Notre Dame and USC… Under the Lights

For the first time in 21 years, a game in Notre Dame home game will kick-off under the lights of Notre Dame Stadium when rival USC travels to South Bend for the October 22nd showdown.

notre dame usc night
Notre Dame and USC will play the first night game in Notre Dame Stadium in 21 years this fall. (Photo - Chris Williams/Icon SMI)

Notre Dame fans have been longing for a night game in Notre Dame Stadium for years with the last such event taking place in 1990 when Notre Dame hosted Michigan – a game in which Rick Mirer made his collegiate debut.

It will be interesting to see what the crowd is like for the first night game in over two decades.  For too long the crowds inside Notre Dame Stadium have gotten quieter and quieter.  Part of the reason for that has been the on-field product.  With a night game and a team that could challenge for a BCS berth, there won’t be any excuse for there being anything other than a raucous atmosphere.

Will the crowd be as intense as it was when Michigan came to town in 1988 and the Irish were given a penalty because the crowd was too loud?  That might be wishful thinking, but hopefully there will at least be a little bit more of an edge in the air that night.

Notre Dame and USC have played some great games in South Bend over the last few years (if you take out the clunker in 2007).  There was the 2005 epic that will always be remembered for the Bush Push and then there was the 2009 game in which the Irish stormed back in the second half only to come up a few yards and a play short of forcing overtime.

Hopefully the 2011 game will deliver just as entertaining a contest although hopefully the outcome is a little better this time around.  Based on where both programs ended 2010, that is certainly a possibility.  After breaking USC’s 9 game win streak in the series last year in Los Angeles, Notre Dame will be looking to take down the Trojans at home for the first time since 1999.

Wednesday’s news is also another sign that athletic director Jack Swarbrick is doing all he can to put this program back in the spotlight.  A prime time game with a high profile opponent such as USC is sure to draw a lot of attention – something I’m sure the folks over at NBC are appreciative of.  Add that to the series he has set up with programs like Texas and Miami and it’s hard not to give him some credit.

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  1. I have been a ND fan as long as I can remember! I wanted to play for them so bad but was not good enough!!!!I shall remain a fan till I die but hope they can return to the glory days!!!!The only times I missed a game on tv or radio I was serving in the army during the korean war!!!!I believe we have the best coach for our tam Go irish

  2. Just think of the atmosphere of hte second half of hte 2005 game…but for the entire game. Players described it as being to loud they couldnt even hear themselves think. This is awesome

  3. Ron,
    Amen to that! I was able to pick up ND radio broadcasts in the Northwest (near Seattle) in the 1960’s and I will never forget Lindsey Nelson’s voice, or his play by play, which, as you mentioned, often included Hanratty throwing to Seymour. My heart goes out to the Seymour family.

    1. Ditto on that SFR. I spent many a Saturday afternoon making pretend I was him catching passes from my brother. A guy I work with is neighbors with the family up in Highland Park and he spent a lot of time with him on the golf course in previous years. The last year was very tough.

      1. I will never forget Lindsey Nelson saying Hanratty to Seymour over and over again. RIP

  4. A correction is required, but Rick Mirer was the 1988 QB of the National Championship, how then was he debuting in 1990.

    1. Irish Faithful: Rick Mirer was not the QB on the 88 team, that was Tony Rice. Mirer’s first start (if I remember) was that night game against Michigan. Mirer came to ND in 1989, played sparingly as a backup. In 1990 he took over as the starter until 1992.

  5. i can’t think of anything more satisfying than destroying usc under the lights. kiffin’s face after the loss last year was priceless.

  6. Been waiting along time to see the IRISH play under the lights at NOTRE DAME stadium not a better team to do it against then the hated trojans.

  7. Lights! Camera! Action! Here come the Irish! For the naysayers, doubters,
    sourpusses and draconian preachers who were DEAD WRONG last year after the Tulsa game; KISS MY LIGHTS BABY!



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