The Wisconsin Badgers have a quarterback controversy, but the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook will start this Saturday’s Big Ten opener against Michigan State.
Hornibrook replaced starter and fifth-year senior Bart Houston on the second series of the third quarter against Georgia State this past week. Houston was 10-of-18 for just 91 yards versus the Panthers and the Badgers were clinging to a 6-3 lead when coach Paul Chryst inserted Hornibrook into the game.
In Houston’s defense, dropped passes killed some of the offensive momentum he generated and one of his drives stalled at the one yard line due to a fumble.
But on Wisconsin’s next four possessions, Hornibrook led the Badgers to two touchdown drives and a field goal. On his first possession, he directed a 69-yard scoring drive and then with the Badgers trailing by four, Hornibrook engineered a 59-yard drive to retake the lead. He went 8-for-12 with 122 yards a touchdown and interception, as Wisconsin escaped with a 23-17 victory.
The interception, however, was not Hornibrook’s fault. He hit wide receiver George Rushing in the hands, but a drop led to the pick.
Wisconsin (3-0) will now put its undefeated record on the line against defending Big Ten champion Michigan State (2-0). It will be the first meeting between these two schools since October of 2012.
This will also mark the first time these two teams matchup while both being ranked in the top 10. Michigan State is No. 8 in both the coaches and AP polls while Wisconsin is 10th and 11th in the coaches poll and AP Top 25 rankings, respectively.