Wisconsin coach Paul Chyrst is understandably ducking the Jack Coan storyline.
Coan is the current starting quarterback at Notre Dame after transferring from Wisconsin in the offseason. The 2019 season saw the New York native lead Wisconsin to a 10-4 record, a trip to the Big Ten Championship and a berth to the Rose Bowl. Coan was injured last season and he was replaced by current Badger starter Graham Mertz.
Chyrst was asked about how Coan might look different playing quarterback at Notre Dame.
“I think as you watch and see it, it’s a different team,” he said. “You know, he’s always going to work and continue to work to improve. I think obviously there is a storyline, and yet I think it’s important you know, it’s Wisconsin versus Notre Dame. Obviously, we have respect for Jack and appreciate who he is as a person and a player and a teammate here but it’s Wisconsin versus Notre Dame.”
Mertz struggled in his first game.
He finished 22 for 37 for 185 yards passing with two interceptions and two sacks against Penn State in a 16-10 loss. He was 14-17 for 141 yards passing in a 34-7 win over Eastern Michigan in week two.
Coan was excellent in Notre Dame’s 41-38 overtime victory over Florida State, finishing 26-35 for 366 yards passing with four touchdown passes. He has been up-and-down in games against Toledo and Purdue. He was 21 of 33 for 239 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Rockets while getting sacked six times. He was 15 of 31 for 223 yards with two scores against Purdue. Coan was sacked four times against the Boilermakers and wasn't helped by his receivers, who dropped six of his passes.
Coan transferred a year after the quarterback he replaced - Alex Hornibrook - transferred to Florida State. According to Chryst those two circumstances were different.
“I think, it’s like when they come as well, you want to respect their decision and go with it,” Chyrst said. “And then you have to move on. I think that’s what happened here. I think the two that are referenced weren’t the same situations. I think each has a different dynamic.”
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