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Grading Wisconsin’s Duke’s Mayo Bowl victory over Wake Forest

The Badgers end this stupid season on a high note with a win against the Demon Deacons.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl - Wake Forest v Wisconsin Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Rubric - Wisconsin Football Unit Grades

Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
Grade Description - accounting for degree of difficulty
A Excellent: Top-5 level performance
B Very good: Top-tier Big Ten performance
C Acceptable: Average for the Big Ten
D Unacceptable: Below average for the Big Ten
F Failure: Rutgers level performance
N/A Insufficient evidence for a grade

Offense: B-

O-line: B


Wisconsin stumbled out of the gates early and never quite caught their stride, but were able to be opportunistic enough to take advantage of the mistakes made by Wake Forest and put up 42 points. Wisconsin ended the game under 300 total yards offensively, but they’ll take points any way that they can get them after what their offense has been able to put up over the last month.

Defense: B

Pass rush: C
Pass coverage: A-
Run defense: A-


Wake Forest caught the Badgers’ defense sleepwalking a bit over the first two drives, but after that the Badgers allowed just 14 points the remainder of the game, including seven in garbage time, forced three different quarterbacks to play for the Demon Deacons and picked off four passes. While there wasn’t much pass rush to speak of, Wake gave the ball back enough and the Badgers took advantage.

Special Teams: B+

Kicking: C
Punting: B-
Returning: A
Coverage: A


The only field goal attempt was blocked and punting wasn’t always pretty, but they were impressive in punt and kick coverage and Devin Chandler’s 59-yard kick return helped spur the tying touchdown at 21 and ultimately Wisconsin wouldn’t look back.

Coaching: B

Strategy: B+
Adjustments: B
Play-calling: B


Wisconsin featured a running-based attack as should have been expected, and picked and chose their shots for Graham Mertz, who wasn’t overly sharp, did just enough with his very limited pallet of options. Wisconsin didn’t beat themselves by overthinking, which is all they needed today.

Overall grade: B+

Unit Grades:
Big plays:
Game Control: A
Penalties & Discipline: A


Thank God this season is over. Wisconsin won the game. Let’s get ready for spring.

Bonus grades!