Phillips to start at QB even if Stave can play - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Phillips to start at QB even if Stave can play


MADISON (WKOW) -- The search is over for a new Wisconsin football coach, and now the focus shifts to more pressing matters -- like winning a Rose Bowl.

The Badgers held their final practice in Madison Saturday. The team will spend the next two days with their families before flying out to Pasadena on Christmas Day.

Senior quarterback Curt Phillips helped get the Badgers back to the Rose Bowl, but freshman QB Joel Stave, who started six games this season, is nearly recovered from a broken collar bone he suffered mid-season.

There's not much of a "quarterback controversy" here, though -- at least not for Barry Alvarez.

"Curt won that championship game. He's earned the right to start," Alvarez said on Saturday. "Joel hasn't totally been cleared yet. He's been practicing, he's been ready to play, he says he feels good but we'll wait for total clearance and then make a decision how we'll use him. If he's cleared, then we'll use both quarterbacks."

As for Phillips, he says he's okay with the idea of Stave getting some playing time. It seems the senior leader is taking the unselfish approach for the good of the team.

"We haven't really talked through that but at the same time, he's a good player. He obviously did some really good things for us. I'm not really concerned with that. I don't get to make that decision, so when my number's called I'm just going to try to make the most of it," Phillips said.

"I'd say I'm pretty close," Stave said of his recovery. "I can move [my arm] like I could before. The strength isn't all back yet, but really it's just a matter of if I take a hit, is it healthy for that? Because I'm healthy to run, I'm healthy to throw and do things like that, so if I could get a chance to play in this game, that would really mean a lot to me."

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