First of all, Marcus Freeman is lying. And as an Ohio State graduate, let me say this: I'd never put up with my Head Coach being a liar.
This guy damn well knows that his team is a 2+ touchdown underdog, and he's known it since May. Or is he saying he's surprised it's only 17.5? That would be more believable. Because the fact of the matter is that while I do think Marcus Freeman is going to bring some positive energy and excitement to Notre Dame, they are all walking into a buzz saw in Week 1 and everyone knows it, including the linemakers.
This Ohio State team is as talented as anyone in the entire country, and they have a chip on their shoulder after getting bullied on National TV against the rival last November. I don't care who is lining up against us on Saturday, it's not going to end well for them. Notre Dame just happened to draw the short straw.
So yeah, Marcus, write that down. Take a picture. Post it on the bulletin board. Do whatever you want, but there's simply not enough motivation in the world to slow down CJ Stroud and Ohio State's video-game-like offense. And guess what folks, we picked up the best defensive coordinator in football to figure out a way to use our 5-star filled defense to stop the other teams from running the football down our throats. I predict the Buckeyes to have the #1 offense in the country and a top 5 defense.
For what it's worth, I do think 17.5 points is the right spread for this game....in the 1st half.