MADISON, Wis. -- Bart Houston had no inkling his first game appearance as a college quarterback was approaching on Saturday afternoon. Wisconsin was pounding UMass, and that meant backup Curt Phillips would take the field to cap a 45-0 blowout victory.
Only Phillips, a sixth-year senior, never made his way off the sideline. Instead, he went to head coach Gary Andersen and suggested Houston, a redshirt freshman, be given an opportunity.
"I was very surprised," Houston said following Tuesday's practice. "Sitting there on the headset, I thought Curt was going to go in. All of a sudden I hear Andersen say, 'Curt just talked to me, we're about to put Bart in instead of Curt.' My head was spinning. I'm like, 'What?' I thought I was in a dream. Somebody pinch me. It was real exciting. I did not expect it, but I prepared just as well."
The gesture was especially moving for Houston, who would help Wisconsin salt away the final 7 minutes, 30 seconds of the game on a 12-play drive that feat...