nuts.

Temple has another article that went live Wednesday afternoon detailing the wide receivers and the confidence McEvoy, Beatty and others have in the unit.

Wisconsin receiving stats through 3 games
Alex Erickson 15 165 11 25 1
Sam Arneson 8 155 19.4 37 1
Melvin Gordon 5 27 5.4 8 (TD) 1
Corey Clement 4 41 10.3 22 1
Troy Fumagalli 2 32 16 22 0
Austin Ramesh 2 9 4.5 6 1
George Rushing 1 10 10 10 0
Austin Traylor 1 9 9 9 0
Jordan Fredrick 1 6 6 6 0
Reggie Love 1 2 2 2 0


Derek Landisch has been getting serious props from Andersen all week. Thursday, both and put out a few stories on Wisconsin's senior linebacker. The gist, from the former:

"Next came a tongue-in-cheek follow-up question for the senior: Has he made it through an interview this season without being asked about [Chris] Borland, a former UW star who's now with the San Francisco 49ers?

"That's a good question," Landisch said. "I don't know if I have. But Chris is great player and he definitely paved the way for others like myself and other linebackers. We've definitely learned a lot underneath him. For his name to get mentioned, that's not too bad. He definitely left a legacy here."

Nobody is comparing Landisch to Borland - especially Landisch.

South Florida's had a pretty up-and-down season so far. B5Q's Zach Wingrove also has his Getting to Know piece on the Bulls up today. also has a scouting report of their own.

Fox Sports Wisconsin's Dave Heller has his weekly update on how AP voters voted this week.

Melvin Gordon is remembering to have fun, something he admits isn't always easy for him