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The Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on Ohio State tonight in the most highly anticipated week 1 matchup of the year.
Notre Dame, coming off of a year where they were fifth in the country before choking a massive lead to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, will be sure to come out fierce and fiery as it's the season debut of new Head Coach, Marcus Freeman. Freeman, an Ohio State alum, will be looking to pull off the upset of the century in his first regular season game as head coach.
Meanwhile, Ohio State are coming off of a year where they too missed out on the playoffs, losing in the Big Ten title game to Michigan. The Buckeyes won in the Rose Bowl against Utah by a score of 48-45, perhaps one of the best college football games of all time.
The Buckeyes are led by CJ Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Njigba (JSN for short). In the Rose Bowl against Utah, the pairing of then sophomores at the time exploded. JSN set an FBS record with 347 receiving yards. The two superstars create for one of the most dangerous duos in the country and playoffs are the minimum expectation for Ohio State this year.
Ohio State HC, Ryan Day, was quoted saying, “Maybe at some places 11-2 with a Rose Bowl victory a good year. It isn’t at Ohio State.”
Day has emphasized this to the players and they are ready to perform in front of their home crowd in a week 1 game against the Irish.
Luckily for Ohio State, the game is at home.
As for the Irish, there are still many question marks surrounding the team. The main being the uncertainty around the QB position.
During the off-season, there was a long-standing battle for the starting QB spot between redshirt sophomore, Drew Pyne, and true sophomore, Tyler Buchner.
Both quarterbacks made promising appearances last season when they were both backups to Jack Coan, who has since departed for the NFL.
Buchner captivated the hearts of Notre Dame fans with his running ability and big-play mentality. Buchner drove in six total touchdowns for the Irish, three in the air and three with his feet.
On the other hand, Pyne came in late to the Cincinnati game, which Notre Dame lost, and helped drive a comeback that fell just short. Many fans felt that if he had stepped into the game earlier the Irish would’ve won.
At the end of the battle, Marcus Freeman announced that Tyler Buchner will be getting the nod at the starting job for week 1.
Now, it’s time for Buchner and the boys to start buzzing because tonight is the night a new era starts for Notre Dame. The Marcus Freeman era and the Tyler Buchner era.
It’s time to show up against the number 2 team in the country, Ohio State, and show why Notre Dame didn’t deserve to be labeled 17.5-point underdogs.
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