Wisconsin Has A Major Problem That Should Terrify Fans

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Is Wisconsin’s football team in for several more disappointing and dark times?

Washington State stunned the Badgers in Madison last Saturday 17-14, and the loss sent shockwaves through the college football world.

Despite being favored by as much as -18.5 at some books, the Cougars did more than enough to earn a win at Camp Randall, and there’s one major issue that is a huge red flag moving forward.

What happens when Mertz playing great isn’t enough?

Nobody has been more critical of quarterback Graham Mertz over the past couple seasons than me. The former phenom recruit was the best passing prospect the Badgers have ever signed.

He was supposed to elevate the program to a national title level, but played like garbage for large chunks of 2020 and 2021.

Graham Mertz has shown great improvement. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Yet, fans always believed if Mertz could put it together, we’d be rolling. Through two games in 2022, Mertz has it together, is much improved and we still lost to Washington State.

That’s absolutely terrifying. If you told me Graham Mertz threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, there’s no shot I would have guessed we lost.

Not only did it happen, but it happened in humiliating fashion.

Graham Mertz’s numbers are better than just good.

Wisconsin has a loss, despite QB Graham Mertz playing much better. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

So far through two games, Mertz has thrown for 446 yards, three touchdowns, an interception and has completed more than 68% of his passes.

Not only are the Badgers not undefeated, despite his greatly improved play, but we’re 1-1 when he was our best offensive player on the field against WSU. Again, that’s a major problem.

Wisconsin should be able to beat most P5 teams in America if Mertz is simply average. Now, he’s playing at an elevated level, and we’re losing.

Graham Mertz’s improved play hasn’t been enough to keep Wisconsin undefeated. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

What is going to happen when he has a bad game? If we can’t win when he’s playing well, we’re fixing to get murdered if he has a bad game.

To make matters worse, I’m not sure there’s a fix. Mertz was supposed to be the final piece, but he can’t stop players from fumbling or making stupid penalties.

He did everything asked of him in order to improve, and for reasons that I truly don’t understand, the team has seemingly regressed around him.

If the rest of the team can’t find a way to match Mertz’s play (imagine hearing that last season), we’re going to get obliterated by Ohio State in a little more than a week.

Graham Mertz has taken a step forward in 2022. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

Hopefully, I’m wrong. I just worry that I’m 100% correct, and that’s a terrifying prospect.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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