The long offseason is now in the rearview mirror. The No. 2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, in a matter of just five days, will welcome No. 5 Notre Dame to Ohio Stadium on Sept. 3 to open the season of both teams.
With the Buckeyes officially on to game week, it’s time to take a look at who Ohio State is clashing with when it takes the field this weekend. Check back every Monday at BuckeyeSports.com for a brief preview of the Buckeyes’ upcoming opponent, with stories and features throughout the week.
OPPONENT: Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0-0)
The Irish finished with an 11-2 record last season and will be led this year by head coach Marcus Freeman, who is entering his first year as the team’s head coach. Freeman coached Notre Dame’s bowl game last season, and the Irish fell 37-35 to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.
Notre Dame is located in South Bend, Ind., and has an enrollment of 8,874 students. When playing at home, the Irish take the field at Notre Dame Stadium with a capacity of 77,622.
GAME INFO: Ohio Stadium, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
With Ohio State at No. 2 and Notre Dame at No. 5 in the preseason AP Top 25 poll, this will be the first-ever top-five, season-opening matchup in the 100-year history of Ohio Stadium. It will be the first top-five, primetime matchup at Ohio Stadium since the Buckeyes fell to No. 5 Oklahoma, 31-16, in 2017.
When Ohio State is ranked in the top 10 of the AP Top 25 poll, the Buckeyes are 408-89-9. When Ohio State’s opponent is ranked in the top 10, the Buckeyes are 89-58-8. When both teams are ranked, Ohio State is 149-94-10.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the seventh all-time meeting between Ohio State and Notre Dame, with the Buckeyes holding a 4-2 edge. The first meeting was on Nov., 2, 1935, and the most recent meeting was on Jan. 1, 2016.
|Jan. 1, 2016||Ohio State||44-28||Glendale, Ariz. (Fiesta Bowl)|
|Jan. 2, 2006||Ohio State||34-20||Tempe, Ariz. (Fiesta Bowl)|
|Sept. 28, 1996||Ohio State||29-16||South Bend, Ind.|
|Sept. 30, 1995||Ohio State||45-26||Columbus, Ohio|
|Oct. 31, 1936||Notre Dame||7-2||South Bend, Ind.|
|Nov. 2, 1935||Notre Dame||18-13||Columbus, Ohio|
- Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on the atmosphere: “I think our guys feel it. I think they feel the excitement, I think they feel the anticipation, they feel the community rallying around this team. That game being a night game, it’s going to be electric. And our guys know that.”
- Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman on motivation: “It’s great for us because there’s no lack of motivation for our guys,” Freeman said. “So we can continue to remind them of the great challenge that we have Sept. 3. Being an ultimate competitor, you want to play the best. What better way to measure your team than to play Ohio State?”
- Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer on Ohio Stadium: “I don’t think it’s any different than the other stadiums we’re going to be playing in this year. To me, it’s like, ‘Home game, away game, just go play football.’ I mean, I’m not worried about it. Go out there and play the best ball we can play.”
- Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud on the matchup: “It’s exciting for me, just because I’ve always dreamed of games like this. Since a kid, like primetime, night game, everybody watching. That’s what you want if you’re a competitor. For me, it’s a blessing from God to have that opportunity. I’m just super excited to go out there, compete with them boys and see what they’re about. I’m definitely super excited.”