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Wisconsin Badgers news: Gary Andersen provides updates before Western Illinois game

Gary Andersen met with reporters Thursday for his usually end-of-week media session. Among the highlights were some injury updates, insight into Western Illinois' offense and how the drama of this week has -- or hasn't -- affected the team.


Gary Andersen said that the events of this week haven't been a distraction for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Andersen said that he would not have changed the way things were handled this week, mainly regarding the Joel Stave situation.

Running back Melvin Gordon is ready to go and defensive end Konrad Zagzebski also practiced today. Zagzebski suffered a scary head/neck injury vs. LSU and said the left side of his body went numb while he laid on the field. Fortunately, he avoided serious injury.

Austin Ramesh is now the starting fullback with the loss of Derek Watt. As a result, the Badgers will use more 12 and 13 sets (one running back, two or three tight ends) in the coming weeks. Watt is expected to return sometime in November.

Andersen said that quarterback Joel Stave had a smile on his face Thursday and did participate in a few team drills. This week, it was revealed that Stave has been struggling with "the yips" and has been unable to consistently complete shorter passes. Junior Tanner McEvoy will once again start at quarterback while sophomore Bart Houston slides into Stave's No. 2 role.

Junior safety Mike Caputo has helped freshman safety Lubern Figaro in the secondary this week. The two had a few miscommunications last Saturday that resulted in big plays for LSU.

With Warren Herring sidelined, Arthur Goldberg is the starting nose guard. Freshman Connor Sheehy is backing him up, while Jeremy Patterson could also play. That indicates that the coaching staff is unsure as to whether Patterson will redshirt. Obviously, the Herring injury forces their hand a bit.

Freshman defensive back/athlete Serge Trezy will not be with the team until January, Andersen said.

Andersen said he will be watching the Green Bay Packers open the NFL season Thursday night vs. the Seattle Seahawks. UW's coaches filled Ben Strickland's locker with Russell Wilson gear.