Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin: Live stream, watch online, TV channel
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin: Live stream, watch online, TV channel.
The distance between the Wisconsin and Notre Dame campuses in Madison, Wisconsin, and South Bend, Indiana, is about 250 miles, or about a four-hour drive. Chicago is approximately halfway through the journey, so it’s about as impartial as a neutral location can be. And that will be the goal of Saturday’s game between No. 12 Notre Dame and No. 18 Wisconsin at Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears.
It’s a battle between two of the Midwest’s most important programs. Notre Dame has a greater presence in the region and has advanced to the College Football Playoff twice in the past three seasons. Wisconsin has yet to reach the playoffs, but it has been the dominating power in the western part of the Big Ten for the past two decades, earning five Big Ten championships and five division victories since 1998.
And Notre Dame has a lot to thank for Wisconsin’s success. In the 1990 season, Barry Alvarez arrived in Madison and started the turnaround of the football team. Before Alvarez came, Wisconsin hadn’t won a Big Ten championship since 1962, and he won his first three years later in 1993. What is the connection between this and Notre Dame? Before becoming the coach at Wisconsin, Alvarez was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, where he helped the Fighting Irish capture the national championship in 1988.
While Jack Coan may seem as if this is just another game, you can bet he’s had this one marked on his calendar since the day he transferred to Notre Dame. Coan started his collegiate career at Wisconsin for the first three years until losing his position to Graham Mertz due to an injury before the (delayed) start of the 2020 season. After two mediocre starts, Irish supporters will certainly be hoping Coan shows his old club what they’ve been missing out on.
In his Notre Dame debut, a 41-38 overtime victory against Florida State, Coan passed for 366 yards and four touchdowns while completing 74.3 percent of quarterback passes. The past two weeks, on the other hand, have been difficult. With four touchdowns and one interception, Coan has completed just 56.3 percent of his throws against Toledo and Purdue. More notably, after averaging 10.5 yards per pass attempt versus FSU, the following two games have seen that figure decrease to 7.2 yards per attempt.
The Irish have not been all that impressive in 2021:
Notre Dame is 3-0 and rated No. 12 in the nation, but it has failed to live up to the hype. It required overtime to beat Florida State 41-38, barely escaped with a 32-29 victory over Toledo, and battled to beat Purdue 27-13 last week. Notre Dame has won its first three games despite being favored by a total of 31 points. It’s one of those situations where a team hasn’t played badly but hasn’t played well enough to persuade anybody that it’s still a squad capable of contending for a place in the College Football Playoff, which is the expectation with this school.
Wisconsin is the most difficult opponent the Irish have faced so far, and it will be their best opportunity to show how good they can be in 2021.
Wisconsin’s offense has lacked explosive plays:
The defense is as stifling as ever, ranking ninth in points allowed per drive (0.76) and third in available yards allowed (22.1 percent ). The offense hasn’t done nearly enough to make up for the lost ground.
The Badgers offense has just three plays of 20 yards or more before this week’s game against Notre Dame. That places them last in the Big Ten (Iowa is 13th with eight) and 129th overall, just ahead of Louisiana-Monroe. Of course, Wisconsin has only played two games, but when it comes to explosive play rate, the Badgers’ offense is ranked 128th. It’s nice to have a strong defense, but it’s difficult to win games without huge offensive plays.
How to watch Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin live.
Date: Saturday, September, 25 | Time: 12 p.m. ET Location: Soldier Field — Chicago TV: Fox | Live stream: fudo tv(Try for free)
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin prediction, picks
I believe Notre Dame will not only cover the spread on Saturday but will also win the game outright.
While the Notre Dame offense has struggled recently, the skill positions have enough potential to believe in the team’s capacity to rebound. Right now, I don’t have nearly as much confidence in Wisconsin’s offensive. We all witnessed how the Badgers struggled to move the ball against Penn State in their season opener, and Notre Dame’s defense is just as strong. Wisconsin’s defense will keep the Badgers in the game, but I don’t see how the offense will score enough to win unless it causes several turnovers and perhaps a touchdown. Notre Dame (+5.5) is the favorite.
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