The Wisconsin Badgers conducted “The Launch” on Saturday, with rain and snow present to begin the scrimmage on a day where the defense dominated.
Wisconsin finishes its spring schedule with two more practices this week, wrapping up a series of 14 practices where the Badgers debuted their new-look offense and defense.
Tanner Mordecai had a rough week, which was capped off by an uninspiring showing at “The Launch” on Saturday.
Mordecai had a day to forget, as his first three drives all ended in interceptions, with the first two picks coming off porous decisions, while the third was a great play by cornerback Ricardo Hallman on a 1-on-1 ball.
Mordecai finished his day with four interceptions, but his accuracy throughout the day was off-target, which he’ll look to improve to finish off spring ball.
The veteran quarterback continues to lock onto his early reads a little too long, which may be a product of the quick Air-Raid offense that’s primarily dependent on getting the ball out quickly.
Mordecai was also pressured significantly on blitzes, which resulted in several sacks that were drive-killers when interceptions weren't present.
The quarterback’s day capped off in a poor fashion, as Mordecai was inaccurate on two consecutive throws in a two-minute drill, stalling the drive, which resulted in a missed field goal by Nathanial Vakos.
Consistency will be key from the quarterback position in offensive coordinator Phil Longo’s offense, and Mordecai will need to provide that with better decision-making and processing, which will lead to fixing some of the accuracy issues displayed on Saturday.
While Mordecai struggled to begin his day, Braedyn Locke compiled a strong initial drive that resulted in a touchdown to Hayden Rucci on a dart.
The backup quarterback completed three consecutive passes that got the Badgers close to a score and bounced back after missing an open Jack Eschenbach in the endzone on a read by hitting Rucci for the score with a well-placed ball.
Locke’s next two drives were derailed by sacks from linebackers, stalling the offense’s progress.
From there, Locke and the second-team offense didn't get much going, failing to score a touchdown on the next drive on a fourth-down incompletion before inaccuracies started to plague the quarterback.
Locke did have another nice drive for a touchdown, connecting with Tommy McIntosh on a pair of plays, including a deep 1-on-1 catch, before finding Quincy Burroughs for the touchdown, which was the offense’s final score of the day.
Overall, it was an up-and-down day for the redshirt freshman, who had his fair share of inaccuracies after a promising start.
Evers saw the field shortly on Saturday, earning two drives as the third-string quarterback, with sacks derailing the first one, while an interception ended another.
Evers missed on a few throws, but once again displayed the running ability that has been seen in practice on several occasions.
Still, decision-making has to improve, as the Oklahoma transfer tried threading the needle between three defenders on his interception, which fell short into the hands of Jonas Duclona.
Marshall Howe saw three drives of action, leading one of the offense’s touchdown drives with a couple of completions to freshman tight end Angel Toombs before hitting Alex Moeller for the nine-yard score.
Howe’s lack of high-end arm strength is apparent on his throws, but he has commanded the offense well, which has led to his high rep count this spring.
It remains to be seen how long Howe will keep a grasp on the third quarterback spot, but it’s been impressive for the walk-on to have seen success in a crowded quarterback room.
Myles Burkett saw one drive of action on Saturday, where he connected with running backs on a couple of passes in the flat, but missed twice wide on downfield throws, stalling his lone opportunity on the field.