In a back-and-forth, sometimes brutal Big Ten battle against the No. 24 Michigan Wolverines (5-3 Big Ten, 8-3 overall), the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers (8-0, 11-0) needed their quarterback to step up and be the difference-maker.
Alex Hornibrook delivered with one of the biggest games of his young career in UW's 24-10 victory.
Doubt lingered through the the first half of the game. Mid-way through the third quarter, Hornibrook threw his 13th interception of the season, extending his turnover streak to eight-straight games and setting up Michigan with a 10-7 lead.
The redshirt sophomore came to the sideline, put the play behind him and responded with a game-changing touchdown drive that completely flipped the narrative of the game and silenced his doubters throughout Camp Randall Stadium.
Hornibrook delivered a perfect ball down the left sideline to sophomore wide receiver A.J. Taylor for 51 yards. Three plays later, he found Taylor again, threading the needle for a 24-yard touchdown against tight coverage.
On the very next drive, the young quarterback found freshman wide receiver Danny Davis for 27 yards down the right sideline, setting up another score on the very next play.
That 14-point swing in the third quarter proved to swing the game for Wisconsin, as the Wolverines' backup quarterback John O'Korn was unable to bring his offense back after starter Brandon Peters was knocked out of the game with an injury.
Hornibrook finished 9-of-19 for 143 yards with one touchdown and one interception, a stat line that looks unimpressive on the surface but made all the difference at the most critical moments in the game.
A big performance like this from him and a win over Michigan was exactly what the Badgers needed to show the College Football Playoff Selection Committee that they are a legitimate playoff contender, with their sights set on the Big Ten Championship game in two weeks.
Check back at www.dailycardinal.com/section/sports later for a full recap from today's game