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|Notre Dame||+4.5 (EVEN)
|O 46.5 (-110)
|Wisconsin Badgers||-4.5 (-120)
|U 46.5 (-110)
What a pivotal game this will be on Saturday. Notre Dame enters play undefeated at 3-0, but with tight wins against suspect Florida State and less-talented Toledo, there are plenty of question marks about Brian Kelly’s team. On the other side for Wisconsin Week 1 was a loss and Week 3 was a bye so the Badgers are just desperate to get out there.
ESPN’s College Gameday will be on hand so the environment is sure to be electric. The main question is can Jack Coan win the revenge game? I don’t think so — Notre Dame has yet to impress this year and the Badgers still have some frustrations to take out. We like Wisconsin to cover the spread and on the money line.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (6-3)
Star quarterbacks are used to getting all the attention, but this might be a little much even for Jack Coan.
Notre Dame’s starting quarterback was acquired this offseason in the transfer portal by none other than Wisconsin. He now gets to face his old team as the Irish continue their hopeful push toward a College Football Playoff game. Through three games in the 2021 season, Coan has wowed with his new team, ranking T-12th in the nation in touchdowns (8), 21st in yards (828), and has just two interceptions. If there is an issue, it’s likely not going to be with the skill players — Notre Dame has four receivers in Michael Mayer, Kyren Williams, Kevin Austin Jr., and Avery Davis who all have at least one score and 149 yards receiving.
It would be an offensive line that has been suspect at best and struggled against the most ‘talented’ defense it faced in Florida State
Not to mention it’s not going to come easy for Coan — this defensive unit for the Badgers might be one of the best under defensive coordinator Jim Leonhard.
It’s quite honestly the weirdest thought — a Wisconsin football team that doesn’t do a great job finishing in the red zone.
Given the stable of running backs who have passed through the program in recent years from Melvin Gordon and Montee Ball to James White and Jonathan Taylor, punching the ball in the end zone at the end of drives is kind of what just naturally happened.
But even though the struggles have been documented early on, the way it happened has been a bit flukey. Yes, there was one goal-line fumble, but another time was when the play got tripped up behind fullback John Chenal.
However, it also happened because of untimely penalties from the offensive line and a few questionable throwing decisions by Graham Mertz. Mertz hasn’t exactly wowed this season —
completing two-thirds of his passes (36-of-54) for 326 yards but does have two interceptions and no touchdowns.
He’ll have to be especially careful with star safety — and one of the highest-rated pro prospects in the 2022 class. But if it weren’t for some bad luck, the Badgers could well be 2-0. Also, that loss to Penn State looks even “better” now after the Nittany Lions’ recent win over Auburn.
He’s been a bit of an after-thought behind Kyren Williams for Notre Dame, but running back Chris Tyree could turn some heads in this one and is certainly worth keeping an eye on. The 5-foot-9 sophomore has 72 rushing yards and a score and 10 catches for another 103 yards and a touchdown in the air.
For Wisconsin, we’re looking beyond just Chez Mellusi who will of course have to have a big game if Wisconsin is going to pull this out. The Badgers only had three passing plays of more than 10 yards in the opener against Penn State so they will need a wideout to step up as an option for Mertz.
Look for Jake Ferguson to step up — the 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end — especially in the red zone.
|Notre Dame vs Wisconsin Badgers Information|
|Teams||No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers|
|Location||Camp Randall, Madison, Wisconsin|
|Time||Saturday, Sept. 25, x:30 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||ABC|
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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