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Joel Stave does not have an injury, admits he might have the yips

Joel-StaveWisconsin quarterback Joel Stave led the Badgers to a 9-4 record last season and an appearance in the Capital One Bowl, which is one of the bigger non-BCS bowl games. Stave, now a junior, threw for 2,494 yards, 22 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season but has been unable to play this year because of an injury. Or maybe not.

On Tuesday, Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen announced that Stave would be shut down indefinitely to rest his injured shoulder. Later that day, both Andersen and Stave admitted the whole injury excuse was a lie. In reality, Stave’s shoulder feels fine. He simply can’t make throws he once could.

“I’ve thrown how many thousands of balls in my life?” the quarterback told reporters, per Jesse Temple of Fox Sports Wisconsin. “I know when it hurts and when it doesn’t. I don’t know what it is. It just isn’t right, I guess.”

Stave said he can’t put his finger on what exactly “isn’t right.” When asked if he is suffering from a variation of the yips, the No. 10 all-time passer in Wisconsin history would not rule it out.

“Maybe on some level,” he said. “I’ve heard of that, too. The yips, a golfer who can’t hit it straight and stuff like that. I know I can throw the ball. That’s something that since I’ve been a kid, not even just football, I’ve been good at throwing things. I could throw a baseball. Give me a volleyball, I can chuck it across a gym.”

Stave’s problem is obviously between the ears. Broadcasters noted during warmups before Wisconsin’s game against LSU that his throws appeared to be well off the mark. The Badgers went on to suffer a tough 28-24 loss to LSU. Tanner McEvoy, who got the start over Stave, completed just 8-of-24 passes for 50 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Badgers may end up desperately needing Stave, and he knows he has to find a way to stop overthinking things.

“I’ll be throwing it good, throwing it good and then all of a sudden I feel like I hang on to it too long,” he explained. “One will sail, one will slip and then you start thinking, ‘Oh I’ve got to hang on to it longer.’ That’s what happens when you start thinking too much.”

Stave wouldn’t be the first quarterback to struggle because of pressure, but what makes the situation bizarre is that he played so well last season. You would think his confidence would be high after an impressive year, and Stave insists confidence is not an issue. Hopefully he can work the problem out sooner rather than later.

Wisconsin-Arizona State ending a total mess (Video)

Wisconsin lost to Arizona State on Saturday night 32-30 after a controversial ending went against them.

The Badgers converted a 3rd and 3 on a 6-yard pass and their receiver stepped out of bounds with 18 seconds left. Wisconsin had the ball at the ASU 13 with no timeouts left. Quarterback Joel Stave was instructed to center the ball from the right hash to the middle of the field to set the Badgers up for a potential winning field goal. However, Stave was unable to properly execute the play. He looked like he was going to kneel down, but he bumped into one of his lineman and then placed the football on the ground. Perhaps Wisconsin intended to spike the ball to stop the clock and set up for the field goal, but time ran out before they could snap the ball for the next play.

There were a few questionable decisions by the referees on the play. For one, Stave may have kneeled down and they may have missed that.

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Wisconsin Coach Joe Rudolph Picks His Nose and Eats It (Animated)

If you have been watching the Rose Bowl attentively like the good college football fans you are, you may have noticed something special amidst the shootout in progress.  We’re not talking about Oregon’s chrome helmets — although those are pretty awesome.  This particular piece of excitement came in the form of a coach picking his nose.  Maybe we shouldn’t say he ate it, because eating has a specific definition that goes along with it.  However, he did put his finger in his mouth after it was in his nose.  Check out this hilarious animation of Wisconsin coach Joe Rudolph that Gifulmination passed along:

Damn cameras. Can’t a man pick his nose without being caught on national television?  What do you want him to do, wipe it on someone?  If you ask me Rudolph did the mature thing there.  Sometimes you have stuff up there that can’t be blown out.  When that happens, you can either consume or wipe. There’s just not enough time for the roll and flick in the middle of the most important game of the year.

Video: Michigan State Hail Mary Beats Wisconsin 37-31

Michigan State beat Wisconsin 37-31 in East Lansing Saturday night thanks to a successful Hail Mary on the last play of the game. Kirk Cousins bombed a pass into the end zone that ended up caught by Keith Nichol who pushed his way to a touchdown. The play was ruled down at the one initially, but after it was reviewed, the Spartans were awarded the touchdown. Here is a video of the miracle play:

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Mission Get Attention Worked Perfectly for Wisconsin Against Indiana

Wisconsin turned heads on Saturday putting up 83 points against Indiana at Camp Randall Stadium. The 83 points was the most a Division I team had scored all season, and it was more than the basketball team had scored in all but three of its games last year. Minnesota coach Tim Brewster had called Wisconsin coach Bret Bielama out earlier in the year for running up the score but this time Indiana coach Bill Lynch did not outwardly object. Maybe it’s because he understood why Bielama did it. Maybe it’s because he doesn’t feel like teams need mercy.

Normally I can’t stand seeing teams run up the score against opponents, but I know exactly why Wisconsin did it and it makes sense. They were ranked 6th in the AP Poll, 5th in the USA Today poll, and 7th in the BCS. They honestly feel like a forgotten team in the BCS race, and they’re not even a glamorous team in their conference — Ohio State is. But with the 83-20 win over Indiana, they grabbed everyone’s attention and made a statement: we can do whatever we want on the field, including scoring touchdowns on 10 of 12 possessions and field goals on the other two.

Wisconsin had a purpose on Saturday and that was to gain attention. It just so happens Indiana was the victim. The BCS computers don’t really factor score and margin of victory into their computations, but human voters and BCS bowl officials had to have noticed the 83 points the Badgers threw up. How could you not?

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Morry Gash