Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen might be rolling the dice on his starting quarterback as he looks ahead to one of the biggest non-conference tests of the season in Week 1.
Tanner McEvoy is expected to take the first snaps at quarterback for the Badgers when they take on LSU in the season opener in Houston next week, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report.
McEvoy apparently beat out incumbent starter Joel Stave for the job and brings another dimension to the position as a runner.
McEvoy, a 6-foot-6, 222-pound redshirt junior, transferred to Wisconsin from a junior college prior to the 2013 season. McEvoy played both wide receiver and safety (where he started three times) last season but was moved back to his natural position -- quarterback -- in the spring.
Stave started all 13 games as a redshirt sophomore last season and threw for 2,494 yards and 22 touchdowns. He injured his shoulder in the Capital One Bowl in January and sat out all of spring practice but was still considered the favorite to land the starting job due to his experience and solid performance early in fall camp.
Andersen has been pretty coy about his quarterback plan for the opener, hinting that fans wouldn't know the pick until game time next Saturday.
"We may know who the starter is, but we're not going to say who the starter is until he jogs out onto the field for the LSU game. There's no big announcement," Andersen said on Monday. "Don't make an announcement for the right tackle. Don't make a big announcement for the starting nose guard, so we're not going to do that for the quarterback, either."
McEvoy threw for 1,943 yards and 25 touchdowns at Arizona Western College the last time he was a full-time starter at quarterback. He also rushed for 414 yards and added another six touchdowns on the ground.
He won't be able to ease into the job for the Badgers, though. The LSU game will be played in Houston in front of a likely hostile crowd. Wisconsin is ranked No. 15 in the initial College Football 24/7 Power Rankings for 2014, while LSU checks in at No. 13.