Notre Dame, USF agree to three-game football series

Tyler James
South Bend Tribune

Not only will South Florida fill Notre Dame football’s non-conference hole on the schedule for 2020, but the Bulls and Irish have agreed to a three-game series.

USF announced Thursday that the two teams will play each other twice more beyond this season — once at USF and once at Notre Dame.

This season’s game will be held Sept. 19 at Notre Dame Stadium. The next two games do not yet have years attached to them.

Despite not being required by the Atlantic Coast Conference to play a non-conference game, Notre Dame added USF to replace Western Michigan, which dropped off the schedule when the Mid-American Conference canceled its conference’s fall season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SF had an opening Sept. 19 after its game with Nevada was canceled.

The addition of USF completes Notre Dame’s regular season schedule for 2020. The Irish agreed to join the ACC for the season with 10 conference games and the option to play one non-conference game. Notre Dame plans to open the season at home against Duke on Sept. 12.

USF hired former Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott as its head coach in December following a 4-8 season to replace fired coach Charlie Strong.

Scott plucked Charlie Weis Jr., the son of former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis, from Florida Atlantic to join him as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Tampa.

USF won the only previous meeting between the two teams in 2011. The Irish lost their home opener to the Bulls 23-20 after two weather delays.

Notre Dame hasn’t played a true road game against a Group of Five team since playing Temple in Philadelphia in 2015. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.

Notre Dame and USF have agreed to a three-game series that will start this season on Sept. 19, with the next two matchups still to be scheduled in future years. Linebacker Manti Te’o (back) and the Irish couldn’t defeat running back Demetris Murray (right) and the Bulls in 2011.