SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame will make history in its 2023 home opener by hosting 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 second-year Tigers coach Eddie George, the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner, and Tennessee State athletic director Mikki Allen with creating the vision to schedule the game that will be televised nationally on NBC.
“We’re excited to bring a pair of great academic institutions that are steeped in tradition together in 2023,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "I’m thrilled we’re able to bring the Tigers and the Irish together for a weekend that will feature programs with over 20 combined national titles, the Aristocrat of Bands and the Band of the Fighting Irish.”
Tennessee State has won more than 550 games and lists former NFL stars Richard Dent, Ed “Too Tall" Jones, Claude Humphrey and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie among its alums.
The Tigers won the 1973 Division II national championship and 12 Black College national championships since 1946, but haven't reached the FCS playoffs since 2013.
“TSU and Notre Dame are two iconic programs that have helped shape today’s college athletics landscape,” Allen said. “We are setting the foundation for long-term success under coach George’s leadership. The goal is that TSU will be a destination program for the next generation of student-athletes to come.”
Notre Dame opens the 2023 season Aug. 26 when it faces Navy in Dublin, Ireland.