Oct 2, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) walks from the field after being injured during the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz (chest) hurt against Michigan

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz exited Saturday’s 38-17 home loss to Michigan with a chest injury.

Badgers coach Paul Chryst said Mertz went to a local hospital for further evaluation.

Mertz was injured when he was hit by Michigan’s Daxton Hill while being sacked during the first series of the third quarter.

Mertz was 8-of-15 passing for 115 yards and one touchdown before departing. Chase Wolf replaced him and was 3-of-8 passing for 52 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Chryst said that tight end Jake Ferguson also left with a chest injury. Ferguson had two catches for 28 yards.

Wisconsin (1-3, 0-2 Big Ten) has been outscored 79-30 over the last two games. The Badgers lost to Notre Dame 41-13 last week.

–Field Level Media

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is shown on the sidelines during the first quarter against Utah State at Camp Randall Stadium on September 1, 2017, Madison, Wisconsin.

Ncaa Football Utah State At Wisconsin

Wisconsin to dedicate field to longtime coach/AD Barry Alvarez

The University of Wisconsin is honoring former coach and athletic director Barry Alvarez by naming their home field in his honor, school officials announced on Friday night.

Alvarez, 74, retired over the summer after 32 years at the university.

The field will be called Barry Alvarez Field at Camp Randall Stadium starting in 2022.

“Barry Alvarez has had an immeasurable impact on the UW-Madison campus, beyond the state and in college sports,” said chancellor Rebecca Blank at Friday’s ceremony. “And that type of career deserves recognition at the very highest level.

Alvarez said he was moved by the tribute.

“I’m touched. I’m honored,” said Alvarez. “That means so much to me to have my name on this field. Thank you for this. For my name on the field, that is very touching and very meaningful to me.”

The school is also set to honor Alvarez during Saturday’s game against No. 14 Michigan.

Alvarez spent the past 18 seasons leading the Badgers’ athletic department after 16 seasons as the football coach; he held both positions for two seasons. During his tenure, Wisconsin sports won 16 national team titles and 74 Big Ten regular-season or tournament championships. He was named Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year in 2017-18.

Alvarez arrived in Madison in 1990 and turned a downtrodden football team into a perennial Big Ten contender, leading them to three Rose Bowl titles until he stepped aside in 2005 to concentrate on his duties as athletic director.

The football team was 119-74-4 in his 16 seasons, including 9-4 in bowl games. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

–Field Level Media

Sep 18, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan (17) signals in the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Jack Coan faces former team when Notre Dame meets Wisconsin

Notre Dame quarterback Jack Coan will go up against his former program when the No. 12 Fighting Irish square off against No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon in Chicago.

Coan is in his first season as a graduate transfer at Notre Dame (3-0). He came from Wisconsin, where he went 12-6 as a starter and earned the admiration of coaches and teammates alike.

This weekend, however, Coan wants to deal a setback to the Badgers (1-1).

“It’s definitely going to be weird,” Coan said. “It’s going to be a lot of my friends I’m going to be playing against, guys I still talk to today. But at the end of the day, it’s just another football game, and I like to think I won’t get more excited for one game than the next.”

A neutral-site venue, Soldier Field, should feature a mixed-allegiance crowd. The campuses for Notre Dame and Wisconsin are each within a couple hours of Chicago, and the city boasts large alumni bases from both institutions.

Fighting Irish fans are feeling better after Notre Dame pulled away for a 27-13 win over Purdue one week ago. That followed a pair of nail-biting victories for the Fighting Irish, which held on for a 41-38 overtime win over Florida State and a 32-29 win over Toledo in its first two contests.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin is coming off a dominant 34-7 win over Eastern Michigan. That followed a 16-10 loss against then-No. 19 Penn State in the Badgers’ season opener.

This is the first meeting between Notre Dame and Wisconsin since Sept. 26, 1964. That marked Ara Parseghian’s first game as Fighting Irish head coach, and his team won 31-7.

More than a few head coaches have come and gone since then, and now Fighting Irish head coach Brian Kelly is on the precipice of making history. He needs one more win to pass Knute Rockne for sole possession of first place with 106 coaching victories with the program.

It won’t be easy against Wisconsin, which boasts strength on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The Badgers rely on a dominant rushing attack that is supplemented by quarterback Graham Mertz, who has completed two-thirds of his passes this season but continues to search for his first passing touchdown.

Badgers running backs Chez Mellusi (265 rushing yards, two touchdowns) and Isaac Guerendo (148 rushing yards, one TD) have led the team’s ground attack.

Notre Dame has reaped early benefits from Coan, who has completed 63.3 percent of his passes for 828 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in his first three games. Kyren Williams has been a difference-maker on the ground with 211 rushing yards and two scores.

The Badgers could key in on Williams this weekend. Wisconsin has allowed only 33 rushing yards per game, which is the best mark in FBS so far this season.

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst praised Coan but said he was focused on his team this week.

“Obviously, we have respect for Jack and appreciate who he is as a person and player here,” Chryst said. “But it’s Wisconsin versus Notre Dame.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Madison, Wisconsin, USA;  Wisconsin Badgers running back Chez Mellusi (6) is tackled with the football during the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Late rally gets No. 19 Penn State past No. 12 Wisconsin

Noah Cain rushed for the go-ahead touchdown, while Jaquan Brisker and Ji’Ayir Brown made late interceptions as No. 19 Penn State edged No. 12 Wisconsin 16-10 in Big Ten play on Saturday at Madison, Wis.

Sean Clifford completed 18 of 33 passes for 247 yards and one touchdown as the Nittany Lions (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten) defeated the Badgers for the fifth straight time and seventh in the past eight meetings. Jahan Dotson caught five passes for 102 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown.

Chez Mellusi rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 31 carries for the Badgers (0-1, 0-1). Graham Mertz was 22-for-37 passing for 185 yards and two interceptions for Wisconsin.

The Badgers controlled the clock to 42:51, ran 95 plays to Penn State’s 51 and held a 365-297 edge in total yards. But they committed three turnovers and the Nittany Lions didn’t have any.

Penn State took the 16-10 lead on Cain’s 2-yard run with 9:17 remaining. But Jordan Stout missed the extra point when it clanked off the left upright.

The Badgers reached the 2-yard line on their next to last drive and eventually faced fourth-and-goal from the 8. Brisker was ready in the middle of the field and intercepted Mertz’s pass at the 2 with 2:16 left.

Wisconsin later got the ball back and was at the Penn State 32 with 10 seconds left. Mertz threw deep downfield, and Brown made the game-ending interception.

Wisconsin played without starting linebacker Leo Chenal, who revealed prior to the game that he tested positive for COVID-19.

Earlier, Collin Larsh booted a 43-yard field goal with 13:36 remaining to give Wisconsin a 10-7 advantage. Stout tied the score with a 24-yarder with 11:26 left.

After having just 43 yards in a scoreless first half, Penn State went to a no-huddle attack on its first possession of the third quarter and hurriedly went 86 yards on four plays.

A Wisconsin blown coverage allowed Dotson to be wide open downfield and he caught the pass for a 49-yard score with 12:08 left.

The Badgers answered with a 10-play, 75-yard drive to tie the score 7-all. Mellusi scored the touchdown on a 3-yard run with 8:01 remaining.

Wisconsin was unable to get on the scoreboard in the first half despite holding a 13-1 edge in first downs.

The Badgers squandered two prime scoring chances in the second quarter, beginning when Penn State’s Arnold Ebiketie blocked Larch’s 25-yard field-goal attempt with 13:21 left.

Later in the period, the Badgers were at the Nittany Lions’ 8 when Mertz and Mellusi botched the handoff exchange. Penn State’s Nick Tarburton recovered the ball at the 13 with 4:59 left.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2020; Charlotte, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons running back Justice Ellison (14) is tackled for a loss of yardage by Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal (45) during second quarter action at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin LB Leo Chenal tests positive, out against Penn State

Wisconsin starting linebacker Leo Chenal will miss Saturday’s opener against Big Ten rival Penn State — a matchup of top 20 teams — after testing positive for COVID-19.

“To all my friends and family, I have tested positive for Covid and will miss the next 2 games,” Chenal posted to Instagram, just hours before kickoff between the No. 12 Badgers and No. 19 Nittany Lions in Madison, Wis.

“That aside, I am excited to see the boys kill it today.”

The Badgers are scheduled to host Central Michigan next week.

A junior from Grantsburg, Wis., Chenal was second on the Badgers squad last season with 46 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and an interception. He earned an honorable All-Big Ten nod.

–Field Level Media

Deputy Athletic Director Chris McIntosh, who captained Wisconsin's back-to-back Big Ten and Rose Bowl champions in 1998 and 1999, speaks to several thousand Badgers fans gathered for a pep rally outside LA Live on Dec. 30, 2019, in Los Angeles. The 8th-ranked Badgers faced 6th-ranked Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl Jan. 1, 2020.

MJS-rosebowl01p3

Wisconsin promotes alum Chris McIntosh to athletic director

Wisconsin will introduce Chris McIntosh, a former Badgers football player, as athletic director on Wednesday. He succeeds Barry Alvarez, who is retiring June 30 after 18 seasons.

McIntosh, 44, has worked in the Wisconsin athletic department since 2014 and as deputy athletic director since 2017, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the department, student-athlete recruitment, business development, human resources and strategic planning.

“Chris is a natural leader who loves the Badgers and cares about our student-athletes,” chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “He is uniquely positioned to continue our proud traditions of success on and off the field and doing things ‘the right way.’ Chris will build upon those traditions and has a strong vision for leading the program during a time of change in college athletics.”

A Wisconsin native, McIntosh played football at Pewaukee High School before enrolling at Wisconsin in 1996. He played four seasons on the offensive line and was a team captain and a consensus first-team All-American as a senior in 1999. He was a member of the Badgers teams that won the Rose Bowl in 1999 and 2000 and was inducted in the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.

The Seattle Seahawks selected him No. 22 overall in the 2000 draft, but injuries limited him to just 24 NFL games. He retired after the 2002 season.

“I owe so much to the University of Wisconsin, and I’m deeply honored to be able to succeed Barry Alvarez,” McIntosh said. “We will build upon our legacy of success on the field of competition and support our student-athletes in the classroom, on campus and after college.”

His promotion was praised, even by opponents.

“Chris is an excellent hire and is uniquely prepared to lead the University of Wisconsin Athletic department,” said Gene Smith, who has served as athletic director at Ohio State since 2005.

“He has the highest of integrity, knows the culture of Badger athletics, is respected by his peers in the Big Ten Conference and will bring the former student-athlete experience to his leadership style, which I feel is invaluable.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2017; Provo, UT, USA; Wisconsin Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez reacts during a NCAA football game against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez to retire

Sep 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; A Tennessee Volunteers helmet is seen pregame before the game against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez announced his retirement on Tuesday after 32 years at the university, effective June 30.

He spent the past 18 seasons leading the Badgers’ athletic department after 16 seasons as the football coach; he held both positions for two seasons. During his tenure, Wisconsin sports have won 16 national team titles and 74 Big Ten regular-season or tournament championships. He was named Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year in 2017-18.

“It has been an honor to be a part of Wisconsin Athletics and I take great pride in all we have accomplished over the last three decades,” Alvarez, 74, said. “From championships, to improvements on campus, to impacting thousands of student-athletes, it’s been a great ride. I’m grateful for the support, generosity, enthusiasm and loyalty of Badgers in the state of Wisconsin and beyond.”

Alvarez arrived in Madison in 1990 and turned a downtrodden football team into a perennial Big Ten contender, leading them to three Rose Bowl titles until he stepped aside in 2005 to concentrate on his duties as athletic director.

The football team was 119-74-4 in his 16 seasons, including 9-4 in bowl games. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

“We thank Barry for his hard work, devotion to UW-Madison, and the standard of excellence he has set for our athletic program,” chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “His work here has positively impacted the lives of countless student-athletes who have come through our doors.

“His leadership has also lifted our university and our state. Barry’s legacy will live on whenever Badgers take the field.”

Alvarez is credited with overseeing a fundraising drive that brought in more than $150 million over the past 10 years as well as numerous capital projects. Under his leadership, the university instilled the Forward 360 initiative, which provides support for athletes in academics, career and leadership, inclusion and engagement, nutrition, and strength and conditioning.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who played one season at Wisconsin, was among the first to extend well wishes to his former coach.

“‘Son … there’s this school up north, University of Wisconsin. They’ve got this Hall of Fame Coach, Barry Alvarez. You should play for him one day’ -My dad HBW III when I was 10,” Wilson tweeted. “Thanks for everything Coach. Grateful we got to spend such quality time together that year!”

Alvarez was set to meet the media Tuesday afternoon.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2017; Provo, UT, USA; Wisconsin Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez reacts during a NCAA football game against the Brigham Young Cougars at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez expected to retire

Longtime Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez is expected to retire, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on Saturday.

The 74-year-old Alvarez will likely make the announcement within the next few weeks, according to the newspaper.

Alvarez has been Wisconsin’s athletic director since April 1, 2004. The Journal Sentinel reported that deputy athletic director Chris McIntosh is the likely replacement.

Alvarez was Wisconsin’s football coach from 1990-2005 and turned a downtrodden program into one that won three Rose Bowls and recorded four 10-win seasons.

He also coached bowl games to conclude the 2012 and 2014 seasons after coaches Bret Bielema and Gary Anderson, respectfully, departed for other jobs.

He finished with a 119-74-4 record. Alvarez was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

–Field Level Media

Sep 13, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus (87) stands on the field before the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Lions WR Quintez Cephus sues alma mater

Detroit Lions wide receiver Quintez Cephus sued the University of Wisconsin, accusing the school of making him a “scapegoat” amid a sexual assault investigation that resulted in his temporary expulsion.

He alleges in his suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Madison, Wis., that the school violated both Title IX and his rights to due process. He is seeking unspecified damages.

Cephus was arrested in 2018 in Madison and charged with two counts of sexual assault. He was found not guilty in a trial the following year.

This is the second time Cephus sued the school, contending violation of his rights during a Title IX investigation that was opened in May 2018 and concluded at the end of August 2018. He filed the suit that October, and the case was dropped in March 2019.

Two women testified in his trial that Cephus sexually assaulted them at his apartment in April 2018 and that they were too drunk to give consent.

He was suspended from the Wisconsin football team and expelled from the university following the claims. He eventually was reinstated to the university and played the 2019 season with the Badgers, catching 59 passes for 901 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Lions selected him in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Now 22, he played in 13 games (two starts) for the Lions, catching 20 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2020; Pasadena, California, USA; Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Jack Coan (17) leaves the field after the 106th Rose Bowl game at Rose Bowl Stadium. The Oregon Ducks defeated the Wisconsin Badgers 28-27. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

QB Jack Coan announces transfer to Notre Dame

Former Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan announced Monday night that he’s transferring to Notre Dame for the 2021 season.

Coan entered the transfer portal on Dec. 20.

“Extremely thankful for the opportunity,” Coan posted to Twitter.

“Thank you Wisconsin for the greatest four years of my life,” Coan said in a statement released by the Badgers.

Coan joins a crowded quarterback room in South Bend, Ind., to compete for the right to replace outgoing senior Ian Book. Coan will battle it out with junior Brendon Clark, sophomore Drew Pyne and freshman Tyler Buchner.

Coan was the Badgers’ starting quarterback until he injured his right foot in a preseason practice and subsequently underwent surgery. He returned to the club late in the season but didn’t receive any playing time with redshirt freshman Graham Mertz entrenched as the starter.

Coan guided Wisconsin to the Rose Bowl during a 2019 season in which he passed for 2,727 yards (third most in school history) to go with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Badgers lost 28-27 to Oregon in Pasadena to finish 10-4.

Overall, Coan started 18 of 25 games played for Wisconsin and ranks 13th in school history with 3,278 passing yards. He had a 12-6 record as a starter, including 8-3 in Big Ten games.

Coan’s preseason injury opened the door for Mertz, who has passed for 1,108 yards, eight touchdowns and five interceptions in six games.-

–Field Level Media