SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame will make history in its 2023 home opener when it hosts Tennessee State on Sept. 2, marking the first time the Fighting Irish have faced a historically black college or university.
School officials made the announcement Tuesday and credited Tigers sophomore coach Eddie George, the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner, and Tennessee State athletic director Mikki Allen for creating the vision to schedule the match, which will be nationally televised on NBC.
“We are thrilled to bring together two great academic institutions steeped in tradition in 2023,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “I’m delighted we can bring the Tigers and Irish together for a weekend that will feature programming with over 20 domestic titles combined, the Aristocrat of Bands and the Band of the Fighting Irish.”
Tennessee State has won over 550 games and counts former NFL stars Richard Dent, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Claude Humphrey and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie among its alumni.
The Tigers have won the Division II national championship in 1973 and 12 Black College national championships since 1946, but have not reached the FCS playoffs since 2013.
“TSU and Notre Dame are two iconic programs that have helped shape today’s college athletic landscape,” Allen said. “We are laying the foundation for long-term success under Coach George. The goal is for TSU to be a destination program for the next generation of student-athletes to come.
Notre Dame opens the 2023 season on August 26 against Navy in Dublin, Ireland.
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