Wisconsin and Notre Dame were tied at 10 heading into the fourth quarter of Saturday’s marquee game. Disaster ensued over the final 15 minutes for Graham Mertz and the Badgers.
Remember a little over a year ago when Mertz took the college football world by storm with a five-touchdown performance in his first-ever start? Those days are far behind him.
The Wisconsin quarterback was flat-out awful against Notre Dame on Saturday. He finished with 18 completions for 240 yards and one touchdown with four – yes, four – interceptions. To make matters worse, Notre Dame’s final two scores of the game came on pick-sixes.
The Fighting Irish outscored No. 18 Wisconsin 31-3 in the fourth quarter to win 41-13. The Badgers may want to seriously consider making a change at quarterback.
That was … hard to watch. pic.twitter.com/X7II1j6Rc8
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) September 25, 2021
Graham Mertz since his 1st game:
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 25, 2021
Graham Mertz has now thrown more TDs to Notre Dame players than to Badgers
— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) September 25, 2021
Graham Mertz hasn’t thrown a TD pass since Nov. 21? Today is his sixth start since then.
— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) September 25, 2021
Graham Mertz ain’t it…….
— Vince Biegel (@VinceBiegel) September 25, 2021
Graham Mertz’s performance really didn’t have much to do with Notre Dame’s defense. Yes, the Fighting Irish played well. But Mertz couldn’t read the defense had his life depended on it on Saturday.
The bad news is that Mertz appears to only be getting worse. After throwing for nine touchdowns in seven games last season, he has just one through four games this year.
“Graham Mertz has now thrown more TDs to defenders than his own players this season,” wrote Cam Mellor of Pro Football Network.
Despite Mertz’s poor performance, Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst never made a quarterback change on Saturday. It’s hard to imagine he will at this point.
It won’t get any easier for the Badgers next week. Mertz will try and bounce back against a Michigan team which looks capable of contending for the Big Ten.
Good luck, Wisconsin.