Mertz, No. 14 Wisconsin rout Illinois 45-7 in Big Ten opener
Mertz threw five touchdown passes to match the Wisconsin record in a commanding first career start and the No. We’re a better football team than that.”After Illinois fumbled the ball away on the game’s second play from scrimmage, Mertz hit fullback Mason Stokke for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Illinois briefly got back into it late in the second quarter when Ferguson fumbled at the end of a 9-yard completion. Mertz responded to Illinois’ touchdown by throwing a 34-yard completion to Ferguson and then hitting the tight end again for a 14-yard score with 1:06 left in the half. After Illinois went three-and-out on its next series, Mertz threw deep and found Danny Davis for a 53-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left until halftime.