The Wisconsin Badgers open their season two weeks from today. In part one of a two part series, I will be predicting every game on the Badgers schedule. Does the record look different with Graham Mertz as the starter compared to if Jack Coan was under center? Lets find out!
Game 1- Illinois (October 24)
The Badgers have a chance to avenge last season’s shocking loss to the Illini. The Badgers lost on a last second field goal 24-23. Two late turnovers hurt the Badgers chance to seal the game. The Badgers will be looking for revenge and will get that chance right away.
This will be Graham Mertz’s first college start. There’s a good chance we’ll see flashes of greatness and flashes of freshman mistakes. And you know what? That’s okay!
At the end of the day, Wisconsin is better on paper with Mertz, the defense, and the experience on both sides of the ball. Wisconisn wins this game 24-14 to start the season.
Game 2- At Nebraska (October 31)
The second game for the Badgers will be a tough road test in Lincoln, Nebraska. Road games are never easy especially with a young quarterback under center. Nebraska will be coming off a tough test at Ohio State the week before.
Wisconsin has enjoyed a ton of success against the Cornhuskers since they joined the Big Ten. Nebraska will be relying on junior quarterback Adrian Martinez, the third year starter to guide them to a big home win.
When I think about this game, this will be a game the Wisconsin defense will need to play great. I think the defense plays a great game and leads Wisconsin to a 2-0 record, beating Nebraska 28-21.
Game 3- Purdue (November 7)
Wisconsin will come back the week after and play Purdue at home. Purdue has a lot of questions at the quarterback position but will have stud receiver Rondale Moore. Moore is a potential first round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. This will be a game where Purdue will depend on Moore to make big time plays.
However, Purdue is young, inexperienced, and not as talented as the Badgers. I believe Wisconsin wins a convincing game 35-17 to improve to 3-0 in the start of the Graham Mertz era in Madison.
Game 4- At Michigan (November 14)
Following the Purdue game, Wisconsin heads to Ann Arbor for a clash with the Wolverines. It is unsure if fans will be at this game. Michigan will need to replace starter Shea Patterson so the quarterback will be a headline to look for in this game. It is never easy to walk into The Big House and walk out with a win.
I do believe there will be a early season slip up for Wisconsin. With a freshman quarterback, there is going to be mistakes made. Michigan always has a great defense and will put Mertz under pressure most of the game. An early season slip up is not the end of the world for Wisconsin.
At the end of the day, I see Michigan getting the better end of this game. Michigan defeats Wisconsin 24-17. I see Wisconsin at the half way point of the season 3-1.
Be on the look out for my second half of the year predictions next week!