MADISON — The No. 19 Wisconsin Badgers (1-1, 0-0 conference) cannot overcome missed opportunities, losing to Washington State (2-0, 0-0 conference), 17-14.
With just over six and a half minutes remaining in the game, Wisconsin got gift in the form of a fumble, which directly followed a Graham Mertz interception.
Wisconsin had a new life, as it trailed Washington State, 17-14. Clay Cundiff was then penalized for pulling a man off of the pile, which moved Wisconsin back to the WSU 35-yard-line.
A few plays later, Mertz connected with Cundiff on a 22-yard completion, but Cundiff fumbled the ball, turning it over to Washington State, ending Wisconsin’s chances at a comeback.
Washington State was then able to convert on a third-and-2, as Cameron Ward, kept it on a QB-keeper.
For Washington State, it was their first win against an AP Ranked opponent, since 2018. The Cougars were led by former Badger, Nakia Watson, who scored both of their touchdowns.
Watson, who was with the Badgers in 2019 and 2020, has been with the Cougars since the 2021 season.
He scored his first touchdown of the game in the second quarter, on a 2-yard rush, which was his first touchdown since the 2020 season, when he scored three times for the Badgers.
Watson’s second score came in the third quarter, on a 31-yard touchdown reception from Ward. Watson broke a tackle close to the line of scrimmage and was then off to the races.
Wisconsin had two chances in the game to both break a scoreless tie and to tie the game, as Vito Calvaruso missed two field goals — one from 51 yards and 43 yards.
Offensively, Wisconsin was paced by Clay Cundiff, who scored the first two touchdowns of his collegiate career, on a 17-yard touchdown reception and a 10-yard touchdown reception, both coming in the second quarter.
Wisconsin will close its non-conference slate of games next week, when it hosts New Mexico State.