The Graham Mertz era debuted at Wisconsin on Friday night. The Badgers' freshman quarterback put on quite a show.
Mertz, a former four-star recruit, is arguably the most-hyped Wisconsin quarterback since Russell Wilson. And he did nothing to quiet the hype on Friday evening.
Wisconsin beat Illinois, 45-7, to open the 2020 Big Ten season on Friday night. Mertz, a redshirt freshman, completed 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns.
"We saw Wisconsin last night, who by the way looked incredibly talented and very good with their young quarterback Graham Mertz," ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit said on Saturday morning. "I love it all, but having the Big Ten (back) is very special for me."
Herbstreit isn't the only notable figure who loved what he saw from Mertz on Friday night. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes had a message for Mertz, too.
Mertz said postgame that he didn't have any pregame nerves. He was just excited to play.
“I didn’t. I trusted the game plan,” Mertz said. “Coaches did a great thing in there, O-line balled out, receivers played great. So for me it was easy. It was just making plays today.
“I just wanted to get a win, that’s the biggest thing right now. Great team win, proud of these guys, happy for us.”
Wisconsin will now get to enjoy a college football Saturday with its 1-0 record, waiting for next week's game.