Wisconsin coach Paul Crest, Badgers respond to Washington State loss
The Badgers suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday, 17-14, to the Cougars at Camp Randall.
Mark Stewart, Chet
Wisconsin Badgers looking to bounce back on Saturday against New Mexico State after struggling Amazing loss for Washington State last week.
Badgers 1-1, while New Mexico State 0-3.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Camp Randall.
Join blog host Mark Stewart as she will provide you with updates and analysis straight from the press box. Make sure your browser is updated to the latest.
Wisconsin vs New Mexico: Preview, forecast and more as Badgers wrap up their no-conference schedule
Wisconsin avoided letting the score be scored late in the first half when the Aggies missed a 29-yard field goal. But in the fourth quarter after UW was cleared from the bench, New Mexico State drove 75 yards in seven plays and reached the end zone by 1 yard by Ahmonte Watkins with 8:10 to play. The big play for possession was a 36-yard pass from Gavin Frakes that set up the first goal and 1 goal. Wisconsin 63, New Mexico State 7.
The senior player hasn’t scored more than once in a UW game until today. His 30-yard run with 11:48 left, along with the extra point, gave the Badgers a 63-0 advantage. Guerendo reaches 71 yards in 10 gigs. His 7.1 yards per carry is the best among ball carriers in the UW today and his fast yards are the second highest total of his career. He had 92 yards against Eastern Michigan last year, 82 of which came in one round. Wisconsin 63, New Mexico 0.
The blast allows Guerendo, who didn’t finish last season due to injury, to get some work done. He made the most of it in the Badgers bottom line in the third quarter. He scored at 3 yards with 1 minute 41 seconds left. The relegation came after two games after his 16-yard tally was voided for holding a penalty on the close end of Jack Eschenbach. Wisconsin 56, New Mexico State .0.
You can’t be too excited looking at the competition, but the rookie quarterback surpassed his high-yard run in a game with an 18-yard drop in the third quarter to Skyler Bell. Bale reached for the second possession goal in a row, this time holding a pass into the corner of the end zone on a ball thrown over the top of the defense giving UW a 49-0 advantage.
This was Mertz’s last pass of the day. Backup Myles Burkett took control of the following possession. Here are Mertz’s final numbers: 12 of 15, 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
This turns out to be a good day for little badger recipients. Rookie Keunes Lewis scored his first collegiate touchdown in the first half. Bale, a novice in a red shirt, made it to the end zone for the first time in a 49-yard touchdown with 10 minutes and 21 seconds left in the third quarter giving the Badgers a 42-0 lead.
It was as if Meretz knew he was going to Bill to get out of the rally. At the hijacker, Mertz shot an arrow at Bell, who picked up the ball with a stride near 30, cut inside the defensive back and reached the end zone untouched.
By the way, Mertz has a ninth for his 200-yard game. It sits 203 yards away in 10 of the 13 passing.
It should come as no surprise that Badgers top every major statistic category so far. Here’s a look: Total yards – 310-100, rush yards – 164-60; yards – 146-40; Possession time – 16 minutes 15 seconds – 13:45.
Here are some other noteworthy anecdotes
*After accumulating more than 100 yards in penalty kicks against Washington State, the UW was marked twice for 25 yards.
*QB Graham Mertz completed eight of 11 passes for 146 yards. He has an 18-yard touchdown pass to Keontez Lewis but also a poor throw interception that he tried to force in coverage.
* Wisconsin had three plays 15 yards or more in length -. Two of those plays, an 18-yard pass from Mertz to Keontez Lewis and a 37-yard completion from Mertz to Skyler Bell, either landed or led to them.
* Braelon Allen (13 holders for 83 yards) is on the way to his 10th game for 100 yards.
The sophomore ran for three touchdowns twice in one game in his career, but that didn’t come easy. The Fond du Lac native reached the finish zone for the third time in a 2-yard race with 6:09 left in the second quarter. His other three-way efforts were filmed in back-to-back games with Northwestern and Nebraska.
At this point in the game, Allen has 77 machine guns in 12 attempts and Wisconsin is leading 35-0.
NgongMita, the budding linebacker, got the first pass of his career and returned it 6 yards to the New Mexico State 2-yard line. Allen took care of the rest, gaining one yard in the next two plays to reach the finish zone. Playing plus the bonus point gives the Badgers a 28-0 lead.
The sophomore UCLA transfer caught an 18-yard touchdown from Mertz with 12:22 remaining in the first half. This was the third in Lewis’s past two games and his first touchdown since his junior year of high school. His first season was canceled due to the pandemic and was not part of UCLA’s passing game.
The score, plus Nate Van Zelst’s extra point, propelled the UW to 21-0.
Wisconsin needed seven plays, two minutes, and 40 seconds to cover 63 yards and get the second score, a 2-yard run by Chez Mellusi. Mellusi gained 40 yards on 10 campaigns during the stand.
The campaign came with the help of some changes on the offensive line. Widge, a Kettle Maureen High School graduate, replaced Logan Brown on the right tackle, and Bortolini, who missed the first two games due to injury, took charge for Michael Fortney in the right guard position.
The rest of the streak – Jack Nelson on the left tackle, Tyler Beach on the left guard and Joe Tipman on the center – stayed the same.
If that’s an indication of how the afternoon is going, UW will quickly accumulate points.
It took the UW four plays, a minute, and 22 seconds to reach the finish zone. The Badgers didn’t need any drive passes and used linebacker Jackson Acker twice, including on the relegation run.
And kicker Nate Van Zelst split the rolls on the extra point. The Badgers are leading 7-0.
We have about 35 minutes until kick-off and one thing is for sure, the special teams could be interesting. With Calvaroso and Van Dyck out, freshman Nate van Zelst will get his first act of kicking field goals and Gavin Myers will take the kicks.
Myers, a sophomore from Oshkosh-Lord University, is actually the third major to launch the series. Van Dyke and Calvaruso are the team’s top picks for the job.
The biggest concern from this seat will be how Van Zelst runs, especially after Calvaroso missed two kicks so badly last week. During the pre-season Van Zelst said his range is about 50 yards.
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