COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The biggest game of the year for Ohio State and Notre Dame is almost here. The 6th ranked Buckeyes will take on the 9th ranked Fighting Irish Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC4.
Quentin Ison and Abbey Bartosiak are both native Ohioans and they’ll be making the road trip to northern Indiana for the game. But they won’t be wearing the same colors. Ison, who grew up in Galloway, Ohio, bleeds scarlet and gray.
“I was born into it. My grandmother is a graduate of the University. She graduated in 1958 so she was there for a lot of the National Championship wins. I was hooked from the moment I was born,” Ison said.
Bartosiak grew up in Shelby, a town outside of Mansfield. Her father was born and raised in South Bend. She remembers loving the Notre Dame Fighting Irish women’s basketball team and fell in love with the Irish when they won the national championship in 2001. Her grandfather sent her the championship VHS tape from that game, and she has been a Golden Domer ever since.
The two, who are engaged to be married in February, met in 2019. On their first date, they found common ground.
“I think our first date’s what, Notre Dame Michigan? So I’m rooting for the Irish too,” Ison said.
Bartosiak added, “We both hate Michigan which obviously we can rally around that.”
Notre Dame lost that game to Michigan. Suffice to say, Bartosiak was not handling it well.
“She’s crying at the bar there, but I knew then. I was like, she’s so passionate about her team I don’t care if she roots for Notre Dame. I found a girl that loves college football as much as me. This is great,” Ison said.
From that moment, Ison had to try to sway Bartosiak’s opinion of Buckeye fans.
“I have not always had the greatest experience with Ohio State fans. There are obviously some exceptions,” Bartosiak said. But that’s when his “grammy” stepped in. “I love his grammy more than anything and she is the sweetest and she is the biggest Buckeye fan.”
Until last year, the two had never gone head to head. Then the Irish came to Columbus.
“Admittedly, I can get pretty mean during games if it’s not going my way. We both watched the game in separate locations and I do think that was the best,” Bartosiak said.
“”We got through it. It was fine. No punches were thrown. We actually watched at different locations. This year’s going to be a different story,” Ison said. “There’s still a ring on her finger so it didn’t go that bad.”
This year they’ll be watching together in South Bend.
This year’s game is different from the matchup in 2022. Bartosiak said she’s much more confident in the Notre Dame offense led by quarterback Sam Hartman, the transfer from Wake Forest. Ison has watched Notre Dame too. He said he’s much more concerned about this year’s team than last. His key to the game is limiting big plays from Notre Dame through the air, and finding a way to stop the Irish running back Audric Estime, a bruising runner who’s started the year hot.
“This year if we don’t win, I’ll definitely be a lot more disappointed,” Bartosiak said.
As for how the game will play out, they both are sticking with their gut. Bartosiak predicted a final score of 34-21 Notre Dame while Ison went with a closer matchup ending 35-31 Ohio State.