The highly anticipated debut of Tanner McEvoy as Wisconsin Badgers quarterback was very underwhelming to say the least. The more the game wore on and the pressure built, McEvoy failed to make the big throws he and the Badgers needed to pull off the victory. But it wasn’t entirely all his fault.
Sure towards the end of the game McEvoy was throwing off his back foot and looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. But a big part of that was due to lack of protection from the offensive linemen. Which is surprising because they are usually a dependable group that you should not have to worry about.
Lack of experience at the wide receiver position also showed in Saturday night’s loss. Wisconsin’s wide receivers failed to get separation from LSU’s cornerbacks and became non-existent when the Badgers needed them the most. The leading receiver for Wisconsin was Alex Erickson who caught three balls for 33 yards. Longest pass of the night went to him for 14 yards. Jared Abbrederis is surely missed in Madison right now.
And then there was Melvin Gordon standing on the sideline for most of the second half as Corey Clement struggled to get anything going in the run game. No injury, no explanation. Both players said it was a coaches decision to have Clement get the majority of the snaps. A decision I highly disagree with.
But don’t think I am passing the buck and blaming everyone other than McEvoy because that’s not the case. I was behind McEvoy becoming the starter and really wanted him to shine in his debut, but that did not happen. At times he was not on the same page with his receivers. He was far from accurate and never really got comfortable in the pocket. Completing only 8 passes for 50 yards and throwing two interceptions is not going to get the job done. Luckily for him and the rest of the Badgers they face a less formidable opponent next week in Western Illinois. It should provide a great opportunity for this offense to get on the right page and back on track.
If they do not, it could end up being a long season in Madison.