Mar 30, 2011, 5:39 PM EDT
As if you needed another reason to get excited for the Trojans to return to South Bend, Notre Dame announced today that the game will be played in prime-time, with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff planned for the October 22nd showdown.
The match-up is the first home night game the Irish have played in 21 years, when the No. 1 rated Irish defeated the No. 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines 28-24. (The Irish will play the Wolverines in Ann Arbor at night on September 10th, the first ever at the Big House.) The switch to a late start for the USC game has been rumored for quite some time, but officially announced today in a release by the athletic department.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to play host to a home night game,” athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. ” While we will do this only on a selective basis, we think it is important to occasionally use the platform of a prime-time game to promote the University and our football program.
“When you look back at the previous home night games we’ve played, a number of those have been hallmark events in the history of our program. We are confident this year’s USC game will continue that tradition.”
Awesome news and another savvy play by Jack Swarbrick, getting the Irish under the lights and the dome for the first time in 21 years. If the usual Irish-Trojans showdown is electric, playing under the lights after a long day of festivities should have Notre Dame Stadium rocking. The inevitable questions of security and safety will surely be debated, but plenty of college football games get played at night, and finally one with be in South Bend.
Notre Dame finalized the rest of their home kickoff times, with every true home game kicking off at 3:30, with the exception of Boston College pushing back to 4:00 p.m. The Irish’s neutral site game against Maryland will start at 7:30 p.m. at FedEx Field.