Brian Kelly is now the winningest coach in Notre Dame history following his 12th-ranked Fighting Irish’s victory over No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday.
Notre Dame (4-0) went into Soldier Field in Chicago to beat the Badgers (1-2) 41-13, though the score belies how close the game was, even at the start of the fourth quarter. The game was tied 10-10 heading into the final period, and the Badgers took a three-point lead following a Collin Larsh 27-yard field goal. It was the last positive play for Wisconsin.
From there, Notre Dame outscored Wisconsin 31-0 off a 98-yard kick return from Chris Tyree, a 16-yard touchdown connection between third-string quarterback Drew Pyne and Kevin Austin Jr., a 37-yard field goal from Jonathan Doerer and two interceptions returned for touchdowns by Jack Kiser (66 yards) and Drew White (45 yards).
It was quite the explosion by the Fighting Irish, especially considering Notre Dame’s defense (14 points) and special teams (10 points) outscored the offense (seven points) in the fourth quarter. That said, Pyne deserves credit for stepping into a tough situation. Starting quarterback Jack Coan (15 of 28 passing, 158 yards, one touchdown) exited the game with a lower-leg injury and was unable to return. Because backup quarterback Tyler Buchner was already out with a hamstring injury, Pyne had to take the field.
He ultimately finished the day completing 6 of 8 passes for 81 yards and the 16-yard score, though his fumble led to Wisconsin’s final field goal. But his play, coupled with Notre Dame’s outstanding defensive performance (318 yards, 1-of-14 third-down efficiency, 0-of-1 fourth-down efficiency and five turnovers), led the Irish to the blowout win.
On the other side of the ball, Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz completed 18 of 41 passes for 240 yards and a touchdown. He also threw four interceptions. The defense finished with six sacks against Coan and Pyne and held the Irish to 3 rushing yards.
Sporting News tracked scoring updates and highlights from Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon. Check out the 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)
Final: Notre Dame 41, Wisconsin 13
3:52 p.m.: A couple runs end it: Notre Dame wins 41-13, making Kelly the winningest coach in Notre Dame history (106 wins).
3:49 p.m.: INTERCEPTION RETURN FOR TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. Mertz’s pass is tipped in the air and this time Drew White takes it the distance. Notre Dame has scored 31 in the fourth quarter to make it 41-13 with 54 seconds left.
3:44 p.m.: INTERCEPTION RETURN FOR TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. Mertz’s third interception of the game is the most devastating. Notre Dame Linebacker Jack Kiser undercuts the route and takes it 69 yards for the score to make it 34-13 Notre Dame with 2:13 left in the game.
3:43 p.m.: Hamilton is called for pass interference against Wisconsin’s Jack Dunn. That gives Wisconsin a fresh set of downs at its 48.
3:42 p.m.: Mertz hits Pryor for a 10-yard gain out to the Wisconsin 36.
3:39 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, NOTRE DAME. Doerer knocks it through from 37 yards out to give the Fighting Irish a two-touchdown lead. Wisconsin can come back but doesn’t have a lot of time (3:10) left to mount a comeback.
3:38 p.m.: Timeout, Wisconsin (3:15).
3:38 p.m.: Notre Dame gets nothing on third-and-6. Field goal unit coming out.
3:35 p.m.: Timeout, Notre Dame (3:20).
3:34 p.m.: INTERCEPTION, NOTRE DAME. Hart makes his second interception of the day after a misthrow by Mertz. He gets a nice return to the Wisconsin 23 with 4:55 left … that could be game.
3:33 p.m.: Mertz finds Davis in the zone for a 16-yard gain on first down.
3:32 p.m.: Wisconsin fair-catches the ball at the 14-yard line, but is given 15 extra yards after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Brian Kelly.
3:31 p.m.: Timeout, Wisconsin (5:27).
3:30 p.m.: Pyne drops back to throw but doesn’t see anyone open, so tries to run. He’s held up in the pocket and finally taken down for a 3-yard loss by Wisconsin’s Jack Sanborn.
3:29 p.m.: Notre Dame takes over at its 34 following the missed field goal.
3:27 p.m.: MISSED FIELD GOAL, WISCONSIN. Larsh had the leg on a 52-yard field goal, but missed wide left. It remains 24-13 halfway through the fourth quarter.
3:26 p.m.: Mertz’s third-down pass is incomplete. Badgers need 10 to gain with 7:34 left in the game, but they’re going to attempt a field goal instead.
3:24 p.m.: Wisconsin gets three first downs on its ensuing drive and is now at the Notre Dame 34 following a 19-yard pass from Mertz to Danny Davis III.
3:16 p.m.: TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. Pyne makes another big throw, this time a 16-yard touchdown connection with Austin. That makes it 24-13 Notre Dame with 9:34 left in the game.
3:14 p.m.: Pyne finds Mayer across the middle for a 23- gain down to the Wisconsin 12. Notre Dame goes backward on the ensuing play as Williams is tackled for a 4-yard loss.
3:11 p.m.: Timeout, Notre Dame (10:45).
3:10 p.m.: Pyne absolutely zips a ball to the sideline for a third-down conversion to Austin. Big play for the Fighting Irish.
3:06 p.m.: Good news and bad for Notre Dame: Coan is on the sideline with his helmet on, so it appears his injury isn’t overly serious. But according to the Fox telecast, his day is still done. It’s up to Pyne to take Notre Dame the rest of the way.
3:03 p.m.: FUMBLE RECOVERY, NOTRE DAME. And now the Notre Dame defense makes a big play! Jayson Ademilola strip-sacks Mertz, and Notre Dame recovers it at the Wisconsin 46. Wisconsin’s Jack Nelson is called for a face mask, but Notre Dame declines the penalty.
3 p.m.: Uh-oh. Devin Chandler jumps out of bounds (a la Najee Harris) but takes a late hit out of bounds by Notre Dame’s TaRiq Bracy. That gives Wisconsin the ball at its 47-yard line.
2:56 p.m.: KICKOFF RETURN FOR TOUCHDOWN, NOTRE DAME. Chris Tyree has the longest play of the day, and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Notre Dame: His 98-yard kickoff return for touchdown gives the Fighting Irish the lead back, making it 17-13 Notre Dame with 14:01 remaining.
2:53 p.m.: FIELD GOAL, WISCONSIN. Again, the Fighting Irish only bend. They hold Larsh to a 27-yard field goal after forcing an incompletion on third down. It’s 13-10 Wisconsin with 14:14 left in the game.
2:52 p.m.: Wisconsin has it second-and-goal from the Notre Dame 11.
Third quarter: Notre Dame 10, Wisconsin 10
2:51 p.m.: Third-string quarterback Drew Pyne had a couple nice throws to start the drive, but it ends in a punt. On the ensuing drive, he’s strip-sacked to give Wisconsin the ball at the Notre Dame 39.
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||Notre Dame 41, Wisconsin 13|
|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||Notre Dame 41, Wisconsin 13|
|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|