Head coach Paul Chryst and the Wisconsin Badgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten), who were seven-point favorites, dropped their second straight game on Saturday, in a game that will undoubtedly force Badger fans to reevaluate the program's expectations.
In front of 76,000 fans at Camp Randall Stadium, UW's offense managed just 208 total yards (206 passing, 2 rushing) - yes, you read that right, two yards on the ground. Embarrassing. The offensive line, in my opinion, looked overmatched all day long.
Wisconsin's had 10 penalties, the offense had three turnovers, and only averaged 3.6 yards per play. In short, it was a terrible, no good, very bad day.
Jim Leonhard's defense allowed 307 yards of total offense and ultimately failed to create pressure, was manhandled in the trenches, and never forced a turnover.
For Illinois, this was the most points the Illini have scored in Madison in 20 years. I'll say this Bret Bielema had his boys ready to play for the Karma cup.
Here's a recap of Wisconsin's home loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Final score: Illini 34, Badgers 10
Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema and Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst talk on the field prior to the game at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Key to the game: Undisciplined football
Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Jack Eschenbach (82) is tackled by Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Tahveon Nicholson (10) after catching a pass during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Undisciplined football was the story of the afternoon for the Wisconsin Badgers - a trend that's beginning to grow quite old.
Wisconsin had 10 penalties called against them, giving up 77 yards, and the offense had three costly turnovers that put the defense in tough positions.
UW routinely shot themselves in the foot and didn't play anywhere near good enough to overcome those mistakes.
One team made halftime adjustments, and the other did not.
It was over when...
After completing 7-of-8 pass attempts for 98 yards in the first quarter, Graham Mertz finished 17-of-31 for 200 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
To me, the game was over when Mertz threw his second pick of the afternoon. I understand that Wisconsin was up 10-7 with 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter when it happened.
However, it was the culmination of our collective fear as Badger fans that Mertz can't help but force the issue when the pocket collapses. After that turnover, he was never the same, and the offense stalled for three straight quarters.
Sep 7, 2019; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers mascot Bucky Badger performs during the second quarter against the Central Michigan Chippewas at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 3, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst looks on during warmups prior to the game against the Illinois State Redbirds at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
The Wisconsin Badgers (2-3, 0-2 Big Ten) will hit the road next weekend, playing Pat Fitzgerald and the Northwestern Wildcats (1-4) at Ryan Field on Saturday, October 8.
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Story originally appeared on Badgers Wire