NCAA Football: The Fighting Irish fight through injury for a historic win over the Badgers
Chicago, Illinois - The Notre Dame Fighting Irish overcame a setback to make a little history for their head coach as they routed Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon.
The 12th-ranked Irish easily defeated the Badgers 41-13 to stay undefeated while also giving their head coach Brian Kelly (59) the most wins for any head coach in the football program’s history.
With the win, Kelly now has 106 wins under his belt, one more than legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, who coached the Irish from 1918 to 1930.
The historic win didn’t come easy, though, as their starting quarterback, senior Jack Coan, had to leave the game in the third quarter with a leg injury.
Before his exit, he completed 15 of 29 pass attempts for 158 yards and a touchdown. In his first stint this season, Coan’s replacement, freshman Drew Pyne went six for eight, 81 yards, and a touchdown of his own.
The game was pretty close, tied at 10-10 by the time Coan was injured, but it was the 16th-ranked Badgers who shot themselves in the foot during the fourth quarter, committing turnovers and allowing a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Wisconsin sophomore quarterback Graham Mertz didn’t help his team’s cause at all with a game he’d love to forget.
Apart from throwing for 240 yards, Mertz also threw four interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns in the final 2:30 to end any chance for a comeback.
On a rather unusual note, Notre Dame only gained a total of three yards rushing, but that didn’t mean much since their defense and special teams came together for just over half of the team’s points.
Next Saturday, Notre Dame heads back home for the Cincinnati Bearcats, while the Badgers will also go back home to face the Michigan Wolverines.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire