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Live Blue-Gold Spring Game broadcast and St. Patty’s Day marathon on VERSUS

Mar 7, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

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You can already start stuffing the ballot box for the ten most memorable moments of Notre Dame on NBC, but here’s the official release announcing the televised broadcast of the 82nd Annual Blue-Gold spring game, as well as the triple-header of classic Notre Dame football games.

While I’m still shy on details of the broadcast, it’ll be fun to get a first look at the 2011 Fighting Irish, and newcomers like Aaron Lynch, Ishaq Williams, and Everett Golson. Looking back at last year’s Blue-Gold game, it’s amazing to realize just how vanilla the coaching staff played things on both sides of the ball — being sure to get as little on film as possible for opponents, and playing the game at hyper-speed. With a year under their belts in South Bend, and a season of game tape already available to opponents, I expect to see a lot more from both sides of the ball, with competition ferocious at more than a few different positions.

Here’s the official release:

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 7, 2011)— This St. Patrick’s Day, VERSUS will “Celebrate the Irish” by televising three of the most legendary Notre Dame football games to ever air on NBC Sports: the 1992 Penn State game, since dubbed “The Snow Bowl”; the “Bush Push” game vs. USC in 2005; and the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup against Florida State in 1993.  The games, chosen by a “Green-Ribbon” panel of experts, will be shown during the network’s six hours of non-stop coverage beginning Thursday, March 17, at 5 p.m. ET.

Throughout the three-game celebration, hosted by Liam McHugh, the network will conduct in-depth interviews with current Head Coach Brian Kelly as well as Notre Dame legends, such as ex-NFL superstar Jerome Bettis.  Beginning today, fans can visit NBCSports.com to watch clips and vote for the 10 “Greatest Notre Dame on NBC Moments.”  The results will be unveiled during VERSUS’ six hours of “Celebrate the Irish” coverage on St. Patrick’s Day.

Additionally, VERSUS will air the 82nd Annual Blue-Gold spring football game on April 16 at 2 p.m. ET, marking the first time that Notre Dame’s traditional spring scrimmage game will be televised nationally.  This year’s game possesses extra interest and excitement as Notre Dame returns 17 starters that ended 2010 on a four-game winning streak, including All-America candidates wide receiver Michael Floyd, safety Harrison Smith and linebacker Manti Te’o.

SCHEDULE:

Thursday, March 17
5 pm ET 1992 “Snow Bowl” vs. Penn State
7 pm ET 2005 “Bush Push” vs. USC
9 pm ET 1993 No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 2 Notre Dame

Saturday, April 16

2 pm ET 82nd Annual Blue-Gold Spring Football Game

ND/Penn State – Nov. 14, 1992: Arguably one of the most exciting games in college football history, Notre Dame’s final home contest of the ’92 season became an instant classic.  The players took to the field during a winter storm making it forever known in South Bend as “The Snow Bowl.”  The Nittany Lions took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but then the Irish stormed back when Jerome Bettis caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Rick Mirer, putting the Irish within one point of Penn State (16-15). Coach Lou Holtz went for the two-point conversion and Mirer threw a complete pass to Reggie Brooks to put the Irish on top for the victory over Penn State.

ND/USC – Oct. 15, 2005: Despite losing to rival USC, this game was an essential addition to all-time lists as the Trojans were riding a 27-game winning streak and were the defending National Champions.  Notre Dame, also undefeated at 4-0 on the season, lead 31-28 with just over two minutes remaining in the much-hyped game. Then, USC drove the length of the field to Notre Dame’s two-yard line, completing a fourth-and nine from their own 26-yard line in the process, and then scored the winning touchdown on a controversial play with what would later become known as the “Bush-push.”  After USC’s quarterback Matt Leinart was initially stopped by the Irish defense on the goal line, USC’s Reggie Bush pushed Leinart into the end zone with seven seconds remaining on the clock, giving the Trojans a 34-31 victory.

ND/Florida State – Nov. 13, 1993: Listed among many as one of the “Games of the Century,” the No. 1 Florida State Seminoles and the No. 2 Fighting Irish were both undefeated heading into this game. The winner of this highly-anticipated contest was certain to move on to the Orange Bowl and play for the National Championship.  Despite being the underdogs, the Irish were leading the game 31-17 with just over a minute left to play when Florida State quarterback, and subsequent Heisman Trophy winner, Charlie Ward, threw a miraculous touchdown pass to Kez McCorvey to pull the Seminoles within seven points of Notre Dame.  After recovering the onside kick, Notre Dame punted the ball back to the Seminoles after going three downs without picking up a first down.  Florida State had one final chance to tie the game, but Ward missed his receiver and Notre Dame secured the upset victory, 31-24.

VERSUS, part of the NBC Sports Group, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD).  Now in more than 75 million homes, the network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France and Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  VERSUS also airs NASCAR, NBA, UFC, college football and college basketball programming.  The network is home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else. VERSUS is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

I’m not sure if we’re supposed to thank Jack Donaghy for this (a little 30 Rock humor if you’re not picking up what I’m putting down), but for all those fans hoping that they’d have a chance to get more Irish football on TV, your wish seems to be granted.

  1. ndfootballfan4life - Mar 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Can’t wait to watch the Florida St. and Penn St. games, since i’ve really only seen highlights from these games. But I could go without them showing the “Bush Push” game. I will probably end up throwing something at the TV and breaking it.

    • scardino - Mar 7, 2011 at 1:59 PM

      I wanted to like this comment twice but it wouldn’t let me.

  2. borromini - Mar 7, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    Has Versus already learned to “tweak” stats in the interest of hyping up these games? :-) The 2005 USC/ND matchup was not between two undefeated teams as noted. ND had lost to Sparty in OT earlier that season. I forgive them for the flap as long as they keep sending Irish classic games our way!

  3. bonerchamp - Mar 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM

    Can’t find tape of a big ND win from this century? The ’93 FSU game is the Mighty Myths last big win!? I think ’93 is the last time they were ranked in the top 5 as well.
    What a completely irrelevant football team (not with their fans of course).

  4. ndfootballfan4life - Mar 7, 2011 at 5:17 PM

    i’m curious as to which completely relevant program bonerchamp is a follower of…and how did he accidentally get redirected to a notre dame blog?

  5. bonerchamp - Mar 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    I’ve been reading PFT forever and this blog is linked. I didn’t notice a disclaimer about having to be a ND fan in order to read this site.
    After reading the article, I felt compelled to point out the fact that Versus is pulling clips from 1992 and 1993 because that was the last time ND was relevant to the National title hunt.
    ND fans hate the truth and the truth is summed up with one number….1988.

  6. ndfootballfan4life - Mar 7, 2011 at 7:53 PM

    apparently you didnt catch on to my sarcasm…all i’m saying is that you wont find me wasting a minute of my day reading and commenting on articles regarding USC. i just get a chuckle when people go out of their way to make comments about how “irrelevant” notre dame football is, so for that I thank you.

  7. notredave - Mar 7, 2011 at 9:53 PM

    No bonerchamp, you certainly don’t have to be a Notre Dame fan to post here. But why would you even waste your time?? Who goes to a site for a team they don’t even like? I’ll tell you who. Someone who is being owned by said team that they don’t even like. Lol.

    Irish for Life!!!

  8. bonerchamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    Again, I was reading PFT, this site is linked and I clicked over to read an article. I’m a college football fan so I was reading up on CFB in the same way I read CFT (which is also linked), rivals or CFN. Quit being so self important.
    Newsflash Notredave (hilarious play on words btw), the Irish haven’t owned anyone in 25 years. Hell, Navy is 3 and 1 against the mighty irish in their last 4. But like a typical ND fan, you are delusional and defensive and hate hearing the truth about the sad state of your once great program.

    • oldestguard - Mar 8, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      Stay with us for the next few years, B-champ ), and lets see what direction our program takes

      By the way, who is your favorite team and do they appear on any of our future schedules ?

    • gond13 - Mar 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Bonerchamp, here’s the definition of relevant:

      ‘Having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand’

      It’s obvious you must have gone to an SEC school because you clearly lack an education. Here’s how relevant Notre Dame is:

      1. Name me a program that graduates it’s players at a higher percentage?
      2. Name me another program in ANY college sport that can maintain a nationally televised audience regardless of the opponent? How come ABC, NBC or CBS are not offering to televise every Ohio State game? Every LSU game? Every USC game? How many people in the country do you think would tune in to watch LSU vs Navy? Ohio State vs Navy? USC vs Navy?
      3. Check road attendance records. Tell me which game Purdue sells out first. Notre Dame or Ohio State? Tell me how many people do you think an Auburn vs Navy game would draw at Yankee stadium?

      Sure seems like alot of people are interested in this “irrelevant” program.

      • bonerchamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:16 PM

        If you went back and read my comments throughout the post I clearified “irrelevant” by saying, “irrelevant to the National title hunt.” So when was the last time ND was relevant to the National Title hunt in late Novemeber when it counts?
        This is the same argument that I hear all of the time. Basically, what you are saying is that ND is relevant to their fans. And I’m lacking education?
        The graduation rates are nothing more than an excuse for sucking. Navy and Stanford have excellent grad rates, hell Va Tech, Iowa and Miami are over 80% now. next…
        Their TV ratings have been up and down over the years and NBC will get out of that contract as soon as it’s up especially with the new ownership.
        All of these things that you mention; attendance, tv rights and grad rates have not done anything for the success of the program in the last 20 plus years yet Irish fans act is if they’ve won something.
        So yes, ND is irrelevant when it comes to the National title hunt….that is why they play the games right?

  9. bonerchamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Ahhh, the old Notre Dame “wait til next year!” You sound like all of my buddies who are ND fans. How many good recruiting class did you burn through without any results? But this one is different because it’s heavy on the front 7 right?
    And speaking of the direction that ND is taking, do you mean being one of only three AQ schools to lose to 2 non AQ schools (the others being Kansas and Minnesota) last year? Losing again to Michigan?
    Look, there is no doubt that there is talent in South Bend but not “powerhouse” talent. Top 15-20 talent. A bunch of Fr are not going to come in and cure ND’s defense this year. In 2012, the schedule from hell, Floyd gone and no future at QB. I’m sure the defense will be improved but the problem is lopsided classes, no QB and no running game. This is Notre effin Dame! I grew up watching these guys and no one could stop them on the ground! Tony Rice had 2 freeking TD passes in ’89!
    ND will never be ND until they start running the ball.
    And if I mentioned my schools name it would be unfair. My AM has done quite well decade after decade. I’d like to see ND as a powerhouse again, it would be great for CFB, I just wish their fans would stop acting like 1988 was a year ago. And schedule an SEC opponent will ya!!!???

    • bairish07 - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:11 PM

      B-champ – thanks at least for not not making typical-troll comments like “u suk, ha ha ha,” but the old “irrelevant” argument is… well, irrelevant. And while I’ll be the first to admit that Weis’ first 2 years were too heavy on the smoke-&-mirrors, we at least made some BCS noise in 05-06, so you can’t just say that we have to go back to the 80’s/90’s to find our last instance of relevance.

      That said, there are several legit points in your last post, but there’s plenty of empty talk, too…
      – No future at QB? At best, that’s a big, fat TBD, but I think our roster under center stacks up pretty well against anyone’s, especially if you compare Crist’s numbers to Landry Jones & some other big-name QB’s his age.
      – Need to run the ball & play stronger D? Amen! Every ND fan would LOVE to see us run more/better, and play better defense. Those 2 things are why we’re so optimistic about next year right now – to end 2010 that’s exactly what we did.
      – The old “wait till next year” argument (aka Cubs Syndrome)? Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard it before, so by all means be skeptical. I am a bit myself – we’ve got a lot to prove, & talk doesn’t prove anything, but dang it I can’t help myself: I’m buying it. I’m buying in. And it’s because I’m a fan & there’s nothing anybody can tell me that’ll keep me from rooting my brains out for my Irish.

      Good luck to whatever mystery team you cheer for… unless they’re playin us.
      Go Irish!

      • bonerchamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Do you know the last time ND finished the season ranked in the top 5? 1993
        Last Title? 1988
        Last big win against a top 5 team? Not sure:)
        Not sure what smoke and mirrors you’re talking about. BCS bowl in 05…lost. BCS game in 06….demolished. Both of those years ND was routinely exposed when they played a great teams (USC,LSU, OSU)
        When ND is back everbody will know. But most irish fans that I run into want to act like it’s 1988 and thats just not the case.
        It’s not a cold streak, it’s a trend…a 20 year trend….sorry.

    • gond13 - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:21 PM

      Bonerchamp, i respect what you’re saying but if you spend alot of time on these kinds of boards then your idea of ND fans is going to be the same as fans of almost any other school because everybody on these boards thinks their team is the best and greatest ever. However, having been born in South Bend and having grown up in South bend and having had close to a million conversations about ND football i can assure you that your idea of ND fans is incorrect. If i had a dollar for every phone call, e-mail or text message that i received from a ND fan in the past decade saying “we suck”, i could immediately retire. Your perception that we all still think it’s 1988 is false. We want to compete and that’s all. Nobody has aspirations of dominating a decade or winning multiple national championships. We just want to be a part of the mix from time to time and to mistake our passion for the game and our passion for the university for some nostalgic trip back to the 80’s would be wrong. Are there annoying obnoxious ND fans? Absolutely. I’ve had to punch a few of them in the face myself, but to label us all that way really weakens your argument.

  10. oldestguard - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Glad you would like to see ND as a powerhouse again. Not so different as any other poster here.

    You seem to be the only person obsessed with 1988…we’re just responding to a poll from NBC.

    Since you are such a fan, you probably noticed our decent finish in the 2010 season…… is that not at least a step in the right direction ?

    How are you so sure we have no future at QB ?….look what an unheralded freshman was able to accomplish this last year under Kelly.

    You need to keep it real, Bone.

  11. bonerchamp - Mar 8, 2011 at 2:48 PM

    I love the selective optimism oldestguard! No mention of the losses to Navy, Michigan and Tulsa. Or the dismantling at the hands of Standford. Let’s just talk up wins against teams like Utah ( lost combined 73-10 against BSU and TCU) and programs who were obviously in bad situations. Miami’s entire coaching staff were told they weren’t coming back and they were in dire straights. USC played that game with 43 scholarship players and if it weren’t for a miracle drop, ND loses.
    Again, national powerhouses do not lose to 1 non AQ school (not named TCU or Boise) let alone 2 named Navy and Tulsa.
    So what you saw as progress, I see as the same ol same ol. Some good, some bad. But absolutely no sign that the days of Holtz are close.
    Btw, did someone compare Dayne Christ to Landry Jones?!?! they both are 21 but that’s where the comparisons stop. LJ has thrown for 8k yds and almost 70 td’s and DC has thrown for over 2K and 16 td’s. Come on ND peeps, like oldestguard said, keep it real!

    • oldestguard - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

      Glad to see we have your full attention…. you can’t quit us !

      You’re really closet-Domer….admit it !!

      Hope you stick around during the up-coming season, should be interesting.

      Who knows…..maybe we’ll get real lucky and some 5th string SEC QB will transfer to ND this summer and resurrect our glory.

  12. notacareintheworld - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Stop the presses!

    Bonerchamp is a Miami Man!!!!!!!

    Seriously, I read PFT/CFT alot, too. I’m pretty good with remembering names and really who forgets a name like bonerchamp. Dude has posted before on articles about Miami.

    Totally explains the ’88 references and his refusal to name his team.

    • oldestguard - Mar 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      Exposed….. by his own “Boner”.

  13. notredave - Mar 8, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    Miami?!?! Hahahahaha……….

    Anyway, thanks for further proving my point, boner.

    Full disclosure. I live in Tulsa. That loss hurt bad. Really, really bad. Compound that by getting the business from no less then twenty five of the locals and I had a bad Halloween weekend.Lol.

    What we did after that loss is what has us fans excited and hopeful. I’m liking the direction we appear to be heading.Certainly the game is played on the field though. I just wish those games started this weekend.

    • bonerchamp - Mar 9, 2011 at 6:59 AM

      Exposed? Miami Fan? The comment that he must be talking about is what I said about Tate Forcier. All I said is that with good coaching, I think he could play (His best game did come against the Mighty Fighting Irish). That makes me a Miami fan?!?! Okay?
      Anyway, what I will say is this, it’s been a pleasure. Usually posts can become personal and vitriolic and this hasn’t. I love talking college football especially with people who are rational (not SEC fan). And believe me when I say this, it would be great to have the old (really old) ND back. It would also be great to see them join a conference but that is a different debate for another time.
      Can I reccomend one thing as a non fan when debating the “relevance” of ND in CFB? Saying that you have a big fan base, a TV contract or that you sellout games isn’t valid. Winning games is what counts in CFB. And the truth is, it’s been 20 years since ND even cracked the top 5. That my green and gold friends is a fact.
      It’s been fun and I can’t promise that I won’t browse occasionally to bring you guys back down to earth…see you in Chicago in 2012 with a real team:)

  14. oldestguard - Mar 9, 2011 at 3:08 PM

    We’ll have a QB and a D ready for your ‘canes !

  15. notredamechamp11x - Mar 11, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Bonerchamp, Notre Dame will do good this season & i know that everybody says that to you but what bob davie, ty, & charlie weis didnt get was you need a good defense to win games. & the ’93 boston college game was the fall of notre dame. & u r a miami fan be cuz wi did u say “see you in Chicago in 2012 with a real team:)” come on now. really.

  16. notredamechamp11x - Mar 11, 2011 at 11:55 PM

    & Brian Kelly just recruited the best recruiting class sin Ara’s Era. & somebody’s finally got it.

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