#9 NOTRE DAME VS. #6 OHIO STATE PREVIEW: Brett Cagle previews this highly anticipated prime time matchup of top 10 teams Saturday night in South Bend, IN.
BY BRETT CAGLE:
College Football Preview: #6 Ohio State (3-0) vs. #9 Notre Dame (4-0)
The Fighting Irish” of Notre Dame welcome Big Ten powerhouse Ohio State to South Bend, Indiana this week in what is being billed as the best college football game of the season so far. The entire country will have their attention on this contest Saturday night as both rabid fanbases believe their teams are title contenders. Each team enters this contest with an undefeated record and are ranked inside the top ten of the College Football standings. Notre Dame defeated Central Michigan last week 41-17, while Ohio State beat Western Kentucky 63-10.
Where to Watch: NBC 6:30 CST
Location: Notre Dame Stadium (South Bend, Indiana)
Betting Line Currently: -3.0 Ohio State. O/U 55.5
Heisman hopeful Sam Hartman enters this game with an impressive 13-0 Touchdown-to-interception ratio. Hartman is on pace to surpass 3,500 yards passing for the third time in his college career. This will not be Hartman’s first time facing a top-ten opponent. As Wake Forrest’s Quarterback in the 2022 season, Hartman threw for 337 yards and 6 Touchdowns against a Clemson team that was ranked fifth at the time. Hartman was extremely humble during this week's press availability saying that his confidence comes from “My coaches and the players around me”.
Ohio State Quarterback Kyle McCord is coming off the best performance of his career against Western Kentucky. McCord has a wide variety of targets to choose from including Wide Receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. McCord struggled however on the road against conference opponent Indiana in the first week of the season.
One of the Buckeye’s strengths is their defense, which has only surrendered 20 combined points over the first three weeks. Leading the Ohio State defense are senior Linebackers Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers. Although Ohio State’s strength of schedule has not been the greatest, the Buckeyes are currently ranked second in the nation in both fewest points and yards allowed per game.
Notre Dame Head Coach Marcus Freeman talked briefly about containing Ohio State’s top weapons at his weekly press conference stating “ A lot of those playmakers are back for them… Harrison has a great body type, great hands, and he’s well coached…..they do a great job of developing that wideout room”. In last year's 21-10 loss, Harrison Jr. and Egbuka combined for 146 yards and a touchdown. Freeman is obviously making this a point of emphasis for his football team ahead of this Saturday's matchup.
Prediction: 31-28 Notre Dame