EVANSTON, ILLINOIS – OCTOBER 08: Graham Mertz #5 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates a touchdown pass to Chimere Dike #13 (not pictured) against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Ryan Field on October 08, 2022 in Evanston, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Good, bad and ugly from Wisconsin Badgers 15-14 win over Nebraska

Good, bad and ugly from Wisconsin Badgers 15-14 win over Nebraska

With a 20-year bowl eligibility steak on the line, the Wisconsin Badgers (6-5, 4-4 Big Ten) completed their first fourth-quarter comeback win since 2018 and defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 15-14 on the road on Saturday afternoon.

The Badgers defense played incredibly, allowing only 171 total yards of offense (106 passing, 65 rushing) on 3.5 yards per play – making it the first time in over 20 years UW’s defense has allowed under 200 yards of total offense in three consecutive games.

Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly from Saturday afternoon’s victory over Nebraska…

The Good: Wisconsin’s run game

For the first time in over a month, the Wisconsin Badgers had their entire stable of running backs at their disposal.

UW’s three-headed monster finished with 239 yards on the ground on 52 carries split between Braelon Allen, Chez Mellusi, and Isaac Guerendo, winning the time-of-possession battle by nearly 14 minutes.

UW leaned on the hogs up front to open up running lanes and wear down the Cornhusker’s defensive line – and they did a damn good job.

The Bad: QB Graham Mertz

Yes, it was windy, and yes, his receivers didn’t do him any favors, but Graham Mertz simply didn’t have it on Saturday.

The Kansas native finished the day completing just 8-of-18 passes for 83 yards with one touchdown and an interception.

There were rumblings about him getting benched in favor of Chase Wolf at halftime, but coach Leonhard ultimately decided to ride it out – a decision that paid off in the end.

To his credit, Mertz made plays when it counted, and he’s also playing in a ton of pain, but you still have to produce.

The Ugly: Mertz 2nd quarter INT

Wisconsin’s offense struggled mightily in the first half, so it was critical that they not beat themselves.

With 10:28 remaining in the second quarter, Mertz rolled out and underthrew his intended target, Skyler Bell, by nearly four yards, leading to an interception by Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers would capitalize on UW gifting them a short field, punching in a touchdown eight plays later to take a 7-0 lead into the half.

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