Ohio State football hits the field for the 2022 season opener in primetime at Ohio Stadium Saturday night against Notre Dame at 7:30 pm EST on ABC.

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Preview

The Buckeyes head into a top-5 matchup to open the season as the No. 2 team in the country. That ranking fits the expectations in Columbus with Ryan Day’s squad returning a Heisman finalist in quarterback CJ Stroud and a host of offensive playmakers.

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Last season, Ohio State led the country in scoring at 45.7 points per game, won 11 games and captured the Rose Bowl in an all-time thriller. A successful season for many programs, the Buckeyes are aiming even higher in 2022.

A lackluster defensive effort in losses to Oregon and Michigan last year ultimately doomed the program out of the B1G Championship Game and a trip to the College Football Playoff. For 2022, Day brought in longtime DC Jim Knowles from Oklahoma State to fix the defense and get the team back in position for the postseason.

Many people across the country are buying into Ohio State and the elite potential of the program for the season ahead. That is partly illustrated in the Buckeyes being greater than a two-touchdown favorite at home in Week 1 against the Irish.

Adding intrigue to the matchup, former Buckeye Marcus Freeman leads Notre Dame in his first year as head coach of the Irish. Freeman stepped into the void as head coach following Brian Kelly’s departure for LSU.

Freeman is certainly a young coach on the rise and has done a lot of good things in his short time leading Notre Dame, but that doesn’t illustrate the full challenge ahead in Week 1.

Notre Dame could be without one of its best offensive linemen for the trip to Ohio State with Jarrett Patterson still questionable for the matchup. Patterson – Notre Dame’s starter at left guard – sprained his foot two weeks from the start of the season.

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Further complicating things for Notre Dame, wide receiver Avery Davis was lost for the year with a knee injury during training camp. Quarterback Tyler Buchner will also be making his first career start on the road in Columbus.

Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Prediction

Even if Notre Dame’s defense is able to get a stop or two, it will not be able to keep the Buckeyes off the board consistently Saturday night. Ohio State’s defense also gets a great chance out of the gate to show its improvements against a banged-up Irish offense.

Under the bright lights of primetime and with College GameDay in town, the Buckeyes will show they are once again a serious contender for the season ahead.

Prediction: Ohio State 38, Notre Dame 13