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Ohio State vs. Notre Dame Score, Points: No. 2 Buckeyes Strike Back to Beat No. 5 Fighting Irish

No. 2 Ohio State fought back in a spirited season opener, eventually defeating No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10, while showing lackluster play and one of its star players overcame injury. The Buckeyes trailed at halftime and in the third quarter, but the Ohio State offense starred as his quarterback CJ Stroud passed 24 of his 34 for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Done, so later in the competition, we compiled our best drives of the night.

That 10-play, 70-yard drive ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Xavier Johnson that appeared to wake the Buckeyes and the 100,000 crowd at Ohio Stadium. But that was the last moment they had to cheer as Ohio State continued to drive even better, culminating in 95 yards on 14 plays and putting the game out of reach. .

After losing star receiver Jackson-Smith-Nigba to a foot injury in the first quarter, the Buckeyes struggled to find their rhythm on offense, but Emeka Egbka and running backs Treveyon Henderson and Myan Williams has stepped up to fill that void.

The Fighting Irish offense got off to a promising start, gaining 54 yards on the first play of the night, but only gained 199 yards the rest of the game. Tyler Buchner (177 yards passing, 18 yards rushing) made some plays, but Notre Dame can’t find consistency against an Ohio defense that played with its hair on fire was.

Tommy Eichenberg had two sacks for Ohio State while Mike Hall had another sack and two tackles in the loss. The late comeback helped the Buckeyes avoid becoming the first top-two team to lose the season opener since No. 1 Miami began the 1990 season with a drop to BYU.

Let’s take a look at the key takeaways from Ohio State’s big win over Notre Dame in Week 1.

Ohio State defense wins

In Jim Knowles’ first game as defensive coordinator, there were questions about how Ohio State would perform. The Buckeyes won somewhat comfortably, but that’s because their defense picked up a lackluster offense on more than one occasion. It looked like a very different unit from last season, when teams allowed too much to move the ball down the field where it mattered. .

The biggest difference was pressure. Knowles threw all sorts of disguises on the inexperienced Buchner. Blitz, stunts, and pass rushers like Zach Harrison falling into coverage, all of which were designed to keep Buchner guessing and not knowing where to take the ball. Most of the time it worked. The Buckeyes finished with six tackles and three sacks as they held Notre Dame to 5.3 yards per play. More importantly, the Irish were only able to convert 3 of their 13 third downs, forcing them into a third-and-long situation all night. That left the Irish unable to sustain a drive, buying the Buckeyes offense more time to figure things out.

Ohio’s Wide Receiver Depth Matters

Who would have thought we would say that?! Ohio State’s receiver squad is considered to be the best team in the country, but Smith Niziba was an undisclosed foot in the team’s first series. and played only a few games for the rest of the night. That meant the Buckeyes had to play with a lot of inexperienced receivers, and it showed. was off.

Still, Egbuka emerged as the most reliable target in the second half. Egbuka had nine receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. Marvin Harrison Jr. for his 56 yards he caught 5 passes and Johnson said he only caught 2 but his 24 yard touchdown proved to be the game winner was done. In the end, his six receivers (2 catches, 3 yards), excluding Smith Nigba, caught a pass from Stroud in the evening.

Notre Dame must find a run game

As the evening wore on, it became harder to keep up with Ohio State’s strong offense, and I thought Notre Dame’s problem with the offense was the lack of explosive play in the passing game. They weren’t consistent enough throughout the night, but Buchner and his receiver managed to pull off his 4 for at least 20 yards, including his 54-yard connection with Lorenzo Styles on the first play of the game. connected to one path. The problem was that the Irish could not do anything on the ground. The Ohio State defense held Notre Dame to just 76 yards and rushed on 30 carries. Adjusting for sacks, that number only improves to 95 yards (3.5 yards per touch) for him on 27 carries.

With the young quarterback getting his first start in a tough environment, the Irish ideally would have gotten more out of the ground game to ease the strain on Buchner. Instead, Buchner had to bear the burden, which has worked predictably well in the long run.

Stroud can and should do better

Frankly, Stroud looked mediocre in the first half but was unstable in the second half. It wasn’t until halfway through the third quarter that he seemed to find his rhythm, and from that point on, Ohio State dominated the game. Stroud’s final stat line doesn’t get a lot of attention (not for good reason), but he made big throws when needed and helped his team to a decisive victory. rice field.

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