A record-setting day for Graham Mertz, as well as a defense that didn't allow a point, lifted the Wisconsin Badgers to a 45-7 win over Illinois on Friday night at Camp Randall Stadium.
Mertz set school records for the most touchdowns thrown in a game by a freshman, highest completion percentage by any quarterback, and tied the school records for consecutive completions and touchdown passes in one game in his stellar debut. The highly-touted redshirt freshman out of Kansas threw five touchdowns on 20 of 21 passing in the victory.
Defensively, Wisconsin forced two turnovers, stopped Illinois on three different fourth downs, and didn't allow a point on Friday. The lone score for the visitors came on a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the first half. The Badgers allowed just 218 yards by Illinois in the game.
Wisconsin's offense dominated time of possession, holding the football for 43:28.
Off to a 1-0 start, the Badgers head to Nebraska on Saturday, October 31 for their first road contest of the season. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. with coverage on the Badger Sports Network beginning at 12:30 p.m.
You can listen to the full broadcast of Wisconsin-Illinois right here:
Audio: Learfield/IMG College
Photo: Kelli Steffes / UW Athletics