Like most years, we have a pretty good idea of what we are getting from the Wisconsin football team this year. The defense, led by Jack Saborn and Leo Chenal, will be as solid as always. It will be hard to score points against this unit on a consistent basis.
The running game is still a bit of a question. It wasn’t very effective last year, but a lot of that was due to inexperience. Jalen Berger will be entering his second season and Clemson transfer Chez Mellusi will spearhead the running duties for the Badgers. I fully expect the running game to be more productive than last year.
Graham Mertz is going to be the biggest question mark for the Wisconsin football team this season, and that’s why he’s going to be the X-factor for the Badgers.
It’s not likely that we will get the Graham Mertz we saw against Illinois that threw for 248 yards and five touchdowns while having just one incompletion. That’s just unrealistic. But if we can get a Graham Mertz that is near that, that is consistent and doesn’t turn the ball over, then this team is going to go places.
However, if we have the version of Mertz we saw during the last part of 2020, it might be tough to even compete for the Big Ten West. After the Michigan game last year, Mertz finished the regular season with one touchdown pass and five interceptions; completing just 56% of his passes.
At the end of the day, the Wisconsin football team need Mertz to play well. There aren’t really any excuses for him not to. He has had another offseason to get the offense mastered. His offensive weapons are all returning as well. Receivers Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor used their extra year if eligibility to come back. His all-conference tight end Jake Ferguson also came back for his senior season.
The running back room has some experience but a lot of potential as well. Pair that with a loaded offensive line, and you have yourself a very capable defense.
After all that, quarterback is all that’s left on offense. The Badgers are only going to go as far as Mertz will take them.