The Notre Dame football team faces a tall order in Week 1 against Ohio State, but their defense may be talented enough to stop them.
Looking ahead to the 2022 college football season, the Week 1 matchup between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Notre Dame football team looms large. This is a matchup between two top-5 teams, no matter what Paul Finebaum says, and will have a major impact when it comes to this year’s College Football Playoff.
When it comes to the Ohio State Buckeyes, they are certainly loaded on both sides of the ball, but it is their offense that could have multiple top-10 picks in next year’s NFL Draft. CJ Stroud is widely regarded as the No. 1 or 2 quarterback in the draft class, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the best wideout, and left tackle Paris Johnson Jr. could be the first offensive tackle off the board.
To beat an offense with so many playmakers, the Notre Dame defense needs to be at peak performance, and they have the playmakers on that side of the ball to be just that. Isaiah Foskey is one of the best edge rushers in the country and could become an all-time great with a solid season, while the linebacker group is a bunch of veteran guys who have played in some huge games in their career.
However, the big change will come within the defensive backfield, where the Irish have the talent to shut down the Buckeyes’ passing attack.
Notre Dame football developing in the secondary
Though Kyle Hamilton is gone, the Irish have added another elite safety in Brandon Joseph, who has been better than advertised since stepping foot in South Bend. Clarence Lewis, Cam Hart, and TaRiq Bracy are veteran players who can be counted on, and a young group of cornerbacks has really emerged this spring and summer.
The Notre Dame football team should be elite on the defensive side of the ball in 2022, and these new faces are going to dominate in Year 1 in South Bend.
If the Irish defensive line can get push, they should be able to knock Stroud off his mark at least a few times to turn this game on its head. If Stroud struggles, the Buckeyes may have to turn to the run game, and that significantly evens out the matchup when it comes to the Buckeyes’ offense against the Irish defense.
New defensive coordinator Al Golden has beaten the Buckeyes before, and maybe he can dial up a gameplan to do it again.