Despite a three-interception performance during a disappointing loss to the Northwestern Wildcats, Joel Stave is expected to be named Wisconsin’s starting quarterback for Sunday’s contest against the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen has yet to officially name his starting signal-caller for this weekend’s game, but the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel‘s Jeff Potrykus cited multiple sources which said Stave will take over duties behind center.
Stave will replace junior Tanner McEvoy, who started the first five games of the season. McEvoy is a top athlete at quarterback, but he hasn’t proven to be a consistent passer. The 6-6, 223-pound signal-caller already threw five interceptions this season and got off to an extremely slow start against Northwestern.
Wisconsin is one of the few teams in the nation with an experienced No. 2 option at quarterback. Stave played in all 13 games last season. The junior threw for 2,494 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions as the Badgers’ primary starter in 2013.
The change isn’t permanent, though.
The coaching staff already acknowledged a quarterback rotation will be used Saturday.
“It’s a real delicate balance,” Wisconsin offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig told Potrykus. “The most important thing is to stay within yourself and stay within the strength of the entire unit, not deviate to match one player or the other.
“You’re going to play the player with the hot hand. If the course of game, the course of the season dictates that, absolutely. We want to put our best players on the field.”