Ball drop: Wisconsin wins Duke’s Mayo Bowl, breaks trophy

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Graham Mertz accounted for three touchdowns and Wisconsin turned four second-half interceptions into 21 points to beat Wake Forest 42-28 in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl.

Mertz threw for 130 yards and ran for two short touchdowns as Wisconsin finished the season on a high note.

With the game tied at 21 late in the third quarter, Noah Burks intercepted Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman on a pass in the flat when the intended receiver failed to turn around.

That set up a touchdown pass from Mertz to Mason Stokke that gave the Badgers their first lead. Then Wisconsin intercepted Hartman on Wake’s next three possessions.

After the game, Mertz was dancing with the Duke’s Mayo Bowl trophy when he dropped the football-shaped piece of Lenox crystal on top and it shattered on the locker room floor.

Wisconsin went 3-3 during an abridged 2020 season marred by tough losses and cancellations due to COVID-19 infections.

The Duke’s Mayo Bowl has been played at Bank of America Stadium Charlotte since 2002. The Badgers are no stranger to bowl games; last year they played Oregon in the Rose Bowl.