Every year with this team.
In life there are three things that are true: the sky is blue, roses are red and Wisconsin will always lose a game they aren’t supposed to. It’s happened every single year that I’ve been a fan. Wisconsin didn’t play with enough urgency on Saturday and it cost them the game. So why did Wisconsin lose to WSU.
Missed field goals:
The search for a good kicker continues. Vito Calvaruso missed two kicks on Saturday. One from 51 yards (shown below) that went all the way to Green Bay and a potential game-tying field goal in the 4th quarter.
Inability to make in-game adjustments:
What’s the first thing you think of when you think Wisconsin football? Running back U but sometimes there are faster more talented teams who can stop the run forcing the other team to pass. Unfortunately Wisconsin’s mantra is to grind out wins while running the ball 30-40 times a game which doesn’t always work. That’s why Wisconsin has lost to every talented team they have played since Paul Chryst was named head coach in 2014 because his lack of innovation is ripe for games like the one on Saturday the better team has always knocked off Wisconsin but they win eight-nine games a year which in our world is a good season.
I’ve mentioned the two missed kicks by Calvaruso, but Wisconsin was fortunate to get the ball back on the original drive.
Graham Mertz got hit by his blindside and the ball popped into the hands of Washington State defensive lineman Christian Mejia who proceeded to fumble and the ball was recovered by Wisconsin.
The first play after Wisconsin got the ball back, Mertz hit junior tight end Clay Cundiff over the middle but sophomore defensive end Quinn Roff dropped out into coverage and stripped the football away from Cundiff and recovered by redshirt junior defensive back Sam Lockett III.
What went right:
Graham Mertz: Mertz went 18/31 for 227 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Mertz was surgical all-game spreading the ball around to guys like UCLA transfer Keontez Lewis who had two catches for 62 yards including a 40-yard reception in the second quarter. and Clay Cundiff who despite his late-game mistake, had four catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Chimere Dike had four catches for 31 yards and he continues to be an X-factor in the Badger offense.
By and large besides a mini-revenge game for running back Nakia Watson who transferred to Washington State in 2021, Wisconsin kept highly-touted QB Cameron Ward in check. Ward went 17-28 with 200 yards one touchdown, and two interceptions. Ward was kept in check on the ground as he had five attempts for negative six yards.
Wisconsin’s interceptions came courtesy of sophomore DB Max Lofy and Jay Shaw (that one was nullified after Shaw fumbled and Washington State recovered the fumble.
New Mexico State
Saturday September, 17 2:30 p.m. at Camp Randall.