New head coach Gary Andersen got his first chance to impress Wisconsin Badgers fans at the team's 2013 spring game. He didn't disappoint.
While it's tough to gather just how good the team is in an inter-squad scrimmage, we know that Andersen is going to bring the excitement. Complete with background music blaring in the background, Andersen's upbeat offense was on full display as the Cardinal team beat the White team, 61-47.
Well, that score is a little deceiving.
Andersen employed a scoring system that is a bit non-traditional. In addition to six points for touchdowns and the traditional scoring for conversions, the offenses were rewarded points for first downs, runs of 15-plus yard runs, 20-plus yard passes, and first downs. The defense was awarded points for three-and-outs, stopped drives, sacks, tackles for a loss, and turnovers.
With a new offense in place, the competition for the starting quarterback position took center stage.
All things considered, Curt Phillips and Joel Stave both had their moments.
Tom Mulhern @TomMulhernWSJ
Joel Stave leads a second touchdown drive. He's now 11-13 for 131 yards and TD. Watt with 5-yard TD catch.2013-4-20 21:51:37
Jesse Temple @jessetemple
Joel Stave went 5 for 6 for 58 yards on his first drive of #Badgers spring game. Curt Phillips was 2 for 3 for 38 yards on his drive.2013-4-20 21:24:52
With plenty of injuries across the roster keeping players like James White out, the Badgers resorted to going to the fifth or stringers at times. Even sixth-string quarterback Thad Armstrong got a chance to lead the offense.
As well as Stave and Phillips played it was the defense that took center stage. The Badgers defense came out with an aggressive pass-rush and had success getting pressure.
The defense was consistently in the quarterbacks face. Vince Biegel and Joe Schobert were among the defensive players getting in on the sack party.
Benjamin Worgull @TheBadgerNation
Vince Biegel with another spring game sack on Danny O'Brien. More so a product of the 2nd-team OL, but Biegel w/ a nice game so far.2013-4-20 22:36:01
The Badgers will certainly be a different team without former head coach Brett Bielema, but fans should be excited about the Gary Andersen era.
The team didn't utilize the read-option all that often, but he got optimal play from both Curt Phillips and Joel Stave. Melvin Gordon looked like he'll be a prime time back alongside James White who was unable to participate due to injury. But quarterback play has always been the make-or-break aspect for Wisconsin.
It appears Andersen has two quarterbacks that will be able to move the offense down the field in Phillips and Stave.
The atmosphere was laid-back and it was apparent the attitude that Andersen brings to the team. If the spring game was any indication it should be a fun season in Madison this year.