Publish Date: 09/02/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
Date: Saturday, September, 3
Game Time: 7:30 ET
How To Watch: ABC
It’s the dawn of a new era in Notre Dame Football with Marcus Freeman taking the reigns of an Irish program that has struggled playing top competition ever since the departure of Lou Holtz. Ohio State rolls into 2022 with a loaded offense, but major questions on defense.
Brian Kelly continued Notre Dame’s struggle against quality competition. He didn’t only struggle against the elite of teams. The Irish were just 16-21 against any top 25 team. Surprisingly Ryan Day and Ohio State had their problems against the Top 25 recently, with the Buckeyes going 3-3 in their last six games against ranked opponents, and a paltry 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games.
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The most significant change for the Irish heading into the season comes on the sidelines. Former head coach Brian Kelly left for LSU at end of the 2021 regular season. Marcus Freeman, a fan favorite and player favorite, was quickly appointed his replacement. He has already significantly impacted the recruiting scene with one of the most highly-rated classes. Kelly’s biggest flaw was his personality. Plus, he failed to win when it matters most. Although Freeman’s start as a head coach at Notre Dame was not good, his team lost to Oklahoma State, 35-33 in the Fiesta Bowl last year. However, given his positive impact on the school, fans, and especially future players, he should be able to enjoy a little more grace period than previous Notre Dame coaches.
After battling Drew Pyne to be the starting QB, Buchner was chosen as the starter in the early part of the month. Buchner is a dual-threat option. He finished second in 2021 in both rushing yards & rushing touchdowns. This is impressive, considering that he only started one game last season.
The Notre Dame offense will be led by speedster Chris Tyree; if he is healthy and available, Tyree will give the Irish explosiveness in the open field.
CJ Stroud is again the leader of Ohio State’s explosive offense. He is ranked alongside Alabama’s Bryce Young in the top two candidates at their position for next year’s draft. Stroud was second in passing efficiency, with 72% completions and throwing 44 touchdown passes to go along with six interceptions. Although he may have lost 25 of the TD receptions to Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, he is able to get back Jaxon Smith Nigba, 1st Team All-American.
Smith-Nigba just completed a record-setting performance for the Buckeyes in their last game. He racked up a FBS bowl-record 347 yards receiving against Utah in the Rose Bowl.
TreVeyon Hendershott is the Buckeyes’ new backfield star. This sophomore tailback comes off an impressive inaugural campaign, which saw him rush for 1,248 yard and 15 touchdowns. He also displayed his versatility with 27 receptions and four additional scores through the air. He will be able to run behind future NFL talent, Paris Jackson and Luke Wypler.
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Picking a winner straight up in this game is easy, Ohio State will win this game. The big question is can they cover the 17.5 spread? The Buckeyes defense should be improved and the offense will score, the main issue in betting on this game is how good is the Notre Dame offense. If the Irish can hit the low 20s they should cover the points. I think the Irish come out ready to roll and keep this a competitive game for most of three quarters then the Buckeyes slowly pull away.
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If you are betting on the Irish to cover, the payoff will be solid, not great, and I think the Irish will cover this game. For example, the odds as of a few days before the game are averaging to -110 if you are betting the Irish to cover. If you bet 100 on the Irish -17.5, the payout would be 90 dollars, which means you would get back the 100 you bet and the other 90 for winning the bet. To me, the best bet is betting the over.
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