The University of Notre Dame vs The Ohio State University
Saturday, September 3, 2022
7:30 pm. EST/4:30 p.m. PST – ABC
Notre Dame and Ohio State both ended their 2021 seasons with a record of 11 wins and 1 loss. The Buckeyes defeated Utah 48-45, ending their season at #6 in the final CFP poll. The Irish, with Marcus Freeman debuting as Head Coach staged a valiant comeback, only to lose to Oklahoma State 38-35, but ended up ranked 5th in the final CFP poll.
Notre Dame has not beaten Ohio State since 1936. In the 2006 Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State beat Notre Dame 34-20. In 2015, there was a rematch where the Buckeyes not only got the better of the Irish by a score of 44-28, but IRISH star and Captain Jaylon Smith went down with a catastrophic injury that continues to broker discussions about star athletes not playing in bowl games prior to entering the NFL Draft.
This time, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame will head to Columbus to take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State in the “Horseshoe.”
It will be broadcast in primetime at 7:30 p.m. on ABC. College Game Day will be in attendance.
Notre Dame Head Coach Marcus Freeman will lead the Fighting Irish against his alma mater in his regular season debut. (Freeman played linebacker at OSU from 2004-2008). He is not the only coach on Notre Dame’s staff with ties to Ohio. Defensive Graduate Assistant, James Laurinaitis played for the Buckeyes from 2005-2008, a teammate of his future boss. DL Coach Al Washington (his most recent position prior to coming to Notre Dame was the Linebackers Coach for Ohio State) , CB Coach Mike Mickens and RB Coach are all Ohio Natives. On the Buckeye sideline, RB Coach Tony Alford coached at Notre Dame from 2009-2014.
Coach Freeman said today that the team is extremely excited that “we’re in game week, the opportunity to go and play a great team like Ohio State, in what I’m sure will be a hostile environment in Columbus, Ohio. Any competitor wants this, you want an opportunity to go and play against the best. There is no better way to see where we are as a football team, then to go and play one of the best teams in the country. Let’s see where we are at. We’re excited, I’m really, really pleased with the progress we’ve made as a team, over these past three or four weeks of fall camp. They’ve done an unbelievable job as players, but our coaching staff has done a tremendous job of truly preparing our team. At the beginning stages of trying to find out who we are, trying to find our identity. In the past week, we’ve kind of turned our focus to Ohio State. I’m really pleased with our players and what they’ve done and our coaching staff and what they’ve done, in terms of preparation and sacrifice. We still have five days left, and we’ve got four real practices, and probably a walk through on Friday. We still have to make sure this week that we prepare our tails off, we have to get our guys to the game, but we have to make sure we prepare them the right way.”
Other tidbits that were shared in Coach Freeman’s Press Conference:
On the subject of the coin toss- Coach Freeman mentioned that it was really a game situation, but if he had to say right now, he would choose to defer, to give another shot at the ball in the 2nd half.
Coach Freeman was also asked about Avery Davis and a possible 7th year, and mentioned that if Avery came back to him and said he’d like to play again, he would be more than welcomed back!
Coach Freeman was asked about the identity of this team, “I’ve said this before, we want to have a mindset that we want to be able to establish a run game. The thought process of having a run game is it opens up so many different options, in terms of the pass game, in terms of other things offensively, I think we have to have the ability to establish a run game, take care of the football, be disciplined in what we’re doing defensively. We want to be in multiple different fronts, multiple different looks. If you can’t stop the run game defensively, you’re opening up so many different areas in terms of being vulnerable to the offense. In special teams, we got to be superior in our special teams play, and that’s a challenge I have going with Coach Mason our special teams’ coordinator, and all of our special teams unit.”
There was also a question asked to Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Tommy Rees on Saturday about Tyler Buchner going in and having his first start in such a big game and in such a hostile environment. Coach had no qualms about Buchner as his starter. He mentioned how Buchner played against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Buchner will be ready for the Buckeyes.