The Notre Dame football team has a tough opponent in Week 1, and stopping star Ohio State WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba is priority No. 1.
Throughout the 2022 college football season, the Notre Dame football team is going to play some of the more elite talent in the country. Starting in Week 1, when they battle the Ohio State Buckeyes, it is going to be a real challenge for them to go through the regular season unscathed.
Looking ahead to that Week 1 matchup, the biggest headache is likely to come from Jaxon Smith-Njigba, the Buckeyes’ star wideout. Despite two Ohio State wide receivers going in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, there should be no issue with the passing game thanks to the combination of CJ Stroud and Smith-Njigba, a duo that terrorized college football defenses last season.
In 2021, Smith-Njigba hauled in 95 passes for over 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns, leading all Ohio State wide receivers in all three categories. For the Irish defense to succeed in Week 1, shutting him down has to be priority No. 1.
Notre Dame football must stop the Smith-Njigba-Stroud combination
Many believe that Stroud could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, so drawing the Buckeyes and his strong right arm in Week 1 is a very tough assignment for this Irish defense. Sure, Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave are both in the pros, but it was Smith-Njigba who stole the show last season and is ready for an encore.
To get his 2022 season off on the right foot, he must light up this Irish defense, and for Notre Dame football, just limiting him has to be considered a win.
The Notre Dame football team should be one of the best in the country in 2022, and one young player is viewed as a potential breakout star this season.
Head coach Marcus Freeman is a former defensive coordinator, and there is enough talent on this Notre Dame defense to be one of the better overall units in college football. Luckily for Freeman and his staff, he is going to see right out of the gate how good they can be.