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Freshman quarterback Graham Mertz says he’s doing whatever he can to stay ready for when his number is called.

He knew if UW made the game lopsided against Kent State, he’d have a chance to play in his second game of the year. When UW coach Paul Chryst put the heralded recruit in with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Mertz proved to be ready for the chance.

“It was great to get in. I was getting a little cold (on the sideline),” Mertz said with a laugh. “It was fun. I think it was another great experience. It was fun to get out there with the guys.”

The Badgers went on to shut out the Golden Flashes en route to a 48-0 victory that improved their record to 5-0 as they wrapped up non-conference play at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. 

Mertz, who finished 5 of 5 for 38 yards, handed off on 18 of his 25 snaps. He also scrambled for 10 yards and took a sack on a third down in the fourth quarter. His longest play was a 14-yard pass to junior Adam Krumholz — Mertz rolled to his left on a bootleg and hit Krumholz along the numbers on a first-and-10.

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His first drive was an 11-play, 65-yard touchdown march, but his second was cut short after Aron Cruickshank fumbled on a third-down catch. He was sacked to end his third series, which prompted UW’s lone punt of the game, and his fourth trip on the field ran out the game clock.

Mertz said working with starting quarterback, junior Jack Coan, has helped him feel more confident understanding the offense.

“After every drive, we get together and talk about what we see and stuff like that,” Mertz said. “Jack’s been awesome. He’s been showing me looks … and he’s helped a ton.”

Mertz can play in two more games before losing his ability to redshirt, which he said was UW’s plan for him.

Bucky!

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