After a nightmare of a game in the red zone against Penn State, the offense for the Wisconsin football team turned things around on Saturday night when they played the Eastern Michigan Eagles.
Yes, I know Easter Michigan isn’t at the same caliber as the Big Ten opponents they will face, but at least they were almost perfect in the red zone. Outside of the first series where the Badgers turned the ball over on downs inside the 5-yard line, the offense did a very good job of getting points when they had a chance.
Mertz looked a lot more confident. He had a lot more time in the pocket last night than he did last week. He completed 14-of-17 (82%) passes against Eastern Michigan, throwing for 141 yards.
I know those stats don’t light up the box score, but he didn’t really need to pass the ball in this game. He had a couple of nice throws, including a dart to Kendric Pryor in the back of the end zone that ended up being incomplete when Pryor bobbled it going out of bounds. He put the ball right where it needed to be. His passes weren’t floating like they were against Penn State.
The running game took off this game. Both Chez Mellusi and Isaac Gurendo both busted some big runs. Mellusi didn’t play much in the second half and not at all in the 4th quarter. He finished the game with 20 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown. He had another big day.
Guerendo got just four carries, but he made the most of them. He finished with 92 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown run where he ran by everybody.
Jalen Berger got a good share of carries as well, finishing the game with 15 carries, 62 yards, and a touchdown. So Wisconsin football fans can relax a bit. Whatever situation there was during the Penn State game is water under the bridge and everyone is moving on.
Finally, true freshman Braelon Allen got into the game in the 4th quarter. As a fan, it was really exciting to see him get a chance, and he didn’t disappoint. In his first carry, he made a few guys miss and initiated contact, and earned a first down. He also scored his first career touchdown as a Wisconsin football player. He finished the game with seven carries for 30 yards and a touchdown.
The Badgers will have a bye in Week 3 to heal up and fine-tune a few things for their big matchup with Notre Dame on September 25th.