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Judging Wisconsin’s offense through two games




Graham Mertz;  Wisconsin football

September 11, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin football Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Wisconsin soccer team is saying goodbye in Week 3, so we don’t have a Badger game to look forward to this weekend. But that gives us some time to look back at how the team has performed so far this season.

Two games is a small sample size, but we’ve seen them play a good team in Penn State and a lesser team in Eastern Michigan. At this point, we’ve probably seen enough where we can at least give numbers on how each position has performed so far. Today we’ll focus on the side of the ball that’s been the most researched so far: the foul.

The offense has been up and down a lot this season. There have been a number of plays to get excited about and some have made Wisconsin football fans want to pull out their hair, especially from the quarterback position, and that’s where we’ll start.


Graham Mertz had a very up-and-down 2020. By now every Wisconsin football fan knows how he burned Illinois in the opening game last year. He also looked pretty good against Michigan. But then he got COVID and also suffered a shoulder injury and just didn’t look the same for the rest of the year. Fans like me were hoping he would return this season to play like he did against Illinois. Of course no one would have thought that he would be Which good and able to hold it up, but a consistent quarterback who could pitch a bunch of other Wisconsin quarterbacks couldn’t in the past.

In the first game it was more of what we saw last season. He didn’t look at ease. He seemingly stared down at his horn, forcing throws into tight windows and sometimes double cover. He finished the game with two interceptions, and if you missed a few passes, you’d expect a Division 1 quarterback to hit.

On the other hand, he looked good against East Michigan. No, he didn’t like keeping up with the stats, but he was consistent and confident. He took what the defense gave him and played a very efficient game.

One game that won’t show up is his touchdown which he nearly completed. He threw a dime at Kendric Pryor back in the end zone, but Pryor couldn’t hold it. By the end of the game, he completed 82% of his passes for 141 yards, and while he didn’t throw a touchdown, he didn’t turn the ball around either.

He will still need to work on his transfers with the running backs as there has been a fumble in the red zone in both games thus far, which absolutely shouldn’t happen.

Chase Wolf also came in during a garbage time against eastern Michigan. He made a very nice throw to a receiver, but later threw a pick-six into the endzone and the Eastern Michigan defender took it all the way back to the house, ending Wisconsin’s shutout-bid. Mertz was brought back in for the remainder of the match.

So overall, there’s still a lot of improvement from the quarterbacks, but hopefully the week 2 win will give Mertz some confidence heading into the rest of the season.

Quality: C-




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