We're only in Week 1, but Ohio State and Notre Dame met in a huge game that could have College Football Playoff implications.
Here's how the season's first ranked vs. ranked matchup played out.
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame: Results from top-5 game
Ohio State defeats Notre Dame 21-10
No. 2 Ohio State defeated No. 5 Notre Dame 21-10 in Week 1's lone top-five matchup. The Buckeyes trailed entering the second half, 10-7, but scored 14 unanswered points in the second half to secure the win.
In the win, quarterback C.J. Stroud persevered after losing one of his top wide receivers, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, to injury, finding seven different wideouts, completing 71 percent of his passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka led the team with nine catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Ohio State was also dominant on the ground in the second half, finishing off the game with a total of 173 rushing yards, mostly from TreVeyon Henderson (91 yards) and Miyan Williams (84 yards).
Ohio State's defense flexed its muscle in the second half as it forced Notre Dame to punt on all of its second-half drives. The Buckeyes limited the Fighting Irish to 72 yards in the entire second half.
Ohio State pulls away | Buckeyes 21, Fighting Irish 10 | 4Q - 4:51
Ohio State added some fourth-quarter distance thanks to a 2-yard touchdown run from Miyan Williams. The score came after a long 14-play 95-yard drive. 10 of the plays on that drive were rushing plays.
"OHIO STATE STRETCHES THE LEAD IN THE FINAL FIVE MINUTES!" 😤 pic.twitter.com/OrcGG9hR1U— ESPN (@espn) September 4, 2022
Ohio State back in front | Buckeyes 14, Fighting Irish 10 | 3Q - 0:17
After a quiet third quarter, Ohio State woke up its home crowd with a 24-yard touchdown strike from quarterback C.J. Stroud to wide receiver Xavier Johnson. Johnson beat 1-on-1 coverage for the score, capping off an 11-play, 70-yard drive.
Notre Dame takes three-point lead into halftime | Fighting Irish 10, Buckeyes 7
Notre Dame leads Ohio State 10-7 after two quarters of play. The Buckeyes had a chance to tie the game with 36 seconds left in the half, but missed a 39-yard field goal. Notre Dame has been led by quarterback Tyler Buchner's efficiency; he's 8-10 passing for 128 yards in his first game as a starter. Notre Dame's rushing attack has struggled in the first half, averaging just 2.9 yards per carry.
Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud has 99 passing yards and a touchdown. Stroud has been without his top wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba for most of the game, but fellow wideout Emeka Egbuka leads the team with five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Notre Dame gets in the endzone | Fighting Irish 10, Buckeyes 7 | 1Q - 11:56
After a 10-play, 87 yard drive, Notre Dame running back Audric Estime ran in for a 1-yard touchdown. Quarterback Tyler Buchner had two 20+ yard passing plays on the drive to move the Fighting Irish down the field.
Ohio State finds paydirt | Buckeyes 7, Fighting Irish 3 | 1Q - 5:32
Ohio State quarterback C.J.. Stroud found wide receiver Emeka Egbuka on a curl route that Egbuka took 31 yards into the end zone. The score is Egbuka's first of his career. The Buckeye drive benefitted from a 15-yard pass interference penalty after beginning the drive at their own 46-yard line.
Notre Dame gets on the board first | Fighting Irish 3, Buckeyes 0 | 1Q - 12:13
Notre Dame opened the scoring with a 33-yard field goal. The Fighting Irish got down the field thanks to a 54-yard pass from Tyler Buchner to Lorenzo Styles. Another 15 yards were added to the play after a roughing the passer penalty. In total, it was a five play drive.
IRISH STARTING EARLY‼️— ESPN (@espn) September 3, 2022
Notre Dame gained huge yards on the first play of the game 😤 pic.twitter.com/At7xaIOn0Y
What to know before kick off in Columbus
Yes, it's Week 1 in early September. Yes, Ohio State still has its complete Big Ten schedule to go. Yes, Notre Dame still plays teams like Clemson, USC and BYU. But there's a lot on the line:
- The game marks the first top-5 vs. top-5 game of the season.
- College GameDay's Lee Corso picked the Buckeyes to win.
- We were in a similar spot last year, when No. 5 Georgia played No. 3 Clemson to start the season. UGA won 10-3 en route to winning its first national title since 1980.
- This is only the seventh meeting between powers Ohio State and Notre Dame. OSU leads 4-2, though the two haven't met in the regular season since 1996.
- This is Marcus Freeman's first season as the Irish head coach. He led Notre Dame in the bowl game last season, where the Irish lost 37-35 to Oklahoma State.
Previewing Ohio State vs. Notre Dame
You can't ask for much more as a national stage than this to open the season. Two big-name programs meet with top-five rankings — Ohio State No. 2, Notre Dame fifth — in a primetime clash.
WEEK 1 PREVIEW: The teams, conferences and coaches with something to prove
It's so early in the season, in fact, that neither team would likely be eliminated from the College Football Playoff hunt. Just ask 2021 Ohio State, which regrouped after a home loss to Oregon in September to climb back to No. 2 before losing to Michigan.
But there's still a lot to play for, as the winner would position itself as an early favorite for the CFP.
Ohio State has home-field advantage, one of the Heisman frontrunners in QB CJ Stroud, plus ridiculous weapons in WR Jaxon Smith-Njigba and RB TreVeyon Henderson.
In other words. the Buckeyes will score points. But can Notre Dame keep up?
Much will depend on new QB Tyler Buchner, though he'll have top talent around him and an OSU defense that will have to prove it's gotten better. The Buckeyes allowed 30+ in five games last season, memorably 42 against rival Michigan and then 45 in a wild Rose Bowl win vs. Utah. In steps Jim Knowles, who's in his first season and last season led a veteran Oklahoma State defense to No. 3 nationally in yards allowed, only 18.1 points per game and a leading 57 sacks. Thanks to the Buckeyes' offense, Ohio State won't need to be as dominant defensively as that Oklahoma State team — not that OSU wouldn't turn away those numbers. Still, this first week will show early whether Ohio State can do more than simply try and outscore opponents.
As for Notre Dame, it would go a long day to re-cementing itself as an annual threat for the CFP in the post-Brian Kelly era. New head coach Marcus Freeman would love to make a statement right away. It would also quiet any lingering questions about Notre Dame winning the "big one" that may remain. Two years ago, the Irish took down then-No. 1 Clemson 47-40 in 2OT, though that was at home and Tigers star QB Trevor Lawrence didn't play due to injury (though D.J. Uiagalelei still passed for 439 yards). Getting the job done here would force everyone to take note.
|How to Watch|
|Time: 7:30 p.m. ET|
|TV channel: ABC|
|Location: Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio|
RANKINGS: Check out the latest top 25 polls
Expert predictions from around the country
Here's what people are predicting:
|ESPN's Football Power Index||
83.5% Ohio State
Series history for Notre Dame vs. Ohio State
The Buckeyes and Irish have met only six times previously, with OSU winning the last four games. Notre Dame hasn't defeated Ohio State since 1936.
|Jan. 1, 2016||Fiesta Bowl||
|Jan. 2, 2006||Fiesta Bowl||
|Sept. 28, 1996||South Bend, Indiana||
|Sept. 30, 1995||Columbus, Ohio||
|Oct. 31, 1936||South Bend, Indiana||
|Nov. 2, 1935||Columbus, Ohio||
In the most recent meeting, Ohio State got four rushing touchdowns from Ezekiel Elliott in a 16-point win. The Buckeyes never trailed in winning their fourth consecutive game in the series. Elliott rushed for 149 yards as OSU picked up 285 yards on the ground as a team.
These two last met in the regular season in 1996, when OSU earned a 29-16 win. The Buckeyes didn't waste time jumping ahead, as Dimitrious Stanley took the opening kick 85 yards inside the Irish 13. OSU scored shortly after. The Buckeyes defense controlled the game, holding Notre Dame QB Ron Powlus to only 154 yards on 13-for-30 passes.
The first meeting was way back in 1935, when undefeated Notre Dame took down unbeaten Ohio State 18-13. In one of a handful of games later dubbed "Game of the Century," the Irish prevailed thanks to a late touchdown pass from Bill Shakespeare to Wayne Millner.