Heading into the season, expectations for Notre Dame Football and firstyear head coach Marcus Freeman were high. The Irish were ranked No. 5 in the country in the preseason AP Poll, and their opening week showdown with No. 2 Ohio State was one of the most anticipated matchups of the season.
Hundreds of Irish fans from South Bend and across the country descended on Columbus, Ohio, prior to the game. ESPN’s flagship college football show, “College GameDay,” got the day started, and the atmosphere was electric on campus and in the stadium prior to kickoff.
Sophomore quarterback Tyler Buchner and the Irish offense started the game off on a strong note for Notre Dame despite the raucous noise of the home crowd at Ohio Stadium. Buchner, who was starting his first career game, completed his first eight pass attempts, and the Irish defense was able to limit Buckeyes star quarterback and Heisman contender C.J. Stroud’s production. Notre Dame led 10-7 after two quarters.
In the second half, however, it was a different story. The Irish gained just 72 yards and were unable to put any points on the board, while Ohio State showed why they are ranked so highly and came away with a 21-10 victory.
The rest of the season hasn’t exactly gone as predicted for Notre Dame. The team suffered an upset home loss to Marshall, who entered as 20.5-point underdogs, before squeaking out a tight victory over Cal for their first win of the season. Buchner also suffered a season-ending injury against Marshall. A dominant performance on the road against a quality North Carolina team, however, moved the team’s record to .500 and provided hope that they can turn the season around.