Despite a hot start for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the Wisconsin Badgers won the 2020 Duke’s Mayo Bowl 42-28. Unfortunately for most involved, Paul Chryst’s post-game celebration did not include a mayo bath.
Wisconsin Defeats Wake Forest To Win The Mayo Bowl
Through the first two drives for the ACC representative, Wake Forest was red hot. Quarterback Sam Hartman was 6-7 with two touchdown passes. On the other side of things, Wisconsin was only able to pick up one first down in their first two drives. The Demon Deacons would slow down shortly after that, however, with three straight drives ending in a punt.
The second quarter had a major bounce back for the Badgers. Wisconsin was able to rush for two somewhat unconventional touchdowns to tie the game up before the intermission. Quarterback Graham Mertz and one of Wisconsin’s two fullbacks, John Chenal, both picked up a short rushing touchdown to send the game to a 14-14 tie at the half.
Coming out in the second half, Wisconsin was forced into a three-and-out to start, while Wake Forest was able to score a touchdown to take the lead. That would be their last lead of the game.
The very next drive, Wisconsin equalized on another short Mertz touchdown rush. The next two drives would see the teams give the ball back to one another before the real craziness began. Four straight drives for Wake Forest ended with the ball going to the other team. All four were interceptions thrown by Hartman. Wisconsin scored 21 points off of those turnovers with the one drive with no points ending in a missed 48-yard field goal. The Demon Deacons would score a garbage-time touchdown with six seconds left, but ultimately the Badgers would walk away with their 19th straight winning season.
What It Means
Things seemed to be going all for Wake Forest early, but Chryst did a great job of keeping his team motivated for a come from behind victory. The Badgers never gave up and stuck to their brand of football. The defense did a great job of slowing Wake Forest and taking the ball away. On offense, the Badgers began to impose their will at the line of scrimmage and run the ball heavily. It was an important win for the program, the coaching staff, and the conference when looking at the Bowl Challenge Cup. Wisconsin is the first of four Big Ten teams still scheduled to play in a bowl game.
The game trophy did not fare quite as well, per Bleacher Report.
Wisconsin really broke its Bowl trophy 💀
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 30, 2020