Weather, as they say, is the great equalizer in football. That held true on Saturday when the No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1) suffered a sloppy, unacceptable home loss against the Washington State Cougars (2-0) at Camp Randall Stadium.
If you were to only look at the box score, you’d probably be happy with what you saw from the offense. However, if you watched the game, it told a very different story.
Bobby Engram and company produced a balanced offensive attack for the second straight week, recording 401 total yards (227 passing, 174 running) but scoring only 14 points and turning the ball over three times.
At times, third-year starting quarterback Graham Mertz carried the Wisconsin Badgers offense, but his effort simply wasn’t enough to overcome untimely turnovers and sloppy play from all three phases.
Although he was far from perfect, Mertz completed 18-of-31 passes for 227 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Also worth noting is that 10 of his passes went for first downs. The Kansas native appears to have taken a step forward this season.
Wisconsin will look to get things back on track in a hurry, considering the Badgers are just two weeks away from a trip to Columbus to take on the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes.
Here’s a look at the top 5 highest graded offensive players from Wisconsin’s 17-14 loss to Washington State, according to Pro Football Focus.
Tyler Beach (84.9) Elite
Sep 7, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers offensive lineman Tyler Beach (65) during the game against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Jack Nelson (76.9) High Quality
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 30: Offensive linemen Tanor Bortolini #63, Jack Nelson #79 and Cormac Sampson #62 of the Wisconsin Badgers walk to the line of scrimmage during the SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Allegiant Stadium on December 30, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Badgers defeated the Sun Devils 20-13. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Isaac Guerendo (71.1) Above Average
Sep 10, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Isaac Guerendo (20) rushes with the football during the fourth quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Logan Brown (70.1) Above Average
Nov 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; A Wisconsin Badgers helmet during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Keontez Lewis (69.6) Above Average
Sep 10, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Keontez Lewis (3) reacts after catching a pass during the second quarter against the Washington State Cougars at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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