MADISON, WI (WSAU) Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema confirmed yesterday that redshirt freshman Joel Stave will start at quarterback tomorrow when the Badgers host Texas-El Paso. Stave replaces junior transfer Danny O’Brien, who was pulled at halftime last week after he committed three turnovers in his last two contests.
Bielema told the players about his decision on Monday, and then played coy about it until now. The word soon leaked out, however. Yesterday, Bielema said his Number-One concern was ball security – and the coach was impressed that Stave had no fumbled snaps or any other problems hanging onto the ball in Wisconsin’s two-point win over Utah State. Bielema said Stave quote, “didn’t show me any reason not to stay with him.”
The Badgers hope to see signs of life from their sputtering offense tomorrow, in their final tune-up before the Big Ten schedule begins. They’ve had trouble blocking – not just on the offensive line, but at the tight end and fullback spots as well. Wisconsin comes into tomorrow’s game at 2-and-1. Texas-El Paso is 1-and-2.