Notre Dame football: Can the Irish defense stop CJ Stroud in Week 1?

The Notre Dame football team has a tall task ahead of them in Week 1 of the 2022 college football season, but can they upset Ohio State?

The Notre Dame football team certainly has many question marks on the offensive side of the ball going into the 2022 college football season, especially at quarterback. We still have no idea who will be under center for the team when they take on the Ohio State Buckeyes on the road, a team many believe will fight for a College Football Playoff berth this upcoming season.

Looking at the offense, there is a lot to like, including the offensive line, which should be one of the best in the country this season. They also have a done of depth at running back, the best tight end in the country, and wide receivers who can flat out make plays.

Now, if only they can get the quarterback spot straightened out, we can see what this offense could look like.

On the flip side, the Ohio State Buckeyes have no question who their quarterback will be in 2022, as, barring any kind of significant injury, it will be CJ Stroud under center this season. Stroud is a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season, but in Week 1, he will be facing an elite defense, one that could make his life very difficult all game long.

Can the Notre Dame football defense stop CJ Stroud?

Not only does Stroud return, but so does wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who led the team with 95 catches and 1,606 receiving yards. He was able to accomplish that despite the fact he was playing alongside two 2022 first-round wideouts in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.

So while Olave and Wilson are gone, Smith-Njigba returns, giving Stroud his No. 1 option in the passing game. It will be interesting to see how he does without Wilson and Olave garnering much of the attention, but make no mistake, he is a first-round wideout in his own right.

Ohio State also returns a tremendous running back in TreVeyon Henderson, so the weapons are there for Stroud. The question is, can the Irish defense stop him?

I believe that the Irish defense is the best he will face all season long, and getting the Buckeyes right out of the gate could prove an advantage for this Notre Dame football team. They have elite pass rushers, veteran linebackers, and arguably the best safety in the country, so if they can get pressure on Stroud, they have the playmakers on the second and third levels to force turnovers.

If that happens, the Irish have every chance to win this one on the road and start Stroud’s Heisman campaign off on a negative note.