Notre Dame Number 5 takes on Oklahoma State Number 9 at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl on January 1.
Kick-off is scheduled for 1 pm ET at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The game will be televised on ESPN.
Marcus Freeman will make his debut as Notre Dame head coach (11-1). Freeman succeeds Brian Kelly, who surprised many by accepting the LSU job. The Irish have a top 10 defense and Jack Coan has become a quarterback. However, star players Kyren Williams and Kyle Hamilton have withdrawn from bowling.
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Oklahoma State (11-2) lost the Big 12 Championship game in heartbreaking fashion, but the Cowboys are back in a New Years Six Bowl for the first time since 2015 under coach Mike Gundy. Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles will not direct the bowl game after serving in the same position at Ohio State. The Cowboys also had a top-10 defense.
So it should be a defensive game. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about betting on the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl game between the Irish and the Cowboys:
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Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State betting odds
- Propagated: Notre-Dame -2.5
- Up / Down: 45.5
- Money Line: Notre-Dame -130, Oklahoma State +106
Three trends to know
– The Cowboys had a 3-0, 2-1 S / U record difference as outsiders this season, and those three games were single-digit gaps.
– The Irish were 9-3 ATS this season. Notre Dame was 7-2 ATS as a favorite, and that included seven consecutive covers to end the regular season.
– Oklahoma State is 10-5 S / U in bowl games under Gundy, and that includes wins in four of his last five appearances. This is the first meeting between the Irish and the Cowboys.
Three things to keep in mind
– The consistency of Jack Coan. Irish offensive coordinator Tommy Rees has also remained on the team, and his impact on Coan cannot be underestimated. Coan did it in November with a four-game streak in which he completed 76% of his passes with 8 touchdowns and two interceptions. Chris Tyree will assume the management role and Coan will maintain the link with tight end Michael Mayer.
– The unconscious defense of the Cowboys. Gundy has not designated an interim defensive coordinator to replace Knowles, but the Cowboys will remain in attack. Five different Oklahoma state defenders have had at least 10 tackles to lose this season, including SN second-team All-American linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (14 TFL). Oklahoma State ends the streak (2.7 ypc.) And has the second best defense in the FBS on the third down (26.1%). The Irish have a challenge here.
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– Spencer Sanders and turnovers. The Oklahoma State quarterback threw six interceptions in the Cowboys last two games, including four in the Big 12 Championship loss to Baylor. Notre Dame is ranked 19th on the FBS in terms of turnover with +9. Even without Hamiton in high school, it’s a talented group that takes it out on the quarterback. Defensive end Isaiah Foskey (10 sacks) calmed down in the final month of the season. If he can get consistent pressure, Sanders could do some turnovers. It would help if running back Jaylen Warren, who missed the Big 12 title game with shoulder and ankle injuries, came back.
Statistics that matter
Notre Dame went 0-4 in the BCS Bowls from 1998 to 2013. The Irish are 0-3 in the New Years Six Bowls in the era of college football. That combined 0-7 record has haunted a program that hasn’t won a national championship since 1988 and continues to question its blue-blood credentials. Freeman may win one of those bowls his first chance, and it could create a lot of excitement for the Irish before Game 1 next year at Ohio State.
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Notre Dame vs Oklahoma State prediction
It’s a huge milestone for Freeman’s debut, and the Irish look is ready to take advantage of it. Coan made it work in a high percentage of passing games, and Tyree will provide enough spark in the running game to avoid too many thirds and lengths. Notre Dame will build an advantage at halftime. Oklahoma State will bounce back, especially if Warren is consistent in the running game, but a late loss seals a memorable first win for Notre Dame’s new coach.
Final score: Notre Dame 26, Oklahoma State 21
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