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GAME NOTES: No. 18 Wisconsin 34, Eastern Michigan 7

Notes, quotes, highlights and more from Wisconsin’s win on Saturday night.

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Notable quotes from media availability

  • RB Jalen Berger on not playing last week.

“To be honest, I can’t really give an answer right now (regarding his absence from the season opener,” said Berger. “Just waited for my number to be called, it’s in the past now and I am ready to move forward.”

  • Berger on his performance tonight

“I think I played decent, I didn’t play as great as I wanted to play,” Berger said. “Just missing some reads, getting tackled one-on-one, I gotta do better.”

  • Berger on sharing the load with RB Isaac Guerendo and RB Chez Mellusi.

“It takes a lot of pressure off each of us,” Berger said. “We don’t have to go around and get 30 carries for one person can get a handful of carries and just be that three-headed monster.”

  • Head coach Paul Chryst on getting back on track.

“You appreciate all the work and effort that goes into the players and coaches to get a win,” Chryst said. “It feels good to get the first win of the season and again a lot of guys contributed to that and that’s always good to see, and I thought defensively obviously, we played really really well.”

  • QB Graham Mertz on the Badgers running backs.

“In general, the effort of our running backs just shows the depth that we got right now,” said Mertz. “I’m proud of those guys taking extra reps at practice on run tracks, cleaning some little stuff up. I think they all bring something unique to it and they’re all special in that way, they all showed their stuff tonight.”

  • RB Isaac Guerendo on his 82-yard touchdown run.

“It’s crazy, before the play I saw all the flashlight and I was like goodness, it was like blinding,” said Guerendo. “And then during the run I was seeing it, it was so open, it was like it was meant to be, like it was an amazing moment.”

Games Note, provided by the University of Wisconsin Athletic Department

Team Notes

  • Tonight’s captains: senior TE Jake Ferguson, senior CB Faion Hicks and senior ILB Jack Sanborn.
  • Tonight’s attendance: 70,967.
  • Paul Chryst improved to 57-20 (.740) in his seventh season as Wisconsin’s head coach, ranking him fourth on UW’s all-time wins list:

WINS AS WISCONSIN COACH, ALL-TIME

Coach (Years) Wins

1. Barry Alvarez (1990-2005)* 119

2. Bret Bielema (2006-12) 68

3. Phil King (1896-1902, ’05) 65

4. Paul Chryst (2015-present) 57

5. Milt Bruhn (1956-66) 52

* Also served as coach in two bowl games (2012, 2014)

  • Under Chryst, Wisconsin is:

32-7 (.821) at Camp Randall Stadium
20-6 (.769) in non-conference games
13-6 (.684) in night games

  • The Badgers have now defeated all five FBS programs from the state of Michigan during Chryst’s tenure, going a combined 8-2 vs. Michigan (3-2), Michigan State (2-0), Central Michigan (1-0), Eastern Michigan (1-0) and Western Michigan (1-0).
  • UW improved to 4-0 all-time vs. Eastern Michigan and 34-2 all-time vs. the current membership of the Mid-American Conference.
  • Dating to 2019, the Badgers have won their last three meetings with MAC opponents by a combined score of 143-7.
  • Wisconsin has won 48 of its last 50 non-conference games at Camp Randall Stadium, dating to 2002.
  • The Badgers scored their 50th prime-time win, improving to 50-35 (.588) all-time in night games.
  • UW held the Eagles to 16 yards rushing, 92 total yards and 3 first downs, the fewest allowed in each category since holding Central Michigan to 15 yards rushing, 58 total yards and 3 first downs on Sept. 7, 2019.
  • UW had 40:00 minutes of possession compared to Eastern Michigan’s 20:00, marking the second-straight game UW has held the ball 40 or more minutes.
  • Wisconsin’s defense held the opponent without an offensive touchdown for the 11th time in 50 games under defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.
  • Wisconsin rushed for 275 yards in the first half, its most in a first half since rushing for 286 before halftime vs. Nebraska on Nov. 15, 2014.
  • The Badgers limited Eastern Michigan to 23 total yards in the first half, its fewest yards allowed before halftime since holding Iowa to 20 total yards in the first half on Nov. 11, 2017.
  • Overall, UW outgained Eastern Michigan 518-92, running 75 plays to just 38 for the Eagles. The 38 plays were the fewest by a Badger opponent since South Florida ran 38 plays on Sept. 27, 2014.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • Junior DE Isaiah Mullens (22nd career game) and junior CB Alexander Smith (26th career game) earned the first starts of their careers.
  • Sophomore QB Graham Mertz went 14-for-17 (.824) for 141 yards, posting a 152.0 pass efficiency rating.
NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Junior RB Chez Mellusi had 20 carries for 144 yards including a career-long 60-yard run on his second carry of the game in the first quarter.
  • Mellusi is the first Badger to record consecutive 100-yard performances in his first two games at UW since Corey Clement did so in 2013 (101 vs. UMass, 149 vs. Tennessee Tech).
  • Mellusi had nine carries for 100 yards in the first quarter, the first Badger to log 100-plus yards in the opening period since Jonathan Taylor recorded 143 in the first quarter of UW’s 35-14 win over Michigan on Sept. 21, 2019.
  • Junior RB Isaac Guerendo had four rushes for 92 yards and recorded the 8th-longest touchdown run in school history, ripping off a career-long 82-yard TD run in the second quarter. Guerendo’s run is the 11th TD run of 80+ yards in school history. His 92 yards rushing were a career best.
  • Sophomore RB Jalen Berger tallied 15 rushes for 62 yards, including a 6-yard TD run in the second quarter.
  • Junior RB Brady Schipper set a pair of career-high marks with 8 carries for 29 yards.
  • Freshman RB Braelon Allen saw his offensive action, rushing 7 times for 30 yards, including his first career touchdown.
  • Senior TE Jake Ferguson had three catches for 17 yards.
  • Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 36 career games. That string of 36 consecutive games is the 4th longest active streak in the FBS:

CONSEC. GAMES WITH RECEPTION, FBS (ACTIVE)

1. Justin Hall, Ball State *44

2. CT Thomas, Boise State 38

3. JD Spielman, TCU *37

4. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin *36

5. Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State *33

Emeka Emezie, NC State 33

* Every game played in career

  • Senior WR Danny Davis had three catches for 30 yards.
  • Davis moved up 21st in school history in career receiving yards, passing Michael Jones:

CAREER RECEIVING YARDS (UW)

Rk. Player Years Yards

19. Jacob Pedersen 2010-13 1,394

20. Mel Reddick 1967-69 1,320

21. Danny Davis 2017-pres. 1,293

22. Michael Jones 1981-84 1,266

23. Tom McCauley 1966-68 1,251

24. Jake Ferguson 2017-pres. 1,237

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
  • Senior WR Kendric Pryor had four catches for 54 yards, matching a career high in receptions.
  • Senior DE Matt Henningsen recorded the sixth sack of his career — and first since the 2019 Big Ten Championship Game — dropping Eagles QB Ben Bryant for a 10-yard loss in the second quarter.
  • Junior S John Torchio made the second start of his career, matching a career high with three tackles.
  • Junior CB Donte Burton recorded his first career interception, picking off Preston Hutchinson in the 4th quarter.
  • Senior K Collin Larsh went 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting from 33 and 39 yards. He is now 3-for-4 on the season.
  • Senior P Andy Vujnovich had two punts for 111 yards, good for a 55.5 average, including a career-long 61 yarder.