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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Mason: Sherer era has begun for UW

The Allan Evridge era may finally be over.

With his team down 38-7, Evridge very well might have sealed his fate by throwing an interception midway through the third quarter. In entered junior Dustin Sherer on Wisconsin’s next drive, and Evridge’s time as UW’s starting quarterback was, in all probability, history.

It remains to be seen if Sherer will line up under center this Saturday against Iowa, but a comparison of his final stats to those of Evridge bear noting: 9-for-17 for 115 yards for Sherer and just 2-for-10 for 50 yards for Evridge, with each tossing an interception.


Granted, the game was well over by the time Sherer entered. But he still exhibited the tools necessary to do some good things with the football.

Early in the game, it was clear the UW coaching staff had little to no faith in their senior signal caller. On Wisconsin’s first possession, P.J. Hill carried on the first three plays, failing to pick up a first down. Next drive, it was more of the same story. John Clay took the ball for three straight carries, followed by another run by Hill.

On a third-and-12, Evridge rolled to his left, looking for an open receiver. Finding none, he lost a yard trying to pick up something on the ground.

Two possessions, zero pass attempts. Not an impressive start for a quarterback fighting for his job.

It wasn’t until just over a minute remaining in the first quarter that Evridge threw his first pass Saturday — an incompletion to Travis Beckum, nonetheless. And it was with about eight-and-a-half minutes to play in the first half when Evridge finally connected with a teammate — hitting a wide-open Beckum over the middle, who ran for a 42-yard gain.

The crowd finally had something to cheer about after the completion. While they may have been celebrating the big play, it seemed equally possible the applause was sarcastically aimed at Evridge as he finally completed a pass.

Later in the same drive, you got the sense that Evridge was playing to save his job. After a few Clay rushes to pick up a first down, Evridge did something Badger fans hadn’t seen him do all season — make an impressive run. He scampered 19 yards — his longest rush of the season — and moved his team down to the Penn State 6-yard line, drawing comparisons to his scrambling predecessor Tyler Donovan in the process.

Two plays later, on a third-and-goal from the 5, Evridge again used his legs to do something he hadn’t done all year — run for a touchdown. After extending the ball over the pylon, Evridge had brought UW to within 10 points as halftime approached.

Before the teams hit the locker room, however, he put himself right back on the hot seat.

The Badgers forced the Nittany Lions to punt with just over a minute remaining, giving them a chance to put some points up before halftime and cut the lead to a one-possession game. But on the first play of the drive, Evridge coughed up the football after trying to pick up yards on the ground. Penn State tacked on a touchdown off the turnover, and the game was all but over for Wisconsin.

So was Evridge’s UW career.

I’ve voiced my opinion on this issue before, stating at the beginning of the season that Wisconsin was making the wrong move in starting a one-and-done senior quarterback. With Sherer to likely be named the starter next season, it would have benefited the entire team if he had a year under his belt heading into 2009.

Well, if Saturday’s blowout loss was any indication, he could have at least six (seven if UW becomes bowl eligible, which at this point is not guaranteed) games of experience as a starter when his senior season begins.

I’m not a mind reader and I don’t have a crystal ball, so I can’t say for sure whether it will be No. 4 or No. 18 at the helm against the Hawkeyes, but I have seen Allan Evridge lead this Badger team to a 3-3 start — and they’re still without a win in the Big Ten.

The bottom line is that Wisconsin has nothing to lose in putting in Sherer at this point in the season. They can forget about the Rose Bowl, Capital One Bowl and probably even the Alamo Bowl. They’re a team destined for the Insight Bowl or, heaven forbid, the Motor City Bowl.

The least head coach Bret Bielema can do is open the job up to competition in practice this week. He alluded last Monday in his press conference that Sherer would be waiting in the wings if Evridge were to falter.

Indeed, he faltered Saturday.

Tyler is a senior majoring in journalism. If you’ve given up on the football team and are more concerned about the starters on the basketball team, let him know at [email protected].

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