Will enterprising badgers break out in November?

Can Wisconsin Football Win? That is the goal, but can it be achieved?

Success for the rest of the season will depend on player leadership.

The Badgers need to put Paul Chryst’s shot in the rearview mirror and go forward.

“In a world of uncertainty, how can we bring certainty?” said Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz.

“I don’t know if that makes sense, but it is. We enter this field every day for practice. How do we do it just about ball? As a leader on this team, that’s the challenge – block out the superfluous and play the game.”

If Wisconsin (4-4 overall, 2-3 Big Ten Conference) can do business after an open date, the month of November will be a great month.

The Badgers’ toughest encounters are home games sandwiched between two manageable road trips.

Wisconsin hosts Maryland next Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium and then travels to Iowa and Nebraska for back-to-back road games. The Badgers host Minnesota in their regular season finale on November 26th.

The Terrapins (6-2, 3-2 Big Ten) are hoping starting quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa will be back after two games with a knee injury. Like Wisconsin, Maryland had an open date.

Mertz’s maturity on and off the field will be crucial in the closing stages.

Mertz needs to take better care of the ball. He didn’t throw a pick in the Purdue win, which was the third game this season that Mertz didn’t throw an interception.

Mertz has a 159.3 passing efficiency, which ranks 21st among quarterbacks in the Football Bowl Series. He has completed 118 of 187 passes for 1,624 yards and thrown 17 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.

The fifth year used a versatile attack on the ground and in the air. Mertz connected with 8 pass catchers against Purdue.

It’s obvious that any team gets healthier during a period of rest, but the Wisconsin players returning to action next weekend will take the team to a new level.

Outside linebacker Nick Herbig, who had 6 of the Badgers’ 14 sacks, was sidelined against Purdue with an unspecified injury. Herbig is expected to return against Maryland.

Other key players expected to return include safety Hunter Wohler, who injured his left leg in the opener against Illinois State, and tight end Hayden Rucci, who injured his right leg in the loss to Illinois.

One area that needs significant improvement is penalties.

In Big Ten games beginning Oct. 29, the Badgers are ranked 13th in the league with 8.64 for 68.9 yards per game, while the Terrapins are 14th with 8.99 for 75.3 ypg. occupied place.

In the meantime, you’ll have to forgive Mertz for sounding like a college football coach.

Watching Chryst get fired probably flipped a switch in every Badgers player.

Especially a veteran who knew he needed to step up his leadership role after Chryst was shown the exit door on Oct. 2.

When asked how the Badgers compared to the team’s identity a day after Chryst’s sacking after a 35-25 win over Purdue, Mertz offered a thoughtful response.

“It was a group of young men, but now it’s a group of men,” Mertz said. “You go through that and then you realize what kind of business it is. And you have to realize that you have to work like a company. You must go about your business with purpose every day.

“That’s why I’m so proud of this group — to see the growth from young men to men.”


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