Quarterback Issue Unresolved

With Wisconsin fans calling for Dustin Sherer to replace Allan Evridge as starter, Badger fans finally got their wish against Iowa. The result leaves Wisconsin football fans still searching for answers.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — After a week of build-up for University of Wisconsin quarterback Dustin Sherer making his first career start, his overall performance might be summed up by one pseudo-word:


How else to explain a 17-for-34 passing effort, with 161 yards, no touchdowns (for himself or the team, except for a late score orchestrated by third-stringer Scott Tolzien) and two garbage-time interceptions?

Sherer hasn't started a game since his high school days in 2004. But the Cicero, Ind. product wasn't making excuses after a 38-9 shellacking against Iowa.

"I'm not going to blame it on being nervous," Sherer said. "There were guys open … rusty, yeah, maybe, but I just did not play well."

Hey, at least he wasn't dropping the ball at the first sign of pressure like his predecessor, Allan Evridge. But Sherer did make two puzzling throws to nobody in particular – nobody with a W on his helmet, that is.

He could have had more than the two second-half picks – both hauled in by IU linebacker Pat Angerer when UW was trying to score quickly – but his throws were a little bit short of would-be Iowa interceptors (which, at times, exemplified Sherer's day).

"You can't force it, it's my fault," Sherer said. "The guy who made the play was kind of defending himself, so it's my fault. If I don't see (a UW receiver), I can't throw it."

Give Sherer credit for building on last week's action against Penn State, having just one week to prepare as the new starter, and playing satisfactory in a hostile environment like the one he faced here at Kinnick Stadium.

But statistics do not lie; no touchdown drives speak volumes. Only one play was run inside the 20-yard-line, and UW's offense was comprised of three Philip Welch field goals with Sherer in the game.

"Kicking field goals will beat you, and today it did," Sherer said. "We got inside the 30 three times, and we didn't score. We're better than this."

For Wisconsin to fulfill its remodeled goal of making a bowl game – and for Sherer to keep his job just one week after earning it – Sherer knows he has to lead the offense better than that.

"I didn't throw it that well all day. I've got to fix it," Sherer said. "There's no other way, we just have to play better. I have to play better."

Sherer knows his mechanics have room for improvement. His arm strength is not what it should be, and thus he found himself firing too hard for his own good, leading to wobbly or underthrown balls.

There were positives in Sherer's performance; after a shaky first drive during which all four throws were intended for tight end Garrett Graham, Sherer weaned himself of relying on his tight ends and spread the ball around nicely.

While Graham led the way with six catches, nine different Badgers caught a ball.

"I guess it just goes to show that we have guys that can make plays," Sherer said. "But Garrett's a guy that you try to go to, you try to get (tight end) Travis (Beckum) rolling."

In a season of crushed dreams for many Badgers, Sherer endured those on Saturday. He clearly was upset with how his first career collegiate start played out, and doesn't know if Tolzien might wrestle the starting job from him next week.

"It's not fun to dream of this, and have it come out this way," Sherer said. "But that's life, I guess. I've just got to deal with it, move on and get better every day."

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