No. 9 Notre Dame welcomes in No. 6 Ohio State to South Bend, Indiana, on Saturday for a primetime battle between tradition-rich programs. The series between these two began last season with Buckeyes taking a 21-10 win over the Fighting Irish at Ohio Stadium. Hopefully, this game will feature more points than that. Given the copious amount of offensive talent on both teams, it's hard to imagine it won't.
Notre Dame is off to a 4-0 start. It averages 46 points per game and has toppled the 40-point mark in every contest so far this year. The closest game it has played was a 21-point road win over NC State. Meanwhile, Ohio State is 3-0 but hasn't looked as impressive as most expected. The Buckeyes began their season with a 23-3 win over Indiana and followed it up with comfortable victories against Youngstown State and Western Kentucky.
Saturday night's contest will be the most difficult test either team has faced by far and could prove to be the victory needed to catapult the winner toward a College Football Playoff berth.
Follow along with LIVE updates from Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
How to watch Notre Dame vs. Ohio State live
Date: Saturday, September 23 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Notre Dame Stadium -- South Bend, Indiana
TV: NBC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State: Need to know
Hartman, Estime are balling out for the Irish: Sam Hartman is receiving plenty of attention, and deservedly so. The Wake Forest transfer has thrown for 1,061 yards and 13 touchdowns already, and is hearing his name mentioned as a Heisman candidate. He is not alone, however. Not only have the Irish displayed an impressive passing attack, but running back Audric Estime leads the nation with 521 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Estime is averaging 8.27 yards per carry, and is just as capable of busting a long run as getting the tough yards. The duo has proven to be very difficult to stop.
Kyle McCord is Ohio State's starting QB: Ohio State entered the season with Kyle McCord and Devin Brown battling to replace C.J. Stroud. In the opener, the battle seemed decided when Brown only saw a handful of snaps. However, Ryan Day insisted the competition wasn't settled, and both saw time against Youngstown State. Finally, last week, McCord was named the starter and the Buckeyes put up 63 points against Western Kentucky in their most impressive offensive performance yet. McCord's favorite target so far this season has been Marvin Harrison Jr., and why wouldn't he be? He's the best receiver in the country and is capable of scoring every time he touches the ball.
Irish, Buckeyes combine for seven CFP appearances: There have been 36 "invitations" handed out to the College Football Playoff, and these two have combined for nearly a quarter of them. Ohio State's been five times, while Notre Dame's gone twice. Of the two, only Ohio State has managed to win a game (it's 3-4 overall and won the title in 2014). Notre Dame has lost in both of its opportunities, but is only one of seven schools to make a repeat appearance.
Notre Dame vs. Ohio State prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
If I've learned anything over the years of believing that defense matters, it's that it only matters to a point. Time and time again I've seen battles between great defenses and great offenses go the offense's way. Make no mistake about it, both of these teams have excellent defenses that have played very well all season. But both teams also have explosive offenses. Notre Dame's 12 touchdowns scored from outside the red zone are the most in the country, and Ohio State is right behind with 10. There will be big plays and touchdowns. Pick: Over 55.5
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