Three quarters of brutal play left the University of Wisconsin football team in perilous territory against Georgia State University Saturday.With just under six minutes to play in the third quarter, the No. 9 Badgers held a slim 6-3 lead after the Panthers put their first points on the board, courtesy of a 45-yard field goal from kicker Rogier ten Lohuis. It wasn’t until one redshirt quarterback Alex Hornibrook trotted on to the field that the Wisconsin offense finally showed signs of life.The move was unexpected, considering UW starting quarterback Bart Houston’s performance was not exactly terrible. The fifth-year senior Houston threw 10-18 for 91 yards with no touchdowns — not a poor performance, or not so horrible that it would warrant a third-quarter replacement.Football: Third-down success on both sides of ball key for No. 9 Wisconsin moving forwardIt’s no secret that third down is the most important down in football. Usually, the team that converts the majority Read…So when Hornibrook subbed in for the lackluster Houston, it didn’t cause any immediate relief for Wisconsin fans. At least not until Hornibrook’s first pass.Complete for 29 yards, Hornibrook’s beautiful spiral to a streaking Jazz Peavy drew a healthy roar from a previously silent crowd at Camp Randall. The pass gave hope to a nervous sea of red, one frantically coping with the possibility of a major upset. Hornibrook then followed up the Badgers’ first pass for over 20 yards since the first quarter in the only way he knows how.The redshirt freshman dropped back and slung a 19-yard pass to George Rushing down to the Georgia State 21-yard line. Wisconsin was finally knocking on the door and ready to score its first touchdown, which came two plays later on a Dare Ogunbowale rush.“I was hoping just that [putting Hornibrook in would cause a spark],” Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst said. “It gave us a little something, and it wasn’t even Bart’s fault why were [in that situation] … I like the way [Hornibrook] has been preparing.”Football: Wisconsin’s win over Akron highlights a matured freshmen wide receiving coreA.J. Taylor left Camp Randall Stadium after practice this week, he noticed his bicycle had been towed. He began to Read…Despite being picked off on the next drive when Rushing tipped the pass into the hands of the Panthers defense, Hornibrook was as poised as ever, even with Georgia State now holding a 17-13 lead from touchdowns on consecutive drives.He slung an 11-yard pass to favored target Rob Wheelwright, and when the Badgers were in desperate need of something big, Hornibrook delivered a 29-yard, arcing pass to tight-end Kyle Penniston to put the Badgers in the red zone.Five plays later, his next pass went right back to Penniston — a one-yard play action pass for the score on third down. The Badgers had the 20-17 lead they so desired and added a Rafa Gaglianone field goal to it later to seal the win.“There was a lot of small mistakes we made,” Hornibrook said. “Aside from that one interception, or converting on a few third downs, I think a big thing we need to work on is scoring touchdowns and not just settling on field goals.”It wasn’t pretty, but Wisconsin got the win. An unsightly victory like this begs questions about the Badgers, but none more important than who should be UW’s starting quarterback.Why is it that the second Hornibrook came in that Wisconsin’s offense finally opened up? Houston did not play poorly. Was it merely that the Badgers finally woke up midway through the third quarter? Does Hornibrook being in the huddle actually make a difference?“No,” Ogunbowale said when asked if there was a difference in the huddle between the two quarterbacks. “They’re both commanding quarterbacks, both have a lot of confidence.”From an outsider’s perspective, there’s no way of knowing what’s on the minds of players on the field when Hornibrook is taking snaps compared to Houston. In the stands, however, it was evident that at least today the team seemed to gain energy from Hornibrook’s presence.Football: Rafael Gaglianone opens up about tragic loss of friend, Nebraska punter Sam FoltzAll he had to do was get the ball in the air and the angel on his shoulder would take Read…Going into next weekend, a marquee matchup against Michigan State that is one of the biggest games Wisconsin has faced over the past few years.The Badgers announced ahead of it that Hornibrook will in fact be the starter, so whether the spark against Georgia State was a coincidence or a true facet to his play is yet to be seen.What has been seen though, is what Hornibrook can do in a game. Chryst has been happy with his young quarterback’s performance, but now thrust into the one of Wisconsin’s biggest games of the past few seasons for his first career start there’s one thing Hornibrook has that separates him.“I’ve been impressed [with Hornibrook],” Chryst said. “I think [poise is] one of his characteristics that stuck out to me.”Perhaps all it takes to deliver the big plays Hornibrook has, is a little poise. If he continues that trend, following Saturday’s game we could be starting the Alex Hornibrook-era at Wisconsin.
LATEST STORIES The 14-year-old from Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte got his chance for redemption after blazing the trail in the boys’ 5000-meter run on Thursday in the Mindanao qualifying leg of the sportsfest in search of the finest athletes age 15 years old and younger.“I ran in the finals last year, but didn’t finish the race,” said Gumban in Filipino after topping his event in 17 minutes and 14 seconds to retain the title he captured in the qualifiers in 2018 Oroquieta City.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe Grade 8 long-distance runner from Sto. Tomas National High School injured his foot during the finals in Baguio City last year.“I’ll come in prepared for the finals, I don’t want to waste this opportunity again,’’ said Gumban, who ruled the same event last week in the Davao Regional Athletic Association meet. View comments PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Either Ormoc City or Tagbilaran in Bohol will host the 2020 Batang Pinoy National Finals.Gumban got off his bunk as early as three hours before the race and defeated Lordy Salpid of General Santos City (19:05.07) and Rome Laviste Jr. of Davao del Sur (19:12.66).He intends to pull off a hat-trick by winning the steeplechase and 1500m at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex track oval before the meet organized by the Philippine Sports Commission ends Sunday.Mary Joy Mancera of Davao del Sur shared the spotlight with Gumban after dominating the girls’ discus throw (26.28 meters) while Rona Bacus of Cagayan de Oro asserted herself in the girls’ triple jump (11.01 meters).Zamboanga City was a force in pencak silat with 13 gold medals, overwhelming South Cotabato and General SantosCity, which collected six gold apiece.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Alex Cabagnot happy to see former players Diego Dario, Paul Desiderio in the PBA TAGUM CITY—Aaron Gumban’s golden dream ended in tatters in the previous Batang Pinoy national finals.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes Zamboanga City also showed its might in karatedo with three golds courtesy of Hanica Regino (girls 11-12 intermediate kata) and Jullian Pueblo (boys 12-13 intermediate kata pool A and C).Duplicating Zamboanga’s feat at the NCCC mall were Mary Geerica Galsing (girls 8-9 intermediate kata), Christian John Borongan (boys 12-13 intermediate kata Pool B) and Marcu Noel Pacapac (boys 8-9 advance kata) for Calamba, Misamis Occidental.Swimmer John Alexander Talosig increased his gold-medal production to four after besting the field in the boys 13-15 200m freestyle (2:05.43) and 15-under 400m individual medley (5:00.58).The 14-year-old from Southern Christian College eatlier won the boys 13-15 200m IM (2:19.74) and 15-under 1500m free (17:52.25).Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.