Badgers stunned by Washington State 17-14
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Badgers fall to Washington State 17-14.
To start the game, it was much of the run game in the first drive for the Badgers. Despite that being unsuccessful, Wisconsin's defense didn't waste any time making noise.
As for Washington State, Badgers fans got to see their first glimpse of Incarnate Word transfer quarterback Cameron Ward. With the Cardinals, Ward threw for over 6,000 yards and 71 touchdowns.
To start the drive, Washington State struggled to move the ball well on offense when Badgers corner Max Lofy picked off Ward near the endzone for his first career interception.
Other than the Lofy interception, it was a quiet first quarter for both teams. Badgers kicker Vito Calvaruso missed a 51-yard field goal that would've given the Badgers a 3-0 lead. Towards the end of the first quarter, Badgers receiver Chimere Dike caught an impressive 4-yard pass that looked like it was ripped away and ruled an interception. The Badgers drive continued.
By the end of the first quarter, we were tied at 0. Mertz was 5/7 for 29 yards. They had 41 total yards rushing, with Braelon Allen struggling to find anywhere to run. With 29 receiving yards, Markus Allen lead the pack thus far.
For their first second quarter drive, Washington State moved down the field and former Badgers running back Nakia Watson ran it in for a goal line touchdown. That scoring drive for the Cougars ended up being four plays for 53 yards, including that 2-yard touchdown run by Watson. 7-0 score after the PAT, Washington State took the lead.
After that drive, the Badgers marched down the field for a 17-yard touchdown pass from Graham Mertz to tight end Clay Cundiff. After the PAT, we were tied again at 7-7.
Towards the end of the second quarter, the Badgers defense really grabbed momentum going into the half, and the Badgers transfers really turned it on. It first started with a sack by Kamo'i Latu, former Utah safety. Side note -- Latu was recruited by his friend and fellow Badger Nick Herbig. The next big stop was by former Kentucky corner Cedrick Dort, which eventually lead to putting the Badgers back on offense.
Once on offense, UCLA transfer receiver Keontez Lewis caught a big pass from Mertz. That lead to another Cundiff touchdown.
After the PAT, the Badgers headed into the half with a 14-7 lead. Mertz was 13/22, 146 yards and two touchdowns, while Allen had 10 carries for 50 yards and Cundiff had two touchdown catches.
To start the second half, Washington State moved the ball efficiently down the field, but were unable to put six points on the board. Instead, they kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it a 14-10 game.
UCLA transfer corner Jay Shaw nearly had an interception for the Badgers but didn’t have full possession of the ball. The drive continued for the Cougars.
While that drive continued, Watson scored yet another touchdown against his former teammates. This time, it was a 31-yard touchdown catch. After the PAT, it was a 17-14 Washington State lead.
Calvaruso missed another field goal that would've tied the game at 17. He was 0/2 on the day.
After three quarters, the Badgers trailed the Cougars 17-14.
With just under six minutes left to play, Mertz was hit as he threw the ball and it was picked off. However, that ball was fumbled and Wisconsin recovered the ball. Their drive continued, but after a Cundiff catch, it was batted out by the Cougars, who then recovered the ball.
The Badgers will host New Mexico State next week before heading to Columbus on Sept. 24.