Notes: Closing Up Shop

Deciding that the Badgers would be working on too many things involving the gameplan for the season opener against LSU, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen closes the final fall scrimmage to the media, leaving the quarterback competition up for debate.

MADISON - Beginning week three of fall camp with the second and final intrasquad scrimmage, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said Monday was going to be a barometer for his football team.

Whether it was or wasn’t will only be known to Andersen, his coaches and his players. Originally scheduling the scrimmage to be open to the media, Wisconsin’s second-year head coach decided that the amount of tactical things the Badgers were going to work on needed to be kept in house and off the Internet.

“I just felt like there was information that could possibly help us win a game,” We did a lot of things from a scheme standpoint that we want to protect from an offensive side, to a defensive side, to a special teams side.”

Andersen limited the scrimmage to between 60 and 70 plays and while the exact knowledge of what happened was a mystery, he said the offense performed “OK,” but had three turnovers (one of which was returned for a defensive touchdown), too many administrative penalties and the receivers had a handful of drops, all against a defense that had upwards of six projected starters sitting out.

He added those were all things he believed the team will correct before taking on No.13 LSU in 12 days.

It also wasn’t divulged what quarterback made the mistakes or what quarterback is the front runner for the starting job. Hoping to make a decision on the starter in the next few days, Andersen said there will be no formal announcement on who the starting quarterback is (just like there won’t be for any other position) and that people will know who the starter is when he jogs out to the huddle in the opener.

Saying that decision is somewhat tactical, Andersen said that he will have “a lot” of say who starts between junior Joel Stave and junior Tanner McEvoy.

“It doesn’t need to come across the wire that we named a starting quarterback,” said Andersen.

Gillins Make a Statement

In a perfect word, true freshman D.J. Gillins would be redshirted this season. But after having his best performance of camp, Andersen is not ready to shut the door on the athletic dual-threat quarterback.

In the 11 plays the media was permitted to watch from the third-string offense, Gillins executed a 8-play, 70-yard drive that was highlighted by his 40-yard scramble into the red zone. The play could have been ruled a sack, but Gillins did a good job evading pressure and then put a juke move that got safety A.J. Jordan bending the wrong way, opening up the field for Gillins to scramble.

Depending on how effective and the direction of the offense heading through the season and the athleticism, or lack thereof, will determine whether Gillins plays or not. Andersen added that both him and offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig are undecided about Gillins’ role on the team will be this season.

“In a perfect world, it’s nice to have a young man have another year as you move forward,” Andersen said.

Kinlaw Pressuring Deal

Having gone through individual drills and slowly working his way up into some 7-on-7 and 9-on-7 work, true freshman Caleb Kinlaw went through his first live reps of camp and showed a spark.

“It was great to see him out there,” said Andersen. “He had some productive runs.”

Kinlaw is firmly in the mix for the number three tailback spot because he is a different style tailback than Deal, who has been nicked up and hasn’t quite commanded the position as the coaching staff would have hoped, but capped off Gillins’ series with a 6-yard touchdown.

“If (Kinlaw) does some of the things he did today,” said Andersen, “he’ll definitely get a look.”

Extra Points: Wisconsin apparently “gained a lot of momentum” in the past 48 hours getting injured players healthy and that he doesn’t have any big injury concerns for the opener … Kenzel Doe and Alex Erickson were the two returners during punt return drills … Andersen said he expected more out of his wide receivers after a number of poor plays that occurred before the media was allowed in, adding that their progression has “stabilized” … Scouts from the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders were in attendance … Practices are now closed to the media.

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