Fall camp for the Wisconsin Badgers has ended, and so has the quarterback competition.
Head coach Paul Chryst named redshirt senior Bart Houston the starting quarterback heading into the season opener against No. 5 LSU at Lambeau Field on Sept. 3. It was announced by Wisconsin on Thursday afternoon.
It will be the first career start for the Dublin, Calif., native, who has played in 15 career games for the Badgers. Last season, he completed 27-of-47 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions. When Joel Stave suffered a head injury at Illinois on Oct. 24, Houston took charge of the offense, going 22-for-33 for 232 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-13 win.
Following Stave’s departure, the competition started in the spring between Houston and redshirt freshman Alex Hornibrook and continued into fall camp. At one point in the first scrimmage, it appeared the southpaw in Hornibrook took a step forward in the competition. After that, Houston stepped up and looked like the better quarterback.
“One thing I was impressed was the way Bart and Alex approached camp,” Chryst told UWBadgers.com on Thursday. “I thought they both got better, and I thought one of our key goals was to make sure both were ready to play the season—not just play, but to be able to win with them playing. I felt both did that. As a team, they’re no different than the group. We have a ways to go.
“Really coming out of it, I felt Bart did everything he needed to do and earn the right to get the start. I was also energized by what Alex did and loved the way that he grew in fall camp. Both need to continue to keep growing.
“I wanted to get it done as we begin our preparation for LSU, and make sure everyone knew where we were at with it internally. I’m excited to go forward now.”
Houston and the Wisconsin offense will face former defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and the LSU defense in the Lambeau Field College Classic presented by Carmex next Saturday.
Here’s the official release from the Wisconsin athletic department:
MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst announced Thursday that senior Bart Houston will be the Badgers’ starting quarterback when UW opens the season Sept. 3 in the Lambeau Field College Classic presented by Carmex.
Houston, who has appeared in 15 games for the Badgers, will make the first start of his career vs. LSU. The Dublin, California, native played in seven games last season, completing 27 of 47 passes (57.4 percent) for 281 yards and three touchdowns. In his most extensive action at quarterback, Houston went 22-for-33 for 232 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions while playing in relief of starter Joel Stave in a 24-13 win at Illinois on Oct. 24.
Houston, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology in December, currently is pursuing a master’s degree in kinesiology. He is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and was named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar as a junior in 2015.