The last game of the 2022 campaign has arrived for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and it’s in the Gator Bowl against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Despite this being an underwhelming season for the Irish, 9-4 feels infinitely different than 8-5. Regardless of what this game actually means for Notre Dame in 2023, it still counts for 2022 — and I want that DUB.
According to Draftkings Sportsbook, the Irish are currently 3 point favorites over South Carolina after a couple of weeks where the line stood steady at -2.5.
Some of the OFD Staff have offered their predictions for the day:
The Irish will get off to a slow start against the GameCocks with Buchner at the helm but will gel as the game goes on and come out big in the second half. Notre Dame wins in a close one … 31-27
I’m not sure the Notre Dame secondary (or pass rush, without Isaiah Foskey) is ready for Spencer Rattler and this Gamecock passing attack, but I also don’t think USC is ready for the ND running game, especially with Tyler Buchner’s legs added into the mix. I think this will be a pretty high-scoring affair with key players missing on both sides, but South Carolina wins a close one 37-33 thanks to superior special teams and one or two key stops/turnovers. But hopefully, like more than half the games this season, I’m terribly wrong.
While I am excited for this game picking a score is another story entirely. In 2022/23 the bowl season has become the spring game before the spring game. There’s good and bad things about that but I am looking forward to seeing some of the young guys get a chance to start getting ramped up for next season. Both teams have a lot of starters that will not be playing in this game so who knows what happens. My guess is Notre Dame:34 South Carolina: 21. Based mostly on the fact ND has less starters not playing.
Few teams closed the season as hot as South Carolina, which makes this matchup both enticing and scary. Both the Gamecocks and the Irish have top players sitting out, but the most concerning thing for Irish fans is the lack of clarity at the quarterback position. At the same time, the Gamecocks are a team extremely vulnerable to offenses that can run the ball effectively. Spencer Rattler is also a big question mark here, capable of both dynamic play and also turnovers that should have Benjamin Morrison and co. chomping at the bit. With so many unknowns, I’m going to go with my guy and take the Irish to win in a highly physical game, with Tyler Buchner getting his first win as a starter as part of a powerful running attack and the Irish defense getting a couple key takeaways to keep the ‘Cocks off the board late. Give me the Irish in a 31-21 win.
From top to bottom South Carolina has taken the harder hit of opt-out/transfers for the bowl game. And yet... it’s Notre Dame that will play without two Consensus All-Americans in Michael Mayer and Isaiah Foskey, and they will be without the quarterback that went 8-2 as the starter. It feels like an even adjustment — but only if you think both rosters were even throughout the year. Quite frankly — I do not. It’s easy to predict a close win or a close loss, but prefer the hard and holy path. Notre Dame physically beats the Cocks to death and get a 33-13 Gator Bowl win. HOORAY!