Tom Oates talks Badgers quarterbacks, receivers and defensive questions
Jan 1, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Gary Andersen during the second half of the Capital One Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks held at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Photo: Image by Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports
Badgers football is right around the corner, with the team starting its season in just over two weeks.
Going into Wisconsin's game at LSU on August 30, there are still a few question marks about the team. One is at the quarterback position.
Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal joined Sports Central on Thursday night, and gave his opinion of how things currently stand.
"My sense is that Joel Stave will start," Oates said, adding, "I think Joel Stave is what he is. He's probably a slightly better, smarter quarterback than he was last year. I don't think Tanner McEvoy has done anything in this camp to unseat him."
McEvoy, a redshirt junior, is not like Stave. His strength is in his speed and athleticism, while Stave is a solid passer that prefers to stay in the pocket.
Oates thinks the situation at quarterback is affected by the team's first opponent.
"I think this whole quarterback decision is complicated somewhat by the fact they play LSU at Houston in the opener," Oates said. "If they were playing Western Illinois at home, I think it would be easier to make a change at quarterback."
Even though McEvoy may not start for the Badgers, Oates definitely sees them using their backup quarterback in some role on offense.
"I do think they will use McEvoy in some kind of change of pace. I don't mean to say McEvoy can't throw the ball at all. He's got a pretty strong arm," Oates said, adding, "It's not like he's lost this by a mile. I just don't think he's done enough to unseat Stave."
Oates also praised the Badgers' young wide receivers, saying some of them have impressed enough to earn some playing time against LSU in Houston.
On the defensive side of the ball, the big question is with the front-seven.
On the defensive line, Oates points out the Badgers will be very inexperienced, which could be a worry for them in the 2014 season.
"To me up front, the three spots up front, they're small, and with the exception of Warren Herring, not particularly experienced. I think that's going to be a huge factor as the season goes on."
Listen to the full interview in our audio player directly above the story.