Notre Dame and Michigan Under the Lights in ‘11

The next time Notre Dame travels to Ann Arbor, they will be playing in the first night game in the history of the Big House. (Photo - Icon SMI)

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.

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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.

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  1. dear lord PLEASE let us get a different officiating crew than the last visit to Ann Arbor!

    -one of the worst games i’v ever sat thru in my life!

  2. Night games are great, they get the fans pumped up, and the team feeds off of it. Following the night game in ann arbor(is a whore) there should be a night game the next year here in SB! i just recently was able to go to ND games starting with the 3-9 year, and the only “night games” we’ve had were the 4 ot loss to pitt adn the washington game last year was relatively dark as well. GO NIGHT GAMES!!!


  4. There should be 2 home night games each year. I dont believe there has been a night game yet at ND Stadium since Rock’s house was renovated in 1997 when they installed lights. Of course with the possibility of a night game w/ a future team the likes of Tulsa – Utah or Western Michigan, maybe its best we dont burn the midnight oil…..

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