Blue and Gold Illustrated

June-July 2019

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 8 of 55 JUNE/JULY 2019 9 UNDER THE DOME The University of Notre Dame has officially released the 12-game 2021 football schedule that will fea- ture six home games, five on the road and the Shamrock Series at Chicago's Soldier Field versus the University of Wisconsin. Two opponents from Ohio — To- ledo and Cincinnati — also dot the slate for the time or in a while. Some of the top storylines for the slate include: 1. WORKING ON LABOR DAY For the second time in three years, Notre Dame will open on La- bor Day Monday. This year it will be at Louisville (Sept. 2), and in 2021 it will be at Florida State, which in 2018 had its first losing record (5-7) since going 5-6 in 1976. One of the losses last year was 42-13 at Notre Dame. 2. QUICK TURNAROUND Unlike in 2019 when the Fight- ing Irish have a bye after playing Louisville, in 2021 they will host Mid-American Conference foe Toledo just five days later. The Rockets have ad- vanced to five straight bowl games while posting a 46-19 record. This will mark the first time since 1975, when Dan Devine debuted as Notre Dame's head coach, that the Irish will play two games in five days. That year Notre Dame won both at Boston College (17-3) in the Sept. 15 Monday night opener and then on the road Sept. 20 versus Purdue (17-0), which had upset the Irish the year prior, to make the cover of Sports Illustrated. 3. RETURN OF A RIVAL The Purdue Boilermakers are back on the slate (Sept. 18) for the first time since 2014. The in- state rivals had met every year from 1946-2014, and their 86 meetings (Notre Dame leads series 58-26-2 when including 2012-13 "vacated" wins) are the third most for the Fighting Irish, behind 92 with Navy and 90 against USC. Now in his third year at West Lafayette, head coach Jeff Brohm has revitalized the Boilermak- ers with two straight bowl appearance and three wins last year versus ranked foes, highlighted by a 49-20 dismantling of then No. 2-ranked Ohio State. Brohm signed an extension through 2024. 4. BACK IN CHICAGO The two-game series with Wisconsin — 2020 at Green Bay's Lambeau Field and 2021 at Chicago's Soldier Field — has been much anticipated be- cause of the venues and the fact that the Badgers have become a bona fide top-25 program over the past 25 years. Since 1993 they also have had eight Associated Press top-10 finishes, including No. 7 in 2017, compared to Notre Dame's four. The two schools had not met in football since 1964, in head coach Ara Parseghian's coach- ing debut with the Irish. 5. THE KELLY BOWL Brian Kelly's current contract ex- pires after this 2021 season, unless he opts to sign an extension. By the time he reaches this season, he will have coached more seasons than the 11 apiece by Frank Leahy, Par- seghian and Lou Holtz, and will have coached the most games ever by a Notre Dame head coach in football. Thus, it's interesting that Cincin- nati, who Notre Dame last played in 1900, was added as a home game. Kelly coached the Bearcats from 2007-09, leading them to a 12-0 mark in 2009 prior to accepting the Notre Dame job that December. He joins Urban Meyer as having the unique distinction of leading 12-0 regular seasons at two Football Bowl Subdivision schools. 6. THE VIRGINIANS Until 2015, the Notre Dame football team had never played in the state of Virginia. This year it will play both in Blacksburg versus Virginia Tech (Oct. 9) and then in Charlottesville against Virginia (Nov. 13). Those two teams also will be visiting Notre Dame this season. 7. BYE WAYS One aspect of the schedule Notre Dame has perfected this decade is having the bye week come at the halfway point, and usually to coincide with fall semester break. It did so again in 2021 with the Oct. 16 bye prior to hosting archrival USC Oct. 23. Here is the full schedule, with the all-time Notre Dame series record in parentheses: 2021 Football Schedule Announced By Notre Dame Brian Kelly and his Fighting Irish will square off against Cincinnati on Oct. 2, 2021. Kelly led the Bearcats to a 12-0 mark in 2009 prior to accepting the Notre Dame job that December. PHOTO BY ANGELA DRISKELL 2019 SCHEDULE Date Opponent Time (ET) Sept. 2 at Louisville TBA Sept. 14 New Mexico 2:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at Georgia TBA Sept. 28 Virginia 3:30 p.m. Oct. 5 Bowling Green 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12 USC* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at Michigan TBA Nov. 2 Virginia Tech 2:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Duke TBA Nov. 16 Navy 2:30 p.m. Nov. 23 Boston College 2:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Stanford TBA * This will be the Irish Wear Green contest, with fans encouraged to dress in green 2021 SCHEDULE Date Opponent (All-Time Series) Sept. 6 at Florida State (3-6) Sept. 11 Toledo (0-0) Sept. 18 Purdue (58-26-2) Sept. 25 vs. Wisconsin* (8-6-2) Oct. 2 Cincinnati (1-0) Oct. 9 at Virginia Tech (1-1) Oct. 23 USC (48-37-5) Oct. 30 North Carolina (18-2) Nov. 6 Navy (78-13-1) Nov. 13 at Virginia (2-0) Nov. 20 Georgia Tech (28-6-1) Nov. 27 at Stanford (20-13) * at Soldier Field in Chicago 2020 SCHEDULE Date Opponent Sept. 5 vs. Navy* Sept. 12 Arkansas Sept. 19 Western Michigan Sept. 26 vs. Wake Forest+ Oct. 3 vs. Wisconsin$ Oct. 10 Stanford Oct. 17 at Pittsburgh Oct. 31 Duke Nov. 7 Clemson Nov. 14 at Georgia Tech Nov. 21 Louisville Nov. 28 at USC * at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland; + at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.; $ at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

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