When the 18th seed in Wisconsin and the 12th seed Notre Dame meet at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday, it will be the first meeting between the two teams since 1964, and the first in which both teams are ranked.
The teams were supposed to meet at the Lambeau Stadium in Green Bay last year, but the match was canceled due to the pandemic.
The game features an interesting background where Notre Dame midfielder Jack Kwan plays against his old teammates. Coan left The Badgers last year after Graham Mertz was initially selected. Meretz has yet to live up to the lofty expectations that came with his ranking as the best pocket passer out of high school in 2019.
The Badgers lost their season-opening game to No. 6 Penn State, so they’re looking to come out on top against a Notre Dame side that managed to stay undefeated for the first three weeks, albeit barely. The Irish were taken into overtime by Florida State in Week 1 and then only won by a field goal against a Toledo team that was 16 and a half points in Week 2.
Peak time in the southwest
The Southwest Classic was between longtime rivals Arkansas and Texas A&M by one, with the team winning nine in a row. Before the season, the SEC team’s opener looked like just another game on Saturday.
It turned out to be CBS’s top 25 afternoon games at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The National Theater provides an opportunity for the 16th Razorbacks to show that they are the real deal after they were picked second after last at SEC West and that their impressive win over Texas two weeks ago was no accident.
For seventh at Texas A&M, it’s a chance to calm fans nervous about a tougher-than-should struggle with Colorado two weeks ago and Zach Calzada took the quarterback for the injured Heinz King.
Aggies are a 5 1/2 point favorite.
Heisman . watch
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State
Wake Forest’s transition from anonymity to national rush leader has gone over three games and is a big reason why number 20 Spartans has unexpectedly become a factor in the Big Ten East.
Walker is creating excitement with his transformation — he forced 20 missed attempts against Miami last week, according to Pro Football Focus — and he averages 8.7 yards per carry.
He goes against Nebraska at home this week.
Numbers to know
2 – consecutive victories by Texas Tech at Daryl K Royal Memorial Stadium in Texas. The Red Raiders are headed there in search of their first 4-0 start since 2013.
17-1 – Boise State’s record against Utah State since 1998. The Aggies have achieved 3-0 for the first time since 1978 and host Boise who have lost two of their first three for the first time since 2005.
100 – is the number of times SMU and TCU have met after Saturday’s game in Fort Worth. TCU leads the 51-41-7 series.
114 – Clemson’s national ranking in total offense. The Tigers finished 10th in 2020.
1,051 – Michigan’s leading rush yards total, the Wolverines’ highest by three games since at least 1997.
under the radar
No. 14 Iowa in Baylor
The Cyclones got all they could handle from Baylor at home last year, and they look to build on last week’s easy win at UNLV. Baylor 3-0 against a very light competition.
No. 24 UCLA at Stanford
The Bruins, who were knocked out by Fresno State, are playing for the Stanford team whose victory in Southern California had fired Clay Hilton two weeks ago. The Cardinal beat UCLA in the thriller 48-47 two more times last year.
Indiana in western Kentucky
The Hoosiers lost two games to the seeded teams after entering the season with high expectations. With the loss here, the season is really heading south.
Florida State’s second-year coach Mike Norville is 3-9 with a loss to Jacksonville State and a 21-point loss to Wake Forest in his tab. The Seminoles enter their home game against Louisville with a 0-4 start for the first time since 1974.
The finances of the athletics department might buy Norville time. The school will pay more than $3 million to former coach, Willie Taggart, each of the next two years. There may be a reluctance to cut the bait for a coach who is only in his second year of a six-year $26.5 contract.