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Notre Dame vs. Cal prediction and pick for Week 3 of the 2022 college football season. Can Notre Dame end its opening season losing slump? Matt MacKay is here to make his predictions.


Notre Dame is still searching for its first win under first-year head coach Marcus Freeman. After an 0-2 start, the Fighting Irish are reeling. Yes, the loss to Ohio State was expected, but a loss at home to Marshall? Unacceptable.

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner threw two interceptions and had to rely on his rushing ability to manufacture points. It was a game where Marshall's defense snuffed out big play opportunities and delivered a clutch pick-six in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. A 26-21 loss to the Thundering Herd is bad but the scoreboard makes Notre Dame look better than they played.

The Cal Golden Bears have had a much better start to its season, albeit against lesser competition. Senior transfer quarterback, Jack Plummer, has played nicely, accounting for over 546 passing yards and five total touchdowns against UC-Davis and UNLV. He benefits from freshman running back Jaydn Ott playing complementary football behind him in the backfield, creating a formidable rushing attack. Will it be enough to remain undefeated against a desperate team like Notre Dame? Here are our picks, predictions, and odds for Saturday's game between the Cal Golden Bears vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish.


  • Date: Saturday, September 17th
  • Game time: 2:30 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: NBC/Peacock
  • Spread: Cal +10.5 (-110), Notre Dame -10.5 (-108)
  • Total: Over 42.5 (-110), Under 42,5 (-106)
  • Moneyline: Cal (+330), Notre Dame (-400)

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Notre Dame vs. Cal INJURY REPORT


No injuries to report.


DL Osita Ekwonu (DTD - Achilles), QB Tyler Buchner (DTD - Shoulder), TE Cane Berrong (DTD - Knee), WR Avery Davis (Out for Season - Knee), TE Mitchell Evans (Out Indefinitely - Foot), RB Jadarian Price (Out for Season- Achilles), and OL Pat Coogan (Late September - Knee).

Notre Dame vs. Cal Prediction

Notre Dame has the incentive to perform at a higher level than Cal does entering this Week 3 matchup in South Bend, Indiana. Yet, the Irish are banged up, lacking depth throughout its offense, while quarterback Tyler Buchner is day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Even worse, Buchner has not thrown a touchdown pass yet this season. Back-up quarterback, Drew Pyne, came in and threw a touchdown but it was ultimately too little, too late for the Irish to mount a comeback win over Marshall.

Cal has zero pressure and they have been playing complementary football, recording over 260 passing yards in both wins against UC-Davis and UNLV to start their season undefeated. Jack Plummer transferred from Purdue and has shown a good arm, which allows the Golden Bears to delve into the best version of its running game. Of course, they haven't played a team with the stout defensive front that Notre Dame rosters.

Cal's defense shut out UNLV in the fourth quarter, so they seem to have already improved their lackluster pass rush and vulnerable run defense. Getting stops on third down was another problem area for the Golden Bears' defense in 2021 but sixth-year head coach, Justin Wilcox, has found a way to get his defense to play its best when it matters most. Only two passing touchdowns have been scored against Cal's defense this season, but they have surrendered over 100 rushing yards in both matchups.

Will Cal be able to disrupt Notre Dame's rushing attack? The Irish have struggled to pass and Buchner's shoulder injury could place more emphasis on an inefficient ground game. I expect this game to be a time-of-possession battle and another low-scoring affair in South Bend.

Notre Dame vs. Cal Pick

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Article Author


Matt is an avid writer, editor, and researcher. He enjoys analyzing the game within the game which is fantasy sports and sports betting. Music is another constant in his daily life. Matt loves spending time with his wife and three pets. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and is constantly motivated to create the most accurate and engaging content in the sports betting industry.


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