Report: Badgers leaning toward Phillips at QB
NOV 07, 2012 2:26p ET
The newspaper reported that Phillips has taken the majority of the snaps with the first-team offense this week in practice, while redshirt junior Danny O'Brien has played with the second-team offense.
During his weekly press conference Monday, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema refused to divulge which quarterback would start Saturday's game against Indiana. He said he would inform the team of the starter during Tuesday's practice. Phillips and O'Brien competed during the team's bye week after starter Joel Stave suffered a broken left collarbone Oct. 27 against Michigan State.
If Phillips is indeed the starter, it would complete a tremendous comeback for the oft-injured signal caller. Phillips has sustained three ACL tears in his right knee during the course of his college career and hasn't thrown a pass in a game since 2009.
"Just the perseverance and the battle that he's been through to get to where he is today, the kids rally around him extremely well," Bielema said Monday. "He did a lot to get to where he is, and sometimes when you have that in somebody, it's very hard to deny them the opportunity to have success. And Curt's a runner. He's a guy that can move the football around a little bit with his arm and with his feet."
This season, Phillips appeared for one three-play series against Illinois. He later played against Minnesota in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach.
Phillips appeared in four games during the 2009 season and completed 7 of 12 passes for 65 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
O'Brien, who transferred from Maryland in the offseason, started the first three games of this season but was benched in favor of Stave at halftime of Wisconsin's home game against Utah State with the Badgers trailing, 14-3. Bielema didn't like O'Brien's inability to hold on to the football after he fumbled twice in two games. Stave then helped guide the team to a 16-14 comeback victory and started the next six games.
No quarterbacks were made available to the media this week.
If Wisconsin defeats Indiana, the Badgers will earn a trip to the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis for the second straight season.
Follow Jesse Temple on Twitter.