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GAME NOTES: No. 19 Penn State 16, No. 12 Wisconsin 10

Thoughts, quotes and stats from the season opener.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Penn State at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Notable quotes following Wisconsin’s loss

  • WR Danny Davis on what the team needs to do better next week.

“For offense, just finishing,” said Davis. “We had the ball in the red zone multiple times and we didn’t finish and it just sucks because we drive all the way down there and we don’t finish it.”

  • QB Graham Mertz on moving on from the loss.

“It’s my job, it’s what I have to do. For me, I wouldn’t say ‘flush,’ (forget about the game) I gotta learn from it,” said Mertz. “Tomorrow morning, or tonight hop on and watch the tape, take out my key points that I have to get better at, what I need to do to help this team win. I just gotta learn and grow, it’s the biggest thing.”

  • RB Chez Mellusi on the difference between the ACC and the B1G.

“I wouldn’t say there is like a huge difference, physically,” Mellusi said. “But 31 carries is a lot different than the ACC, I don’t think a lot of backs get 31 carries in the ACC.”

  • RB Isaac Guerendo on the running back rotation that was used in the game, where he and Mellusi were the only ones to receive carries.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Penn State at Wisconsin Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“There was never really a point, like I’ve said before, we trust coach Brown to make the right decisions to put everybody in the right position to be successful,” Guerendo said. “That’s what we did and things just kind of happened how they happened.”

  • Head coach Paul Chryst on the game

“A lot of guys gave us a chance to be in it, gave us a chance, but you have to find a way to finish,” said Chryst. “Again, you have to give the opponent credit, Penn State, this is a tough loss and you have to learn from it, there’s going to be some things that we want to build on.”

  • Chryst on RB Jalen Berger not playing in the game.

“The big thing was, Chez (Mellusi) obviously got the start Isaac (Guerendo) was the next back in and we kind of new that going into the game, I thoiught Chez did a lot of good and same with Isaac, so it got to be how they were playing,” said Chryst. “We felt like Chez got a decent amount of carries and we thought Isaac had more in him and in the end it was because of what Chez and Isaac were doing.”

Game Notes Provided by the Wisconsin Athletic Department


  • Today’s captains: senior TE Jake Ferguson, senior CB Faion Hicks and senior ILB Jack Sanborn.
  • A crowd of 76,832 attended the first game at Camp Randall Stadium with fans in the stands in 651 days.
  • Wisconsin lost its home opener for the first time since 1995, snapping a 25-game win streak, which was tied with Oklahoma State for the second-longest among FBS teams.
  • The Badgers dominated the time of possession, by a margin of 42:24 to 17:35.
  • Wisconsin out-gained Penn State in total yardage by a mark of 365 to 297, including a dominant 180 to 50 margin in the run game. That resulted in Wisconsin having 30 first downs to Penn State’s 11.
  • The Badgers held Penn State to 3-of-13 on third down and 0-for-1 on fourth down.
  • UW limited PSU to only 50 yards rushing on 18 attempts.
  • Wisconsin’s defense held Penn State to 43 total yards on 22 plays in the first half, including just two rushing yards on eight attempts. The Nittany Lions went just 1-for-7 on third downs in the opening two quarters.
  • Wisconsin held the ball for 21 minutes, 29 seconds of the first half compared to just 8:31 of possession time for Penn State, with the Badgers running 21 more plays (43-22) than the Nittany Lions in the half.


  • Five Wisconsin players made the first starts of their careers: junior RB Chez Mellusi, sophomore C Joe Tippmann, redshirt freshman RG Jack Nelson, sixth-year senior ILB Mike Maskalunas and sophomore CB Dean Engram.
  • Junior RB Chez Mellusi logged a 100-yard game in his Badgers debut, racking up a career-high 121 yards on 31 carries. He put the Badgers on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Mellusi’s 121 yards rushing are the most in a Badger debut since P.J. Hill had 130 yards on 22 carries vs. Bowling Green on Sept. 2, 2006.
  • Junior RB Isaac Guerendo had 56 yards on 13 carries, setting career bests in both categories.
Penn State v Wisconsin Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
  • Senior TE Jake Ferguson caught a career-high nine passes for 52 yards, giving him 108 receptions for his career. Ferguson’s 1,220 career yards rank 24th on the Badgers’ all-time list.
  • Ferguson has caught at least one pass in each of his 34 career games. That string of 34 consecutive games is the 4th longest active streak in the FBS:


1. Justin Hall, Ball State *43

2. CT Thomas, Boise State 38

3. JD Spielman, Nebraska/TCU *37

4. Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin *34

5. Cornelius McCoy, Georgia State *32

Emeka Emezie, NC State 32

* Every game played in career

  • Senior WR Danny Davis caught eight passes for 99 yards, giving him 107 receptions for his career. Davis’ 1,263 career yards rank him No. 22 on the Badgers’ all-time list, passing Tom McCauley (1966-68, 1251 yards)
  • Senior ILB Jack Sanborn recorded a sack of Penn State QB Sean Clifford on the Nittany Lions’ first possession, giving him 7.5 for his career.
  • Sophomore OLB Nick Herbig added a sack of Clifford in the third quarter, the second sack of his career
  • Senior S Scott Nelson led UW with six tackles, his highest total since logging a career-high eight tackles vs. Minnesota on Nov. 24, 2018.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Penn State at Wisconsin Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • Senior K Collin Larsh connected on a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, giving UW a 10-7 lead. The kick was the 3rd-longest of his career, just shy of his career long (44 yards, twice).
  • Senior P Andy Vujnovich had a career-best 46.7 punting average, including a long of 59 yards, one shy of his career best.