Date with Cincinnati completes 2021 Notre Dame football schedule

Eric Hansen
South Bend Tribune

The final piece to the Notre Dame 2021 football schedule was put into place Thursday night.

A program Irish head football coach Brian Kelly is quite familiar with, the University of Cincinnati, completes a slate that includes seven home games, four true road games and a Shamrock Series matchup with Wisconsin at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Irish are 10-0-2 all time at the home of the Chicago Bears.

Cincinnati is the school Kelly left for the ND job, in December of 2009, after he led the Bearcats to an unbeaten regular season in his third year with the program. UC is not a familiar Irish football foe, however.

The most recent and only time the two teams met the Irish also faced the likes of Englewood High School and closed the season with a 5-0 survival of Chicago Physicians & Surgeons. That was 1900.

Notre Dame won that matchup over the Bearcats, 58-0. The 2021 clash is set for Oct. 2, 2021 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Toledo is the only first-time opponent on the 2021 schedule. The Irish host the Rockets Sept. 11, five days after the Labor Day season opener at Florida State.

That will mark just the fourth time since 1996 the Irish open their season on a day other than Saturday. Notre Dame opened the 1996 season on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Vanderbilt, the 2016 season at Texas on Sunday, Sept. 4, and will open the 2019 season Monday, Sept. 2, at Louisville.

The other dangling detail regarding the 2021 schedule was an exact date for the home matchup with North Carolina. Thursday it was revealed the Irish will host the Tar Heels on Oct. 30.

ND’s bye week comes the weekend of Oct. 16, a week before hosting rival USC.

Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly will meet up with a piece of his past in 2021, when the University of Cincinnati visits Notre Dame Stadium on Oct. 2 of that year.

Sept. 6: at Florida State

Sept. 11: TOLEDO

Sept. 18: PURDUE

Sept. 25: Wisconsin*

Oct. 2: CINCINNATI

Oct. 9: at Virginia Tech

Oct. 16: Bye Week

Oct. 23: USC

Oct. 30: NORTH CAROLINA

Nov. 6: NAVY

Nov. 13: at Virginia

Nov. 20: GEORGIA TECH

Nov. 27: Stanford

* At Soldier Field in Chicago