Mordecai solid in first game as Badger

Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) throws during the first half of an NCAA college...
Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai (8) throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Buffalo Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Madison, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)(Morry Gash | AP)
Published: Sep. 3, 2023 at 6:08 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - On Saturday, the Luke Fickell era officially began in Madison, as the no. 19 Badgers topped Buffalo 38-17.

It was also the beginning of Tanner Mordecai’s reign at quarterback in the Air Raid offense.

The redshirt senior transfer threw for 189 yards, a touchdown, and two picks in his first appearance at Camp Randall. The passing game accounted for about 38% of the Badgers’ total offense, but Mordecai mainly stuck to short balls.

Twenty-one of his 31 completions were under five yards, with just two going over 15 yards and his long was 29 yards.

On his performance, especially the short balls, the quarterback had a clear and relatively concise view on his performance.

“I was trying to take what the defense was giving me,” Mordecai said. “And try not to force the deep shot when it’s not there and drop it down because they’ll come.”

“And there’s a balance between being really aggressive, which I think he was,” Fickell said. “The throws down the field, maybe there weren’t as many, but I think he probably had a lot of poise in not throwing some of those ones when they were bailing out of there. He threw the things when he was supposed to throw them, and he didn’t really kind of force some balls into places where he shouldn’t have.”

Up next, the no. 19 Badgers will travel to Washington State. That game is Saturday at 6:30.

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