Wisconsin is involving quarterback Graham Mertz in the decision-making process.
The Badgers are 3-1 since firing Paul Chryst, and under interim head coach Jim Leonhard, Mertz's play has exploded.
Over the past four games, he's thrown nine touchdowns and just a single interception. One of the things Wisconsin has done is make sure Mertz is consulted on what's going on instead of just throwing plays his way, according to Rivals.
"Most quarterbacks like your plan, they’re bought into what you’re doing, but when it’s on the line and you have to make a throw, what would you call? I think that’s important for quarterbacks and coordinators to understand that it shows you what they trust, especially in big moments when you need to make a play," Leonhard recently explained when breaking down how Mertz's input has been utilized.
Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has been balling under Jim Leonhard.
Stuff like this only convinces me more and more that Jim Leonhard must be the guy going forward in Madison.
Mertz had two really tough seasons under Paul Chryst, and while he improved early in 2022 with eight touchdowns and five interceptions through five games, he still wasn't playing up to his potential.
Over the past four games, the offense looks completely different. Not only does the offense look different, but Mertz is playing with a ton of confidence.
He hit his stride, and the fact he's being included in how plays are going to be called makes a lot of sense. It's amazing what can happen when you communicate as much as possible.
It really does feel like there's a new era of football in Madison. Thanks to Jim Leonhard and Graham Mertz elevating his play, fans finally have hope again. With three games left, it's time to notch a few more wins and continue to build up Mertz's confidence.