Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Quarterbacks

Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Quarterbacks

Football

Badgers Bye Week Report Card - Wisconsin Quarterbacks

The Positives

There likely isn’t a more scrutinized player on Wisconsin’s roster than quarterback Alex Hornibrook, even after he was the most valuable player of the Badgers’ Orange Bowl win over Miami. And to be fair, some of the criticisms are warranted (more on that later). However, there’s no question that the Badgers are better for having a veteran quarterback under center.

Look at last week’s game for the prime example of Hornibrook’s three biggest positives: his poise, his confidence to distribute the ball and his ability to bounce back.

On the Badgers’ 10-play, 88-yard touchdown drive, Hornibrook calmly completed all five of his passes with two completions to Kendric Pryor for 5 and 28 yards; one to Garrett Groshek for 5 on third-and-5; one to Jake Ferguson for 12 and the last one being a 17-yard bullet in the end zone to A.J. Taylor with 57 seconds remaining, a play the two have practiced countless times over three years.

“I don’t think there was anything too special,” Hornibrook told reporters postgame. “We all had trust in each other and we all believed that we could do it. We knew we just had to get some plays going, and that’s what we did.”

That drive put a cap on a terrific second half of football for Hornibrook, who completed 9 of 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns. His only incompletion was a drop by Ferguson. Finishing 17-for-22 for 205 yards, Hornibrook put his poor performance in the home loss to BYU squarely behind him.

“I thought Alex was really good all night,” UW coach Paul Chryst said. “I just thought he was seeing things. He had a good edge about him. I thought he was understanding the game and seeing things, and I thought he was on. We needed him to be.”

Hornibrook also completed 6-of-8 passes over his final two drives against BYU with the Badgers trailing by 3. He also had a 16-yard scramble that put UW into field-goal range in the final minutes. That moment was overshadowed by a bad interception.

Through four games, Hornibrook has a quarterback efficiency of 158.89 (30th in the country), has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 800 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. He has also completed passes to 12 different players (five receivers, three running backs, three tight ends and a fullback), a sign of his faith in his teammates and the ability to keep a defense spread out in its coverage.

We have yet to see Jack Coan through four games (redshirting the true sophomore now seems likely) but we saw redshirt freshman Danny Vanden Boom close out the win over New Mexico in week two. Making his collegiate debut, Vanden Boom has thrown one pass – a three-yard touchdown.

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