College Football Week 0 odds, picks: Notre Dame-Navy, Caleb Williams appeared first (2023)

College football returns with Week 0 action on Saturday. It's just a taste of football with seven games involving FBS teams, but it marks the return of football and the start of the season.

There are also some notable groups in action withNotre Dame Fighting Irishtaking overNavyMidfielder in Ireland andUSC Trojanciand the reigning Heisman Trophy winnerCaleb Williamshosting itSan Jose State Spartans. Both Notre Dame and USC have aspirations of competing for the College Football Playoff this year. USC is ranked No. 6 in both major polls and Notre Dame is ranked No. 13 in both.

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Not surprisingly, both USC and Notre Dame are favored by multiple touchdowns in these openers. Elsewhere, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks make their debut as an FBS team in a Conference USA vsUTEP miners. In total, six of the teams that played in Week 0 games played in bowl games last season.

Here's an in-depth look at some of the most notable games that will kick off the season in Week 0.

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All kickoffs are Saturday and Eastern time. The ranking comes from the AP survey. All odds are from BetMGM.Click here for live odds.

Navy v. No. 13 Notre Dame — 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland

The 2023 college football season begins overseas when Notre Dame and Navy meet in Dublin, Ireland, in the Aer Lingus College Football Classic. Despite the unique setting, the Fighting Irish will again be heavy favorites as they look for their sixth straight win over the Midshipmen.

The historic rivals will renew their acquaintance at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin from 2.30pm. ET on Saturday. The game will be televised by NBC.

The Irish enter Marcus Freeman's second full season as the 13th-ranked coach with bigger goals in mind after going 9-4 last season. There is a lot of buzz around the attack due to the arrival of the transfer backSam Hartman, who comes to Notre Dame after rewriting the record books at Wake Forest. Through five seasons forDemon Deacons, Hartman threw for 12,967 yards and 110 touchdowns, tied for second and first in ACC history.

This game also marks the beginning of a new era for the Midshipmen as former defensive coordinator Brian Newberry takes over for longtime coach Ken Niumatalolo, who was fired after 15 seasons at the helm. Newberry is looking to turn things around after three straight losing seasons and will rely on an experienced defense to keep his team in games. The Navy's patented attack option will remain in effect, but the intent is to include more add-on elements. Offensive coordinator Grant Chestnut will likely alternate at quarterback with the sophomoreBlake Horvathand tallerEbbs and flowssharing the highest charge on the depth chart entering this game.

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While Notre Dame has historically dominated this rivalry (going 81-13-1), that doesn't mean Navy won't put up a fight. Last season, the 3-7 Midshipmen nearly erased a 22-point halftime deficit before falling 35-32 to the then-No. 20 Irish in Baltimore.

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Ohio at San Diego State — 7 p.m. ET on FS1

TheOhio Bobcatsbegin the 2023 college football season where they finished their last, in the West, when they take overSan Diego State Aztecson Saturday night. The Aztecs will be slight home favorites in this exciting MAC vs. Mountain West non-conference matchup.

The two Group of 5 programs will meet for just the second time in this game at 7 p.m. ET at Snapdragon Stadium, the campus SDSU opened a year ago. The game will be broadcast on FS1.

Ohio State is the defending MAC East champion and won 10 games last season, including a 30-27 overtime victory againstWyoming, another member of the Mountain West, in the Arizona Bowl. Coach Tim AlbinBerrieshave several returning players on offense, a group highlighted by the reigning MAC Offensive Player of the YearKurtis Rourke. The senior running back led the conference with 3,526 passing yards and 25 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions. He did so despite missing the last three games after tearing his ACL in mid-November. If Rourke doesn't fully recover, the backupCJ Harrisit will start below the center. Harris, a junior, was the offensive MVP in the Bobcats' bowl victory.

San Diego State has a reputation for running the ball and playing stingy defense, but it needs more than its offense as the Aztecs aim for their first Mountain West championship since 2016. He hopes quarterbackJalen Mayden, who moved from the safety spot midway through last season, will be the catalyst for improved offensive production.

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With coach Brady Hoke having to replace nearly every starter from last season's defensive unit that finished 16th in the nation in yards allowed per play, the offense will certainly have to do its part for SDSU to build any momentum during during the non-conference (which also includes games againstUCLAIOregon State) before heading into the Mountain West game.

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Hawaii at Vanderbilt — 7:30 p.m. ET on the SEC Network

TheVanderbilt Commodoresopens its 2023 challenge with a visit from the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors, a matchup that Vandy enters as a heavy favorite. After multiple wins in coach Clark Lea's second season in Nashville, the Commodores will compete for a bowl game appearance for the first time since 2018.

The start is scheduled for 19:30. ET on Saturday at FirstBank Stadium. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

No team in the country could be more excited to finish 5-7 than Vanderbilt in 2022. After opening the season 3-1, two wins against division opponentsFloridaIKentuckyin November, it was enough to spark excitement around a program that hadn't won more than three games in any season since 2018.

BekAJ Swannwould put together a solid freshman outing totaling 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is one of the key players the Commodores hope to improve.

Swann will also need his secondary to step up if Vandy wants to go to a bowl, but the team may not need to pull off all the fireworks against the Rainbow Warriors. Vanderbilt won the game between the two teams in Honolulu last year 63-10.

Hawaii enters year 2 of head coach Timmy Chang looking to improve after going 2-10 in 2022. One immediate path to improvement is turnover prevention. starting point guardBrad Sagerthrew 10 interceptions in his first year as a starter. He'll get plenty of reps to mature under center, as Chang said this offseason the team will use a run-and-shoot offense, a high-passing scheme that will give Schager a chance to win games with his hand.

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San Jose State at no. 6 USC - 8:00 p.m. ET on the Pac-12 Network

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams returns to college football for his third and likely final year with a Week 0 game against San Jose State. USC is heavily favored over the Spartans, who will bring a highly touted running backChevan Cordeiro.


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The start is scheduled for 20:00. ET on Saturday at the LA Memorial Coliseum. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.

Had Williams not injured his knee in the Pac-12 Championship game last December, he ultimately lost toJute, the Trojans were able to compete in the College Football Playoff. USC coach Lincoln Riley will have another chance to become the first Pac-12 team to make the playoffs sinceWashingtonhe did in 2017, and significant signings should bolster an already elite squad.

USC didn't have to look far for a receiver to add to the arsenal, earning a commitmentDorian Singer, who earned All-Pac-12 honors for Arizona last season. Singer will need to replicate the production the Trojans got from the former USC commitJordan Addison, who traveled toNFL.

Like last year, most of the question marks surrounding USC have to do with defense. While the Spartans don't have one of the most elite offenses USC will face this season, there's reason to believe San Jose State could put points on the board.

After transferring from Hawaii, Cordeiro entered his second year at San Jose and was named the Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. He amassed 32 total touchdowns and more than 3,500 all-purpose yards in his first year as a Spartan.

(Video) San Jose State Spartans vs. USC Trojans | Full Game Highlights

If the Trojans want to establish themselves and defend their national titles, stopping Cordeiro is a good place to start.

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(Photo by Caleb Williams: Jayne Kamin-Once/Getty Images)


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