5 Stars: The Best and Worst of Notre Dame’s win over Wisconsin

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The first half wasn’t pretty, but heading into the locker room with a 10-3 lead was great for the Irish. The Badgers battled back to take a 13-10 lead but the Irish answered in a huge way. They made the plays at the most opportune times and ended up blowing out Wisconsin, 41-13. Find out who had the best, 5 stars, and worst, 1 star, performances for the Irish today.

5 ⭐️ - Special teams duo of Chris Tyree and Jay Bramblett

It seemed like the Badgers had gotten all the momentum, taking the lead early in the 4th quarter after a field goal, 13-10. Then they had to kick off to Chris Tyree and the supposed Badger momentum flipped immediately. The sophomore running back took the ensuing kickoff 96-yards to the house and gave the Irish a lead.

The offense had sputtered all game, and after starter Jack Coan went down with an injury, things didn’t look so great for the Irish. Tyree saved the day for the offense and essentially won the game for the Irish. Obviously Tyree did his part, but so did punter Bramblett. He boomed a massive 73-yard punt, had another three which pinned the Badgers inside their own 20-yard line as well. Averaging over 45-yards per punt was a game changer and Bramblett deserves a ton of credit for his play today.

4 ⭐️ - Drew Pyne

Who would have guessed that Pyne would make such an impact in this contest. Not many of us, that’s for sure but that’s exactly what happened. When Jack Coan went down in the third quarter, it was Pyne that stepped up with Tyler Buchner out due to an injury.

All he did was go 6 for 8 with 81-yards and one score. The next man up mentality was at it’s truest form. Who know’s what happens in the future, especially with Coan and Buchner injured, but the confidence Pyne gained today will go a long way.

3 ⭐️ - Marcus Freeman’s growth

The first two games weren’t pretty and many were wondering why Freeman was so highly though of and sought after this offseason. Well, it seems like he just needed a few games to understand the Irish’s personnel. He did a masterful job of confusing the Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz, especially on 3rd down. The first two games seem like night and day, the growth from this unit has been tremendous. The defensive line, missing Kurt Hinish, didn’t miss a beat and the back seven again did their job.

Cam Hart had two picks on the day, both at big times. Jack Kiser and Drew White each had pick-6’s later in the game to seal the deal. Yeah, they gave up 10 points in the second half but the effort was so much better. Freeman is showing Irish nation why he was the man for the job.

2 ⭐️ - Jack Coan’s accuracy

Sep 25, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jack Coan (17) passes during the first half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Once again it was not very good and hurt the Irish on multiple occasions. Before he got injured, by my count he had 9 badly missed throws. They’re ones that he would love to have back, as he didn’t give his receivers a chance to make a play on the ball. Drew Pyne came in and although he got sacked and fumbled, his accuracy was much better than Coan’s. You’d think the experience would give Coan an advantage, but that wasn’t the case. It’s a good problem to have for the Irish to have multiple capable quarterback on a roster however.

1 ⭐️ - Pass protection

Some of this is attributed to the play of the offensive line, some of it to the inability of Coan to get the ball out of his hands quickly. Either way it resulted in way too many sacks, 8 to be exact, and they’re drive killers.

Credit does have to go to the Wisconsin pass rush, but Coan has to have a better internal clock to get rid of the ball quicker. As for Pyne, he’s young and will makes mistakes but you expect better from a senior in Coan. It was a rough day for the offensive line and Coan and Pyne.