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Wisconsin offensive breakdown leaves questions

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 1, 2014 at 6:03 pm •  Published: September 1, 2014
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen has more questions than answers about his offense after his team's fourth-quarter collapse Saturday.

Duel-threat quarterback Tanner McEvoy struggled in his debut and running back Melvin Gordon had just four carries in the second half of the Badgers 28-24 loss to 13th-ranked LSU.

Wisconsin looked good going up 24-7 early in the third quarter on a touchdown set up by a 63-yard Gordon run, but the standout ball carrier was sidelined much of the rest of the game by an injured hip flexor.

The No. 14 Badgers were in front 24-13 entering the final period before LSU took command.

"We lost the fourth quarter, obviously," Andersen said Monday. "We did not run the ball well in the fourth quarter. When we had to throw the ball in the fourth quarter, we didn't throw the ball well in the fourth quarter."

McEvoy, who played mostly at safety last season but beat out incumbent Joel Stave for the starting job, completed just 8 of 24 passes for 50 yards along with two costly fourth-quarter interceptions.

"Do we need better play? Absolutely," Andersen said. "No one's going to sit here and debate that, that we need better play out of the quarterback, that we need better play in the throw game, period."

Gordon rushed for 140 yards on just 16 carries but sat out much of the fourth quarter. Following the game, Andersen said he did not know why Gordon was held out. On Monday, however, Andersen said that Gordon had injured a hip flexor.

"Melvin had a little bit of a hip flexor," Andersen said. "Anybody that knows Melvin can see that on the long run that he broke out in the second half. It was very obvious that he had pulled up there on the end of that run. We were trying to be smart with him as the rest of the game went on and trying to make educated decisions to keep us moving in the right direction with Melvin for that game, for the future."

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