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UW’s Mertz named Big Ten’s co-offensive player of the week, freshman of the week

Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college...
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Illinois Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 10:05 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Well, it didn’t take long for University of Wisconsin’s freshman quarterback to start filling his collegiate trophy shelf. After his breakout performance Friday night, Graham Mertz earned the Big Ten’s co-offensive player of the week and freshman of the week.

In a record-setting debut, the Kansas-native completed 20-of-21 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns while completing his first 17 passes of the game. He set a new university record for completion percentage at .952 and tied the program record for touchdowns in a game (5) and consecutive completions (17).

“It was definitely fun,” Mertz said of the 45-7 win over Illinois that launched the Badgers into the Top Ten of the NCAA rankings.

The story surrounding Mertz pivoted sharply on Sunday, however, when reports emerged he had tested positive for COVID-19 and UW Athletics is awaiting the result of a PCR test to confirm the initial result.

Wisconsin Athletics said in a statement that no one who participated in Friday’s game recorded positive antigen tests or reported having any symptoms prior to the game. Mertz testing positive was neither confirmed nor denied in the statement.

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