Wisconsin Football: Handing out game balls from the win over Rutgers

Paul Chryst has the Wisconsin football team rolling after a 52-3 beat-down of the Rutgers Scarlett Knights. This marked the fifth straight victory for the Badgers and has Wisconsin Football in complete control of their own destiny in the Big Ten West.

Wisconsin’s defense was suffocating early and made it nearly impossible for Rutgers’ offense to get into a rhythm of any kind. Jim Leonhard’s defense allowed just 199 total yards and held Rutgers to a mere 3.5 yards a play. The  Wisconsin defense also forced 4 turnovers (3 interceptions/1 forced fumble) and held Rutgers to just 2/12 on third down. Simply put, Wisconsin is a defensive juggernaut and they’re going to be tough to beat now that they’re consistently forcing turnovers.

Wisconsin’s offense wasn’t flashy by any means, but they did manage to tally up 581 total yards of offense (274 passing/307 rushing). Rutgers simply didn’t have an answer all day long, allowing 8.3 yards per play to Wisconsin.

The Badgers turned the ball over once early on a Graham Mertz interception but took care of the football thereafter. Wisconsin won the time of possession battle with a convincing 37:22 to 22:38. It’s getting easier to compile wins now that Wisconsin is back to playing their brand of football.

So, without further ado, it’s time to hand out game balls from the win over Rutgers.

Offense: Graham Mertz – 11/16 for 240 yards 3 TD/1INT.

Graham Mertz tied his season-high in passing yards (240) on just 11 completions. Nine of his completions went for 15 yards or more and he showed some poise in the pocket. Wisconsin pulled Mertz midway through the third quarter after an impressive afternoon.

One can only hope to see Mertz continue to build on his improved play in recent weeks.

His interception was indeed a head-scratcher, but he’s shown a propensity of putting those kinds of throws behind him and moving forward. Overall, it was a good showing for Wisconsin’s QB1.

Offense: Braelon Allen – 15 carries for 129 yards (8.6 YPC) and 1 touchdown.

Braelon Allen clearly wasn’t at 100% entering today’s game and ended up pacing the Badgers in rushing regardless. This marked Allen’s fifth consecutive game rushing for at least 100 yards, becoming the first Wisconsin running back to accomplish that feat since Anthony Davis back in 2021.

The true freshman just keeps getting better every week and has become one of the offenses biggest stars.

Defense: Caesar Williams – 1 interception (TD)

It’s hard to single out any one player on defense in a week where so many players made significant contributions, but I have to tip my cap to senior corner – Caesar Williams.

This was the first pick-6 for the Wisconsin football team since 2019 and firmly shifted the momentum in favor of Wisconsin heading into the half.