Notre Dame football team, fans gearing up for highly anticipated matchup at Ohio State

Published: Sep. 3, 2022 at 2:54 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WNDU) - The Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team opens its 2022 season at Ohio State on Saturday!

The storylines for this week one match-up between Notre Dame and Ohio State are endless. For instance, The Horseshoe in Columbus is a cathedral of college football.

Notre Dame has The House that Rockne Built, and Ohio Stadium is The House that Harley Built, and it’s about to host its 100th year of Ohio State football. Jerry Emig has here for 2 decades, and talked about the history of this iconic stadium in the video below:

Another Cathedral of college football is College Gameday on ESPN, which is in Columbus for the top five matchup between the No. 5 Fighting Irish and No. 2 Buckeyes. 16 Sports spoke with some of the stars of the show about their take on the game.

Host Rece Davis says his favorite storyline for the game is waiting to see Ohio State’s offense led by QB CJ Stroud. Davis also referred to No. 5 Notre Dame as David in the “David and Goliath” scenario.

“I do think this team is pretty significantly outmatched in many areas,” Davis said. “Not all areas, but many areas, so it’ll be a challenge for them if they want to be able to pull one of the all-time upsets. It’s foolish to say it. It’s a top ten matchup, top five matchup whatever it is. It seems like a David-Goliath deal. It would be mammoth upset if Notre Dame were to somehow pull it off.”

ESPN Analyst Holly Rowe also touched on Notre Dame’s underdog status.

“They believe in themselves,” Rowe said. “And like Michael {Mayer} told me, ‘If you’re not a Notre Dame fan, you don’t think we have any chance, and we don’t care. We know that we’re good, and we believe in ourselves.’ So, we’ll see what happens.”

Ohio State is favored by 17.5 points. And despite being a top five matchup, this could be one of the biggest upsets of the college football season—in just week one, nonetheless—if the Irish are able to exit The Horseshoe with a victory under their belt.

Meanwhile, over 100,000 fans are expected to be inside The Horseshoe for the highly anticipated matchup between the Irish and the Buckeyes, but many of those are already in town.

Whether it’s family reunions, or a weekend with the guys, fans didn’t care about the price of coming to this game. Just the experience of seeing the Irish in Columbus for the first time in 28 years was worth the price tag.

“It really works out well for our family because I was born and raised in Cincinnati, but I live in southern California,” says one fan. “My son Brian and a couple of the grandkids, so this is a way of connecting our family from Ohio with our family from California.”

“We’ve had this game circled ever since it was announced,” said John Thornton. “The second we could get tickets and reservations, we were here, man.”

Another fan said he paid $450 per ticket for seats in the nosebleeds, but he said any price was worth it.

One of the other big headlines regarding Saturday’s matchup is the first collegiate start for Irish quarterback Tyler Buchner.

The national media has talked a lot about Buckeyes quarterback CJ Stroud potentially kicking off a Heisman-hopeful season. But on the other side, Buchner comes in as an experienced new guy, seeing time under center last year.

Even though the ESPN College Gameday experts are taking Ohio State to win, Rowe touched on what to expect from Buchner.

“He is a really cerebral, really calm, and poised kid,” Rowe said. “The thing that stood out to me the most at practice is his operation. Quarterbacks rarely talk about how they operate—the snap count, how do they look getting the play off. I thought he looked really good. They have been working on their silent count since June, so they are prepared for the noise, the environment. So, I think that’s really good that they are preparing this young quarterback for this big moment.”

Kickoff at Ohio Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

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