The day has come! It’s the biggest matchup of the day in Week 1. No. 5 Notre Dame will take on No. 2 Ohio State. Why do we love September? Because of Football, especially College Football, when we are blessed with these incredible matchups. We can hope that it lives up to its expectations. The fighting Irish and Buckeyes will collide tonight at 7:30 pm EST. The Stadium will be electrifying. Ohio State is the favorite to win this game, but will it be a piece of cake? Will they steamroll Notre Dame?
The Buckeyes offense is loaded with talent. They were good last year, but they got better this season. The Buckeyes have an outstanding offensive lineman, one of the best in College Football. In addition, they have three caliber Heisman Trophy athletes, which are the leader and quarterback CJ Stroud, wide receiver Jaxon-Smith Nijigba and running back TreVeyon Henderson.
During the 2021 season, Ohio State finished number one in FBS rankings in points per game (45.7), total yards per game (561.2) and yards/plays (8.0).
Ohio State is 4-0 against Notre Dame since 1995. After losing to their rival Michigan Wolverines, the Buckeyes have been reloading all off-season and be ready for this season to take it all the way. Alabama is the favorite to win it all, but Ohio State might have something to say. They believe they are that good to compete with anyone.
As good as the Buckeyes are, I wouldn’t take Notre Dame so lightly. They can’t afford to get overconfident. Notre Dame is one of the most respected programs in college football. They did finish with an 11-2 record last season. Now, they have a new head coach, Marcus Freeman, who will be coaching his first regular season game. The pressure on him to win this game is immense, but he’s not afraid of the moment or about pressure. Freeman and Notre Dame players will come with a chip on their shoulder. An upset over the Buckeyes will make a huge statement. It won’t be an “oh my god” massive upset, but it will be a solid surprise.
Notre Dame has an underrated defense that many people are not talking about as much. We need to pay attention to their secondary. If Notre Dame’s pass rush can get to CJ Stroud, it will make things easier for their quarterback, sophomore Tyler Buchner.
Buchner is a four-star prospect in the 2021 class. He doesn’t seem to be timid or a quarterback that lacks confidence. Buchner has a good quarterback IQ and is effective not only with his arms, but Buchner can be deadly with his legs. In 10 games during the 2021 season, he threw for 298 yards and rushed for 336 yards. The Buckeyes will need to make him throw the ball more often. The Buckeyes defense will need to neutralize Notre Dame’s running game.
The Buckeyes have won 22 straight season openers, which is the longest active FBS streak. Can they make it number 23? We’ll find out tonight.
Photo Via: On3.com