"Joel and I are great friends, and the competition makes us even closer," said Phillips, "Of course we want to use the Spring Game to separate ourselves, but I feel as though we both played solid games."
Going 15-for-20 for 161 yards and the game's lone passing touchdown, Stave's performance impressed Head Coach Gary Andersen.
"I thought Joel was poised today," he said. "[He] wasn't perfect and we don't need him to be perfect." Andersen also went on to say that today was the "best Stave has looked all spring." Stave threw one of the two touchdowns on the day and was happy with his performance. "The ball came off the hand nice. I was glad they let me throw a few downfield. I am confident in my ability and it definitely does not hurt my chances for being quarterback."
Stave's main competition will be Phillips, a sixth year member of the football team. Redshirting two years in a row because of three ACL surgeries has helped Phillips realize that he cannot take anything for granted.
"Whenever I put on pads, I just have fun with it," said Phillips. "The game of football is something I took for granted early on, but once the game was taken away from me, I realized that having fun was the most important thing."
Phillips started the game for the Cardinal offense and ended the day going 8-for-13 for 82 yards. With a few runs mixed in, Phillips was positive about his performance.
"I would grade my performance average," said Phillips. "I didn't do anything too over the top, I just played solid football like we practiced."
After Saturday's spring game, Stave and Phillips enter fall camp neck and neck in the quarterback race.
"I wouldn't be surprised," said Stave, "it always seems like there is competition no matter what."
"I am sure they will wait until the week before the UMass game," added Phillips. "They like to make things interesting in regards to who will start. We just both know that no matter who starts, that we will always bring our best to every game."