Badgers QB Coan to start in Pinstripe Bowl

The buzz began circulating on social media Wednesday night. Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst confirmed it Thursday morning. Jack Coan will start for the Badgers at quarterback in the Pinstripe Bowl.

Late Wednesday, Coan’s father sent out a tweet saying his son wouldn’t be redshirting — the sophomore quarterback had played in the minimum four games allowed to still redshirt; one more appearance and he’s no longer a candidate — and would be Wisconsin’s starter for its Dec. 27 bowl game.

Junior Alex Hornibrook started nine games this season for Wisconsin, but missed 3 1/2 games due to injuries. However, Hornibrook did start the regular-season finale against Minnesota.

The move to Coan as a starter is apparently a recent development. Six days ago, Coan’s father indicated his son would not be playing in the Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.

Coan made his 2018 debut on the road at Northwestern on Oct. 27 after Hornibrook suffered a head injury the previous week against Illinois. The next week at home vs. Rutgers he relieved Hornibrook, who apparently was re-injured right before the half when he his head bounced off the turf after being tackled.

Hornibrook missed the next two games — a loss at Penn State and a thrilling triple-overtime win at Purdue — both of which Coan started.

Hornibrook figured to be the starter for Wisconsin, especially with just over a month’s time between the Minnesota game and the Pinstripe Bowl.

Talking with the media last week, Hornibrook demurred when asked about his injuries. On Monday, reporters at practice noted Hornibrook wasn’t in pads during the portion the media is allowed to watch.

Chryst mentioned to reporters Thursday that Hornibrook had been practicing, but then suffered a setback. The status of Hornibrook going forward is unknown at this point.

On the season, Hornibrook has completed 59.5 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He’s thrown multiple interceptions in four straight games and hasn’t topped 200 yards passing since Sept. 22, when he led the Badgers to a 28-17 win over Iowa, throwing three TDs.

In his four games, Coan completed 61 percent of his passes with four TDs and two INTs.

The only other quarterback to see action for Wisconsin this season is redshirt freshman Danny Vanden Boom, who has gotten into three games in mop-up duty, completing his only pass for a 3-yard TD.