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Redshirt freshman Joel Stave to start at quarterback for Wisconsin

Joel Stave Stave won the starting job by playing mistake-free football. (Tom Lynn/Getty Images)

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema confirmed on Thursday that redshirt freshman Joel Stave will start at quarterback for the Badgers on Saturday against UTEP.

Stave replaced Danny O'Brien at halftime of last week's game against Utah State and helped rally the Badgers to a 16-14 win. Stave, a former walk-on, completed just 2 of 6 passes for 15 yards, but Bielema was happy that he didn't make any mistakes. (O'Brien had three turnovers in his last two starts.)

“I think the fact Joel responded so well," Bielema said, "didn’t have any issues, no fumbled snaps. There wasn’t any incorrect calls. He didn’t show me any reason not to stay with him."

The Badgers had hoped to strike lightning twice with transfers from the ACC, but former Maryland QB O'Brien didn't measure up to the standard set last season by former N.C. State signal-caller Russell Wilson.

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