No prior starts? No problem. That was the mentality of Wisconsin redshirt freshman quarterback Graham Mertz on Friday night, who made his first career start for the Badgers in the B1G opener.

Mertz broke one school record and tied two more Friday night, leading the Badgers to a 45-7 victory over Illinois. The freshman broke the single-game completion percentage record, hitting on 20-of-21 pass attempts for a 95.2% rate. Mertz also completed his first 17 passes of the game and threw 5 touchdown passes — tying Wisconsin records in both categories.

His yardage total was at 248 for the contest.

Mertz was a former 4-star quarterback in the 2019 recruiting class. He was set to be the No. 2 guy on the depth chart behind Jack Coan until the returning starter suffered a foot injury that has him sidelined indefinitely. Now, Mertz appears to have a pretty firm grip on that top spot.

Can Mertz replicate that performance? We’ll find out soon enough. Wisconsin goes on the road next weekend to take on Nebraska in another B1G West matchup.