After coming off a 34-7 win Saturday night against Eastern Michigan, the Wisconisn Badgers looked a lot better compared to their opening week loss to then #19 Penn State. Now that the Badgers have a bye week, let’s see where this team stands after two weeks.
We Know The Defense Is One Of The Best In The Country
Badger fans know how the offense has fared over the first two weeks. Don’t worry, I’ll be getting into that. However, the defense has been really impressive. Through two games, the defense has allowed a total of 389 yards. This includes giving up only 92 yards to the Eagles Saturday night.
This #Badgers defense has a chance to be special
— Coach Riley (@BadgersRiley) September 12, 2021
The defense was ahead of the offense in fall camp. It’s been no different to start the season. This defense is full of upper-classmen and a ton of guys that have played a ton of games. This defense is one of, if not, the best defense in the country so far.
We Know They Have Three Solid Running Backs
I knew Chez Mellusi would be a solid addition to this team, but who would have seen the first two games he had. Through two games, Mellusi has 265 yards and two touchdowns. He’s been the clear number one back. The sophomore invites contact and has shown great vision.
We might never know why Jalen Berger didn’t see a snap against Penn State. After not seeing the field last week, Berger was very productive Saturday night. He rushed for 62 yards and added a score himself. It was a good season debut for Berger.
Isaac Guerendo was seen as the number three back all camp. He’s been impressive through two games too. Guerendo has ran for 148 yards, including an 82 yard score Saturday where he was able to show off his speed.
Isaac Guerendo 82 yards to the house!!#EasternMichigan #Wisconsin
— Sideline CFB (@SidelineCFB) September 12, 2021
We Know This Should Be A Run First Team
We know the hype about Graham Mertz. As fans, it’s hard to be patient because we know how talented he is. You don’t become the highest rated quarterback in program history and not have the talent to show it.
However, Graham Mertz is still learning and doesn’t have a full college schedule under his belt. As a result, the running game and defense should be this teams calling card and should be the calling card moving forward.
Wisconsin has been successful for years now with this approach. Trust me Badger fans, it’s only two weeks and Graham Mertz will get there. It’s going to take time. This is still a really good roster.
We Know Graham Mertz Will Be The X-Factor
Despite the running games and defenses the Badgers have had over the years, they got enough from their quarterback play to help the cause. Scott Tolzien, Curt Phillips, Joel Stave, and Bart Houston all showed enough to help this team not rely on just running and defense.
It’s clear Mertz has not played well enough for the Badgers to be “that team” yet. He needs to play better if this team goes to Indianapolis. After a close loss to Penn State and an early season loss for Ohio State, the Big Ten title may not seem like a daunting task. Notre Dame and a home matchup with Iowa still loom, but if Mertz plays well in those games, there’s no reason this team can’t win 10 games and set up a date in Indianapolis.
Follow me on Twitter @DylanBuboltz! For all your Badger content and all things Wisconsin Sports, click here to check out our homepage!