What the experts are predicting: Notre Dame at Ohio State

Notre Dame has a tough draw to open 2022 by playing at Ohio State. We don’t know if the Irish have an upset in them,

but you better believe it would vault them even higher in the rankings than they already are.

If there are any actual believers in the Irish for this contest, we’d be interested to know why because they sure aren’t many.

Let’s look at what some college football experts, including those on the Wire sites, are predicting for this game:

Patrick Conn - USA TODAY Sports College Wires Prediction: Ohio State X-Factor: Jaxon Smith-Njigba

CFN Experts Eric Bolin, RazorbacksWire.com: Ohio State Evan Bredeson, CornhuskersWire.com: Ohio State Tony Cosolo, ColoradoBuffaloesWire.com: Ohio State Jeff Feyerer, CFN: Ohio State

CFN Experts Prediction: Pete Fiutak, CFN: Ohio State Dan Harralson, VolsWire.com: Ohio State Phil Harrison, BuckeyesWire.com: Ohio State Jeremy Mauss, MWwire.com Ohio State

CFN Experts Prediction: Big Game Ben Niewoehner, CFN Ohio State Ethan Niewoehner, CFN Ohio State* Tyler Nettuno, LSUTigerswire.com Ohio State Zack Pearson, TarHeelswire.com Ohio State

CFN Experts Prediction: Johnny Rosenstein, SportsBookWire.com: Ohio State Nick Shepkowski, FightingIrishWire.com: Ohio State AJ Spurr, RollTidewire.com Ohio State Scott Steehn, WinnersandWhiners.com: Ohio State

CFN Experts Prediction: Joe Vitale, UGAWire.com: Ohio State John Williams, SoonersWire.com: Ohio State Clucko the Chicken (a coin flip), CFN: Notre Dame

CONSENSUS PICK: Ohio State Ralph D. Russo, Associated Press “Marcus Freeman’s first regular-season game as coach of the Fighting Irish comes against his alma mater. The potent Buckeyes’ offense is daunting, but how their revamped defense looks against Notre Dame’s new starting quarterback, Tyler Buchner, is worth watching.”

James Parks, College Football HQ ” Aside from Michigan, Notre Dame is arguably the only team on Ohio State’s schedule that actually can field a roster comparable to what the Buckeyes are putting on the field.

James Parks, College Football HQ not at the skill positions, but in the secondary and at linebacker, and especially on the offensive line. That could be Notre Dame’s ace in the hole.

James Parks, College Football HQ the tempo at the line early and stymie Ohio State’s attempt to balance its offensive attack, especially on third down, while Buchner and his receivers test OSU’s unproven defense, and the Irish can make this close early.

James Parks, College Football HQ That said, the Buckeyes still have too potent a deep field threat behind what looks like the best receiver room in college football, with a Heisman finalist – and this year’s Heisman favorite – driving this offense.

That difference in big-play ability might be the piece of the puzzle that tips the scales over in the scarlet and gray’s favor.”

Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer, 247Sports Hummer: “I don’t think this is going to be all that close. Ohio State can score on anybody, including Notre Dame. So, the Irish are going to have to move the ball. And I don’t really trust Tyler Buchner to do that in his first start. 

Hummer: And even if I did, I don’t think the Irish have the weapons on the outside to really punish a somewhat questionable Buckeyes secondary. Ohio State is one of the two best teams in college football this year. The Buckeyes win big.”

Crawford: “This is a big number the Buckeyes are hanging against a Top 5 opponent, but I’m not sold on the Fighting Irish. In fact, I think Notre Dame could very well finish outside of the top 15 this fall in Marcus Freeman’s first season. 

Crawford: Ohio State is my preseason pick to win the national championship and laying the current odds, I like C.J. Stroud’s chances to take the Heisman, too. That adds up to an impressive showing on Saturday in Columbus for one of the nation’s most talented teams.”

Morgan Moriarty, Bleacher Report “This is the best matchup of the weekend. Ohio State missed out on the playoff last season but still finished 11-2 and won the Rose Bowl.

Morgan Moriarty, Bleacher Report The Buckeyes return 14 starters, including Heisman candidate quarterback C.J. Stroud. Also back is receiver Jaxson Smith-Njigba and leading rusher TreVeyon Henderson.

Morgan Moriarty, Bleacher Report Notre Dame, meanwhile, will begin a new era under head coach Marcus Freeman. The Fighting Irish return eight starters on defense, the unit Freeman oversaw as defensive coordinator before being elevated to head coach last December. 

Morgan Moriarty, Bleacher Report Notre Dame, per usual, has playoff hopes as an independent. But a tough schedule featuring BYU, Clemson and USC might make a playoff path more difficult.

I’ll be interested to see how new Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner plays in a hostile environment.

 This should be a good game, but the Buckeyes at home gives them a big edge.”

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