QB O'Brien leaves Badgers

By RICK SOLEM
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Danny O'Brien has left the University of Wisconsin football team.

Just a year after transferring from Maryland to Wisconsin, O'Brien won't be back, buried on this year's depth chart.

He started the first three games of last season, but could not follow in the footsteps of Russell Wilson, who transferred from N.C. State and dominated at the helm for the Badgers.

O'Brien, not so much. He lost the job midway through the third game and played little afterward.

He led Wisconsin to a narrow 26-21 win over NCAA powerhouse Northern Iowa to start 2012. Wisconsin then lost to Oregon State 10-7. In Week 3, he had Wisconsin down 14-3 at halftime to Utah State of all teams, before losing his job.

Joel Stave took over at half and the Badgers pulled out a 16-14 win.

O'Brien was 52-for-86 (60.5%) for 523 yards with three touchdowns and one interception last year. He was sacked eight times and didn't have a run longer than seven yards.

Stave, a 6-foot-5, 227-pound redshirt sophomore from Greenfield, Wis., and redshirt senior Curt Phillips (6-3, 225) appear to be the front-runners for the starting job this season.

There are five quarterbacks on the roster. The other three are redshirt freshman. 

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