The long-awaited answer has finally arrived — your opening game starting quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers will be senior Bart Houston. On Thursday, head coach Paul Chryst announced his starter to be Houston.
The #Badgers have their starting QB.
Paul Chryst names Bart Houston starter for opener vs. LSU.https://t.co/gxXcA3cdit
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) August 25, 2016
It shouldn’t be surprising, at least in terms of timing, as Chryst has never shown to be a guy that plays games about his starting quarterbacks.
As for why Houston over Hornibrook, Chryst made it clear that the competition was close and that both approached fall camp with the right attitude to push each other.
“One thing I was impressed with, the way Alex and Bart approached camp,” said Chryst. “(I) thought that both got better. One of our key goals was to make sure that both were ready to play this season. Not just play, but winning, and I thought they did that.”
Chryst believed that Houston did everything right that the staff asked of him and named him the starter internally before going public on Thursday afternoon. He also talked to both quarterbacks about what they did right and things to work on heading in to the LSU game.
There’s little doubt this competition was close, with may observers believing that on paper the win went to redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook. However, as others and ourselves noted, there was plenty more to this battle than just the raw numbers.
Houston showed a good ability to hit his first receiver, trust his reads and be safe with most of his decision making throughout fall camp. With a daunting schedule that starts off with one of the most dangerous teams in the SEC in LSU, throwing a redshirt freshman out there may have been a difficult hurdle to get over.
It is likely that Houston’s ability to be accurate at the short and intermediate routes won the day, along with his advanced understanding of the playboo, but we won’t know for sure until Chryst answers more questions about this battle.
The media will have access to the coaching staff and to the quarterbacks on Friday during regularly scheduled media availability and we’re sure more will come out then.