Blue White Illustrated

Wisconsin Pregame

Penn State Sports Magazine

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both are coming off injuries, and it's un- clear how they will be affected on game day or even what their availability will be. McSorley suffered a knee injury against Iowa two weeks ago, and while he was able to return to the game after leaving briefly in the second quarter, he wore a brace the following week at Michigan and was re- placed in the second half by Tommy Stevens. Stevens finished the game, lead- ing the Nittany Lions on their only scoring drive in a 42-7 loss. At his news conference on Tuesday, Penn State coach James Franklin didn't want to get into how the two quarterbacks might split up the playing time against Wiscon- sin. It's possible there won't even be a split, as McSorley was healthy enough to run for a 51-yard touchdown against Iowa shortly after being hurt, and he might well have continued to play against Michigan if the offense had been faring better. Because he can make plays even when he's not at 100 percent, it's difficult to predict how the coaches will handle him on Saturday. In- deed, the coaches themselves aren't en- tirely sure. Said Franklin, "It's hard to say what we're going to do this week, because there are a thousand variables that go into making those decisions – how the game is going, how the guys are playing, health. There are a lot of factors that go into it." While McSorley and Stevens might differ somewhat in their physical attributes and skill sets, the scheme won't change even if the quarterback does. That's why Wiscon- sin coach Paul Chryst isn't dwelling on which one plays. "You certainly prepare for McSorley," he said. "Heck of a quarterback, love the way that he plays the game and competes. You're going to plan for their of- fense. Our defense has got to have a plan to stop their offense. We know all the pieces of it, and you make sure your players are prepared. Every player is different, but it's still the same offense." As for Hornibrook, the concerns about his availability stem from a concussion he received earlier this season. The Wisconsin medical staff is uncertain when the initial injury occurred, as Hornibrook didn't ex- hibit symptoms until after the team's 49- 20 victory over Illinois on Oct. 20. He was put in the concussion protocol and didn't play the following week in a 31-17 loss to Northwestern. Last week, Hornibrook returned to action against Rutgers but did not play in the sec- ond half after being dropped for an 8-yard loss on the final play of the second quarter. He went back into the concussion protocol, and Wisconsin has listed him as question- able heading into its visit to Penn State. If Hornibrook can't play, sophomore Jack Coan will get the start. A former four-star prospect from Sayville, N.Y., Coan saw limited action as Hornibrook's backup last season, appear- ing in six games and completing all five of his passing attempts for 36 yards. He seemed headed for a redshirt year this fall, but he's now played in two games. If he plays in three more, he will be forced to use up another year of eligibility. But Coan's eligibility status is a matter of secondary importance as far as the Badg- ers' coaching staff is concerned. Although their offense relies primarily on its potent running game, they need to bring a credible passing threat into their remaining games. If Hornibrook is out for an extended pe- riod, Coan gives them their best chance to do that. 2 Taylor is poised to lead the Big Ten in rushing for the sec- ond season in a row. He's gained 1,363 yards and scored 11 touch- downs on the ground through nine games. Photo by Bryan Fuller/ MGoBlog N O V E M B E R   7 ,   2 0 1 8 B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M

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