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#pounditFriday, December 3, 2021

Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has stunning first half in first career start

Graham Mertz

Redshirt freshman Graham Mertz was pressed into duty Friday night for his first career start, and it’s so far gone better than anyone could have imagined.

Mertz, a four-star recruit from Kansas, started against the Illinois Fighting Illini after regular starter Jack Coan underwent foot surgery earlier in October. Mertz promptly went 14/14 in the first half, throwing for 190 yards and four touchdowns.

They weren’t easy touchdowns, either. Mertz’s fourth score was a perfectly floated pass to wide receiver Danny Davis to beat the secondary.

Mertz’s performance even gained the attention of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mertz was recruited by the likes of Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama, but ultimately decided to join the Badgers. He came with a pedigree, having gained attention after throwing five touchdown passes and winning MVP honors at the 2019 All-American Bowl. If this is a sign of things to come, they’ll be very happy about that. It also means that, at this rate, Coan might not have a starting job once he’s healthy again.


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