Ohio State considered the 14.5-point favorite over Notre Dame
Ohio State and Notre Dame kick off the 2022 season in a top-five showdown Sept. 3 in Columbus, Ohio, and a new Fighting Irish team led by freshman head coach Marcus Freeman faces one of the most explosive offenses in the country. CJ Stroud returns to quarterback for the Buckeyes as one of the best players in college football and record wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba will put more emphasis on defending Freeman. Caesars Sportsbook recently released the opening line for this game – Ohio State is a 14.5 point favorite, via SportsLine.
While the Buckeyes start at No. 2 in the Associated Press preseason poll, Notre Dame is fifth. The Irish will leave with the former four-star recruit Tyler Buchner as a starting quarterback and could be chemically rejuvenated with the energetic and charismatic Freeman up front.
Nonetheless, Ohio State has won four consecutive games with Notre Dame; the Irish have not beaten the Buckeyes since 1936.
With a fair amount of talent headed to the NFL combined with Freeman’s inexperience in the head coaching seat as well as a new quarterback, some have wondered if the Irish should open the season. as a top-five team. CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee called Notre Dame overrated earlier this week.
“Look, I love Marcus Freeman. The Fighting Irish first-year coach has injected new energy into the program and it is paying off, particularly on the recruiting track. Sallee wrote:calling the ranking “overrated”.
“This year, however, a top-five finish in pre-season is a bit absurd.
“The absence of a ball carrier Kyren Williamssecurity Kyle Hamilton and quarterback Jack Coan are all issues that need to be addressed before anointing the Fighting Irish as legitimate playoff contenders. Tyler Buchner and Drew Pyne are solid options at quarterback, but neither is experienced enough to elevate this team to the top five right now. All-American Brandon Joseph taking on one of the safety roles after a successful stint at Northwestern is a big deal, but we have to see it before we believe it.
Especially with the line opening to such a high number, Notre Dame is going to have a lot of motivation for this game. Freeman recently discussed this aspect of the opener.
“Well, it’s great for us because our guys don’t lack motivation,” Freeman said last month. “And so, we can continue to remind them of the big challenge that we have on September 3, and you know, being an ultimate competitor, you want to play the best and so what better way to measure your team than to go and play a team like Ohio State?”
Nick Kosko and Sam Marsdale contributed to this report.