Penn State Football

‘I’ve got informants and spies everywhere. He’s playing.’

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook looks to pass against Nebraska during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 23-17 in overtime. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)
Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook looks to pass against Nebraska during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Nebraska 23-17 in overtime. (AP Photo/Andy Manis) AP

Wisconsin starting quarterback Alex Hornibrook is listed as questionable for Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game — but Penn State coach James Franklin isn’t buying it.

Hornibrook suffered a head injury during the Badgers’ regular-season finale win over Minnesota, and he showed up on Wisconsin’s Monday injury report.

When asked about how the Nittany Lions would prepare for the Badgers knowing that information, Franklin wasn’t fazed in his Tuesday press conference.

“He’s going to play,” Franklin said of the Malvern Prep graduate and West Chester native. “I’ve got a lot of friends in the Malvern Area. I’m from Pennsylvania. He’s from Pennsylvania. He’s playing in this game. I still got friends from my time with the Green Bay Packers. I’ve got informants and spies everywhere. He’s playing.”

Fair enough.

Hornibrook, who has been Wisconsin’s starting signal-caller since the Badgers’ Sept. 24 game at Michigan State, is still working his way back into the swing of things.

Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said on a Sunday teleconference that the redshirt freshman was “feeling a lot better than he did” on Saturday.

“Take it day by day, and see where he’s at,” Chryst said of his approach in handling Hornibrook’s situation. “I know he got on the bike today and did some things, said he felt good after that, but we’ll probably just take it day by day here.”

Hornibrook isn’t the only quarterback Penn State has to worry about. Badgers senior Bart Houston, who started the first three games of the season, has garnered plenty of reps, essentially splitting time with Hornibrook.

On the season, Hornibrook has thrown for 1,243 yards and eight touchdowns, while completing 58.1 percent of his passes and tossing seven interceptions.

Meanwhile, Houston has completed 63.9 percent of his throws, tallying 912 yards with five touchdowns to three picks this season. In his last four games, Houston has connected on 17 of 24 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Chyrst complimented Houston in his Monday press conference.

“Bart does a good job of being in the moment,” Chryst told reporters. “He cares about this team and has confidence in himself. He wants to contribute and believes he can contribute and help.”

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