Ohio State enters the 2022 season with a sour taste in their mouth, after failing to make it to the Big Ten Championship Game, and naturally the College Football Playoff as well.
A late season loss to Michigan derailed any of their potential chances to avenge an early season loss to Oregon, so to say the Buckeyes are hungry this season is an understatement.
Head coach Ryan Day spent the offseason improving the coaching staff, in an attempt to not let what happened in 2021 happen again. The big fish he landed was Jim Knowles to lead the defense.
Ohio States defense was the main culprit of the disappointing season, giving up over 30 points in 5 separate games last year. So, getting Knowles is a huge deal for this team.
Knowles previously led a top 5 defensive unit at Oklahoma State, which was pretty much deemed impossible in the Big 12 before Knowles accomplished it.
Offensively, though, Ohio State should be one of the best offenses in all of college football, barring catastrophic injuries.
Their offense is of course lead by quarterback C.J. Stroud, who lit it up in his first season as a starter. He finished with just under a 72% completion percentage, throwing 44 touchdowns to only six interceptions.
He is surrounded by elite talent at wide receiver as well. Ohio State has become known as “wide receiver U” recently, and this year is no different. Stroud and receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba form one of the best tandems in the nation.
If we are going to be nit-picky, offensive line is one area in which Ohio State could struggle, but another win for Ryan Days offseason was hiring offensive line coach Justin Frye to help solidify the unit.
On the Notre Dame side of things, they are dealing with change at head coach, with Brian Kelly and his fake southern accent leaving South Bend for LSU after 12 seasons with the team.
Replacing Kelly is Marcus Freeman, who already seems to be a favorite among the players. Freeman has his work cut out for him, though.
The major question mark for the Fighting Irish comes in at quarterback. They have two potential options- Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne- both of whom showed some promise in limited playing time last year, but nothing spectacular.
Surrounding the quarterback is a stout offensive line, but more major question marks at the receiver position. Tight end Michael Mayer is a stud, but they don’t have much outside of him.
Defensively, Notre Dame has their third different defensive coordinator in as many seasons, hiring Al Golden in the offseason.
Luckily for Golden, Notre Dames defense is loaded at all three levels. They might struggle at some points on offense, but their defense should be a stout unit.
With that said, there aren’t many defenses that will be able to keep up with Ohio States offense. With how many question marks Notre Dame has on offense, I can see this game getting out of hand quickly.
So, despite the over two-touchdown spread, I am going to back the Buckeyes here. The OddsJam Line prices this spread at 15.5, but thanks to line shopping you can get Ohio State -14.5 at BetMGM and Caesars. I’ll go with this one on Caesars.