MADISON (WKOW) -- The Badgers entered the fall with three quarterbacks realistically competing to be the starter. All three still have a chance. However, Gary Andersen admits the first scrimmage provided some clarity.
"I think there's been some slight separation at this point, which I hope so. I hope it wouldn't be a dead tie after six or seven practices."
Senior Curt Phillips did nothing to hurt his case. He was the most consistent quarterback in the scrimmage. He capped off his day with a pretty scoring strike to fullback Derek Watt.
Right now, it appears Phillips' primary competition is Joel Stave. The sophomore had an up-and-down day. He held on to the ball too long on several occasions and took some sacks. However, Stave also had the throw of the day. He connected with Jared Abbrederis on a long scoring strike. Stave's ability to throw the deep ball is exactly what Andersen is looking for in his offense.
"It's huge in this offense. The ability to get the ball to the third level in the back end, with the way we believe we're going to be able to run the football, is a big, big weapon."
Phillips and Stave appear to be pulling away from Tanner McEvoy. The junior college transfer has been trying to catch up since arriving on campus. However, his odds of truly competing took a serious hit with his scrimmage performance. McEvoy only completed a couple passes and fumbled. Andersen admitted his heralded transfer is still searching for his comfort zone.
"He's out there in turbulent waters right now. Hopefully, in the next five or six days, his mind will clear, the waters will smooth, and he can go out and let his athletic ability and his mind take over. Again, the challenge for a quarterback is to gain the respect of the guys that are on the field with him."
Andersen pinpointed the next week as a crucial time in this quarterback competition. He does not plan to platoon his quarterbacks. So, the first-year coach is waiting for someone to grab hold of the position.
"This first scrimmage was important. The rest of this week is important. We'll get to the second scrimmage. By then, we're going to have to have some definite separation."
Andersen says the scrimmages are the most important factor he will use in determining his starter. The next scrimmage is scheduled for August 19.
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