Previewing No 5 Notre Dame football's seasoning-opening battle at No. 2 Ohio State

Michael Wanbaugh
South Bend Tribune
Notre Dame and Ohio State, shown here during their last meeting Jan. 1, 2016 in the Fiesta Bowl, open the season against each other Saturday, Sept. 2, 2022 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. In the matchup of top five teams, the Buckeyes are favored by 17 1/2 points.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Setting the table for Saturday night's primetime clash between the Fighting Irish and Buckeyes:

No. 5 Notre Dame (0-0) vs. No. 2 Ohio State (0-0)

  • When: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 
  • Where: Ohio Stadium (104,944), Columbus, Ohio 
  • TV/Radio: ABC, WSBT Radio (960 AM), WNSN (101.5 FM)
  • Line: Ohio State minus-17½ 
  • Series: Ohio State leads, 4-2. 
  • Last meeting: Ohio State 44, Notre Dame 28 (Fiesta Bowl), Jan. 1, 2016, Glendale, Ariz. 
Notre Dame’s Chris Tyree (25) tries to get past Oklahoma State's Jarrick Bernard-Converse (24) during the 2022 Playstation Fiesta Bowl Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Preview coverage

Tale of the Tape and predictions: Who has the edge when Notre Dame meets Ohio State?

Notre Dame’s Isaiah Foskey (7) takes down Purdue's Jack Plummer (13) during the Notre Dame vs. Purdue NCAA football game Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend.

Players to watch: Difference-makers abound as No. 5 Notre Dame football visits No. 2 Ohio State

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) greets fans as he leaves the field following a 66-17 win over the Maryland Terrapins in Saturday's NCAA Division I football game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on October 9, 2021.

'I think we have an idea' — Notre Dame gets another crack at a Jim Knowles-crafted defense

Notre Dame's Michael Mayer and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice on Friday, August 12, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

Irish items

▶ Saturday marks the seventh meeting between Ohio State and Notre Dame, and third at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes lead the series 4-2, having won the last four in a row dating back to 1995 when they beat the Irish in the horseshoe, 45-26.

Eddie George gets away from the Notre Dame defense on a long run during a game between Ohio State and the Notre Dame Sept. 30, 1995 at Ohio Stadium. The Irish visit Columbus Saturday for the first time since that 45-26 loss.

▶ The last win over Ohio State for the Irish was 1936 in South Bend by a score of 7-2. The last regular-season meeting between the two was 1996 at Notre Dame Stadium, a 29-16 Buckeye win. Ohio State has since beaten the Irish twice in the Fiesta Bowl (2006 and 2016).

▶ Saturday will be the first regular-season game as head coach for Notre Dame's Marcus Freeman. The former Irish defensive coordinator is 0-1 as a head coach, losing 37-35 to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 1, 2022. Freeman's first two games come against Top 10 teams. The Cowboys were ranked No. 9 entering the Fiesta Bowl and Ohio State is ranked No. 2.

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) passes the ball during Notre Dame Spring Practice on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

▶ Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner is scheduled to get his first collegiate start Saturday. No other Irish starting quarterback has made their debut against a top 5 team in its home stadium. Buchner did play in 10 games as a freshman, throwing for 298 yards and rushing for 368 while accounting for six touchdowns.

▶ All-American tight end Michael Mayer needs just 28 catches this season to pass Tyler Eifert for Notre Dame's career receptions record at the position. Eifert caught 140 passes from 2009-12. Mayer already holds the school record for single season tight end receptions with 71 last year.

▶ Ohio State head coach Ryan Day begins his fourth season leading the Buckeyes. He is 34-4 overall, 18-1 at home and 13-4 against Top 25 teams.

▶ Saturday will be Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud's fourth start against a Top 10 team. In those previous three games, he tossed 14 touchdowns and was picked off just once. Stroud's top target, wide receiver Jaxon Smith Njigba, ended the 2021 season with five straight 100-yard receiving games.

▶ It is the 100th season of Ohio Stadium, which has a capacity of nearly 105,000. ESPN's College Gameday pre-game show will broadcast from Columbus. The popular show first went on location Nov. 13, 1993 to South Bend for No. 2 Notre Dame's 31-24 upset of No. 1 Florida State. College GameDay has been to 33 Notre Dame games and 53 Ohio State games.

Two-deep depth charts for both teams

NOTRE DAME

OFFENSE

WIDE RECEIVER

4 | Lorenzo Styles | 6-1, 195 | Soph.

16 | Deion Colzie | 6-5, 211 | Soph.

WIDE RECEIVER

83 | Jayden Thomas | 6-2, 215 | Soph.

29 | Matt Salerno | 6-1, 195 | Gr.

LEFT TACKLE

76 | Joe Alt | 6-8, 317 | Soph.

79 | Tosh Baker | 6-8, 310 | Jr.

Notre Dame's Lorenzo Styles (left) and Jayden Thomas (right) prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice on Friday, August 05, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

LEFT GUARD

55 | Jarrett Patterson | 6-5, 310 | Gr.

50 | Rocco Spindler | 6-5, 315 | Soph.

CENTER

52 | Zeke Correll | 6-3, 308 | Sr.

78 | Pat Coogan | 6-5, 309 | Soph.

RIGHT GUARD

75 | Josh Lugg | 6-7, 316 | Gr.

73 | Andew Kristofic | 6-4, 300 | Sr.

RIGHT TACKLE

54 | Blake Fisher | 6-6, 327 | So.

68 | Michael Carmody | 6-6, 280 | Jr.

TIGHT END

87 | Michael Mayer | 6-5, 265 | Jr.

84 | Kevin Bauman | 6-5, 252 | Jr.

WIDE RECEIVER

0 | Braden Lenzy | 6-0, 182 | Gr.

5 | Joe Wilkins Jr. | 6-2, 202 | Gr.

QUARTERBACK

12 | Tyler Buchner | 6-1, 215 | So.

10 | Drew Pyne | 6-0, 198 | Jr.

RUNNING BACK

25 | Chris Tyree | 5-10, 197 | Jr.

3 | Logan Diggs | 6-0, 214 | Soph.

OR 7 | Audric Estime | 6-0, 229 | Soph.

DEFENSE

VYPER DEFENSIVE END

7 | Isaiah Foskey | 6-5, 265 | Sr.

9 | Justin Ademilola | 6-2, 253 | Gr.

OR 12 | Jordan Botelho | 6-3, 250 | Jr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

57 | Jayson Ademilola | 6-3, 285 | Gr.

54 | Jacob Lacey | 6-2, 280 | Sr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

56 | Howard Cross III | 6-1, 310 | Gr.

97 | Gabriel Rubio | 6-5, 295 | Soph.

DEFENSIVE END

99 | Rylie Mills | 6-5, 292 | Jr.

31 | Nana Osafo-Mensah | 6-3, 250 | Sr.

Notre Dame's Jack Kiser and Jayson Ademilola prior to Notre Dame Fall Practice on Friday, August 05, 2022, at Irish Athletics Center in South Bend, Indiana.

WILL LINEBACKER

8 | Marist Liufau | 6-2, 235 | Sr.

24 | Jack Kiser | 6-2, 223 | Sr.

OR 10 | Prince Kollie | 6-3, 220 | Soph.

MIKE LINEBACKER

27 | JD Bertrand | 6-1, 230 | Sr.

OR 52 | Bo Bauer | 6-3, 233 | Gr.

OR 44 | Junior Tuihalamaka | 6-2, 240 | Fr.

ROVER

24 | Jack Kiser | 6-2, 223 | Sr.

27 | JD Bertrand | 6-1, 230 | Sr.

CORNERBACK

5 | Cam Hart | 6-3, 198 | Sr.

OR 28 | TaRiq Bracy | 5-10, 185 | Gr.

OR 21 | Jaden Mickey | 6-0, 176 | Fr.

SAFETY

2 | DJ Brown | 6-1, 200 | Gr.

OR 3 | Houston Griffith | 6-0, 205 | Gr.

SAFETY

16 | Brandon Joseph | 6-1, 196 | Sr.

OR 11 | Ramon Henderson | 6-1, 190 | Jr.

CORNERBACK

6 | Clarence Lewis | 6-0, 203 | Jr.

OR 5 | Cam Hart | 6-3, 198 | Sr.

OR 20 | Benjamin Morrison | 6-0, 179 | Fr.

SPECIAL TEAMS

KICKOFFS

14 | Bryce McFerson | 6-2, 190 | Fr.

92 | Zac Yoakam | 5-8, 180 | Fr.

PLACEKICKER

99 | Blake Grupe | 5-8, 156 | Gr.

92 | Zac Yoakam | 5-8, 180 | Fr.

PUNTER

39 | Jon Sot | 5-11, 198 | Gr.

14 | Bryce McFerson | 6-2, 190 | Fr.

LONG SNAPPER

65 | Michael Vinson | 6-2, 228 | Gr.

44 | Alex Peitsch | 6-1, 215 | Jr.

HOLDER

39 | Jon Sot | 5-11, 198 | Gr.

14 | Bryce McFerson | 6-2, 190 | Fr.

PUNT RETURNS

16 | Brandon Joseph | 6-1, 196 | Sr.

OR 29 | Matt Salerno | 6-1, 195

KICKOFF RETURNS

25 | Chris Tyree | 5-10, 190 | Soph.

4 | Lorenzo Styles | 6-1, 195 | Soph.

OR 0 | Braden Lenzy | 6-0, 182, Gr.

OHIO STATE

Projected by Columbus Dispatch beat writer Adam Conn

OFFENSE

LEFT TACKLE

77 | Paris Johnson | 6-6, 310 | Jr.

65 | Zen Michalski | 6-7, 310 | Soph.

LEFT GUARD

74 | Donovan Jackson | 6-4, 300 | Soph.

66 | Enokk Vimahi | 6-4, 310 | Sr.

CENTER

53 | Luke Wypler | 6-3, 300 | Jr.

78 | Jakob James | 6-5, 295 | Jr.

RIGHT GUARD

55 | Matt Jones | 6-4, 315 | Gr.

71 | Ben Christman | 6-6, 310 | Soph.

RIGHT TACKLE

79 | Dawand Jones | 6-8, 359 | Sr.

70 | Josh Fryar | 6-6, 320 | Jr.

TIGHT END

8 | Cade Stover | 6-4, 255 | Sr.

34 Mitch Rossi | 6-1, 250 | Gr.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba should have a big year as Ohio State's No. 1 target. He had 95 catches for 1,606 yards and nine touchdowns last year while sharing targets with current NFLers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave.

X WIDE RECEIVER

18 | Marvin Harrison Jr. | 6-4, 205 | Soph.

2 Emeka Egbuka | 6-1, 205 | Soph.

Z WIDE RECEIVER

4 | Julian Fleming | 6-2, 205 | Jr.

9 | Jayden Ballard | 6-2, 196, Soph.

SLOT RECEIVER

11 | Jaxon Smith-Njigba | 6-1, 200 | Jr.

10 Xavier Johnson | 6-2, 215 | Gr.

QUARTERBACK

7 | C.J. Stroud | 6-3, 218 | Jr.

6 | Kyle McCord | 6-3, 222 | Soph.

RUNNING BACK

32 | TreVeyon Henderson | 5-10, 214 | Soph.

15 | Devin Brown | 6-3, 210 | Fr.

RUNNING BACK

32 | TreVeyon Henderson | 5-10, 214 | Soph.

3 | Miyan Williams | 5-9, 225 | Jr.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END

9 | Zach Harrison | 6-6, 272 | Sr.

33 | Jack Sawyer | 6-4, 267 | Sr.

OR 92 | Caden Curry | 6-3, 250 | Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

6 | Taron Vincent | 6-2, 300 | Sr.

91 | Tyleik Williams | 6-3, 318 | Sr.

OR 90 | Jaden McKenzie | 6-2, 286 | Sr.

NOSE TACKLE

86 | Jerron Cage | 6-2, 305 | Gr.

58 | Ty Hamilton | 6-3, 294 | Jr.

OR 51 | Mike Hall Jr. | 6-2, 290 | Soph.

DEFENSIVE END

44 | J.T. Tuimoloau | 6-4, 270 | Soph.

54 | Tyler Friday | 6-3, 264 | Sr.

LINEBACKER

22 | Steele Chambers | 6-1, 232 | Sr.

19 | Chip Trayanum | 5-11, 230 | Jr.

Aug 5, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles works with Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Tommy Eichenberg (35) during practice at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 5, 2022.

LINEBACKER

35 | Tommy Eichenberg | 6-2, 239 | Sr.

30 | Cody Simon | 6-2, 239 | Jr.

OR 3 | Teradja Mitchell | 6-2, 239 | Gr.

NICKEL BACK

15 | Tanner McCalister | 5-11, 195 | Gr.

13 | Cam Martinez | 5-10, 190 | Jr.

CORNERBACK

5 | Denzel Burke | 6-1, 190 | Soph.

7 | Jordan Hancock | 6-1, 185 | Soph.

SAFETY

41 | Josh Proctor | 6-2, 205 | Sr.

2 | Kourt Williams | 6-1, 220 | Jr.

SAFETY

14 | Ronnie Hickman | 6-1, 207 | Sr.

12 | Lathan Ransom | 6-1, 207 | Jr.

CORNERBACK

26 | Cam Brown | 6-0, 192 | Gr.

4 | JK Johnson | 6-0, 179 | Jr.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PLACE KICKER

95 | Noah Ruggles | 6-2, 190 | Gr.

98 | Jake Seibert | 6-1, 205 | Jr.

PUNTER

29 | Jesse Mirco | 6-4, 220 | Soph.

96 | Michael O’Shaughnessy | 6-3, 208 | Sr.

LONG SNAPPER

42 | Bradley Robinson | 6-1, 230 | Gr.

HOLDER

29 | Jesse Mirco | 6-4, 220 | Soph.

KICK RETURNER

12 | Emeka Egbuka | 6-1, 205 | Soph.

32 | TreVeyon Henderson | 5-11, 215 | Soph.

PUNT RETURNER

11 | Jaxon Smith-Njigba | 6-1, 200 | Jr.

13 | Cam Martinez | 5-10, 190 | Jr.

Follow the game live

The ND Insider and South Bend Tribune team of @MikeBerardino, @TomNoie, @JustinFrommer and @MichaelWanbaugh are at the game in Columbus and will have complete in-game and postgame coverage.

Live:No. 5 Notre Dame football vs. No. 2 Ohio State live updates: Scores, highlights from Saturday