I like this team
Yes Wisconsin lost in double-overtime on Saturday, but since Jim Leonhard took over as interim head coach this team has played harder for Leonhard in two weeks than they had for Paul Chryst all-season.
Here are some takeaways from the game:
The inconsistency of Graham Mertz continues to plague this team:
Graham Mertz can make all the throws, but it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions watching him quarterback this team.
Mertz in Saturday’s game, went 14/24 with 131 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Mertz made two great throws all-game. The three-yard touchdown to Keontez Lewis to tie the game in the fourth and the 25-yard touchdown in overtime to WR Chimere Dike after almost getting picked off in the endzone which should have ended the game. Mertz also threw an interception in the first quarter which led to a Spartan touchdown two plays later.
Mertz has the tools to be a great QB at Wisconsin but he hasn’t put it together yet, he’s got five games left in this season and all of next season to prove the naysayers wrong.
Braelon Allen continues to impress:
Sophomore running back Braelon Allen is a star.
Allen in Saturday’s game, had 29 carries for 129 yards and two touchdowns.
Allen on Saturday, also became the 5th fastest Badger to reach 2,000 yards.
The Wisconsin defense did not play a full football game yesterday.
The defense which has been the hallmark of Wisconsin football for almost a decade made several mistakes in Saturday’s game.
The play that sticks out is giving up a 72-yard gain to tight end Maliq Carr after the Spartans were backed up at their own eight-yard line. (Michigan State scored four plays later).
Wisconsin also picked up two pass interference penalties to help the Spartans take a 21-14 lead.
In overtime, CB Jay Shaw was in perfect position to intercept a pass thrown by WR Jayden Reed but Keon Coleman somehow came up with it. That play should have been made.
CB Ricardo Hallman had a rough day yesterday.
Hallman allowed two touchdowns including the game-winning score in overtime and was the recipient of a pass interference penalty on a key drive in the fourth quarter.
Hallman was noticeably upset after allowing the game-winning score, and rightfully so, but Hallman is a young player who will learn from this experience and come back better the next game.
Purdue|Saturday October, 22| 2:30 p.m.| ESPN