State Football Roundup: O'Brien not a lock to start against Texas-El PasoThe Wisconsin football coaches are not sure who they’ll start at quarterback next Saturday, when the Badgers host Texas-El Paso.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin football coaches are not sure who they’ll start at quarterback next Saturday, when the Badgers host Texas-El Paso.
But offensive coordinator Matt Canada says he won’t pull the trigger too quickly, and force players to look over their shoulders. That seemed to indicate that quarterback Danny O’Brien would get the start, after he was pulled at halftime of Saturday night’s 16-14 come-from-behind Badger home win over Utah State. O’Brien lost a fumble, and he threw an interception that was not enforced due to a roughing-the-passer penalty. He threw for just 63 yards before being replaced in the second half by redshirt freshman Joel Stave – who completed 2-of-6 passes for 15 yards. Canada said the coaches didn’t want to ask Stave to do too much in his first playing time. Canada says O’Brien works hard, but it’s not acceptable for a quarterback to have turnovers in back-to-back games. He also had a fumble and an interception in Wisconsin’s loss at Oregon State nine days ago.
Meanwhile, the Badgers barely remain in the coaches’ Top-25 with a 2-1 record. They fell from 22nd-to-24th in the USA Today coaches’ survey. And Wisconsin is now 11 spots away from the Top-25 in the AP media poll.
UW-Whitewater dropped from first place to fourth in the new NCAA Division III poll from D3.Football.com. That’s after the Warhawks ended a 46-game winning streak – the longest in all of college football – when they fell at home to Buffalo State on Saturday, 7-6. The three-time defending national champions also ended a 30-game winning streak at home. And the six points were the lowest for a Whitewater team since 2004, in a 7-6 loss to Platteville. Buffalo State entered this week’s poll at Number-19 with a 2-1 mark. The Warhawks fell to 1-1.
Mount Union, the runner-up behind Whitewater the last three years, moved into the top spot in the new poll at 2-0. Mary Hardin-Baylor of Texas is second, and Linfield of Oregon is third. Platteville moved up one place to 16th in the new poll. The 2-0 Pioneers had a bye during the weekend. UW-Oshkosh also received votes, and was one spot away from the Top-25.