Notre Dame football season opener moves to Sunday night time slot

ND Insider Staff Report
ND Insider

The 12th all-time meeting between Notre Dame and Texas on the football field will get its own special, exclusive window to showcase the duel between No. 2 and No. 3 on the all-time college wins list.

The Saturday Sept. 3 season opener for both teams at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas, has been moved to an exclusive, primetime window on Sunday, Sept. 4.

The exact kickoff time and television details for the night game will be announced in weeks to come.

ND's first regular-season Sunday football game comes in its 128th season of competition. The Irish did play in a bowl game on a Sunday night — a 27-9 loss to LSU in the 1997 Independence Bowl at Shreveport, La.

“A game of the magnitude of Notre Dame-Texas, played on the opening weekend of the college football season, deserves a special place on the Labor Day sports calendar,” ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick said.

“With this move we have secured that place and by doing so are providing a greater opportunity for fans of college football to enjoy what is sure to be another great game in a classic rivalry that dates back to 1913.”

Notre Dame leads the series 9-2, including the 2015 season opener for both teams in Notre Dame Stadium, won by Notre Dame, 38-3.

In the last meeting in Austin in 1996 the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired in a 27-24 victory over the sixth-rated Longhorns. Current Texas head coach Charlie Strong served as a Notre Dame assistant coach at that time.

"Having worked in both programs, I have a deep appreciation of the great football pride, tradition and passion at Texas and Notre Dame," Strong said. "This is a game we're obviously very excited about and really looking forward to. I think moving it to Sunday with no NFL games when it can really be in the spotlight will make it that much more special."

Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire (8) looks for a receiver down field during the second half of the Notre Dame Texas game, Saturday, September 5, 2015 in South Bend. (Tribune Photo/BECKY MALEWITZ)