The first College Football Playoff rankings for 2018 came out this week, and head coach Brian Kelly and the No. 4 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-0) were appropriately placed at No. 4 behind Alabama, Clemson and LSU. Notre Dame prepares for a tough road challenge against the Northwestern Wildcats (5-3) on Saturday night.
The game is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including all the ESPN channels. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN and ESPN 2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Additionally, you can also watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
Notre Dame, quite simply, is on upset alert. To date, the Fighting Irish’s toughest road game has been against then-ranked No. 24 Virginia Tech, a team they soundly beat 45-23. At 4-3, the Hokies are no longer ranked in the Top 25, although could very well get back there.
On September 29, Northwestern played Michigan tough at home and held the lead well into the fourth quarter until a late comeback helped the Wolverines edge the Wildcats 20-17. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald told reporters this week he is up for the challenge of Notre Dame, and he will look to preach that same mindset to his team.
“My time here, this is as unique of an opportunity probably that we’ve had to play an outstanding football team, and (we) have a huge challenge in front of us. It’s pretty rare, but what a great opportunity. We’ve got nothing to lose, so our guys are going to prepare really well and be excited for the challenge and be excited for the opportunity.”
The Wildcats have won 12 of their past 13 Big Ten games. The Fighting Irish own victories against Michigan, Stanford and Virginia Tech (the latter two by double digits), but have struggled with the likes of Vanderbilt and Pittsburgh (each one-score affairs).
Matchup to Watch: Both teams enter Saturday allowing less than 24 points per game on defense respectively. Notre Dame averages 19.1, and Northwestern allows 23.6.
Since taking over as starter, quarterback Ian Book has thrown 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions for Notre Dame. In comparison, Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson (2,072 passing yards), has a 10-10 touchdown-interception ratio. The quarterback that does a better job at taking care of the football will ultimately be the deciding factor for his team.