Nov 26, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Wisconsin running back Chez Mellusi (1) runs for a first down during the first quarter of their game against Minnesota  at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Late TD carries Minnesota to victory over Wisconsin

Redshirt freshman Athan Kaliakmanis hit Le’Meke Brockington with a 45-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter as visiting Minnesota rallied for a 23-16 victory over Wisconsin on Saturday, retaining Paul Bunyan’s Axe in college football’s longest rivalry.

The Badgers had a final drive from their own 30 after Matthew Trickett hit the right upright on a 48-yard field goal attempt with 1:48 left. Chase Wolf replaced injured quarterback Graham Mertz midway through the drive. A pass interference call in the end zone gave Wisconsin a first-and-goal at the five, but the Badgers committed four penalties, moving them back to the 30.

Wolf’s pass on fourth-and-goal from the 25 with 5 seconds left was incomplete in the end zone.

Minnesota (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten) defeated Wisconsin two years in a row for the first time since 1994. The series is tied, 62-62-8.

The Badgers (6-6, 4-5 Big Ten) dropped to 4-3 under interim coach Jim Leonhard, promoted from defensive coordinator when Paul Chryst was fired the day after a 34-10 loss at home to Illinois.

Chimere Dike scored on a 9-yard reverse to put Wisconsin in front 16-13 late in the third quarter. Minnesota tied it 16-16 on Trickett’s 27-yard field with 7:58 remaining.

The Gophers forced a three-and-out to set up the winning 71-yard drive. Kaliakmanis, making his third consecutive start in place of injured Tanner Morgan, hit Brockington across the middle at the 33 and he outran the secondary.

Justin Walley picked off Mertz on Wisconsin’s next possession, but Trickett’s miss gave the Badgers one last shot.

Kaliakmanis completed 19 of 29 passes for 319 yards and two touchdowns. Mohamed Ibrahim, first in the nation with 152.4 yards per game, finished with 70 yards on 27 carries, ending his streak of 100-yard rushing games at 19.

Trickett connected on a 50-yard field goal that grazed the crossbar on the Gophers’ opening possession of the third quarter to make it 13-6. Nate Van Zelst responded with his third field goal, a 36-yarder, to cut the lead to 13-9.

Trickett’s 25-yard field goal on the final play of the first half put Minnesota up 10-6.

The Gophers answered an opening field goal with a 10-play, 81-yard drive capped by Kaliakmanis’ 6-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Jackson.

Wisconsin was without leading rusher Braelon Allen, out with a right leg injury. Chez Mellusi rushed 19 times for 75 yards. Mertz completed 16 of 27 passes for 170 yards.

-Field Level Media

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean, left, tackles Wisconsin running back Isaac Guerendo in the second quarter during a NCAA college football game in Iowa City on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.

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Iowa climbs atop Big Ten West with win over Wisconsin

Cooper DeJean scored on an interception return and set up another touchdown with a punt return to pace Iowa to a 24-10 victory over visiting Wisconsin on Saturday, moving the defensive-minded Hawkeyes into a logjam atop the jumbled Big Ten West.

DeJean’s 32-yard pick six put the Hawkeyes up 14-3 in the second quarter. His 41-yard punt return to the Wisconsin 18 set up Spencer Petras’ 1-yard quarterback sneak that made it 21-10 early in the final period.

Iowa (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) moved into a four-way tie for the West Division lead with Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota — following Purdue’s 31-24 victory over the No. 21 Illini. Minnesota kept pace with a 31-3 win over Northwestern.

Wisconsin (5-5, 3-4 Big Ten), fell to 3-2 under interim coach Jim Leonhard, promoted from defensive coordinator when Paul Chryst was fired following a 34-10 loss at home to Illinois on Oct 1.

Wisconsin had won 8 of the last 10 games against Iowa in the battle for the Heartland Trophy, including 27-7 last season in Madison.

Iowa’s defense entered third nationally in total defense at 264.4 yards per game and fifth in scoring defense at 14.3. The Hawkeyes held Wisconsin to 227 yards, including 51 rushing on 31 attempts.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz completed 16 of 35 passes for 176 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also lost a fumble.

Iowa managed 146 yards total offense, including 52 on the ground. Petras finished 14 of 23 for 94 yards. Drew Stevens got the final points with a 44-yard field goal with 2:56 left.

Iowa’s special teams set up the other first-half score for a 14-10 lead at the break, despite the Hawkeyes being outgained 164 yards to 79.

The Hawkeyes turned a blocked punt into their first score, needing two plays to cover 17 yards. Petras hit tight end Sam LaPorta for 13 yards and freshman Kaleb Johnson went off left tackle to put Iowa up 7-3.

DeJean extended the lead to 14-3, jumping a Mertz pass in the right flat and returning it 32 yards with 1:58 left in the half.

Mertz answered with a 51-yard touchdown to Keontez Lewis.

The Badgers capitalized on a turnover for a 3-0 lead, recovering a Petras fumble at the Wisconsin 49 to set up Nate Van Zelst’s 32-yard field goal.

–Field Level Media

Nov 5, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Nick Herbig (19) tackles Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) during the second quarter at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Braelon Allen, Isaac Guerendo fuel Wisconsin past Maryland

Braelon Allen and Isaac Guerendo each rushed for a touchdown and host Wisconsin posted a 23-10 win over Maryland on Saturday in a rainy Big Ten matchup in Madison, Wis.

Wisconsin (5-4, 3-3 Big Ten) improved to 3-1 under interim coach Jim Leonhard, promoted from defensive coordinator after Paul Chryst was fired following the team’s 34-10 loss to Illinois on Oct 1.

Maryland (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten) was thwarted in its bid to move to 7-2 for the first time since 2006.

Taulia Tagovailoa, who entered Saturday’s play fourth in the nation with a 72.5 completion percentage, completed 10 of 23 passes for 77 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Terrapins managed just 189 yards total offense – 73 of which came on their only touchdown drive in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Guerendo finished with 114 yards on 12 carries, including a career-long 89-yard run that put the Badgers up 14-0 in the second quarter. Allen had 119 yards on 23 carries as the Badgers piled up 278 yards on the ground.

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz completed 5 of 18 passes for 77 yards in the sloppy conditions.

Wisconsin limited the Terrapins to 56 yards and two first downs en route to a 17-0 halftime lead.

The Badgers went in front 7-0 late in the first quarter with a 12-play, 77-yard scoring drive. Skyler Bell picked up 36 yards on a jet sweep to the Maryland 28. After an incomplete pass, Allen carried five straight times, culminating in a 9-yard touchdown run off the left side with 1:21 left in the quarter.

Guerendo extended the lead to 14-0 with 10:16 left in the half, going off right tackle then tight-roping the right sideline for an 89-yard touchdown run. He received a key block from wide receiver Chimere Dike.

After forcing Maryland’s sixth punt of the half, the Badgers moved 48 yards in 10 plays to set up Nate Van Zelst’s 38-yard field goal with nine seconds remaining.

Maryland, which went 1-for-8 on third downs in the first half, converted two to set up Chad Ryland’s 39-yard field goal with 7:29 left in the third quarter to make it 17-3.

Wisconsin answered with a 35-yard field goal by Van Zelst for a 20-3 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Van Zelst, who missed a 33-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter, connected from 28 yards out to put Wisconsin up 23-3 with 6:33 left.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  The Wisconsin Badgers line up for a play during the first quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin earns 16th straight win over Purdue, 35-24

Graham Mertz jump-started Wisconsin with two first-quarter touchdown passes and the Badgers went on to a 35-24 victory over visiting Purdue in a Big Ten matchup on Saturday, their 16th consecutive win over the Boilermakers.

Mertz completed 5 of his first 7 passes for 78 yards and two scores to pace the Badgers to a 21-0 lead after one period. Wisconsin led 35-10 before the Boilermakers got two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

Wisconsin (4-4, 2-3 Big Ten) bounced back from a 34-28 double-overtime loss at Michigan State to improve to 2-1 under interim coach Jim Leonhard.

Purdue (5-3, 3-2), which had won four straight, dropped out of a tie for the Big Ten West lead with No. 18 Illinois, which was idle. The Boilermakers have not beaten Wisconsin since 2003.

Mertz completed 13 of 21 passes for 203 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Braelon Allen ran for 113 yards on 16 carries, the first 100-yard rusher against Purdue this season.

Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, who entered as the Big Ten’s leading passer with 325 yards per game, finished 31 of 46 for 320 yards, with one touchdown and three interceptions, including a pick-six.

Mertz connected with Skyler Bell on a 29-yard touchdown pass to cap a six-play, 76-yard opening drive.

On Purdue’s third play from scrimmage, safety John Torchio picked off O’Connell and returned it 31 yards to put the Badgers up 14-0. Allen’s 41-yard run set up Mertz’s 3-yard scoring pass to Chimere Dike to make it 21-0.

Purdue’s Mitchell Fineran’s 36-yard field goal made it 21-3 at the half.

Torchio’s second interception on Purdue’s first series of the second half set up Allen’s 14-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 28-3.

Purdue recovered a muffed punt to set up O’Connell’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Payne Durham to pull within 28-10.

Isaac Guerendo put Wisconsin in front 35-10 with 2:42 left in the third quarter with a 54-yard touchdown run, shaking off a tackler at the Purdue 45.

Devin Mockobee, who finished with 108 yards on 23 carries, scored on a 1-yard dive early in the fourth quarter to make it 35-17. O’Connell added 1-yard touchdown sneak with 1:24 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, USA;  Michigan State Spartans wide receiver Jayden Reed (1) catches a touchdown pass in spite of Wisconsin Badgers cornerback Ricardo Hallman (2) in a second overtime period to win the game, 34-28, at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Young-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State overcomes mistakes to beat Wisconsin 34-28 in 2OT

Payton Thorne’s 27-yard touchdown pass on third-and-12 in the second overtime gave Michigan State a hard-earned 34-28 victory over Wisconsin in a Big Ten clash Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.

Braelon Allen’s fumble — his first of the season — to lead off the second overtime denied the Badgers (3-4, 1-3) after they tied the game on Graham Mertz’ 25-yard touchdown pass to Chimere Dike in the first extra period.

Wide receiver Jayden Reed threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman on a flea-flicker in the first overtime to give the Spartans (3-4, 1-3) a 28-21 lead on the overtime’s first series.

The game went to extra time when Mertz’ 8-yard touchdown pass to Keontez Lewis on fourth down tied it at 21-21 with 2:04 left in regulation. Bryce Baringer then couldn’t handle the snap for a potential field goal try in the closing seconds that would have won the game in regulation for the Spartans.

Michigan State took its first lead of the day on Thorne’s 27-yard touchdown pass with 7:23 left in the game.

Allen’s miscue marred what was a spectacular afternoon for the sophomore, who rushed for two touchdowns and posted his 12th 100-yard rushing games in last 16 outings with 123 yards. He had 83 yards rushing in the first half alone thanks mostly to a 65-yard first quarter. His 9-yard run early in the third quarter put the sophomore over the 2,000-yard mark for his career. He finished at 2,025 yards.

After a first half that saw the Spartans often stymied by half a dozen penalties, the second half began with a flag for a blind side block that wiped out Reed’s 81-yard punt return for what would have been a tying touchdown.

Thorne finished with 265 yards passing with 21 completions in 29 attempts while Mertz was 14 of 25 for 131 yards for the Badgers.

–Field Level Media

Oct 1, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  A Wisconsin Badgers helmet during the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin dismisses OT Logan Brown following ‘internal’ matter

Wisconsin has dismissed offensive tackle Logan Brown from the team, interim coach Jim Leonhard confirmed Thursday.

Brown, a four-star recruit in the Class of 2019, tweeted late Wednesday night that he was entering the transfer portal.

“The reality of what happened is there was an internal incident here within the program and Logan Brown was dismissed from the program,” Leonhard said. “It was not a choice. He was dismissed from the program.”

Leonhard, who took over the Badgers (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) after Paul Chryst was fired on Oct. 2, did not provide any details on the incident.

“To Wisconsin Football, thank you for the opportunity for the last 4 years,” Brown tweeted. “I will be entering the transfer portal and will be continuing my academic and football career elsewhere.”

Brown, a 6-foot-6, 313-pound redshirt junior, made his first start this season after appearing in 20 games during the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

–Field Level Media

Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (1) is tackled by Northwestern Wildcats linebacker Xander Mueller (34) and Northwestern Wildcats defensive back Rod Heard II (24) during their game Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois.

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Wisconsin blows by Northwestern to open Jim Leonhard era

Graham Mertz passed for five touchdowns and Wisconsin opened the Jim Leonhard era with a 42-7 victory over host Northwestern in a Big Ten West matchup Saturday in Evanston, Ill.

Leonhard, a former Wisconsin and NFL player, was promoted from defensive coordinator to interim head coach after Paul Chryst was surprisingly fired following the Badgers’ 34-10 home loss to Illinois last weekend.

Wisconsin (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) missed a field goal on its first possession, but then scored on four of its next five en route to a 28-0 halftime lead.

Mertz had first-half touchdown passes of 15, 52 and 21 yards and running back Braelon Allen threw a 23-yard touchdown pass out of the wildcat formation to Chez Mellusi.

Northwestern drove 72 yards to the Wisconsin 3, but Jack Olsen missed a 21-yard field goal on the final play of the half.

Mertz hit Chimere Dike with a 6-yard touchdown pass on the opening play of the fourth quarter to put the Badgers up 35-0.

Brendan Sullivan’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Tyus III made it 35-7 with 11:08 left. Mertz’s final touchdown was 19 yards to Markus Allen.

Mertz completed 20 of 29 passes for 299 yards without an interception. Dike had 10 catches for 185 yards and three scores.

Allen, held to 2 yards on eight carries versus Illinois, rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries.

The Wildcats (1-5, 1-2) have lost five straight after a season-opening win over Nebraska.

The Badgers marched 98 yards in nine plays to go in front 7-0 late in the first quarter. Mertz capped the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Skyler Bell, who was wide open deep in the middle.

Mertz hit Dike with a 52-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter to make it 14-0.

Mertz connected again with Dike from 21 yards out to put Wisconsin up 21-0 with 6:58 left in the half.

–Field Level Media

Sep 10, 2022; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Washington State Cougars running back Nakia Watson (25) rushes with the football during the second quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Nakia Watson leads Washington State over No. 19 Wisconsin

Transfer Nakia Watson came back to haunt his former team, scoring two touchdowns to lead visiting Washington State to a 17-14 non-conference upset of No. 19 Wisconsin on Saturday in Madison, Wis.

Watson, who played the previous two seasons at Wisconsin, scored on a 2-yard run and a 31-yard pass for the Cougars (2-0).

Washington State erased a 14-7 halftime deficit with a field goal and touchdown for a 17-14 lead entering the final quarter.

Renard Bell returned the second half kickoff 73 yards for the Cougars, who settled for a 26-yard field goal by Dean Janikowski. Washington State had fourth-and-1 at the Wisconsin 4, but then were called for a false start.

Cameron Ward put the Cougars up 17-14 with a 31-yard scoring pass to Watson. Washington State caught a huge break when Jay Shaw intercepted Ward, but fumbled on the return, giving the Cougars the ball back on their own 47.

On second down from the 31, Ward evaded a sack and hit Watson out of the backfield with a swing pass to the left. Cornerback Kamo’I Latu missed the open field tackle at the 30, giving Watson a clear path to the left corner.

Wisconsin’s Vito Calvaruso missed a 43-yard field goal attempt on the first play of the fourth quarter. He missed a 50-yarder in the first quarter.

The Badgers had third-and-6 at the Washington State 9 with just over 6 ½ minutes left. Christian Mejia picked off Graham Mertz, but fumbled on the return and Wisconsin recovered. Two plays later, Clay Cundiff fumbled on a 24-yard completion over the middle and the Cougars recovered at the Wisconsin 12 with 5:14 remaining. Washington State then ran out the clock.

Ward completed 17 of 28 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Watson finished with 34 yards rushing on 11 carries. Mertz completed 18 of 31 for 227 yards with two scores and one pick. Braelon Allen ran for 98 yards on 21 carries for Wisconsin (1-1).

After a scoreless first quarter, the Cougars got on the board when Watson capped a 53-yard drive with a 2-yard run.

Wisconsin responded with a six-play 65-yard scoring drive, tying it on Mertz’s 17-yard scoring toss to Cundiff.

The Badgers put together a 45-yard touchdown march late in the first half, capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Cundiff.

— Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) throws a pass during the third quarter against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

No. 18 Wisconsin faces Illinois State intent on better start

Wisconsin again will feature its powerful ground game, with plenty of focus on junior quarterback Graham Mertz as well, when the No. 18 Badgers host Illinois State on Saturday night at Madison, Wis., in the season opener for both teams.

Mertz, entering his third year as the starter, has been wildly inconsistent. He struggled last season against a rugged early schedule as the Badgers got off to a 1-3 start with losses to Penn State, Notre Dame and Michigan.

The Badgers bounced back to win seven straight after the emergence of running back Braelon Allen but missed a spot in the Big Ten championship game when they closed the regular season with a 23-13 loss at Minnesota.

The Badgers were 6-3 in the Big Ten West, finishing in a three-way tie for second place and a game behind Iowa. Wisconsin wrapped up its overall 9-4 campaign with a 20-13 victory over Arizona State in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Illinois State won two of its first three games last season but finished 4-7, including 2-6 in the Missouri Valley Conference.

“You see Illinois State and you see a really good football team,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “Well-coached. I know a lot of those coaches and respect a lot of those coaches. But I believe every time you play this game, the main focus is making sure you’re ready for it.”

Mertz has faced extremely high expectations since his debut as a starter in October 2020 when he completed 20-of-21 passes with five touchdowns in a 45-7 victory over Illinois.

In the three early season losses last season, Mertz combined to throw two touchdown passes and six interceptions. He finished the season with 10 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, completing 59.5 percent of his passes. For his career, Mertz has 19 TDs and 16 interceptions.

Senior quarterback Chase Wolf suffered a knee injury in practice last week that required surgery, leaving Wisconsin with no experienced back-up.

On the ground, the 235-pound Allen ran for a team-high 1,268 yards and 12 touchdowns as a freshman. He teams with senior Chez Mellusi, who ran for 815 yards and five TDs in nine games last season before a season-ending knee injury.

Junior Chimere Dike — 19 catches for 272 yards and one touchdown — is the top returning wideout, and the Badgers must replace tight end Jake Ferguson, a fourth-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys.

On defense, the Badgers must replace several key starters from a unit that allowed 16.2 points and 239.1 yards per game last season, both No. 1 in the Big Ten. One key returnee is outside linebacker Nick Herbig, who had a team high nine sacks along with 14 1/2 tackles for loss.

Former Minnesota quarterback Zack Annexstad is expected to start for Illinois State. Annexstad passed for 1,277 yards with nine touchdowns and seven interceptions as a freshman for the Golden Gophers in 2018 but barely saw action afterward and left the program.

“Quarterback is such a huge position to have a void in — can’t be short there, and we were last year,” Illinois State coach Brock Spack said. “He’s been an awesome addition to our team. I think he’s changed our team immensely just by his presence here. He’s been outstanding as a leader.”

The Redbirds will return leading rusher Cole Mueller, who ran for 995 yards and six touchdowns last season.

New offensive coordinator Tony Petersen, who inherits a unit that averaged 18.4 points and 252.4 yards per game, is familiar with the Badgers after being the offensive coordinator last season at Illinois.

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Wisconsin Badgers tight end Jake Ferguson (84) runs the ball as Minnesota Gophers defensive back Justin Walley (0) tackles him during the fourth quarter  at Huntington Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin seeks return to form vs. ASU in Las Vegas Bowl

The Wisconsin Badgers looked ready to call it a year when they ended the regular season with a thud, losing at Minnesota on Nov. 27.

A month later, they say they are motivated to make amends as they enter the Las Vegas Bowl against Arizona State on Thursday.

Wisconsin (8-4) is making its 20th consecutive bowl appearance, but a seven-game winning streak had the Badgers craving a loftier bowl destination … until the 23-13 loss in Minneapolis.

The ugly loss to the Golden Gophers came out of nowhere — the Badgers had averaged 32 points a game during their winning streak and had come a long way from the squad that had opened the season 1-3 while getting hammered by Notre Dame and Michigan.

“Obviously, the regular season didn’t end the way we would’ve liked it,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “But I go back to (the fact that) this group truly does enjoy each other. They care about each other, and we’ve got one game that we can play and one more opportunity. I think for all those reasons, it means a lot to them.”

The Badgers were stalwarts on defense, as they lead the nation in total defense (240.8 yards per game) and rank sixth in scoring defense (16.4 points per game).

Linebacker Leo Chenal is enjoying a superb season with 106 tackles, 17 for loss.

However, after Wisconsin allowed just 44 points in the first six games of the winning streak — and yielded just one touchdown or none in four of those games — the Badgers lost their defensive edge.

Wisconsin surrendered 51 total points in its final two contests, beating Nebraska 35-28 prior to the debacle at Minnesota.

Inside linebacker Jack Sanborn, who had 14.5 tackles for loss, wasn’t pleased with those results but said he sees the unit bouncing back against the Sun Devils (8-4).

“I’m expecting us to perform, work hard during bowl prep, get ready for Arizona State and make the trip a memorable one,” Sanborn said.

The Sun Devils started 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12 before splitting their next six games. The losses were to Utah, Washington State and Oregon State.

Quarterback Jayden Daniels accounted for 16 touchdowns (10 passing, six rushing) but didn’t make the big impact he needed to declare for the NFL draft. He recently announced he will be back in 2022 after passing for 2,222 yards (with nine interceptions) and rushing for 670 yards.

“We wanted him to come back, and that helps when you have a quarterback of his stature,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “And I think when he looks at his season this year, obviously, he wants to do some things a little bit better and we have to help him do that.

“I like his attitude. I like his mindset right now.”

The running attack took a couple of blows as Rachaad White (1,006 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns) is skipping the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft and DeaMonte Trayanum (402 rushing yards, six scores) entered the transfer portal.

Daniyel Ngata, who averaged 6.4 yards a carry while producing 286 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, will be in the lead role against Wisconsin.

Arizona State cornerbacks Chase Lucas and Jack Jones also opted out of the contest to prepare for the draft.

“You kind of get it, understand it,” Edwards said. “It’s just the way it is, so you don’t worry about it. You just don’t. You allow the guys who have been backing them up to get an opportunity now to play in a bowl game, and they’re excited about playing.”

–Field Level Media