Probably to the chagrin of his coaches, Alex Hornibrook has let the quarterback cat out of the bag.
Bart Houston started the first three games of the 2016 season under center for the Badgers, but was replaced by Hornibrook in UW’s come-from-behind win over Georgia State. While speculation immediately surfaced that Hornibrook would get the Week 4 start, the UW coaching staff has kept their signal-calling cards tight to the vest.
Until Hornibrook happened.
“That’s what I’ve heard, yep,” Hornibrook said Tuesday when asked if he’ll be starting Saturday against Michigan State. At that point, the redshirt freshman called an audible. From madison.com:
When asked if the coaching staff had told him that, Hornibrook briefly left the media session to consult with UW’s media relations staff.
When Hornibrook returned, he was asked again if he would start Saturday.
“Coach is getting us both ready to go,” Hornibrook said the second time, echoing what UW coach Paul Chryst has been saying all week. “If I’m the guy, I’m ready to go. If Bart’s the guy, I’m ready for that, too.
Houston (10-18-91-0-0) was benched in favor of Hornibrook in the second quarter as the Badgers held a scant 6-0 lead on the Sun Belt school. Hornibrook would go on to lead UW to three second-half scoring drives that played a role in erasing a 17-13 deficit in the 23-17 win.
In the first significant action of his career, Hornibrook completed 8-of-12 passes for 122 yards, one touchdown and one interception. The Big Ten opener in East Lansing this weekend would mark Hornibrook’s first career start.