Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst confirmed that he plans to use both Alex Hornibrook and Bart Houston when the Badgers host No. 7 Nebraska on Saturday night.
Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst is done deciding who will play quarterback. In his mind, two is better than one.
Chryst confirmed at his weekly press conference that the both redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook and fifth-year senior Bart Houston will see time under center when the 11th-ranked Badgers host No. 7 Nebraska in a Big Ten showdown on Saturday night.
Houston finished Wisconsin’s upset of then-No. 5 LSU at Lambeau Field in the season opener despite throwing two interceptions. He wasn’t as lucky in another middling performance two weeks later.
That’s when Hornibrook stepped in and led the Badgers to a comeback victory over Georgia State. Yet he, too, wasn’t very good while starting the next three games, completing 51.9 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and five interceptions in a win over Michigan State and loses to Michigan and Ohio State.
Chryst started Hornibrook against Iowa last week, but Houston entered for a drive in the second quarter and finished a 58-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass. Houston the re-entered for the Badgers’ first drive of the fourth quarter and help them pick up a first down before it stalled.
“For me, it’s been a little bit different,” Chryst said. “Really, I’ve said it all along – the first part was to make sure Alex and Bart could be ready for the season, that they could give us something, they could add value to the team.”
Now it appears he’s going to count on both in a showdown with huge Big Ten West implications. Wisconsin sits two games behind the Cornhuskers in the division and can pick up the crucial head-to-head tiebreaker with a victory, should both teams be even at the end of the regular season.
If the Iowa game is any indication, though, both Houston and Hornibrook will be used primarily as game-managers if at all possible. Corey Clement carried 35 times for 134 yards and a touchdown in the 17-9 victory while the quarterbacks combined for 25 pass attempts.
Clement’s 23.7 rushing attempts per game are second-most in the Big Ten behind Northwestern’s Justin Jackson. The Badgers are tied for ninth with Nebraska in the conference in pass attempts per game with 27.4.
The running game certainly will play a prominent role in the offense, but Chryst is confidence that both Houston and Hornibrook can be productive when the Badgers decide to air it out.
“I thought both have done some good things,” Chryst said. “Even this past week, I thought both contributed positives, and both did something things where we could clean it up. And part of me is like, don’t put it all on one guy. I think it might be good for this team.”