Thanks to Twitter, we now know who Wisconsin’s starting quarterback is. Bret Bielema hit the social media site Sunday night to announce Danny O’Brien as his Week 1 starter. The tweet read: “Also had so many questions about our QB situation that want everyone to know we are going to start Danny O’Brien in our opener against UNI.”
O’Brien, the former Maryland quarterback, is Wisconsin’s second ACC transfer to start in as many seasons. The first one, Russell Wilson, turned out pretty well. Wilson, who played three seasons at North Carolina State, rewrote Wisconsin’s record books last season en route to leading the Badgers to a second consecutive Big Ten title and Rose Bowl.
O’Brien didn’t come to Madison with as much fanfare, but he’s a guy who has started and had success in his career. As a freshman in 2009, O’Brien threw for 2,438 yards and 22 touchdowns, to just eight interceptions. And he put up those numbers without a running back anywhere near Montee Ball’s level or an offensive line close to that of Wisconsin’s.
The former Terp signal-caller seemed to be the logical choice to start the minute he decided to come to Wisconsin. But Bielema and new offensive coordinator Matt Canada made it a competition, one that the head coach felt featured a couple of other worthy contenders.
Don’t expect a Wilson-like season out of O’Brien, but with the aforementioned Ball and stout offensive line, he’s likely to keep Wisconsin’s offense chugging along – just like Wilson did last season and Scott Tolzien the previous two.