After a second-half meltdown in last year’s bowl game against Oklahoma State, Notre Dame (0-0) should be eager to get back on track in 2022. The Irish will be led by Marcus Freeman, starting his first season as Notre Dame’s head coach. Coincidentally, Freeman’s college days were served playing linebacker for the Buckeyes. He was also an assistant coach at Ohio State in 2010, so he will be very familiar with the surroundings.

That experience should provide the Irish players some insight into what to expect inside the Horseshoe. Ohio State (0-0) expects to pick up where it left off in 2021. In last year’s Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes defeated Utah while racking up a whopping 683 yards of total offense. Quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for 573 yards and six touchdowns. This season will be championship or bust for Ohio State, and they understand that a win against the fifth-ranked Irish will have them well on their way.

Coach Freeman announced that starting guard Jarrett Patterson remains questionable due to a foot sprain. However, linebacker Marist Liufau and Joe Wilkins are probable. Senior WR Avery Davis is lost for the season due to a torn ACL, and TE Mitchell Evans is out indefinitely due to an injured foot. RB Logan Diggs is probable (shoulder).

Odds Shark’s early betting line opened with Notre Dame as a 14.5-point underdog before the line rose to where it now sits at -17.5. As a result, there are two ways most bettors will be approaching this game:

If Notre Dame is ranked 5th in the nation, why are the Irish nearly a three-touchdown underdog? It does not seem logical. Over the past 45 years, a team has been favored only by 17 or more points in a top-five matchup only four times.