Football

The Excitement For Notre Dame Not Lost On The Team

INDIANAPOLIS – Ohio State had its turn on the stage at Big Ten Football Media Days and with the season almost here, questions about the season opener are already taking center stage with an opening date with Notre Dame just a little bit more than a month away.

The Buckeyes and the Fighting Irish don’t play often, and it has been a minute since they have seen each other in the regular season. Making it a season opener, a night game and one of the best games of the weekend only up the ante.

There will be no need to remind anyone who Ohio State opens up with.

“I mean, how else do you cut it? It’s going to be electric, and our guys know that,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “So, there’s a little bit of urgency about them, and there’s going to be this preseason.”

There have been other big season openers in the past, be it a conference game or something similar, but this one is different.

“Last year we started on the road at Minnesota, and that was a big conference game on the road with a very inexperienced team,” Day added. “So, we had to play well in that game. That’s similar this year.”

As long as the College Football Playoff is a four-team operation, there is little margin for error and while Ohio State will face more ranked teams along the way, a stumble out of the blocks would be nearly fatal to their post season aspirations. The season is going to be more than just this week one game, but it has to set an opening statement for the Buckeyes as they look to build upon it and progress week-by-week.

“We have to have competitive stamina,” Day said. “We have to play really good at the beginning of the year, and we’ve got to play really good at the end of the year. That’s the challenge of being Ohio State, you’ve got to win them all. So competitive stamina is one of the things we’ve been talking about as a team.”

Add to things that the opposing head coach is a former Ohio State player, and it gets even bigger. And while nobody was wanting to talk about any gaffes that may have been said in interviews in his talk of Ohio State, everyone is aware that Marcus Freeman is a rising star in the coaching position but will be facing one of the toughest challenges of any young coach making his regular season debut.

“Marcus Freeman does a very, very good job,” Day said. “He’s got a really good staff. They’re very knowledgeable, very energetic, do a great job recruiting, do a great job schematically. It’s going to be a really big challenge for us. They have a great team coming into Ohio State.”

The buildup is real, and it is only going to get bigger as the game draws closer. By the time that the game kicks off, it should be a fever pitch at both Ohio State and Notre Dame, and we are here for that.