Badger MVP: Bart Houston helps Wisconsin to victory over Purdue

Bart Houston has benefitted from a simplified system from Paul Chryst.

Image By: Jessi Schoville

While the temperature was dropping in West Lafayette, Bart Houston began to heat up. A strong performance from the Badger quarterback highlighted Wisconsin’s 49-20 victory last Saturday.

Serving as backup to redshirt freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook, Houston has made the most of every opportunity when he is called into action. As a sub, Houston is 16-of-23 passing with 262 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and a 199.6 passing efficiency rating. His numbers on Saturday, even in limited playing time, were equally impressive.

The Badgers were flat early against Purdue, as Hornibrook struggled to complete passes, the running game was stagnant and the defense looked unimpressive. But when head coach Paul Chryst gave Houston a chance, his playmaking brought the Badgers back to life.

Entering in the second quarter, Houston immediately made his presence felt. He lead the Badgers on an 87-yard drive and threw a picture-perfect pass to fullback Alec Ingold for a touchdown. That gave the Badgers a 7-3 early lead and opened the floodgates. A 35-point second quarter set the tone for the rest of the game.

Still, even though he did not start, Houston’s performance showed hints of a potential dual-threat quarterback emerging. He successfully executed some read-option plays and gained a season-high 14 yards. Only time will tell if Houston can match running back Corey Clement’s numbers. Now, it is up for Houston, Hornibrook and the Badgers to ride their five-game-winning streak and into an important matchup with Minnesota.

The final line for Houston was 5-for-6 for 102 yards with a touchdown. He provided the early spark the Badgers needed in a must-win scenario. The Badgers are hoping he can perform in a similar fashion in the coming weeks, when the lights are the brightest. As long as Houston stays hot, the coming cold game temperatures will not faze the Badgers.

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