Fox’s weekly Big Noon Kickoff game has featured some of the best matchups of the college football season so far, and it has another one this week as No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irishis set to take on No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers on Sept. 25 at noon on Fox at the neutral site of Soldier Field in Chicago.
Fox has already brought college football fans ranked matchups between Penn State and Wisconsin, Oregon’s upset of Ohio State and West Virginia topping Virginia Tech. In all of these games the lower-ranked team has won; is that good news for Wisconsin?
This top-20 battle kicks off another busy Saturday of college football, as college football week four will feature 67 games in total.
Here is everything that you need to know about Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin.
Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin matchup preview
When the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Wisconsin Badgers meet at Soldier Field on Saturday, it will be almost exactly 57 years to the day since their last meeting, a 31-7 win for Notre Dame on Sept. 26, 1964. Notre Dame holds the overall edge in the series, though it’s close, winning eight, losing six and tying two. But what can we expect from this long awaited rematch?
No. 18 Wisconsin (1-1) is coming off an early season bye week for this game. So far this season they lost a low-scoring slugfest to Penn State but rebounded with a convincing win against Eastern Michigan.
As per usual, it is the Wisconsin defense and running game that are the hallmarks of the team. Wisconsin kept both Penn State and Eastern Michigan to under 300 yards of total offense in their games and have allowed only two touchdowns so far this season (both to Penn State, Eastern Michigan’s score came on a Wisconsin turnover). With an always talented front-seven, Wisconsin could be poised to get after a Notre Dame offensive line that ranks 122 in the country in sacks allowed.
In the running game, Chez Mellusi is the latest running back leading the way for the Badgers, rushing for 265 yards and two touchdowns in Wisconsin’s first two games. Isaac Guerendo has also been a strong runner backing up Mellusi, gaining 148 yards himself so far this season.
The question for the Badgers is what happens if the defense and the running game isn’t putting them in a position to win? Can quarterback Graham Mertz, who has yet to throw a touchdown this season, get the Wisconsin passing game going?
For No. 12 Notre Dame, they are 3-0 this season, but it isn’t a pretty 3-0. They needed double overtime to beat the still winless Florida State, were in a fight against Toledo and weren’t able to pull away from Purdue until the fourth quarter. A win against Wisconsin would solidify that Notre Dame still belongs among the best teams in the country.
Leading the Fighting Irish will be Jack Coan, who transferred to Notre Dame from Wisconsin. The former Badger has put up good numbers for Notre Dame this season, throwing for 828 yards and eight touchdowns thus far. He should have a familiarity with the Wisconsin defense, but on the flip side, they should be pretty familiar with him as well. Supporting Coan on offense will be lead running back Kyren Williams and Coan’s favorite passing target, tight end Michael Mayer.
On the defensive side for Notre Dame, after being gashed for 264 rushing yards against Florida State, they have improved in each of the two subsequent games, including only allowing 57 total rushing yards to Purdue. They’ll likely need another improved performance to stop Wisconsin’s Mellusi.
Despite being the lower-ranked team, Wisconsin is the favorite heading into the game, with a 5.5 spread.
How to watch Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin
The Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin game will be played at noon on Sept. 25 on Fox. Airing on one of the four major networks, the game will be available in essentially all U.S. TV markets for those who have a traditional cable/satellite pay-TV subscription or those who receive their local TV signals via a TV antenna. Fox is also carried on all the leading live TV streaming services, including Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube TV.
If you are not at home to watch the game on your TV but subscribe to one of the above services, you can watch the game through the Fox Sports app or the Fox Sports website.
While Notre Dame has a broadcasting deal with NBC and its streaming service Peacock, this game against Wisconsin is not covered by that since it is being aired on Fox.
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