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#pounditMonday, May 20, 2024

Notre Dame has big motivational tactic ahead of Ohio State game

Marcus Freeman looking ahead

Oct 2, 2021; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish Defensive Coordinator Marcus Freeman enters Notre Dame Stadium before the game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are clear underdogs for their season opener against the Ohio State Buckeyes, but they are apparently going to seize on that.

The Buckeyes are favored by 17.5 points for Saturday’s game at Ohio Stadium, suggesting that oddsmakers do not envision Notre Dame making things terribly competitive. That apparently works for Irish head coach Marcus Freeman, who made clear Monday that he’ll be using the spread as fodder to motivate his team.

Whether this tactic works or not is an open question. After all, Notre Dame probably does not need extra motivation to face Ohio State. If the underdog role provides a bit of extra fuel, so be it.

Freeman has not been shy about his Ohio State criticism in the offseason leading up to the game. There’s the risk that this all could backfire, but using the point spread as motivation probably won’t do any harm.

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