21-dec_3 - Google Drive Fixed
No. 2 Ohio State overcame lackluster play and an injury to one of their star players while battling back and ultimately beating No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10 in an exciting season opener. The Buckeyes trailed at halftime and into the third quarter before the Ohio State offense put together its best drive of the night late in the contest as star quarterback C.J. Stroud completed 24 of 34 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns
21-dec_3 - Google Drive
That 10-play, 70-yard drive that ended with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Xavier Johnson that seemed to wake up the Buckeyes and the 100,000 in attendance at Ohio Stadium. It was the last moment they had to cheer, however, as Ohio State followed with an even better drive, going 95 yards in 14 plays to put the game out of reach.
There were questions about how Ohio State would perform in Jim Knowles' first game as defensive coordinator. Early returns are quite promising. While the Buckeyes ended up winning somewhat comfortably, it's only because their defense picked up a lackluster offense time and again. While Notre Dame hit the occasional big play through the air, the Buckeyes did not allow the Irish to string together significant drives. It looked like a completely different unit than the one that too often allowed teams to move the ball down the field in crucial spots last season.
The most significant difference was the pressure. Knowles threw all sorts of disguises at the inexperienced Buchner. All of it -- blitzes, stunts, and pass-rushers like Zach Harrison dropping into coverage -- was designed to keep Buchner guessing and unsure of where to go with the ball; it worked, for the most part. The Buckeyes finished with six tackles for loss and three sacks as they held Notre Dame to 5.3 yards per play. More importantly, it allowed the Irish to convert only 3 of 13 third downs while forcing them into third-and-long situations all night. That kept the Irish from being able to sustain drives, and it bought the Buckeyes offense more time to figure things out.
Matt Salerno made a spectacular grab earlier tonight, but his offensive pass interference just killed a promising drive. The Irish had moved into Ohio State territory before the penalty put them into a 2nd-and-25, and they couldn't convert. The Irish have to punt and the Buckeyes get the ball back at the OSU 2.
The best Ohio State drive of the night ends with a 24-yard touchdown pass to Xavier Johnson. Stroud hit him between the seams over the middle on a 3rd and 11 with the Notre Dame defense bringint the heat. It caps off a 10-play, 70-yard drive to make it 14-10 just before the end of the third quarter.
The parking garage at The Wharf will fill up before the event begins. There are many ways to get to The Wharf that are better than driving and parking, including rideshare and taxis, the free Southwest Shuttle, Water Taxi, and Metro service updates. If you must drive, plan to park at one of the nearby parking garages: bit.ly/3pEABhp 041b061a72