The Wisconsin football team is gearing up to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish this weekend at Soldier Field.
We’ve already talked about how the Irish are not a common opponent. The Badgers and Irish haven’t played each other since 1964. So in order to get to know Wisconsin’s upcoming opponent a little better, I talked with Brad Weiss, the site expert for Slap the Sign, FanSided’s Notre Dame site.
He gave some insight on some questions about what Notre Dame will have to do to beat Wisconsin, including how to limit the playmaking of Kyle Hamilton in Notre Dame’s secondary.
1. Obviously, Jack Coan is going to get a lot of attention going into the game, but what other offensive players should Wisconsin football fans know about and be worried about stopping?
Kyren Williams is one of the best running backs in the country, and he has somebody who has not gotten off to a strong start as we may have thought. Against Wisconsin, the Irish are going to try to run the bowl down their throats with Williams, so you can expect him to get the ball early and often. Also, tight and Michael Mayer is another star for Notre Dame football, and he has been Coan’s security blanket this year. He only had one reception last week so he’s another guy to keep an eye on to make an impact Saturday.
2. What do you think Notre Dame’s biggest weakness is heading into the game?
The biggest weakness for Notre Dame going into this game has been how banged up the offensive line has been. The Irish are already on their third left tackle this season, and they have basically had a makeshift offensive line through the first three games. That has led to a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks in the running game having trouble getting going. Wisconsin could have their way with the Notre Dame offensive line in this one
3. Kyle Hamilton is an absolute star on the Irish defense. What do you think Wisconsin will have to do to limit his playmaking?
He’s going to be very tough to minimize Kyle Hamilton’s impact in this game. Not only is he a ball-hawking safety who has three interceptions the season, but he comes up and makes plays behind the line of scrimmage as well. The best thing for Graham Mertz to do in this one is to completely avoid him in the passing game, and hope he doesn’t make another impact in the run game.
4. Prediction time – how do you think this game shakes out?
My prediction is this one is going to be very low-scoring, and whoever has the ball last will have an opportunity to win it. Notre Dame has been on a roller coaster all season long, and they are getting Wisconsin off their bye week. That could prove to be a huge factor in this one. However, when all is said and done, I like the Irish to come away with a three-point victory 24-21.