July 25, 2021

Graham Mertz rewrites Wisconsin football record book in debut as starter

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz broke the program record for completion percentage in a game on Friday, completing 20 of 21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns in the Badgers’ 45-7 win over visiting Illinois in Madison.

“It was definitely fun,” Mertz said afterward. “I owe it to Coach [Jon] Budmayr and Coach [Paul] Chryst, we took a ton of time, one-on-one meetings and really just sorted the game plan out and we knew what we were doing and I felt confident in my ability to go execute and I think there’s definitely some stuff we need to clean up. A lot more stuff we can clean up.”

Mertz, a redshirt freshman, was moved up to the starting role after Jack Coan suffered a non-contact injury to his foot in practice and underwent surgery. This was the first career start for Mertz, and his five touchdown passes tied the program record for most in a game along with Jim Sorgi in 2003 and Darrell Bevell in 1993.

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