No. 13 Wisconsin routs Michigan 49-11 in 1st game in 3 weeks
Wisconsin wide receiver Chimere Dike (13) gets away from Michigan defensive back Vincent Gray (4) during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. 13 Wisconsin was ready, not rusty, in its first game in three weeks. The Wolverines (1-3) fell behind 28-0 at halftime, their largest deficit at home since the Big House opened in 1927, and finished with their most lopsided loss at home since a 1935 loss to Ohio State. The team announced that 10 players would not be available to play at Michigan, but didn't say why they were out of the lineup. Michigan travels to Rutgers (1-3) desperately needing a win.
No. 9 Wisconsin cancels Nebraska game; Chryst tests positive
9 Wisconsin canceled its game at Nebraska and paused team activities for at least a week after a dozen people in the program — including coach Paul Chryst — tested positive for COVID-19. Alvarez said the team had only one positive test two days before Friday's season-opening 45-7 victory over Illinois and 12 positive tests afterward. Alvarez said Wisconsin had reached the “orange/red” levels in the Big Ten protocols based on its rate of positive tests. The announcement followed reports that quarterback Graham Mertz had tested positive twice – which would require him to sit out at least 21 days under Big Ten protocols – and that backup quarterback Chase Wolf had tested positive at least once. “We’ll see where we are as far as testing, and we’ll make that decision as we move closer to the game,” Alvarez said.
Nightmare scenario: What happens when outbreak hits QB room?
What happens if an outbreak hits a team’s quarterback room? “Obviously this year there’s some things that will be unique,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said Monday without specifically discussing his players’ test results. “I think there certainly were those questions after the decision was made,” Ohio State team physician Jim Borchers said last week. And that’s all we really paid attention to.”Big Ten protocols say that athletes who test positive through point-of-contact daily testing must take a polymerase chain reaction test to confirm the first result. While Wisconsin awaits answers, Big Ten teams continue reminding quarterbacks about the potential risks inherent in this unusual season.
Wisconsin coach stays mum on QB Mertz with Huskers up next
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Wisconsin State Journal both reported that Mertz had tested positive. The Journal-Sentinel reported Mertz’s positive test came Saturday, one day after the Badgers’ 45-7 season-opening home victory over Illinois. Both papers reported that Mertz would be undergoing a second test to determine if the first result was a false positive. Big Ten protocols say that athletes who test positive through point-of-contact daily testing must take a polymerase chain reaction test to confirm the first result. Chryst said he has no problem with the Big Ten’s 21-day policy, which is more stringent than those of most conferences regarding players who test positive.
Mertz, No. 14 Wisconsin rout Illinois 45-7 in Big Ten opener
14 Badgers beat Illinois 45-7 on Friday night to open the pandemic-delayed Big Ten football season. Mertz became the first-team quarterback after returning starter Jack Coan underwent foot surgery on Oct. 7, leaving him out indefinitely. After Illinois fumbled the ball away on the game’s second play from scrimmage, Mertz hit fullback Jason Stokke for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Mertz responded to Illinois’ touchdown by throwing a 34-yard completion to Ferguson and then hitting the senior tight end again for a 14-yard score with 1:06 left in the half. After Illinois went three-and-out on its next series, Mertz threw deep and found Danny Davis for a 53-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left until halftime.