Well, so much for Wisconsin waiting until shortly before kickoff to divulge the identity of its starting quarterback this weekend. Or for players to be worried about a quick trigger, for that matter.
At a booster club meeting Wednesday night, head coach Bret Bielema confirmed to those in attendance that redshirt freshman Joel Stave will get the starting nod against UTEP. The move is far from a surprise as Stave had reportedly taken the majority of reps with the first-team offense this week after starting the second half of a close win over Utah State.
If Bielema follows up with the switch, it will be the redshirt freshman’s first collegiate start.
Stave will replace Danny O’Brien, the transfer from Maryland who had started the first three games of the season. O’Brien currently ranks 75th in the country in passing efficiency and led an offense that’s just 113th in scoring (16.3 ppg), 116th in total offense (276 ypg) and 114th in passing offense (156.3 ypg). It should be noted that there are 124 teams at the FBS level this season.
This is also Matt Canada‘s first season as offensive coordinator, and the offensive line coach has already been fired, so the problems on that side of the ball are far from O’Brien’s and O’Brien’s alone. However, the signal caller has become the second to take the fall for the uneven start to UW’s season.