Sunday Morning Hangover: What’s up with the constant Stave bashing?

What does a guy have to do to get a little respect around here these days? 

That's got to be what's going through the mind of Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave these days, because it seems to matter very little what results are…some in the Badger fan base will find fault with anything he doesn't do perfectly. 

Don't believe me? Let us take a stroll down memory lane for a bit then…All the way back to just last week.  

Last week it was "throwing a bad interception" on a great pass that Jared Abbrederis couldn't hang on to. Most in the media and in Badger nation chose to put that INT on Stave, despite replays clearly showing Abbrederis having both hands on the football…right in front of him.

Then, despite throwing for three touchdowns and 241 yards (most without main target Abbrederis in the game), while completing over 60 percent of passes, Stave was criticized for not hitting more of his receivers in stride on short and intermediate routes. 

OK, that last part was fair, because it was true. He did struggle with about seven or eight completions that could've gone for more had he hit his target in stride or above the waist.

So, on Saturday night in Champaign, what did Stave do? 

He went out and proved he could hit those players in stride on a more consistent basis—showing he knows what he needs to work on and is capable of getting better at it the very next time out.

On the night, Stave completed 76 percent of his passes (16-of-21) for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Oh, and zero interceptions or turnovers period. 

Yet, by the reaction of some on Twitter, it still wasn't good enough:

Hitting 76 percent of his passes on the night is inconsistent? I'd love to see this guy's definition of consistency out of a quarterback then. Holy cow.


The last one is my favorite, because basically this person described the only missed passes Stave had for the entire night. All five of them. 

What a terrible quarterback, huh? Missing one of every five passes.

Show me a perfect quarterback completion percentage for a game? Ya….I couldn't find that happening either. Yet, only Joel Stave gets picked apart like this. 

News flash folks, quarterbacks sometimes miss passes. 

Unless your name is Russell Wilson…and perhaps that is part of the problem. Wisconsin fans got to witness one of the most special season's by a quarterback in the history of the Big Ten, let alone the school and everyone else after him better live up to that season. 

How else do you explain a quarterback with as good of a performance as Stave had last night get picked apart for the two or three plays that weren't as good as they could've been?

Where's the credit for all the 3rd down completions that kept drives alive? Oh…that's right, those don't count. 

All Stave did was go 3-for-5 on 3rd down passing plays, with all three drives ending in Wisconsin touchdowns too boot. 

What a terrible and inconsistent quarterback Stave was on Saturday night, huh?

But, what do you expect of some who's decision on Stave was made up after the one missed opportunity to hit Jared Abbrederis on a deep play-action bomb.

That's not to say the play wasn't a bad one, but did it really define Stave's night? After watching the film its hard to say that was the case at all.  

It appears it was a bit of wind (going south was into a 15-20mph wind at times) and a simple missed throw. 

Instead of enjoying what Stave is doing well/did well last night, there is this consistent want to find fault with anything, in any type of performance he has and that needs to stop. 

Let me also give you a little perspective on just where Stave ranks amongst his peers too, if you aren't already convinced he isn't as terrible as Twitter makes him out to be.

Amongst starting quarterbacks in the Big Ten, Stave has the 2nd best completion percentage this season (3rd if you include Guiton on that list, which I don't because he has just three starts), he is also tied for the 2nd most passing touchdowns in the conference, too.

Let me say that again….Joel Stave has the SECOND most touchdown passes of any Big Ten quarterback this season.

He's also a respectable 5th in passing yards a game (212.3) and total passing yards (1,486). Not too shabby for a quarterback that can't do anything right according to some? 

Stave is never going to be perfect, hell no quarterback will be, but after watching the game on Saturday night and watching him from his first start to now, it's hard not to say Stave also isn't an ever improving quarterback and isn't that all  you can ask of from a sophomore QB? 

The Johnny Manziel or Jameis Winston's of the world don't grow on trees, folks. 

Perhaps some in Badger Nation forget just what a bad quarterback really looks like? If so, may I humbly direct you to Danny O'Brien's performance last season…

….Ya, I'll take Stave, imperfections and all, over that kind of quarterback play any day of the week. 

So, if a 76 percent night with two touchdowns and no turnovers isn't good enough for your from a quarterback, then I don't know what will please you. 

But, perhaps the next time it happens or the next time Stave has a good game, instead of picking apart the few missed plays, try and enjoy the things he did to help his team win a ball game. You know, since Wisconsin is 5-2 on the season and all….

Andrew Coppens

About Andrew Coppens

Andy is a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college football for nearly half a decade. He is the Managing Editor of MadTownBadgers.com and associate editor of Bloguin's World Cup site, 32flags.com

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