Hornibrook was ruled out of the game after recurring concussion symptoms surfaced during practice earlier this week.
Sophomore Jack Coan will start in place of Hornibrook in the bowl matchup against the Miami Hurricanes on Dec. 27 at Yankee Stadium.
“Alex participated in a couple weeks of bowl practices,” Badgers coach Paul Chryst said in announcing the decision to hold out Hornibrook. “And then had some reoccurring (symptoms).”
Hornibrook started the first seven games of the season but went into the concussion protocol following a victory over Illinois on Oct. 20.
Although Hornibrook missed three-plus games due to the injury, he returned for the regular-season finale versus Minnesota on Nov. 14. Hornibrook struggled in the 37-15 loss, going 22 of 33 for 189 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.
Hornibrook has dealt with concussion issues in the past, missing the 2016 Big Ten Championship Game against Penn State because of a concussion. He also was limited in the Cotton Bowl against Western Michigan that same year after suffering a concussion in the regular-season finale.
Chryst told reporters Thursday that it was premature to assess whether the concussion symptoms would have long-term effects on Hornibrook’s ability to play.
“It is so early and you’re going through it,” Chryst said. “I don’t know all the ramifications. You take it day to day and week to week. … You trust the (medical) evaluations. You try to do all that you can. I get the information. I don’t know that I understand it all.”
Hornibrook finished the season by throwing for 1,532 yards with 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He threw 21 scoring passes as a sophomore, capped by a four-touchdown performance in a 34-24 win over Miami in the Orange Bowl a year ago.
Coan will make his fourth college start against the Hurricanes, who rank No. 1 nationally in pass defense with an average of 140.8 yards allowed.
The 6-foot-3, 211-pound Coan had his best performance in a 47-44 overtime win at Purdue on Nov. 17, completing 17 of 24 for 160 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions.
“This is one more great opportunity for him to be able to start,” said Chryst. “Nothing is guaranteed so you want to appreciate the opportunities that you get.
“So, excited for Jack and for our team. And he’s got time to prepare.”