Notre Dame to open its 2023 home schedule against Tennessee State and coach Eddie George

Tennessee State University head coach Eddie George pats Tennessee State University defensive back Nick Harper, Jr. (29) on the head after TSU takes down Austin Peay from scoring at Nissan Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.

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SOUTH BEND — Notre Dame announced Tuesday that it will kick off its 2023 home schedule against the Tennessee State Tigers.

This will be the first time in program history the Irish will face a non-Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, as well as a Historically Black College or University.

NBC will televise the Sept. 2 matchup. A kickoff time has yet to be announced.

Tennessee State, located in Nashville, began playing football in 1912 and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. 

In his first season as a head coach, former Ohio State and Tennessee Titans star running back Eddie George   led the Tigers to a 5-6 record in 2021, their best finish since 2017.

George, who rushed for more than 10,000 yards and scored 78 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons, has a history against Notre Dame. During his Heisman Trophy season in 1995 for the Buckeyes, George ran for 207 yards and two touchdowns in No. 7 Ohio State's 45-26 win over No. 15 Notre Dame, in Columbus.

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"TSU and Notre Dame are two iconic programs that have helped shape today's college athletics landscape," TSU athletic director Mikki Allen said in a statement.

A joint press conference will take place Wednesday, April 6 in South Bend to formally announce the matchup.

Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said the matchup is more than just about football.

“We’re excited to bring a pair of great academic institutions that are steeped in tradition together in 2023,” 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 16 Black College Football National Championships, the most recent coming in 2013. Notre Dame claims 11 consensus NCAA national championships with 1988 being the last.  

The Irish will have a busy start to the 2023 season as it will travel to Dublin, Ireland to open against Navy on Aug. 25. In addition to TSU, the home schedule will include Central Michigan (Sept. 16), Ohio State (Sept. 23), USC (Oct. 14), Wake Forest (Oct. 28) and Pittsburgh (TBD). 

Notable Tennessee State University alumni include Oprah Winfrey, who graduated with a communication degree in 1987; Wilma Rudolph, a three-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field who graduated in 1963; and former Pro Bowl cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the 16th overall in the 2008 NFL Draft. 

2022 Notre Dame football schedule

All kickoff times to be determined

Sept. 3 at Ohio State

Sept. 10 vs. Marshall

Sept. 17 vs. California

Sept. 24 at North Carolina

Oct. 8 vs. BYU at Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas

Oct. 15 vs. Stanford

Oct. 22 vs. UNLV

Oct. 29 at Syracuse

Nov. 5 vs. Clemson

Nov. 12 at Navy at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore

Nov. 19 vs. Boston College

Nov. 26 at USC

2023 Notre Dame football schedule

Aug. 26 vs. Navy at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland

Sept. 2 vs. Tennessee State

Sept. 16 vs. Central Michigan

Sept. 23 vs. Ohio State

Oct. 14 vs. USC

Oct. 28 vs. Wake Forest

Nov. 4 at Clemson

Nov. 25 at Stanford

TBD at Duke

TBD at Louisville

TBD at N.C. State

TBD vs. Pittsburgh