The final two Big Ten spring games of the year were held this weekend, and we're here to review both of them, starting with Wisconsin.
Star of the game: Redshirt freshman running back Melvin Gordon carried 30 times for 159 yards and a touchdown.
How it went down: The Cardinal team, which included the first-string offense and defense, defeated the White squad 21-10. Gordon had a big day in the absence of Montee Ball (precautionary reasons) and James White (bruised knee), showing that the Badgers have serious depth and talent at tailback.
But that wasn't really the question going in. The quarterback situation was. Redshirt freshman Joel Stave appears to be the No. 1 guy until Danny O'Brien shows up, as he spent most of the day with the Cardinal team. He was 14-for-25 for 135 yards and a touchdown and a late interception while putting the ball on the money throughout the game. By contrast, Joe Brennan went just 2-for-11 for 24 yards.
“Joel continues to impress me -- his maturity, the way he handles it,” head coach Bret Bielema said.
Receiver was also a big question mark. Chase Hammond had a nice day, catching four passes for 48 yards and the lone receiving touchdown.
"Chase is an interesting prospect just because he's so lanky," Bielema said. "He's a very athletic specimen. He had surgery on an ankle twice, I believe. Really, at one point they told me he wouldn't be able to play. He's battled back from that. ... I think he made some steps this spring in certain times in practice. I'm excited because I think it is there. He's only a sophomore, so he's got a lot of good football, hopefully, in front of him."
"I just showed that when it’s time to play, I can make plays," Hammond said. "I think that’s been big on me. I may not always have the best practices but that’s what practice is for, to get better."
The Badgers' defense limited the offense for the most part, outside of a few big plays. It's hard to get a true read on Wisconsin from the spring game, since so many stars and potential starters -- like Ball, White, O'Brien, Mike Taylor and Chris Borland -- didn't play in the spring game. Remember that there were no offensive touchdowns in last year's Cardinal and White scrimmage, and that team ended up being pretty good on offense.