Former Michigan State star Brian Hoyer began Thursday night on the Houston Texans’ bench.

But by the end of the first half, Hoyer was already doing improbable things on the field.

Starter Ryan Mallett — briefly a Wolverine — took himself out because of a big hit he took. Initially, it appeared Hoyer would replace him for a couple plays. But when he marched the offense down the field and led the Texans to their first scoring drive, Bill O’Brien elected to leave him in.

It looked like a good move by the former Penn State coach, especially when Hoyer did this at the end of the half:

Meanwhile, Mallet was not happy he was kept on the sideline after he was ready to go back in.

He had a less enthusiastic reaction to Hoyer’s Hail Mary score.

Mallett, of course, knows the feeling of being benched all too well. Hoyer started the season as the starter but lost his job after he struggled in the second game of the year.

But now — fair or not — it appears Mallett will be back on the sideline while Hoyer runs the show.