Wisconsin Badger Spring Game – 10 Takeaways
From Saturday’s pretty uneventful Badger spring game, 10 takeaways:
1. Kickers were terrible. If incoming freshman Rafael Gaglianone gets on campus next fall and isn’t good enough to win the job I worry about Gary Andersen’s mental health.
2. DJ Gillins certainly gives hope to the future at QB. Had a very nice scramble where he was cutting like a RB. Has very good arm strength and accuracy seemed fine. He struggled with his pocket presence, missed a few blitzes and took a long time to get through his reads. That might be more of an issue with the poor WR play, but was something he needs improvement in. He was at his best on one read quick hitters where he didn’t have to think much and could just play.
I don’t think he’ll see the field next year, he needs to put on some weight if he’s going to play a full season in the Big Ten and is going to need a ton more practice reps. McEvoy seemed much better than him today.
3. Bart Houston played a few series and was basically a non-factor. Didn’t do anything to stand out, nor anything really awful. He seemed to struggle the most with finding open WRs and making reads. In the few throws he made, seemed to be just throwing it deep to get rid of it.
He seems to do everything “OK” but nothing really above average at the position.
4. McEvoy looked much more comfortable in the pocket than the younger Gillins/Houston, which is to be expected. He’s got nice size for a QB and nice speed once he gets going. His first pass was a brutal arm punt that thankfully was not picked, but other than that looked pretty good. His throwing motion was much improved from what you saw on the JUCO videos, more compact and less of a Taylor Martinez impression.
I’d assume his overall numbers were pretty poor, but with what he had to work with today I thought he was pretty good and I was encouraged by what I saw.
5. Thad Armstrong got a bunch of reps at QB and a bunch of fullbacks and walk ons got reps at RB. Spring Game everyone!
6. Half the Offensive Line was out and Clement/Gordon saw limited reps, so it was difficult to evaluate the offensive line or the run defense. Thought Schoebert, Caputo and Leon Jacobs stood out. Overall the defense looked very small, but quick. Summer workouts are going to be huge for a few of these guys.
7. WRs struggled. Took them too long to get off the line and into their routes, dropped balls, were beat by the Badger DBs on most 50/50 balls deep.
8. Perhaps because of the WR struggles, the DBs looked pretty good. Nice to see Devin Gaulden back on the field making plays. TJ Reynard had a couple nice plays, Sojourn Shelton looked much improved at making plays on balls as well. Austin Hudson was around the ball, though he is another guy who needs to put on weight over the summer if he’s going to see the field next fall.
9. Where were the TEs? Didn’t hear their names all game. Perhaps they haven’t worked them into the limited spring playbook yet, but puzzling not to have them more involved.
10. They did Jump Around with a few thousand people in attendance. My old man pet peeve is that the song gets overplayed. Any time I go watch the Badgers at a “Badger bar” in Chicago its played, its a constant at any Wisconsin wedding and any other remotely affiliated Wisconsin event. Its a fine song, but at this point I think we can scale it back a little bit.
Overall, pretty boring game as to be expected. Some good experience for the QBs and some of the younger guys on defense. Most importantly no one got hurt, and the depth chart probably became a little more clear as they head into summer conditioning.