With the 2015-16 NCAA Football Bowl Game Season winding down and the Christmas Season and New Years Eve behind us, this Friday the 1st of January 2016 we have the Fiesta Bowl with the 10-2 No. 8 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (FBS Independents) playing the 11-1 No. 7 Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten-East) with the game being played at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona with kick-off scheduled for 1:05 PM ET and seen on ESPN TV.
If you are one to Bet on College football as the likes of SBG Global the Ohio State Buckeyes are favored at -6 ½ with the Over/under at 57 and -260 on the Money Line, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are listed as underdogs at +6 ½ and +220 on the ML. Yes, the Christmas and New Years Bowl Games have passed, but we still have some interesting games on the 1st day of 2016 and this one is a great game for football fans around the globe. Both of these teams will be taking out their frustrations on the other for failing to gain a slot in this year’s College Football Playoffs 2015-16.
The fans of the 10-2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish are viewing their 2015 Season and the fact that they lost their star QB M. Zaire in their 2nd game of the season to an injury, but still were a team to finish the season at 10-2 with losses to the No. 1 Tigers of Clemson and the No. 6 Cardinals of Stanford.
Unfortunately their finish did not allow them a slot in this season CFP’s, but have earned their 6th straight Bowl appearance and will face another top ten ranked Ohio State on Friday in this BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl on Friday the 1st of January 2016.
Replacing the injured QB Zaire was QB D. Kizer who finished the remainder of the season passing for 19 touchdowns and 2,602 yards, and now leads the Irish offense that this season averaged some 35 points each game and 257 passing yards. QB Zaire should be able to continue that scoring pattern, and with WR W. Fuller who had a great season. He leads the team with 13 touchdowns and 1,149 yards on receptions, and will be tested by the Buckeyes secondary that has only permitted opponents to pass for 175 yards in each game this season.
If the Irish have trouble with their passing game, they still have ground attack that features RB C. Prosise who rushed for 11 touchdowns this season and some 1,035 yards rushing. His strength and speed is apt to create problems for the Ohio State defense in this game. In their ultimate 10 games the Irish are 7 and 3 against the spread.
Then if you’re a fan of the 11-1 Ohio State Buckeyes surely you thought your team would be playing for the 2nd time in the CFP’s, but they came up short with a loss to the Spartans of Michigan State 17-14, and that turned out to be their only loss for 2015, and the game that robbed them of Title hopes this season.
No the 7th ranked Buckeyes move forward as they travel to Arizona where the face the No. 8 Irish of Notre Dame in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl. In their previous 3 games with the Fighting Irish the Buckeyes dating back to 1995 have won all 3 games. Thus, if the Buckeye care to continue winning they should seek out RB E. Elliot who presently ranks 5th in the FBS scoring 19 touchdowns and rushing for some 1,675 yards this season. That plus in 11 of his 12 games this season he surpassed the 100 yards rushing mark. Against the Irish he should have a repeat performance and go over the 100 yards, since the Irish front 7 on defense this season has allowed opponents some 167 yards rushing each game.
Offensively their passing game has gone well with WR M. Thomas and J. Marshall combining for 13 touchdowns and 1,158 yard in receptions this season. But their main success in 2015 has come from their very tough defensive unit that has allowed their opponents only 304 yards each game and some 14 points each game. Yet it will be interesting to see how they fare against the Irish who to date have averaged some 35 points scored each game. The Buckeyes in their last 5 Bowl games have won 4 and lost 1 straight up.
The sports betting prediction for this Fiesta Bowl game is that in the beginning of this game the Ohio State Buckeyes struggle, but gets their game together and comeback to cover the spread and beat the Irish of Notre Dame 35-27.