Notre Dame continues its bid for Brian Kelly’s third College Football Playoff appearance on Saturday against what is likely the Fighting Irish’s toughest test of the 2021 season thus far: No. 18 Wisconsin.
The Badgers may have suffered a season-opening loss to Penn State — a team now ranked No. 6 nationally in the AP Top 25 poll — but they managed to bounce back nicely for a 34-7 win over Eastern Michigan. The Badgers followed with a Week 3 bye to prep for No. 12 Notre Dame, a team that has yet to live up to its ranking this season.
The Fighting Irish are 3-0 this season, but none of their wins has done much to engender confidence in this team. They needed overtime and a misfire by Florida State coach Mike Norvell to beat the still winless Seminoles. They followed up a week later with a subpar performance against Toledo, needing a last-minute touchdown from quarterback Jack Coan to beat Toledo. The Irish put their “best” game together against Purdue in Week 3, but they still only won by a final score of 27-14.
Speaking of Coan, Saturday’s game vs. Wisconsin will be a homecoming of sorts for the Wisconsin transfer. He already seems like he’s on pace to match his best season for the Badgers, throwing for 828 yards and eight touchdowns to just two interceptions. He’ll need to have a big game against the Badgers’ defense, which leads the nation by allowing only 33.0 yards per game on the ground.
Sporting News is tracking live scoring updates and highlights from Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. Follow below for complete results from the Week 4 college football game.
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin score
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin live updates, highlights from Week 4
All times Eastern
Third quarter: Notre Dame 10, Wisconsin 10
2:32 p.m.: Nice move by Notre Dame linebacker Bo Bauer to slash through the offensive line and bat a Mertz pass into the dirt. Badgers punt on fourth-and-2 down to the 11.
2:26 p.m.: Bad news for Notre Dame; they can’t convert on third-and-20 following a false start, and Coan limps off the field. He may have been hurt on the previous sack.
2:24 p.m.: There’s a fifth sack on Coan, again with just a four-man rush by Wisconsin. Second-and-15 from the 20 upcoming.
2:19 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, WISCONSIN. Mertz gets his first touchdown of the season with an 8-yard strike to Pryor. That knots it up at 10-10 with 9:53 left in the quarter.
2:17 p.m.: False start makes it first-and-15 from the 26, but Mertz gets it all back with a 16-yard connection with Pryor. It’s first-and-10 from the 11, and Notre Dame needs a big stop here.
2:16 p.m.: And there’s the offensive spark Wisconsin needed: Mellusi rushed for 35 yards down to the Notre Dame 21. That’s the biggest rushing play by either offense by a significant margin all day.
2:12 p.m.: Wisconsin looks like it’ll take over at its 44.
2:12 p.m.: Coan completes a pass to the Wisconsin bench on third down; that has to be who he was throwing to, because there wasn’t a player in the vicinity, from either team. Punt upcoming.
2:10 p.m.: Notre Dame takes the ball over after the touchback. Coan airs it out on first down but overthrows his receiver. Second down.
2:06 p.m.: Wisconsin’s drive stalls just short of its 40. Punt upcoming.
2:03 p.m.: That’s a false start for Wisconsin to start the second half. Not ideal.
Halftime: Notre Dame 10, Wisconsin 3
1:41 p.m.: Halftime stats between Notre Dame and Wisconsin:
First downs: Notre Dame 12; Wisconsin 3
Total yards: Notre Dame 150; Wisconsin 88
Third down: Notre Dame 4 of 10 (1 for 1 on fourth down); Wisconsin 0 for 6 (0 for 1 on fourth down)
Passing: Notre Dame 14 of 25, 152 yards, 1 touchdown; Wisconsin 5 of 14, 31 yards, 1 interception
Rushing: Notre Dame 19 rushes for minus-2 yards; Wisconsin 11 rushes for 17 yards
Penalties: Notre Dame 3 for 25; Wisconsin 2 for 13
Turnovers: Notre Dame 0; Wisconsin 1
Time of possession: Notre Dame 19:41; Wisconsin 10:19
1:40 p.m.: Nope. They take a knee and head into the locker room with a 10-3 lead.
1:40 p.m.: There’s a 5-yard punt from Wisconsin, giving the Fighting Irish the ball just inside their 30 with 19 seconds left. Will Kelly try and get the team in field goal range?
1:39 p.m.: Timeout, Notre Dame (0:27).
1:38 p.m.: Near disaster for Wisconsin. Mertz bobbles a low snap, tries to get the first down and fumbles in the act of being tackled. Tight end Jake Ferguson jumps on it, giving the Badgers the chance to at least punt it away.
1:37 p.m.: Timeout, Wisconsin (0:34).
1:36 p.m.: Timeout, Wisconsin (1:21).
1:35 p.m.: Offside on Notre Dame gets the Badgers a little breathing room.
1:34 p.m.: Wow, Jay Bramblett just punted it 73 yards all the way down to the Wisconsin 9. The Wisconsin receiver lost the ball in the sun and it bounced a decent ways, but still.
1:33 p.m.: There’s another sack on Coan, this one from linebacker Nick Herbig. Notre Dame is forced to punt on fourth-and-14 from its 19.
1:31 p.m.: Kelly dials up a deep pass on first-and-10, but Hicks makes a great play on the ball to bat it away.
1:30 p.m.: Mertz had Chimere Dike wide open down but overthrew him into the sideline. Tough break. Notre Dame takes over near its 25-yard-line after the punt; there’s 3:46 left in the quarter.
1:29 p.m.: Timeout, Wisconsin (4:03).
1:26 p.m.: Devin Chandler gets into Notre Dame territory, but it’s negated by a block in the back. Wisconsin’s heading back to its 31 after the nice return.
1:21 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. The review doesn’t take long to confirm it’s a touchdown. Austin caught the ball and took several steps before losing the ball on the ground. He had already crossed the plane into the end zone, so no issue there. That makes it 10-3 Notre Dame with 4:48 left in the half.
1:20 p.m.: Coan hits Austin for what looks like a 36-yard touchdown, which is what it’s called on the field. But pretty good coverage by Wisconsin’s Faion Hicks knocks the ball loose as Austin hits the ground.
1:18 p.m.: Coan to Chris Tyree for 6 yards and a first down at the Notre Dame 31.
1:15 p.m.: Wisconsin’s Leo Chenel gets an interception off a tipped ball, but it’s negated by a pass interference call by Noah Burks negates the turnover. Wisconsin now has the ball at Wisconsin’s 48.
1:11 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, NOTRE DAME. And there’s the first turnover of the game! Cam Hart cuts a route and picks off a Mertz pass at Notre Dame’s 49.
1:10 p.m.: Wisconsin has it first down from its 41 after the 15-yard penalty.
1:08 p.m.: Notre Dame looks to hold Wisconsin to a three-and-out, but there are multiple flags on the play. Wisconsin declines a pass interference penalty on Notre Dame, but accepts a roughing-the-passer penalty against safety Kyle Hamilton. That’s the first penalty of the game for either team.
1:02 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, NOTRE DAME. Doerer makes up for his earlier miss with a 51-yard field goal to knot it up at 3-3 with 8:44 remaining in the half.
1:01 p.m.: Notre Dame can’t extend the drive again. Wisconsin gets to Coan on a four-man rush, with C.J. Goetz getting the 3-yard sack.
12:59 p.m.: Coan gets the first down on third-and-1 with a QB sneak. First-and-10 from the 30.
12:57 p.m.: Williams knifes his way through the defense for a 2-yard gain. Notre Dame gets a fresh set of downs at the Wisconsin 41.
12:56 p.m.: Notre Dame’s offense comes out after the timeout.
12:53 p.m.: Timeout, Notre Dame (11:44).
12:52 p.m.: Coan completes a 9-yard pass on third-and-10. Decision time upcoming from the 43.
12:51 p.m.: Coan had a receiver downfield but under-throws him; that makes it second-and-10 from the Notre Dame 48.
12:49 p.m.: Coan to Austin for 6 yards on third-and-2. Notre Dame gets a fresh set of downs at its 35.
First quarter: Wisconsin 3, Notre Dame 0
12:43 p.m.: TURNOVER ON DOWNS, WISCONSIN. Great stand by Notre Dame there; Mertz had a receiver open for the first down on third-and-3, but didn’t throw the ball in time. The Badgers opt to go for it on fourth-and-1 and are stuffed for no gain. Irish take over from their 21.
12:40 p.m.: One play later, Mertz puts it on the money for a 43-yard gain to tight end Clay Cundiff, who makes the over-the-shoulder catch. Badgers driving at the 30.
12:40 p.m.: Heads-up play by Mertz, who gets a shuffle pass off to Chez Mellusi in the act of being sacked. That’s a gain of 4 yards.
12:38 p.m.: Nothing doing for the Irish. They have a three-and-out and are forced to play the battle of field position. Wisconsin takes over at its 23.
12:33 p.m.: Notre Dame’s defense does its job, forcing a three-and-out on Wisconsin’s ensuing drive. The Irish take over at their 41 after the punt.
12:29 p.m.: MISSED FIELD GOAL, NOTRE DAME. Jonathan Doerer can’t get the Fighting Irish on the board. He misses wide right from 39 yards out, three plays after Notre Dame had first-and-goal from the 10.
12:28 p.m.: Oof. Coan is taken down in the backfield for the third time. He trips over his own tackle, Josh Lugg, and loses 9 yards to the Wisconsin 21. No sack, though the defense is getting pressure on him.
12:27 p.m.: Near disaster for Notre Dame: Williams is bottled up in the backfield and fumbles the ball. He jumps back on it, but now the Irish face second-and-goal from the 13.
12:26 p.m.: Another first-down completion: Coan connects with tight end Michael Mayer for 6 yards on third down, down to the 10.
12:24 p.m.: There’s a run; Kyren Williams gets 6 yards, down to the 15, against the softened Wisconsin front.
12:23 p.m.: There’s two more first down completions by Coan; he hits Joe Wilkins Jr. for a 18-yard gain to the 37, then Braden Lenzy for another 16 yards to the 21. That’s eight straight passes on this drive.
12:20 p.m.: Timeout, Notre Dame (9:33).
12:18 p.m.: Coan delivers a strike to the sideline on third-and-5 to get a new set of downs; he hits Kevin Austin for 7 yards to get out to the Notre Dame 45.
12:16 p.m.: Coan stands in the pocket on second down and hits Avery Davis for a 20-yard gain. Good reaction after getting sacked twice early. Notre Dame has a new set of downs at the 33.
12:16 p.m.: Wisconsin dials up another blitz and gets Coan again for another 7-yard loss. Notre Dame has it second-and-17 from its 13.
12:15 p.m.: Notre Dame takes over at its 20 following the kickoff.
12:12 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, WISCONSIN. Notre Dame’s defense bends, but doesn’t break. They hold the Badgers to a 37-yard field goal from Collin Larsh. It’s 3-0 Wisconsin with 11:48 remaining in the first quarter.
12:09 p.m.: Wisconsin gets the ball at the Notre Dame 45; Graham Mertz completes his first pass to Kendric Pryor for 22 yards, and the Badgers are already knocking on Notre Dame’s door.
12:07 p.m.: Not a great start for Notre Dame, which gets the ball first: Coan is sacked for a loss of 7 on second down, then nearly throws an interception on third-and-15. That’s a three-and-out, and Wisconsin’s turn on offense is up next.
How to watch Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin
- TV channel (national): Fox
- Live stream: Fox Sports App, fuboTV
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin will be broadcast nationally on Fox starting at noon ET. Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff and ESPN’s College GameDay will both be live ahead of kickoff in Chicago. Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt will call the game from the booth while Jenny Taft acts as a sideline reporter.
Notre Dame football schedule 2021
|Sept. 6||Notre Dame 41, Florida State 38|
|Sept. 11||Notre Dame 32, Toledo 29|
|Sept. 18||Notre Dame 27, Purdue 13|
|Sept. 25||vs. No. 18 Wisconsin (Chicago)|
|Oct. 2||vs. No. 8 Cincinnati|
|Oct. 9||at Virginia Tech|
|Oct. 23||vs. USC|
|Oct. 30||vs. No. 21 North Carolina|
|Nov. 6||vs. Navy|
|Nov. 13||at Virginia|
|Nov. 20||vs. Georgia Tech|
|Nov. 27||at Stanford|
Wisconsin football schedule 2021
|Sept. 4||Penn State 16, Wisconsin 10|
|Sept. 11||Wisconsin 34, Eastern Michigan 7|
|Sept. 25||vs. No. 12 Notre Dame (Chicago)|
|Oct. 2||vs. No. 19 Michigan|
|Oct. 9||at Illinois|
|Oct. 16||vs. Army|
|Oct. 23||at Purdue|
|Oct. 30||vs. No. 5 Iowa|
|Nov. 6||at Rutgers|
|Nov. 13||vs. Northwestern|
|Nov. 20||vs. Nebraska|
|Nov. 27||at Minnesota|