Late uprising fuels No. 12 Notre Dame past No. 18 Wisconsin
Kevin Austin Jr. had a pair of touchdown receptions, Chris Tyree scored on a 96-yard kickoff return, and No. 12 Notre Dame relied on 31 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to storm to a 41-13 win over No. 18 Wisconsin on Saturday in Chicago.
It was a historic afternoon for Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly, who surpassed Knute Rockne as the winningest coach in program history with his 106th victory.
Jack Coan, who transferred from Wisconsin, got the better of his former team by completing 15 of 29 passes for 158 yards and a touchdown for Notre Dame (4-0). Coan left in the second half with an apparent leg injury and was replaced by Drew Pyne, who completed 6 of 8 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Kendric Pryor had six catches for 69 yards and a touchdown to lead Wisconsin (1-2). Graham Mertz struggled against the Fighting Irish defense, completing 18 of 41 passes for 239 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions.
Wisconsin grabbed a 13-10 lead with 14:14 left in the fourth quarter. The Badgers marched deep inside the red zone but settled for a 27-yard field goal by Collin Larsh.
The advantage did not last for long.
On the ensuing kickoff, Tyree scored on an electrifying 96-yard return to give Notre Dame a 17-13 edge. He fielded the ball along the right sideline, weaved through the middle of the field and eventually outraced a pair of Badgers along the left sideline.
The Fighting Irish made it 24-13 when Pyne hit Austin for a 16-yard touchdown with 9:34 remaining. It was Austin’s second score of the day and third of the season.
After a 37-yard field goal by Jonathan Doerer made it 27-13, the Fighting Irish added a defensive touchdown on a 66-yard interception return by Jack Kiser.
Drew White capped the scoring with a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown with 1:09 remaining, ending a miserable day for Mertz and the Badgers’ offense.
Notre Dame built a 10-3 lead at the half.
Wisconsin struck first early in the first quarter on a 37-yard field goal by Collin Larsh.
The Fighting Irish evened the score at 3-3 on a 51-yard field goal by Doerer.
Notre Dame seized a seven-point lead 4:48 before halftime when Coan found Austin for a 36-yard touchdown strike.
Wisconsin pulled even at 10-10 with 9:53 left in the third quarter. Mertz connected with Pryor for an 8-yard touchdown on a slant route across the middle.
–Field Level Media