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  10/08/22 - QB Graham MertzrSr/2025, Florida

  Graham Mertz threw for a career-high 299 yards and matched one with five touchdowns, Chimere Dike set personal bests with 185 yards receiving and three TD catches, and Wisconsin dominated in interim coach Jim Leonhard’s first game, pounding struggling Northwestern 42-7 on Saturday. Braelon Allen added 135 yards rushing. He also threw a 23-yard touchdown late in the second quarter, and the Badgers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) raced out to a 28-0 halftime lead on the way to an easy win in their first game since coach Paul Chryst was fired. Wisconsin decided to make a leadership change following losses to Ohio State and Illinois, led by former coach Bret Bielema, by a combined 55 points. Chryst was let go in his eighth season and replaced by Leonhard, a former All-America safety in his sixth year as defensive coordinator and seventh on staff at his alma mater. Mertz completed 20 of 29 passes.

Dike had touchdown catches of 52 and 21 yards in the first half as well as a 6-yarder in the fourth quarter. He caught 10 passes and easily surpassed his previous high of 106 yards. Wisconsin racked up 515 yards in all and finished with 193 on the ground after being held to 2 yards rushing on 24 carries for its lowest total since 2015. Northwestern (1-5, 1-2) lost its fifth straight since opening with a win over Nebraska in Ireland. The Wildcats are 6-16 since beating Wisconsin at home in 2020 on the way to winning the Big Ten West. Ryan Hilinski threw for 147 yards and was intercepted twice. - Wisconsin/AP College Football

rSr/2025 QB Graham MertzFlorida
News Source: Wisconsin/AP College Football

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