The marquee match-up of the college football weekend involves the Big Ten, with No. 2 Ohio State hosting No. 5 Notre Dame. Despite it being a battle of two top-five teams, no one is giving Notre Dame much of a chance to upend Ohio State.
Not even former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz.
The odds seem stacked against Notre Dame a bit, who open the season on the road with a sophomore quarterback making his first start of his collegiate career. This is also the first game as head coach of Notre Dame for Marcus Freeman, who did coach one game last season (the Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State) as interim head coach after Brian Kelly left the program.
Saying that “I am impressed with Marcus Freeman,” Holtz thinks that Notre Dame has a puncher’s chance against the Big Ten program. He certainly isn’t wrong; Notre Dame does has a better chance in this game than most pundits are giving them credit for.
In 1968, Holtz was an assistant at Ohio State. It was 20 years later that he led Notre Dame to a national championship.
Jeff Hafley praises Rutgers freshman quarterback Gavin Wimsatt: 'That guy is a baller...that guy is gonna be a star'
But, well, even Holtz’s green-tinted glasses can’t see Notre Dame winning this one over an Ohio State team that is generating some serious national championship buzz.
“But Ohio State has a great offensive line, they have great talent on defense. I think if Notre Dame can win this football game, what they’re going to have to manhandle Ohio State physically up front. If they go into that game with the attitude that we’re going outhit them, we’re going to be tougher than them up front, then Notre Dame is capable of winning the game,” Holtz said.
“I think it will be very, very close but I look for Ohio State to prevail by a score of 27-24.”
Holtz made his comments on The Crowd’s Line which he co-hosts with former college and NFL standout Mark May. The duo used to be a dynamic twosome on ESPN where there frequent debates became must-watch television.
Greg Schiano impressed with BC's Phil Jurkovec: 'He's an NFL quarterback'
May, opened the segment on The Crowd’s Line. The former Pittsburgh offensive lineman gives Notre Dame even less of a chance against Ohio State.
That’s right Buckeyes fans, Mark May is picking Ohio State. Proceed to pick your jaw off the ground.
“They should be better defensively but offensively, C.J. Stroud is one of the best quarterbacks in the country. He’s going to be fighting for the Heisman trophy; 44 touchdown passes last year with six interceptions,” May said.
“The last time we saw him, he threw for 583 yards against that Utah defense. I like Ohio State in this game.”
May then released his prediction:
“I’ve got Ohio State winning this game 48-20.”