2023 Sun Bowl – Notre Dame vs Oregon St

2023 Sun Bowl – Notre Dame vs Oregon St

posted December 17

The Game

It’s time for another visit to the LAND OF ENCHANTMENT as Oregon St battles Notre Dame in the Sun Bowl. The Fighting Irish (9-3) suffered losses to Ohio St, Clemson, and Louisville along the way and this was a regular season that definitely failed to live up to expectations. Having said that, they’ve still got a chance to get to ten wins and book their 6th (!) double-digit winning season since 2017. Oregon St (8-4) was thought by many to be a dark horse contender in the PAC 12 but they suffered a pair of unexpected losses to Washington St and Arizona before dropping their final pair of games (Washington, Oregon).

The Details

Notre Dame -6.5 Oregon St (42)

MEGALOCKS LINE – Notre Dame -5

“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Notre Dame 24.75 Oregon St 17.25

Notre Dame offense vs Oregon St defense

The Irish were a decent and balanced offense during the regular season (#31 rush, #49 pass) but they’ll have a much different look in this game. QB Sam Hartman (24-8 TD to INT) has opted out of the game as has star RB Audric Estime (1,341, 6.4, 18 TD), and almost the entire WR corps hit the portal. Also, recall that star TE Mitchell Evans is OFY due to injury, so all of this means that backup QB Steve Angeli (or someone else with very little experience) is gonna have his work cut out for him. Who knows what to expect? Oregon St was very strong vs the run this season (#15 FBS run D) but not as stout vs the pass. The good news for Notre Dame is that several of Oregon St’s best defensive players have flown the coop so they’ll be working against a stop unit manned by several backups.

Oregon St offense vs Notre Dame defense

The carnage is almost as bad on this side of the football and that’s a shame because the Beavers have also showcased a balanced (#32 rush, #51 pass) and dangerous offense for most of the season. Star RB Damien Martinez (1,185, 6.1, 9 TD) appears to be a “go” for this game after his legal troubles came to an end and that’s a blessing given that starting QB DJU is gone (21-7 TD to INT) and they’ll be rolling with Ben Gulbranson (one attempt this year, 194 LY). They’ll be missing key pieces at WR/TE but the Irish will be missing lots of starters on the defensive side of the ball. There’s probably an edge of some kind for Oregon St when they’re on offense but it’s difficult to say.

Trends, Intangibles and More!

This is one of the most disappointing setups for bowl season given how each roster has been absolutely gutted by the fine displays of “leadership” that you can only read about in history textbooks….Former Oregon St HC Jonathan Smith is now the head coach at Michigan St so the Beavers will be rolling with an interim HC in this game.


This is as tough as it gets in terms of handicapping. So many new starters for both teams all thrown into the blender of a bowl game in New Mexico just after Christmas. We wish there was more to say and it bit more content to throw at you but this Sun Bowl is a bit of a HOT MESS. We’ll still watch tho. Bring it on, baby!


No leanage

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.