Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen wants to add some diversity to the playbook this season, something fans have not seen since Russell Wilson came to town.
Now this is not going to be a full on spread offense. Melvin Gordon, one of the most explosive players in the country, will still be the focal point of the offense. But there will be some wrinkles of the spread incorporated at Camp Randall Stadium this season.
Via FoxSports.com, Andersen was quoted as saying, “we have pieces of that … and they did it with Russell.”
I get that the Badgers were highly successful with Wilson under center with Bret Bielema on the sidelines. Although personally I think that the Badgers could have been more successful if Andersen was coaching then, but that’s another story for another time.Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
But how often does Wisconsin get a high-caliber, future NFL starter and Super Bowl champion quarterback like Wilson land in Madison? Not very often, and the options that Andersen has to work with are limited.
Last season’s starter Joel Stave is coming off a shoulder injury suffered in the Capital One Bowl, was very limited in spring and is now starting to feel 100%. Not to mention Stave’s inconsistencies of last year, throwing six touchdowns and five picks in the final three games of the season. That includes the loss at home to Penn State in which Stave threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw three picks as well on senior night.
The other quarterback competing for the starting job is Tanner McEvoy, who gives Andersen the mobility he is looking for. However McEvoy, who came to campus as a quarterback and then moved to safety last season and now back to quarterback, doesn’t has yet to show what he can do at the position.
With opposing defenses keying in on the running game and no real go-to receiver, it will be interesting just how well this spread wrinkle will be effective. McEvoy seems to be the clear cut choice to win the starting job, but Stave could surprise people in fall camp now that he seems to be fully recovered.
Hopefully this wrinkle works out and takes away a lot of the pressure that will be facing Heisman Trophy candidate Melvin Gordon and provides him with plenty of scoring opportunities.