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Stave Reportedly Starting At Quarterback Vs. UTEP

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

We have our answer, and we didn't even have to wait until Saturday to find out.

Bret Bielema's shroud of secrecy was peeled back on Wednesday night at a booster club meeting in Madison. As Tom Oates of the Wisconsin State Journal reports:

This is hardly a surprise move by Bielema and his offensive staff, as everyone outside the locker room was resigned to guessing after the head coach said he had made up his mind during his Monday press conference, but wouldn't tell the media or make his quarterbacks available this week.

Danny O'Brien surely deserves another shot at some point, especially considering the Badgers' offensive struggles have hardly been isolated to him. But if Stave runs away with the job, picking up a win over UTEP and perhaps one at Nebraska the following week, you can bet there'll be no looking back. After all, despite everything that has gone wrong through three weeks, Wisconsin still has a fair shot at its obvious preseason goals: winning the Big Ten Championship Game and reaching the Rose Bowl for a third consecutive year.

For comparison's sake, here are Stave's and O'Brien's numbers thus far:

GP/GS Comp. Att. Pct. Yds. TD INT LG Eff.
Stave 1/0 2 6 33.3 15 0 0 14 54.3
O'Brien 3/3 44 71 62.0 454 3 1 53 126.8