The Wisconsin Badgers(5-4, 3-3) are set to face off against the Northwestern Wildcats(4-5, 2-4) on Saturday, with kickoff set for 2:30 P.M. Currently, DraftKings Sportsbook has the Badgers as an 11-point favorite ahead of the matchup.
In the game, redshirt freshman quarterback Braedyn Locke will be making his fourth consecutive start in place of injured signal-caller Tanner Mordecai, looking to drive the Badgers back in the win column after two consecutive losses.
Locke isn’t the only redshirt freshman quarterback on the roster, as the Badgers also have Nick Evers and Myles Burkett, who have yet to see action this season.
With the recent losses, as well as the difference in athleticism between Locke and the two backups, has head coach Luke Fickell looked to implement either Evers or Burkett in cetain situations?
Speaking with reporters ahead of the Northwestern game, Fickell acknowledged that the coaching staff have had thoughts, but ultimately are deciding against that option at the moment.
“There [are] thoughts, but we’ve got to go with what we believe is the best way for us to win the football game,” Fickell said about putting either Nick Evers or Myles Burkett in situational packages.
“And right now we don’t believe that that’s the way to do it. But as we continue to move forward, we might have to find some other ways, even if they’re little packages, even if they’re just opportunities for those guys.”
Why the lack of playing time? It comes down to taking care of the football, as well as the inexperience this late into the season.
“But you also got to make sure you can take care of the football,” Fickell said. “And I think, just like I know it’s different. We’re talking about [WR] Trech [Kekahuna] in a different position, but you throw another guy or two in there at quarterback position that has taken zero snaps in your last three weeks of the season.”
However, with the stagnant offense as of late, Fickell understands there may be a need for more creativity on that side of the ball, which may require him to re-think certain decisions.
“Boy, there’s a lot of tough things, just trust wise and taking care of the football and not putting yourself in a really bad situation. But I think that that’s the challenge for us as we move down the stretch and that’s the challenge I’ve had a little bit for the offense is based on some of the things we’ve got. We might have to be a little bit more creative and find ways to get some of the guys that can make some plays on the field, whether that’s with their arm or with their feet.”
But, for now, the Badgers’ quarterback plan will remain the same, as Locke will look to carry the team to a much-needed victory on Saturday.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.