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Wisconsin Badgers: 2017 Quarterback Breakdown
- Updated: February 28, 2017
The Wisconsin Badgers finished the 2016 season with an 11-3 record and a top 10 finish. The Badgers also represented the Big Ten West in the Big Ten conference title game. Due to inconsistent quarterback play, the Badgers used a dual-quarterback system. It worked well enough in most games, however, the Badgers lost their most high profile games last season as a result.
Bart Houston began the 2016 season as the starting quarterback. He led the Badgers to a 2-point victory over the LSU Tigers in the season opener. By the third quarter of game three, Houston was supplanted by Alex Hornibrook. The move set off a clear notion that head coach Paul Chryst was ready to play anybody at any time. Together, the two quarterbacks combined for a stellar record, however, they did not light up the scoreboard during the season.
Houston completed 68 percent of his passes in his only season as a part-time starter. He also accounted for five touchdown passes and three interceptions. Meanwhile, Hornibrook only completed 58 percent of his passes last season. He led the Badgers with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions. Meaning, the two starting quarterbacks for the Badgers accounted for 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
One reason for the rise of Hornibrook could have depended on his age. Hornibrook entered last season as a redshirt freshman and seemed to have a little more talent than Houston. Furthermore, the experience gained should benefit the Badgers in the future. But are we certain that Houston is capable of becoming a full-time starter?
If so, the Badgers will possibly have three more seasons with Hornibrook at the helm. If he is not the answer, the Badgers may have some viable options on the roster.
The Badgers had two other quarterbacks on the roster last season. Freshmen Kare´ Lyles and Garrett Groshek joined the Badgers’ program in 2016. Lyles finished his high school career with 87 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. After a year in the program, he might be ready to take the quarterback position by storm. Yet, it doesn’t mean Lyles will get an opportunity to start next season.
So is Kare Lyles finna get a fair shot to compete next year?
— Nay-Jrueeeeee (@moderndaybc) December 4, 2016
One of the most intriguing QB prospects in the Big Ten is Jack Coan. The freshman quarterback from Long Island, New York has a chance to impress the coaching staff early. Coan enrolled early to get a head start on his career. Like most freshmen, there is a chance that Coan uses a redshirt year. Coan comes into spring ball as the No. 20 rated pro-style quarterback.
Hornibrook will have every opportunity to solidify his spot as the starting quarterback. He also has to show a lot of improvement in game situations. Otherwise, the Badgers have a couple of talented signal callers to takeover. As long as Hornibrook does his job admirably, Coan will be able to use a redshirt season. However, we know he didn’t arrive to campus early just to remain on the bench.
Next up: 2017 Illinois QB Breakdown.
Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.
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