Notre Dame vs Wisconsin prediction, game preview, how to watch: Saturday, September 25
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin How To Watch
Date: Saturday, September 25
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Soldier Field, Chicago
How To Watch: FOX
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Notre Dame (3-0) vs Wisconsin (2-1) Game Preview
Why Wisconsin Will Win
Notre Dame has been just okay. Not great, but okay.
Oh sure, it’s 3-0, but 1) it needed overtime to get by a miserable Florida State team that went in the tank, 2) almost got bit by a Toledo team that got hammered a week later by an awful Colorado State, and 3) last week needed a late score and a few big plays to get by a decent Purdue team.
Wisconsin couldn’t get the O going against Penn State in the opening week loss, but everything looked fine in the follow up blowout over Eastern Michigan. The offense is still a bit of a question mark overall – the passing attack just isn’t sharp – but the ground game is back to being good again after a rough 2020. It’s the other side that’s the killer.
The Badgers have allowed just 66 rushing yards in two games, are No. 2 in the nation in total defense, and they’re getting the D off the field in a hurry – they lead the nation in time of possession, keeping the ball for 41 minutes a game.
Outside of a few big runs, the Irish are struggling on the ground – they’re going to run into a brick wall here. The offensive line is in for a long day – the pass protection has been abysmal – in front of a guy the Badger coaching staff knows all too well.
Former Wisconsin starter Jack Coan is under center for the Irish, and …
Why Notre Dame Will Win
The guy has been great.
Coan was off a bit against Purdue, but he’s averaging over 300 passing yards per game with a slew of deep plays, nine touchdown passes, and the veteran leadership desperately needed in the tight early games.
For all of the issues the Irish have had, they’re tested. They’ve been pushed, and they keep managing to come through with the big plays at just the right times.
Opportunistic, they have yet to come away empty in the red zone – a massive issue for the Badgers in the loss to Penn State – and they’ve been great at forcing takeaways.
It’s this simple – Wisconsin QB Graham Mertz has been awful when pressured, or when he doesn’t get enough time to make the right read. This team has a very, very bad problem of being totally incapable of overcoming turnovers.
Notre Dame wins this if it’s +2 in turnover margin.
What’s Going To Happen
America, welcome to the Wisconsin defense.
The Notre Dame offense isn’t going to do a thing on the ground, but it’s possible to hit the Badger secondary deep. Coan will come up with a few big plays against his old team, but he’s not going to get enough time to do it consistently.
Florida State was able to take over in the second half against the Irish with the running game. Wisconsin has a different style – more brutish than quick-hitting – but it’ll be effective.
The game will be taken out of Mertz’s hands as much as possible, the D with two weeks of rest will pick up the slack for a few empty drives, and in the first meeting since 1964 – a 31-7 Irish win – Wisconsin will make a bit of a statement.
Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Prediction, Line
Wisconsin 26, Notre Dame 17
Line: Wisconsin -5.5, o/u: 46.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Get a 2nd opinion on the Notre Dame vs Wisconsin game from our friends at Winners and Whiners.
Click here for their in-depth analysis and predictions on the side, total, 1st half, and exotics.
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