Monday, November 29, 2021

Immediate analysis: Wisconsin football bowl worthy but Rutgers has new concerns after rooting out

UW were looking deep into the tailback when the season began, but Jalen Berger was dropped from the team last month. It came as freshmen Loyal Crawford and Antwan Roberts got into a fight in the week of the season opener, leaving Crawford out of the team and Roberts entering the transfer portal.

Now the question becomes: Can Allen be able to lift heavy loads under stretch if Melucci’s injury is serious?

passing grade

I made a nasty comment on Twitter late in the first half after a UW full pass: Graham Mertz is over 100 yards in a half, hate.

It didn’t happen all that often, and Mertz ended the first half with 143 yards. This was more than he had at the end of six of the Badgers’ first eight games this season.

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It kept getting better too. By the time Mertz was pulled in the middle of the third quarter, he was 11 of 16 for 240 yards—a season high—with three touchdowns and one interception. His pass efficiency rating: a whopping 244.1.

Mertz has had more good than bad in recent weeks, and bad Saturday was much more good than bad.

But about that bad one: Mertz’s only interception of the game came when he threw in double coverage on a pass to tight end Jake Ferguson. An argument could be made that officials missed Rutgers holding or pass-interference penalties on the play, but that doesn’t force Mertz to pass in coverage. Especially when UW sophomore wide receiver Chimare Dyke thrashed his man in the middle.

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