The No. 18 Wisconsin Badgers (1-2 overall, 0-1 Big Ten) dropped the Shamrock Series game at Soldier Field, 41-13 to No. 12 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0 overall) on Saturday afternoon.
Following an early Wisconsin lead, brought about by a 37-yard Collin Larsh field goal on Wisconsin’s opening drive of the game, the Wisconsin offense fell flat for the remainder of the first half, with drives ending with a turnover on downs, an interception and two three-and-outs.
Wisconsin seemed to find its footing on offense in the second half with two scoring drives, one a 4-play, 56-yard drive that ended with a Graham Mertz touchdown pass to Kendric Pryor and another that ended with a 27-yard field goal, capping off a 9-play, 30-yard drive.
Apart from the two scoring drives in the second half, Wisconsin continued its offensive woes, committing four turnovers, two three-and-outs and a missed field goal. While the Wisconsin offense was unable to make any headway against the Fighting Irish, the Badgers defense was holding its own for most of the game.
Wisconsin’s defense picked up five sacks in the game and forced a fumble, which led to Larsh’s second field goal of the game.
For Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish leaned on former Badger quarterback, Jack Coan, early and often. Coan, despite leaving the game due to injury, was 15-29 for 158 yards and a touchdown pass.
Following Coan’s departure, Wisconsin had taken the lead at 13-10, but a 96-yard kick return score by Chris Tyree, tipped the scaled in Notre Dame’s direction for good.
With Coan out with an injury, and their second-string quarterback nursing a hamstring injury, Notre Dame turned to its third-string quarterback Drew Pyne, who led the Fighting Irish on two scoring drives, including one passing touchdown.
Notre Dame would later add two defensive touchdowns, off of Mertz interceptions, a 68-yard return by Jack Kiser and a 45-yard return by Drew White to completely salt the game away.