MADISON, Wis. — For the most part, Curt Phillips’ career at Wisconsin has been filled with trials and tribulations.
But with time running out on Phillips’ final season in Madison, the former Sullivan South standout appears to be in line to make his first career start on Saturday against Big Ten foe Indiana.
While Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema has declined to publicly announce his starting quarterback, ESPN.com reported on Wednesday that multiple sources have confirmed Phillips will get the nod.
Although Phillips has been tabbed as a co-starter along with Danny O’Brien, Phillips has reportedly received the bulk of the reps with the first team this week. Matt Canada, Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said on Tuesday that a decision regarding Saturday’s starter has been reached, but he also declined to name names.
“I think it’s always tough,” Canada told the media on Tuesday. “It’s tough in the sense of you’re trying to find the right guy to do what he could do best and go through and look at what best fits our team. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, so that part is a challenge.
“But I do think we’ve felt like where we’re at is the right place to be at this moment in time.”
After undergoing three ACL surgeries during his collegiate career, Phillips has played sparingly so far this season. But Bielema spoke very highly of Phillips during a press conference on Monday and indicated that the offense will not change no matter who is under center.
“The perseverance and the battle he’s been through to get to where he is today, kids rally around him extremely well,” Bielema said. “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.
“Curt’s a runner. He’s a guy that can move the football around a little bit with his arm and with his feet.”
The stakes will certainly be high for Wisconsin on Saturday. With a win, the Badgers can secure first place in the Leaders Division and punch their ticket to the Big Ten championship game on Dec. 1 in Indianapolis.