Halloween proved extra scary for Wisconsin’s redshirt freshman quarterback, Joel Stave.
Stave was named the Badgers’ starter in the fourth week of the season, following an ineffective run by Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien. He had led his team to three straight wins and was on a roll when Michigan State came knocking on Camp Randall’s door on Halloween weekend.
Stave completed nine of his 11 pass attempts for 127 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating on the afternoon was a robust 208.8, but then Stave got taken down hard to the ground.
He did not get up.
Talk about scary, both for him and most assuredly for his mother.
Now, that ghoulish moment is as far in the rear view mirror as that bad decision you made on Halloween night.
Interim coach/full-on legend Barry Alvarez has already officially named fifth-year senior Curt Phillips the team’s starter for the upcoming Rose Bowl game against Stanford.
However, Stave has been cleared for full contact practices, and offensive coordinator Matt Canada would not rule out going with a two-quarterback system in The Grandaddy of ‘Em All. He spoke with the official Badgers sports website.
“Joel’s (Stave) cleared to play. If it fits, we’ll get him in there,”
Not only will Stanford now have to prepare to potentially see both quarterbacks, but the vaunted Cardinal defense is actually going to have to prepare for a real passing game.
Phillips only combined to throw 15 passes in his two games under center. Both were wins, but one was against Indiana and the other against a shockingly putrid Nebraska defense in the Big Ten Championship game. Stave, on the other hand, never threw less than 15 passes in any of his full games in his first year starting for the Badgers.
The Badgers are the first five-loss team to ever earn a Rose Bowl bid. Could Stave’s return make them the first five-loss winners of the prestigious bowl game?
Wouldn’t that make for a New Year’s celebration for Sconnie Nation?