Wisconsin Badgers Danny O’Brien as good as advertised


Despite an underwhelming 26-21 win for the Wisconsin Badgers over the FCS’s Northern Iowa, quarterback Danny O’Brien was certainly impressive when utilized.

The junior transfer made his first start at Camp Randall by completing 19-of-23 passes for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

Comparisons to Russell Wilson will inevitably be made, but don’t be mistaken, he’s a completely different player looking to lead Wisconsin down a similar path of success.

A sign of a good quarterback is the pursuit of perfection, something that seemed evident in O’Brien following the game on Saturday.

“We’ll take it. It’s a win. There is no such thing as a bad win. I think there are some things that I have to clean up, but for the most part, I think we did a pretty good job in the passing game and the running game, and like I said, you take a win anytime you can,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien, who transferred from Maryland, received rave reviews from teammates.

Tight end Jacob Pedersen who caught two passes for 26 yards said, “He commanded the huddle, and that’s what you need a quarterback to do. He was smooth with his throws and he didn’t rush anything.”

Heisman hopeful Montee Ball said of O’Brien, “I think Danny did a great job for his first time at Camp Randall. It’s difficult to play here for the first time. Good thing he’s on our side. But I think he did a great job with leadership.”

O’Brien’s pass efficiency of 191.29 was good enough for the second all-time for a Badgers quarterback in his UW debut, trailing Wilson’s 292.46 in 2011 (there I go making those comparisons).

Even though near thirty members of his family attended the game, nerves were the last thing on Danny’s mind, he just wanted to get on the field and show everyone what he’s made of.

“It was an unbelievable home atmosphere to play under, and I finally got to see what Camp Randall is really like,” said O’Brien when asked about playing in front of the crowd at Camp Randall.

Hard to believe that this really was O’Brien’s first time playing in Camp Randall. Get used to it Badgers fans because he’s here to stay.

What did you think of Danny’s debut at Camp Randall? Do you think he could be a good player or will he struggle at some point? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice and pretend to be a Golf expert from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.


O’Brien Action Shot (courtesy of Badgers Official Facebook Page)

Other O’Brien Shot (startribune.com)


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  1. If all you knew was the results of Favres first 5 years and Rogers first 5 years in football which one would you want to be on your (Packer) team for the rest of their career?

  2. Nick Grays says:

    That’s a good question, but they ended up in completely different situations. Favre took over a bad Packers team that he turned into one of the league’s premier franchises. Not only that, he went on to win three straight MVP awards and took Green Bay to two straight Super Bowls. On the flip side, Rodgers took over a talented Packers team (one that made the NFC Championship game) after sitting on the bench for a few years under Brett. If I had to choose, I would go with Favre because he proved to be great with less talent around him.

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