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3 Big Things From Wisconsin Football Loss vs. Washington State



Wisconsin Badgers Football
Sep 9, 2023; Pullman, Washington, USA; Washington State Cougars quarterback Cameron Ward (1) gets the pass away before getting hit by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Jake Chaney (36) in the first half at Gesa Field at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 Wisconsin football program headed to Washington State for a tough road matchup with the Cougars. The Badgers were looking to avenge last season’s 17-14 loss. After a valiant comeback effort in the second half, the Badgers fell 31-22.

Here are three big things from the loss. 

Wisconsin Football Committed Too Many Turnovers

Turnovers were the story of this game. Washington State’s defensive line completely blew the game open in the second quarter. On back-to-back Badger possessions, left tackle Jack Nelson gave up a strip sack, with the second one being recovered for a touchdown.

In the 4th quarter, Chez Mellusi “fumbled” with Wisconsin football trailing by two, which led to a Cougar touchdown. It is hard to overcome a minus-three in the turnover category. 

The Wisconsin Football Defense Is a Question Mark

The Wisconsin Badgers defense didn’t look great against Buffalo last week and, unfortunately, carried into this week in the first half.

Missed tackles, blown coverages, and a lack of pass rush have killed Wisconsin football early this season. A significant concern entering this year was the lack of playmakers on that side of the ball. Especially with the scheme Mike Tressel wants to run on defense, they haven’t been able to recruit for that yet in the secondary. The up-tempo from the Cougars had UW’s defense looking helpless early on. 

A complete 180 in the second half from this group. They were flying around the field, making plays, completely shutting down Washington State’s offense. Guys like Hunter Wohler and James Thompson Jr. showed up big time. Aside from shutting down the Cougars in the second half, Wisconsin’s defense was also robbed of a safety that should’ve tied the game at 24. 

Wisconsin Badgers Fans Saw Glimpses of What Tanner Mordecai Can Do

In the second half, Wisconsin football fans finally got to see the hype surrounding transfer QB Tanner Mordecai and this air raid offense.

After falling behind 24-9, previous Wisconsin Badgers teams might be out of the game thanks to the lack of moving the ball downfield quickly. Mordecai and his new weapons took over this game, including an unreal touchdown throw from Tanner to Skyler Bell. Despite the loss, we saw a glimpse of how great this offense and Mordecai can be this season. 

Wisconsin Football Fans React to the Badgers loss at Washington State

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