What We Learned From Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Week 1
The No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes took down the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday by a score of 21-10. The Buckeyes were favored by as much as 17.5 at some point before the game started. This was the top matchup of the week as College Gameday made their way out to Columbus for the game.
The Irish were able to hold their own more than some were expecting as they were leading the Buckeyes by a score of 10-7 in the first half.
They just were not able to get anything going in the second half as they were scoreless in the final two quarters of the game. The Buckeyes scored one touchdown in each of the last two quarters to seal their victory.
Let’s look at what we learned from each of these teams after their week one performance.
Ohio State Learnings
One learning that fans saw during the game from Ohio State is that the offense needs time or experience with lesser opponents to work through their kinks. CJ Stroud went 24 for 44 with 223 yards and two touchdowns.
This is not a bad game by anyone’s standards, but he knows that he will need to dominate the game much more if he wants to be in the Heisman conversation.
Running back TreyVeyon Henderson had 91 yards on the ground with no touchdowns, and each of the receivers were held under 100 yards. This team needs time to figure out their new pieces to the team with key receivers like Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson in the NFL now.
Another learning for Ohio State is that their defense stepped up in a big way to help their offensive woes during the game. They held the Irish to 253 total yards and a third down efficiency of 3-13.
They were not able to cause any turnovers but holding the No. 5 team in the country to zero points in the second half and ten points overall is impressive.
Notre Dame Learnings
The first big learning from Notre Dame is that Marcus Freeman is the right man for the job to replace Brian Kelly. Freeman proved himself on Saturday despite the loss through leading a young team in a tough environment and keeping them in the game throughout.
His energy and excitement from the sidelines seemed to resonate with players and keep them focused.
The second big learning was that Notre Dame was not as overpowered as people thought and were able to stick with the Buckeyes in large part due to their defense.
You could make the argument that the Buckeyes’ offense wasn’t clicking for their own reasons, but the Notre Dame defense had something to do with that.
The Notre Dame defense held the Buckeyes to 7-13 on third down and only six yards per pass. By forcing Ohio State to play all four downs by limiting the big play, the Irish were able to remain in the game and keep it close from the start.
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