MADISON -- Wisconsin Badgers ended spring practice with a 28-22 victory for the offense of Team Abbrederis over Team Schobert's defense.
The final practice of a 15-game spring practice schedule, quarterback Alex Hornibrook and wide receiver George Rushing impressed in front of over 9,000 fans at Camp Randall.
The game pitted the offense, guest-coached by Jared Abbrederis, against the defense, led by Joe Schobert, with the scoring system set up to allow both teams the opportunity to score.
Rushing scored twice and running back Corey Clement found the end zone to lead the offense, while a TJ Watt fumble recovery and Ty DeForest interception aided the defense's side.
Trailing 25-22 with under one minute to play, safety Keelon Brookins could have won the game with an interception at the goal line, but couldn't hang on. An Andrew Endicott field goal on the ensuing play ended the game.
Here are three things we learned from the game.
George Rushing ends on a high note
A strong camp for junior wide receiver George Rushing was punctuated with a big day on Saturday in front of the public. Twice he connected with quarterback Alex Hornibrook for touchdowns of over 40 yards to lead Team Abbrederis.
"George has worked this spring," head coach Paul Chryst said. "I think that this day, he had a couple noticeable play. But I think the last three of four, he had his best practices. He finished the spring on a higher note."
The first came on an athletic grab in the end zone to cap a 47-yard strike from Hornibrook. Rushing beat cornerback Natrell Jamerson down the right sideline and hung onto the ball going to the ground to put the offense up 16-0 with 5:07 to play in the first half.
Alex Hornibrook airs it out to George Rushing for a 46-YD TD during the @BadgerFootball spring game. https://t.co/OElNbituz0— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) April 23, 2016
Hornibrook found Rushing on a mid-level crossing pattern between multiple defenders. Rushing caught the pass and took care of the rest himself, going in for a 43-yard touchdown.
Big play alert: Alex Hornibrook & George Rushing connect for their 2nd TD of the @BadgerFootball spring game. https://t.co/qrAmvuWiLu— Wisconsin On BTN (@WisconsinOnBTN) April 23, 2016
We'll have a quarterback competition, folks!!!
You can file this under "News that isn't surprising".
Senior Bart Houston got the unofficial start on Saturday, but it was Alex Hornibrook that had the better performance. It's been a back-and-forth spring for the two signal-callers expected to be vying for the starting job against LSU on September 3.
Houston led the team for its first touchdown drive, which running back Corey Clement punctuated with an eight-yard run. All Hornibrook did was have two touchdowns of 40-plus yards and find sophomore receiver Peter Roy down the left sideline for the pass of the day.
"I thought Alex did some good things today, and he's done some good things in most practices we've had," Chryst said. "But he hasn't played a game yet."
"The one thing Alex does is he's an accurate deep-ball passer."
Hornibrook was in position to throw his third touchdown of the day, but an underthrow nearly resulted in a Keelon Brookins interception that would have won the game for Team Schobert.
After the game, Chryst noted that this was just "one of 15" practices.
"I think they're in a good spot, but we've got a ways to go," Chryst said.
What we learned about the quarterback competition today is that it still isn't settled--which is by no means a surprise. Good thing fall camp is only...over three months away!!
The worst-case scenario for a college coach in a spring game isn't your quarterback throwing seven interceptions. It's losing players to injury. You can move past a rough day, but those ACLs can be an issue, doctors say.
Offensive lineman Jason Erdmann seemed to be the only player that exited because of injury, which is hopefully nothing serious. A healthy spring game is a successful spring game.
Next up for the team is summer conditioning.
"Summer's a really good time for our kids," Chryst said. "t's a chance to really focus on the weight room and really focus on having the time to really do some field work."