MADISON, Wisconsin — Returning starter Joel Stave and dual-threat challenger Tanner McEvoy each played to their strengths, though neither quarterback gained much separation in their dual for Wisconsin's starting job during an open scrimmage Sunday.
Stave started all 13 games and guided the Badgers to a 9-4 record in an inconsistent 2013 season. McEvoy is getting another shot at quarterback after playing the final 10 games last year at safety. Each candidate threw two touchdown passes Sunday in one of two open scrimmages of training camp that coach Gary Andersen had indicated could go a long way in determining the starter.
Stave and McEvoy, both juniors, had about the same number of plays, but Stave had more than twice as many passing attempts.
"No plan to have one guy throw the ball more or throw the ball less as we walked into it," Andersen said. "We have done that in certain practices. They're throwing the ball when they get the opportunity by down and distance and that's just how the scrimmage went."
Operating from a variety of field positions, Stave completed 10 of 18 passes with scoring passes of 23 and 4 yards. McEvoy missed his first three passes, but completed his final four, including touchdowns of 21 and 12 yards.
"Again, they're competing well against each other," Andersen said. "It's a great situation to be in."
McEvoy also showed the versatility and different look that Andersen admires, running several option plays.
"If we played a game today, we would have some scenarios where we would want to be a very multiple offense," the coach said, "and if that means that another guy's got to get under center every once in a while and make us be more multiple for people having to prepare, then so be it."
Standout running back Melvin Gordon got a handful of early carries, as did sophomore backup Corey Clement. With freshman Taiwan Deal, a candidate for the No. 3 back, out with an injury, the bulk of the carries went to redshirt freshman Austin Ramesh, who is primarily viewed as a fullback.
One player who stood out was freshman kicker Rafael Gaglianone, a Brazilian exchange student who was a two-time all-state kicker at Baylor High School in Chattanooga, Tennessee After missing his first attempt from 43 yards, he made his next four, including ones from 50 and 55.
Wisconsin has one more open scrimmage scheduled for Aug. 18 before opening the season on Aug. 30 against LSU in Houston.