Rapid reaction: Washington State pulls off upset of Wisconsin
Three turnovers and 2 missed field goals proved too much for Wisconsin to overcome in a 17-14 home loss to Washington State on Saturday.
Wisconsin tight end Clay Cundiff had good and bad moments, but it ended with the bad.
Cundiff fumbled on the Badgers’ 11-yard line with 5 minutes, 14 seconds as Washington State pulled off the upset over Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium
Transfer kicker Vito Calvaruso didn’t have a good day, missing 2 field-goal attempts.
Calvaruso missed a 43-yarder with 14:57 left in the game that would have tied the score at 17.
On the positive side of things, Cundiff made his presence known with a 2-touchdown effort.
Cundiff finished with 3 catches for 35 yards as the Badgers fell to 1-1.
The Cougars struck first to take the lead.
Nakia Watson, a former Badgers running back, put the Cougars on the board at 7-0, with a 2-yard touchdown run with 9 minutes, 10 seconds left in the first half.
A little more than 3 minutes later, Cundiff hauled in a 17-yard touchdown catch with 6:04 to go to even the score. The TD was Cundiff’s first of the season, and third of his Wisconsin career.
Cundiff played in 5 games in 2021. He returned from a brutal injury in the Badgers’ 2021 loss to Iowa in October, resulting in right foot and ankle surgery.
With time ticking down in the first half, Wisconsin posted its first lead.
The Badgers strung together a 5-play, 45-yard drive capped off by a 10-yard Cundiff touchdown pass with 20 seconds to go.
The Badgers’ second score was set up by a 40-yard catch by sophomore wide receiver Keontez Lewis, a transfer from Utah.
The Cougars refused to go away. Watson struck again with a 31-yard touchdown catch that put Washington State up 17-14 at the 5:12 mark of the third quarter.
WSU’s go-ahead TD came courtesy of a Wisconsin turnover.
Wisconsin’s Kamo’i Latu, in his first start at safety, put pressure on Cougars quarterback Cam Ward, and the Badgers’ Jay Shaw picked off Ward. Shaw fumbled on the return and WSU got the ball back with first down at midfield.
Wisconsin wasted a handful of first-half opportunities, despite dominating time of possession. The Badgers held a 21:49 TOP advantage over 7:23 for the Cougars.
Calvaruso missed a 51-yard field goal attempt with 3:33 left in the first quarter.
The Badgers were without the services of offensive lineman Riley Mahlman, who’s out with a left leg injury.
Logan Brown got his first start of the season due to Mahlman’s absence. Brown switched from reserve left tackle to right tackle in spring practice.
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz posted a solid game under center. Mertz completed 17 of 29 passes for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns.