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No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5) vs. Notre Dame | over/under 55.5
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: South Bend, Indiana
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
I felt much better about this game following last week’s win over Western Kentucky. The fact that the OSU offense seemed to figure some stuff out in the second quarter gave me a lot more confidence that they were far closer to their potential than the first two games of the season would have otherwise indicated.
I then got even more confident on Thursday when Ryan Day said on his radio show that his plan is to “let it ri”p against Notre Dame, which mirrors his pregame speech to his team ahead of the Peach Bowl last season. If this means that Day is going to call an offense similar to what we saw in Atlanta, then I don’t think that this game will be particularly close.
Notre Dame has had an impressive start to the season, but — not dissimilar to Ohio State — they haven’t really played anybody of consequence, so it’s difficult to take their results thus far that seriously. However, we do know what Ohio State’s weapons can do when Day comes out of his turtle shell and calls games to maximize his accumulated skill.
Yes, Kyle McCord is not C.J. Stroud as of yet, and yes, the offensive line still has some holes, but if Day is in his play-calling bag, then he can work around those things giving the talent advantage that the offense possesses.
I also think that the marked improvement by the Buckeye defense makes up for whatever weaknesses the offense has in comparison to last season. Again, I know that they have not yet done it against quality competition, but I don’t think that it is possible to watch this unit and not come away thinking that they are significantly better than they have been in the last three seasons.
Ultimately, I think that this becomes a statement game for the Buckeyes in asserting their position in the College Football Playoff conversation. While I still think that McCord has a bit of a ways to go to be on the same level as the last three QBs that Day has coached, tonight’s performance will go a long way to getting him there.
Matt’s Prediction: Ohio State 42, Notre Dame 24
Kyle McCord: 317 yards, 3 TDs; 1 to Marvin Harrison Jr., 1 to Emeka Egbuka, 1 to Gee Scott Jr.
Treveyon Henderson: 120 rushing yards, 1 TD
Miyan Williams: 1 TD
Ohio State defense: 1 TD
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