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Notre Dame vs. Oregon State – Predictions and Key Insights

Explore our in-depth analysis and predictions for the Sun Bowl matchup between Notre Dame and Oregon State. Discover key player insights, betting trends, and expert predictions for this college football game.

Key Takeaways

  • Notre Dame and Oregon State face significant player opt-outs, including key starters and coaches.
  • Notre Dame leads 9-3 ATS this season, with Oregon State at 6-6 ATS.
  • Notre Dame’s Steve Angeli and Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson step up as quarterbacks amid team roster changes.

Game Details and Viewing Information

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 29
  • Game Time: 2:00 PM EST
  • Venue: Sun Bowl Stadium
  • Watch: CBS
  • Team Records: Notre Dame (9-3), Oregon State (8-4)

Team Changes and Challenges

Notre Dame’s Adjustments

Notre Dame faces a significant reshuffle, losing quarterback Sam Hartman and running back Audric Estime to opt-outs. Offensive lineman Joe Alt, a potential first-round pick, also opts out. The Fighting Irish will rely on backup quarterback Steve Angeli, who has shown promise in limited appearances this season.

Oregon State’s Roster Shift

Oregon State grapples with the departure of head coach Jonathan Smith and key players, including quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei and Aidan Chiles. New head coach Trent Bray, focusing on recruiting, hands the coaching reins to Kefense Hynson for the Sun Bowl. Ben Gulbranson, a seasoned player from the 2022 campaign, steps up as quarterback.

Betting Odds and Trends

  • Notre Dame: 9-3 ATS, favoring OVER in 8 of 12 games
  • Oregon State: 6-6 ATS
  • Coach Marcus Freeman: 0-1 ATS in bowl games

Player Focus: Key Performers in the Spotlight

  • Steve Angeli (Notre Dame): Stepping in as quarterback, facing a challenging start with a restructured offense.
  • Ben Gulbranson (Oregon State): Commands the offense with experience, supported by capable players like Deshaun Fenwick and Silas Bolden.

Game Prediction and Strategies

With a tumultuous lead-up to the game, including numerous player opt-outs and coaching shifts, this match is set to be unpredictable. Notre Dame’s focus on recruiting and Oregon State’s adjusted coaching strategy add layers of complexity. The game is predicted to be closely contested, with an emphasis on ground strategies and field position battles.

Sun Bowl Implications

Player Opt-Outs

Both teams experience unprecedented player opt-outs, reflecting a broader trend in college football bowl games. This shift impacts team strategies and game dynamics, making predictions more challenging.

Coaching Changes

Notre Dame and Oregon State both experience coaching adjustments. Notre Dame’s Mike Denbrock departs, leaving play-calling to Gino Guidugli. Oregon State’s Bray steps back for recruiting, appointing Hynson as interim coach.

Players to Watch Beyond Key Quarterbacks

  • Notre Dame: LB Marist Liufau, RT Blake Fisher, CB Cam Hart, and DB Thomas Harper.
  • Oregon State: TE Jack Velling, K Atticus Sappington, and LB Easton Mascarenas-Arnold.

The high number of key absences makes the Notre Dame vs. Oregon State Sun Bowl one of the most unpredictable games this season. It’s a test of depth and adaptability for both teams, with the potential to surprise fans and bettors alike.

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kevin canales
An adept sports news writer with over a decade in the industry, Kevin blends keen analysis with vivid storytelling. Recognized for in-depth coverage of diverse sports, from football to tennis, Kevin's pieces captivate fans while providing insider insights. A trusted voice in sports journalism, always on the pulse of the game.