Wisconsin Badgers Lose To Minnesota With Title Game Berth On The Line

A Big Ten West division title, Paul Bunyan’s Axe, a trip to Indy, chance at the Rose Bowl all on the line against the programs biggest rival …. Mental Toughness disappeared from the Badgers in the biggest game of the year.

Wisconsin (8-4, 6-3 B1G) lost to Minnesota (8-4, 6-3 B1G), 23-13, at Huntington Bank Stadium. Brutal performance. Brutal loss. I’m almost at a loss for words.

I wrote about mental toughness after the Penn State season opener. Lots of similarities between these two losses. Both were good teams that punched back. Offense flinched and the Defense gave up big plays. That’s why these two hurt as much as they do. Bully ball works only on some teams, need more!

I will once again say, if UW didn’t literally fumble the game away against Penn State in the season opener, we are in the Big Ten Title game next week regardless of how poorly we played today.

Should we even be playing football in a pandemic? It’s a great question. The real winner today was probably the new Variant. Something to think about when you’re being mean to me online.

Not to be dramatic, but all of my life’s happiness was riding on Braelon Allen’s shoulders today. I always question why I watch Wisconsin sports for my mental health. #ItsOkToNotBeOk

Badgers let me down. Rinse. Repeat. Sad.

Today’s game felt like the month of September again, except the Badgers defense didn’t play well for the second straight game.

I’ve been saying it all year, a big weakness was pass plays downfield. Minnesota had at minimum four completions of 26+ yards.

Collin Wilder got ejected the very first play of the game for targeting, which mind you was a god awful call, and UW just didn’t respond.

The officials were atrocious today, but the bottom line is that the Badgers got outplayed and outcoached in all phases today.

I’m as anti-PJ Fleck and anti-Minnesota as they come, but you have to give them credit for executing the game plan.

The offensive line played poorly just like they did the first four games. The Badgers did not win the trenches today. Graham Mertz who had been making a lot of progress the last eight weeks, reverted to how he played the first four games.

Mertz has made improvements with his game, you can argue that all you want but the fact of the matter is he has absolutely improved. The problem is he hasn’t improved and developed at the speed he, the coaching staff and fans had hoped he would.

Mertz has to learn to put a little mustard on his throws.

Mertz accounted for 77.3-percent of UW’s offense today (171 passing yards, 9 rushing yards). Think about that for a second.

A dinged up Braelon Allen was held in check today with just 47 rushing yards on 17 carries (2.8 average) and four receptions for 12 yards.

Where was Julius Davis?!

Going to the fourth quarter was time for a gut check with the season on the line, and just like the first three quarters, UW failed to respond.

This season is not the standard at Wisconsin.

Minnesota is elated with a tie for second place in the Big Ten West finish. Wisconsin is devastated and pissed off with a second place finish in the Big Ten West. That tells you everything you need to know about the difference between the two programs.

PJ Fleck will probably hang a banner for being 2-4 all-time against Wisconsin and probably a 97-percent chance he orders a 2021 Big Ten West second place banner.

It’s going to be an interesting offseason in Madison when the time comes. Because I know Paul Chryst won’t stand for this.

Late in the game, down 10, with a fourth-and-one, the punt unit was sent on the field. Paul Chryst said the punt unit was not supposed to go on the field and the unit was sent out by mistake. Chryst was not happy and didn’t throw his Special Teams coach (Chris Haering) under the bus and covered for Haering’s mistake by saying: “Everything goes through me.”

I know he’s friends with them, but Paul Chryst needs to make a business decision and terminate Christ Haering (Special Teams Coach) and Joe Rudolph (OL Coach/Run Game Coordinator) when the season is officially over after the Bowl Game.

I’ve followed this program extremely closely since Paul Chryst took over as head coach in December, 2014 because I was a huge fan of bringing him back to be the head coach. Tonight, he was incredibly quiet, more than I’ve ever seen him after a loss.

Caesar Williams postgame said: “This is honestly the worst feeling in the world. All the work past players have put into even up the (series) and put us in the lead, it just feels like a disgrace to the program for us to lose the Axe.”

I still have all love for the Badgers and this odd season. The Badgers just didn’t show up when it mattered the most. Extremely disappointing.

Up Next:

The Wisconsin Badgers will find out which Bowl Game they will be going to next Sunday, December 5th.

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