Wisconsin Football: Joel Stave Finishes Wisconsin Career on High Note


Joel Stave closed his Wisconsin football career with a win

A 23-21 victory Wednesday night for the Wisconsin Badgers in the Holiday Bowl meant Wisconsin football quarterback Joel Stave went out on a high note, becoming the winningest quarterback in Wisconsin history despite years of uncertainty at the quarterback position.

Related Story: Wisconsin Badgers Win Holiday Bowl Over USC Trojans

The victory was hard-fought, and for Stave, didn’t come without it’s scars. Stave took a big hit in the fourth quarter and had his face stepped on in the process, sending him to the sidelines to have his broken nose taped up as blood poured out. The Badgers offense stalled without him, but he returned the next possession and hit two huge throws to lead Wisconsin to the go-ahead field goal before the defense sealed the victory.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

After the game, Stave told reporters, “I feel like I’ve been in a fight.”

He had, and not just during the Holiday Bowl.

Since debuting for the Badgers in 2012, Stave certainly has had his ups and downs. He’s had fans nearly rioting against him calling for his job and he’s had that job taken away, only to earn it back.

Wednesday night he capped that career with a fourth quarter comeback and a bowl game win against an opponent his team had never defeated before.

In the process he not only became the winningest quarterback in school history with a 31-10 record, but he solidified himself in the record book among the school’s best quarterbacks.

Stave will graduate as Wisconsin’s second all-time leading passer in most categories: yards (7,635), attempts (1,031) and completions 612). Stave is second to Darrell Bevell in all of those categories. His 217-yard performance also gave him his 18th career 200-yard game, putting him past John Stocco for first on that list in school history.

Stave was named the Holiday Bowl’s Most Valuable Player on offense after his performance in the bowl game, putting a nice bow on a career that has seen plenty of low moments. Luckily, Stave finished his time in a Badgers uniform on a high note, and helped the Badgers to a victory along the way.

More badgers: Best Quarterbacks in Wisconsin Football History

Stau tuned to Badger of Honor for more as we continue to break down the Holiday Bowl.