The Wisconsin Badgers won a close game and defeated the Nebraska Cornhuskers 15-14 after being behind for most of the afternoon last Saturday.
If you missed the quarterback and running back grades, here they are.
Here are the grades for the rest of the offense.
While Graham Mertz had a poor game against Nebraska, Wisconsin’s wide receivers also struggled, failing to break up on multiple occasions while also dropping passes.
Chimere Dike had a tough game, dropping an early 1st down pass from Graham Mertz while later failing to catch a floated pass due to an oncoming defender, although his quarterback should have chipped in the pass.
Later, when Dike had a chance to score a touchdown, he was unable to collect a 3rd & goal pass from Mertz as he lost control as he fell to the ground after originally making the catch.
Overall, Dike ended up with zero catches in a disappointing performance.
Skyler Bell overcame an initial fall on Wisconsin’s first drive but missed a touchdown opportunity when Mertz subdued a pass after knocking down his defender, resulting in a poor interception.
Once again, Bell had a nice 10-yard gain from a jet sweep, which has been his calling card as one of Wisconsin’s faster receivers that year.
Bell also caught Mertz’s only passing touchdown of the day, which was his only catch as he ended with just 20 total yards.
Keontez Lewis was Mertz’s target receiver, catching three passes for 31 yards, but the UCLA transfer struggled most of the game to make the breakup.
On top of that, Lewis couldn’t get nice 3rd and 13th throws from Mertz on the penultimate drive in Wisconsin as he couldn’t get his feet in the ring.
Overall, it was an uninspiring performance from Wisconsin’s wide receiver group.
Tight end Jack Eschenbach was another culprit who couldn’t break away, resulting in a 50% catch rate.
In Nebraska territory, on a third down chance, Mertz met Eschenbach on his first read and floated out an incomplete, but the tight end couldn’t part ways in the game.
Later, when Eschenbach was running a stock route, he failed to separate again on a 3rd and 4th, causing another incompletion and forcing the end of a ride.
Eschenbach hauled in two passes for 15 yards on play-action passes to the flat and his quarterback didn’t do him any favors, but it was a struggle to break up for Wisconsin’s key tight end in the passing game.
The offensive line was consistent throughout the afternoon, which was a matter of game given the unavailability of starting guard Trey Wedig, but they proved effective.
All afternoon, the offensive line created holes for Braelon Allen, Chez Mellusi and Isaac Guerendo, although the Nebraska defense understood Wisconsin’s run-heavy approach offensively, resulting in a 4.9 yards-per-carry mark on 50+ carries.
The offensive line had a few puffs, leading to lost tackles, but Allen’s desire to avoid contact later in the game didn’t help either, forcing him to move away from the holes created.
Wisconsin’s front five also left Graham Mertz untouched for most of the game, leading to another strong performance.
If there has been criticism, left tackle Jack Nelson has committed another clipping penalty, which has been an unfortunate recurring theme of late.
But overall, given Graham Mertz’s inconsistencies in passing, this game was dependent on the trenches and the offensive line delivered.