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Wisconsin Badgers 2018 Preview: Can QB take UW to next level?

There’s no doubt that last season ended on a high note. Beating the Miami Hurricanes in their home stadium, in front of their crowd and winning the Orange Bowl was huge.

Previous Previews: Wide Receiver | Defensive Line | Running Back | Special Teams |

It also came thanks in large part to one of the best games played by then sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook. 

But, this is a new season and that means more expectations following said performance. Let’s take a look at what is to be expected from the QB position in 2018. 

State of the Position: Strong

Arguably, Wisconsin hasn’t had a more promising group of quarterbacks overall than it does heading in to the 2018 season. 

Hornibrook is entering his third season as the starter. He’s got 26 games under his belt and has completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 3,906 yards and 34 touchdowns to 22 interceptions. In fact, Hornibrook enters this season inside the top 10 in wins (10th), passing yards (10th), completions (10th), completion percentage (4th) career touchdowns (6th) and leads in career winning percentage (20-3 for .870). 

Sophomore Jack Coan got his feet wet last season, and looked good in mop up duty. He was challenged hard this offseason by in-state star Danny Vanden Boom, and seems to have responded to that spring challenge by taking the backup role back over the summer.

That competitive spirit even extends to freshman Chase Wolf, who has reportedly surprised with the pace he can throw the football with. He’s also showcased the same speed and willingness to throw accurately outside of the pocket. 

Of course, it would take a lot for Wolf to play this season, but when you have four quarterbacks who look the part, you’re doing it right. 

Biggest Question: Can Hornibrook Be Consistent? 

No topic has been more harped on this offseason than that of Alex Honribrook’s Jeckyl and Hyde season in 2017. Few will forget his amazing night in the Orange Bowl — stepping up on the biggest stage possible. Few will also forget the interception-prone nature of his overall season. 

If the Badgers want to be a serious contender for the Big Ten title and the College Football Playoff this season, there simply has to be more consistency from Hornibrook. 

He has to find a way to eliminate the turnovers, as he had just three games last year in which he didn’t throw an interception. There were also four games that Hornibrook threw more interceptions that touchdowns. 

The good news so far in fall camp is that it appears Hornibrook has woked on bringing his game to the next level. Reports indicated he looks far more comfortable scrambling and throwing while outside the traditional pocket. 

Hornibrook may not need to be a world-beater in 2018, but just simply consistent and not costing his team momentum may be the key to taking this team to the next level. 

Depth Chart: 

QB1: Alex Hornibrook
QB2: Jack Coan
QB3: Danny Vanden Boom

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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