The Wisconsin Badgers came into the season with significant hype, starting off with a comfortable 38-17 win over the Buffalo Bulls in Week 1.
Through one half though in Week 2, the Badgers have been completely outmatched, losing 24-9 and getting dominated in all facets of the game.
Whose stock is up and down through 30 minutes of action between the Badgers and the Bulls?
QB Tanner Mordecai
Tanner Mordecai slightly makes the list here, as I actually had been pleased with his performance early on, making some really solid throws, stepping up in the pocket when needed, and aspects like that.
However, some crucial decisions tanked his stock, such as a six-yard loss on a scramble when he should've thrown the ball away, and two strip-sack fumbles, although I thought there was only one where he could've done something differently.
It definitely hasn't been a bad game for Mordecai, but it hasn't been the best game for sure, and the Badgers have struggled to convert touchdowns until the end of the half.
Again, after a shaky start last week, that’s why Mordecai makes the list. There’s still a ton of room for growth for the six-year quarterback, but his stock is slightly up after the first half.
WR Chimere Dike
Chimere Dike leads the Badgers with 66 yards heading into the half, including a 41-yard pass from Tanner Mordecai.
On a day of rough overall play, Dike at least has been consistent, working alongside Will Pauling as the top wideouts for the Badgers on the day.
To hear the well-heralded Badgers wideout room doing well on a day like Saturday is at least one positive sign for Wisconsin through the first half.
Through one half, Jack Nelson has played arguably the worst game of his Badgers career, consistently getting beaten by Ron Stone Jr., who has two strip-sacks already through one half.
The Badgers have also struggled to run the football, with Braelon Allen and Chez Mellusi rushing for just 20 yards on eight attempts, as the offensive line hasn't garnered much traction at all up front.
The offensive line was a huge factor for me heading into the game, as I pointed out Washington State’s talented defensive line duo of Brennan Jackson and Ron Stone Jr., and the defenders clearly came out to play.
Washington State has three sacks through the first half, and their front has easily cleared the Badgers through the first 30 minutes.
For the second consecutive week, head coach Luke Fickell cracks the list, but the coaching overall for the Badgers has been subpar in comparison to second-year head coach Jake Dickert’s staff.
The Badgers didn't prepare their players to come out and play. Through one half, they’ve been outplayed, both physically and mentally, and clearly outcoached.
Wisconsin’s defense wasn't ready for the up-tempo Washington State offense in the first half, with players missing assignments, substitutions resulting in busted plays and penalties, and Cameron Ward looking really comfortable.
Luke Fickell spoke earlier this week about looking to fix the team’s sloppy play from a week ago, while also preparing his guys for Cameron Ward and the Cougars offense.
Thus far, it seems the Badgers underestimated their opponent, and they're paying the price.