Michigan announced last week that the 2011 Notre Dame-Michigan game will be a night game. At most schools this wouldn’t be a major announcement. At Michigan though, the announcement was major since this will be the first night game played in Michigan Stadium. Ever.
Michigan AD Dave Brandon said in a release:
“This will be an unprecedented game day atmosphere that our fans have not experienced at Michigan Stadium,” said Brandon. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase our program, university and Ann Arbor to a primetime viewing audience. This also adds a new chapter to the storied rivalry between our two great programs.”
While this might be the first night game at Michigan Stadium, it won’t be the first night game between the two schools. The Irish and Wolverines squared off under the lights of Notre Dame Stadium three times in the 80’s and 90’s – the most recent coming in 1990 when Rick Mirer made his first career start for the #1 ranked Fighting Irish. Mirer led the top ranked Irish to a 28-24 victory over Michigan.
Overall, Notre Dame is 3-0 in night games against Michigan, including one of the more memorable games in Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish kicked off their National Championship 1988 season by hosting the Wolverines under the lights of Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won a close content 19-17, but the most memorable part of the game came from the fans.
As surprising as it may sound now given the relative quiet atmosphere inside Notre Dame Stadium most Saturdays in the fall, the Irish were penalized because the crowd was too loud as shown in the following video.
Michigan announced that ESPN or ESPN2 would carry the game which will kickoff at 8:00. With the game being at the beginning of the season and being broadcast on ESPN, look for the ESPN College Gameday crew to be in Ann Arbor that weekend.