Wisconsin football posted a respectable 9-4 record in 2021, but that wasn’t enough to win the Big Ten West. Will the Badgers get over the hump in 2022?
The Wisconsin football team enters the 2022 season with hopes of capturing their first Big Ten West title since 2019.
Last season, the Badgers had an elite defense that allowed just 16.4 points per game – good for 1st in the Big Ten and 3rd nationally.
On offense, true rookie Braelon Allen burst onto the scene as one of the best running backs in the nation, totaling over 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.
However, quarterback play was the Badgers’ Achilles’ heel. Graham Mertz didn’t have the breakout year that many hoped he would have; he threw for just ten touchdowns and eleven interceptions, which was tied for the most in the Big Ten.
For Wisconsin football to be a legitimate contender for the Big Ten title this season, Mertz will need to take the next step as a quarterback.
In his first two seasons as a starter for the Badgers, the former 4-star rookie has yet to live up to expectations. In 20 career starts, he’s just 13-7 and has yet to eclipse 250 passing yards in a game.
However, with another offseason under his belt, Wisconsin football fans are hoping Mertz’s experience will give him a breakthrough this year. In 2022, all the pieces around Mertz are in place for the team to succeed.
Highly touted defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard is back for another season at the helm of the Badgers’ defense, which will be anchored by preseason USA linebacker Nick Herbig.
The Badgers also have one of America’s best backfield tandems in Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi, who have combined for over 2,000 rushing yards in 2021.
As the Badgers lost veteran pass catchers Jake Ferguson, Danny Davis and Kendric Pryor to the NFL, junior Chimere Dike showed flashes of potential to be a legitimate No. 1 receiver.
Wisconsin football also has a plethora of talented young receivers with second Skyler Bell and UCLA transfer Keontez Lewis.
Ultimately, this season will be all about Graham Mertz and whether he can be the final piece of the Badger Football puzzle. As we saw last season, even with a solid defense and running game, the quarterback is the ultimate difference maker.
In 2022, Wisconsin football will go like Mertz. Here are our match-by-match predictions.