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Earlier this week, we asked Buckeye fans to give us their thoughts on what would happen in today’s Ohio State and Notre Dame game as part of an SB Nation Reacts survey.
Well, we’ve got the results, and — unsurprisingly — the Buckeye faithful have high expectations for the home team tonight.
Question 1: What will be the headline after the Notre Dame game?
I almost feel like Ohio State having an outstanding passing performance can never be a headline, it’s the college football version of “dog bites man.” Now I recognize that C.J. Stroud, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Emeka Egbuka, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Julian Fleming are probably going to eat tonight and throughout the entire season, but we expect that, that’s not a headline.
So for me, I would go with OSU’s defense shutting down the Irish’s running game. At the Fiesta Bowl in January, Notre Dame was only able to muster 42 yards rushing on 21 attempts against the Oklahoma State defense. Who was the defensive coordinator in charge of the Cowboy defense in that game? None other than Jim Knowles, Ohio State’s new defensive coordinator.
He knows how to shut down this running game and considering that the Buckeye defenders are far more talented than the Pokes were, I think there is a legitimate chance for OSU to completely flip the script from last season and exert their will on defense. After the last few years, that would be a CFB example of “man bites dog.”
Question 2: What will be the outcome of the OSU, Notre Dame Game?
My official prediction has appeared in multiple spots on this site already today; I’m going 45-21, so while I would fall into the favored category, I’m flirting with that “Ohio State Wins by 28+” range, and honestly, if I had any guts, I would go with something like 48-18.
It is not exactly a surprise that only 4% of respondents picked Notre Dame to win. I’m a bit surprised that there was that many, but I guess a few of our friends from over at One Foot Down might have infiltrated our survey.
Either way, 96% of people picked the good guys to win, and that seems like a perfect number since 1996 was the last time that the Buckeyes and Irish played a regular season game; Ohio State won 29-16, natch.
Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NCAA. Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Ohio State Buckeyes fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate.