Notre Dame football: 3 statistics that defined the win against Wisconsin
1-14 on third down for the Badgers
To win in football, no matter whether it is Pop Warner, or at the NFL level, you have to be able to get off the field on third down. Also, you have to be able to convert third downs if you want to come away with the victory, or at least keep it close in terms of your percentages with the other team.
On Saturday, the Wisconsin Badgers were absolutely atrocious against the Irish on third down, going 1-14 in the game when it mattered the most. That kind of percentage is going to put you on the losing side of the coin every time, and in this top-25 matchup, it was one of the bigger differences in the game.
A lot of that can be contributed to how bad the Badgers were on offense, as they could not get the ground game going, and Mertz looked lost all game long. However, the kudos should be placed on Marcus Freeman and his defense, as he had a game plan going into this one, and the defense was able to put the clamps down, stopping the Badgers nearly every time on third down.