HBCUs are continuing to be trailblazers on and off the fiel, and it was announced Tuesday that the Tennessee State University Tigers will be trailblazing on a field different from their own. For the very first time, TSU will be playing The University of Notre Dame. Get the full story from staff at The Associated Press below.
Notre Dame will make history in its 2023 home opener by playing Tennessee State on Sept. 2, marking the first time the Irish have faced a Historically Black College or University.
It also will be Notre Dame’s first game against a team that competes in the Football Championship Subdivision.
School officials made the announcement Tuesday and credited second-year Tigers coach Eddie George, the 1995 Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State, and Tennessee State athletic director Mikki Allen with creating the vision to schedule the game that NBC will televise nationally.
“We’re excited to bring a pair of great academic institutions that are steeped in tradition together in 2023,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack 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 more than 550 games and lists former NFL stars Richard Dent, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Claude Humphrey and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie among its alumni.
The Tigers won the 1973 Division II national championship and 12 Black College national championships since 1946 but haven’t reached the FCS playoffs since 2013.
“TSU and Notre Dame are two iconic programs that have helped shape today’s college athletics landscape,” Allen said. “We are setting the foundation for long-term success under Coach George’s leadership. The goal is that TSU will be a destination program for the next generation of student-athletes to come.”
Notre Dame opens the 2023 season against Navy on Aug. 26 in Dublin, Ireland.