Ohio State 14 No. 5 Notre Dame 10; 3rd qtr

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COLUMBUS, Ohio  The first week of the 2022 college football season is here. After waiting through the long offseason, No. 2 Ohio State is set to kick off the year on Saturday night. The matchup isn’t the Buckeyes’ typical Week 1 opponent, as No. 5 Notre Dame comes to Ohio Stadium for one of the biggest games of the season already.

The Scarlet and Gray have heard all offseason about how the team wasn’t good enough or tough enough last year. Head coach Ryan Day went to work to address the team’s defensive issues, bringing in new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, as well as Tim Walton to run the secondary and coach cornerback and safeties coach Perry Eliano. This will be the first test for this new-look group. 

Ohio State returns much of its offensive talent from last year’s top-ranked group. This includes the Heisman Trophy favorite in quarterback C.J. Stroud, as well as wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and running back TreVeyon Henderson. It will be up to Marcus Freeman and Notre Dame to find a way to slow down this offensive group.

The Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish will kick off just after 7-30 p.m. ET on ABC. Follow along with Bucknuts while you watch the game for updates and analysis throughout the game.

Third quarter

  • A 32-yard competition by Notre Dame to end the third quarter gets the Irish moving quickly. Denzel Burke in coverage there.
  • And then Xavier Johnson makes a good tackle on kick return coverage.
  • We heard all offseason that Xavier Johnson (who quietly was given a scholarship almost a year ago) could play for Ohio State. He’s in the game and making plays for the Buckeyes now.

TOUCHDOWN (0-17) Ohio State 14 Notre Dame 10

  • On third-and-11, C.J. Stroud stands in the pocket with pressure coming and finds former walk-on wide receiver Xavier Johnson for the 24-yard touchdown.
  • A 15-yard penalty for a chop block called on Ohio State. It’s now second-and-21. That’s how you kill a good drive.
  • Buckeyes moving. The run game is finally out of the box.
  • Cameron Brown gets Ohio State’s defense off the field. He was the one in coverage for Notre Dame’s last third down conversion so a good response.
  • Michael Mayer picks up a big first down for Notre Dame and then runs for 17-yard gain.
  • Ohio State punts again on fourth-and-two.
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba is out, per ESPN.
  • C.J. Stroud misses on another throw to an open receiver, this time Cade Stover.
  • No Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the game for Ohio State again. He’s on the sideline without his helmet on, which typically isn’t a good sign.
  • Two straight runs, and Miyan Williams nearly took it to the house. He just steps out of bounds with no one in front of him.
  • It’s happened consistently when things get tight, Ryan Day gets pass heavy. We’ll see what he does from here but the Buckeyes have thrown the ball 20 times and rushed it 11 so far, including three straight passes to start the second half.
  • The Buckeyes get off the field. Lathan Ransom and Ronnie Hickman in good coverage as Tyler Buchner looks for the completion on third-and-11.
  • Another penalty for unnecessary roughness after Tyler Buchner rushes on 3rd down.
  • And then Ohio State commits an unnecessary roughness penalty.
  • The Buckeyes throw three passes to start the second half, two incompletions, and go three-and-out.
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba is in the game to start the second half.
  • Notre Dame kicks off. Ohio State begins the second half at the 25-yard line.

Halftime thoughts

  • I thought this game would be close at the half and a lot lower scoring than many were predicting. So far I’ve been right but this isn’t at all how I thought it would play out.
  • C.J. Stroud has been inconsistent with his throws, which no one expected. He’s missed a few open throws, thrown the ball into coverage a couple of times and hasn’t been decisive. He has to get going.
  • After all of the talk about the importance of getting the run game going, Ohio State has just 11 carries. The Buckeyes have gotten 50 yards after a couple of longer runs toward the end of the half. The Buckeyes have to get that going.
  • The defense has been good. I love the pressures and what’s going on with the defensive line. Notre Dame has 181 yards and made a couple of nice catches, but that’s really about it. The defense has kept this close with the offense struggling.
  • This is a big halftime for Ryan Day and his staff. The Buckeyes get the ball to start the second half and need to do something with it. They’ve got to get the offense going.

Second quarter

  • Buckeyes get a stop and it’s fourth-and-four. Ohio State calls a timeout with 18 seconds left, hoping to get something positive to close the first half.
  • Noah Ruggles misses a 39-yard field goal. What a strange first half from the Buckeyes.
  • C.J. Stroud misses a wide open Emeka Egbuka on third down. 
  • C.J. Stroud delivers the lead block and TreVeyon Henderson rushes 16 yards, the longest of the day.
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba is back in the game.
  • Jaxon Smith-Njigba is on the sideline with his helmet on but still not in the game for Ohio State.
  • No targeting.
  • Potential targeting here. Refs are looking at it.
  • Jim Knowles is using a lot of interesting pressures. Got Notre Dame to rush on that last third down, leading 
  • Buckeyes can’t get the first on third down. They will punt.
  • C.J. Stroud could have run for a first down but instead threw into coverage. It’s incomplete.

TOUCHDOWN (11-56) Notre Dame 10 Ohio State 7

  • The Irish get into the endzone to start the second quarter from one yard out.
  • Michael Mayer just gets a first down on third-and-three. Irish are on the one-yard line and the Buckeyes take a timeout.
  • Big gain through the air by Notre Dame on third-and-short. 31 yards.

First quarter

  • Emeka Egbuka was the punt returner there after Jaxon Smith-Njigba was the returner to start. Smith-Njigba isn’t out with the offense. Jayden Ballard in the game.
  • Tommy Eichenberg came on the blitz up the middle and sacked Tyler Buchner to force another Notre Dame punt.
  • After taking the hit on the sideline to start the drive, Jaxon Smith-Njigba did not come back in. He was getting talked to on the sideline and put his helmet back on right before the Emeka Egbuka touchdown. Something to keep an eye on.

TOUCHDOWN (5-32) Ohio State 7 Notre Dame 3

  • A great throw from C.J. Stroud and Emeka Egubka made his man miss coming back to the ball and won the race to the endzone. The Buckeyes are up 7-3.
  • Buckeyes get a stop. Notre Dame to punt. Great tackle by Lathan Ransom to get the stop. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the punt returner for the Buckeyes.
  • The Ohio State crowd is having the desired impact so far. A false start on Notre Dame and then the Irish had to burn a timeout on third-and-seven.
  • We’re getting to see the Leo/Jack position here early with Jack Sawyer moving around a lot.
  • Good punt from Jesse Mirco. Notre Dame starts at the five-yard line.
  • A penalty got Ohio State’s drive going, but a sack and an incomplete led to third-and-long and the Buckeyes get seven. Punt early.
  • Emeka Egubka starts on the outside with Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the slot.
  • A field goal is a win for Ohio State there after giving up the huge pass play and the penalty early. Defense showed up in the red zone.

FIELD GOAL (12-13) Notre Dame 3 Ohio State 0

  • Notre Dame hits a 33-yard field goal.
  • Lorenzo Styles with a nice catch and run gain. Then a 15-yard personal foul penalty.
  • Notre Dame at the 15-yard line to start.

Pregame

  • Ohio State game captains tonight- Tommy Eichenberg, C.J. Stroud, Cade Stover and Tyler Friday. Ohio State wins the toss and elected to defer. We get to see the Buckeye defense on the field to start this game.
  • Loud fireworks as Ohio State takes the field at Ohio Stadium.
  • I’ve been doing this for a while. I’ve never seen as many stars on the sideline for an Ohio State game as tonight. It’s a huge recruiting night.
  • Julian Fleming isn’t going through warmups. 
  • Players coming out for pregame warmups. 

Here is some of our coverage from this week for your pregame reading pleasure-

Looking back at Ohio State vs. Notre Dame history, Part 1

Five Notre Dame players to know for Ohio State’s matchup with the Fighting Irish

Jim Knowles says the Buckeye defense is “100 percent” ready to go

Looking back at Ohio State vs. Notre Dame history, Part 2

Are the Buckeyes ready for the Fighting Irish?

Notre Dame offensive lineman Jarrett Patteson is “questionable” for the Ohio State game

What Notre Dame’s Marcus Freeman said about Ohio State to start game week

Looking back at Ohio State vs. Notre Dame history, Part 1

Ohio State offensive players give their thoughts on the Buckeyes’ new defense

Buckeyes are a huge favorite against the Fighting Irish

A first look at Ohio State taking on Notre Dame in the opener

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