The Fighting Irish, led by quarterback Tyler Buchner will clash with CJ Stroud and the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus for the first time since 1995. Everyone is already picking the highly favored Buckeyes to beat the Irish at home with their returning NFL-caliber quarterback. But Tyler Buchner has a chance to prove the Irish skeptics wrong and join a short list of quarterbacks to win at Ohio Stadium this decade.
CJ Stroud Player Profile
- Class: Junior
- Hometown: Inland Empire, California
- Height/Weight: 6’ 3” 215 lbs
- 2021 Passing Stats: 317 for 441 (72%) for 4,435 passing yards, 44 passing touchdowns, and 6 interceptions
- 2021 Rushing Stats: 32 attempts for -20 yards, 0 rushing touchdowns
CJ Stroud is one of the top quarterbacks in the country. He and Bryce Young are the two frontrunners for the Heisman Trophy this fall. However, the Ohio State Quarterback was not perfect early on last season, and the Buckeyes did allow Oregon to knock them off at home.
If the Buckeye Offense does not come out of the gates on fire, the Irish may have a chance to upset Ohio State early in the season like the Ducks a year ago.
Tyler Buchner Player Profile
- Class: Sophomore
- Hometown: San Diego, California
- Height/ Weight: 6’ 1” 215 lbs
- 2021 Passing Stats: 21 for 35 (60%) for 298 yards, 3 passing touchdowns, and 3 interceptions
- 2021 Rushing Stats: 46 attempts for 336 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and 3 rushing touchdowns
Tyler Buchner’s first start will be on the road against a top-five-ranked Ohio State team. Although this will be his opening start, he did play a significant role in the game against Virginia Tech last fall, where he scored two touchdowns (Jack Coan started and finished the game).
This fall, the young Irish quarterback will be a major x-factor for the program. Injuries hampered Buchner’s high school career, and he was also unable to play in this year’s spring game. However, alongside Tommy Rees, Notre Dame fans are hopeful for Tyler Buchner’s development in South Bend.
Early momentum is pivotal for the Irish
Let us not forget Ohio State beat #7 Michigan State 56 to 7 at home a year ago. The Buckeyes not only have one of the best quarterbacks in the country but perhaps the best wide receiver group with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming, and others.
Conversely, Notre Dame is built around a strong offensive line and talented running backs. The Irish will have a blend of experience and youth at their receiving core. Avery Davis, Braden Lenzy, and Michael Mayer bring back a lot of production for the Fighting Irish, while Lorenzo Styles Jr. and Deion Colzie could have breakout seasons.
Ryan Day has become one of the best quarterback developers in the country. CJ Stroud is destined to be a 1st round pick, if not the #1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. The difference for programs like Ohio State has been exceptional quarterback play throughout their success over the past two decades.
It is extremely difficult to win a national championship without a Heisman-caliber quarterback. However, the Georgia Bulldogs did pull it off last year (albeit with one of the best defenses in college football history).
Tommy Rees has done a tremendous job of developing Ian Book and even Jack Coan a year ago. Tyler Buchner has all the skills for Rees to finally run RPOs and utilize the full playbook this season. For Marcus Freeman to beat Ohio State and make a playoff run, the Irish must have a solid passing attack with Tyler Buchner.