Report: Notre Dame And Georgia Tech Agree To Schedule Change
Notre Dame’s 2019 football schedule — already considered one of the more difficult slates on paper for the Fighting Irish since the turn of the century — has been tweaked.
According to Ken Sugiura of AJC.com, Notre Dame’s scheduled game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta on Oct. 19, 2019 has been switched to Nov. 14, 2020. The move is considered mutually beneficial for both schools.
For Georgia Tech, it means a little better balance in 2020 because after hosting the Irish it has to play arch rival at Georgia in Athens two weeks later (Nov. 28). Then the following year, the Yellow Jackets host Georgia but play at Notre Dame.
For the Fighting Irish, the move especially makes sense for several reasons:
• In 2019, Notre Dame is already scheduled for a trip to Georgia on Sept. 21. A second trip to The Peach State a month later is not an ideal balance for a national schedule. This way it can make trips to Georgia in consecutive years to keep a recruiting presence there.
• In addition to that aforementioned trip to Athens on Sept. 21, the Fighting Irish also have 2019 road treks to Louisville (Sept. 2, Labor Day), Michigan (Oct. 26) and Stanford (Nov. 30). One would be hard pressed to find a more arduous road slate that year, and playing at Georgia Tech that same year would have made it even more difficult.
• There is now a little more flexibility with the October 2019 schedule now that Oct. 19 is freed up — and it likely could provide a bye weekend the week before playing at Michigan on Oct. 26. That Oct. 19 weekend also would probably coincide with fall semester break, and both Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick have indicated that their ideal bye week is the middle of October when there is also a one-week break from classes, giving the football players an opportunity to go home for a few days.
Previously, the Oct. 5 and Oct. 12 weekends would have had the Irish host USC and have a bye, one or the other for those respective weekends. However, now a 12th game could be scheduled either on Oct. 5 or 12, with the bye then possibly occurring Oct. 19. (It is highly unlikely the USC game would be moved to Oct. 19, the week before traveling to Michigan.)
The Nov. 14, 2020 game would mark the first time Georgia Tech would play Notre Dame in Atlanta since the Sept. 2, 2006 opener won by the Irish, 14-10. The Irish hosted the Yellow Jackets last Sept. 19 and won, 30-22. As part of Notre Dame’s agreement to play four to six Atlantic Coast Conference foes per year in football, the Irish will also face Georgia Tech at home in 2021 and then in Atlanta on 2024.
Here are how the 2019 and 2020 Notre Dame schedules tentatively look:
Sept. 2 — at Louisville (Labor Day)
Sept. 14 — New Mexico
Sept. 21 — at Georgia
Sept. 28 — Virginia
Oct. 5 — Bye, TBA or USC
Oct. 12 — Bye, TBA or USC
Oct. 19 — Bye or TBA
Oct. 26 — at Michigan
Nov. 2 — Virginia Tech
Nov. 9 — at Duke
Nov. 16 — Navy
Nov. 23 — Boston College
Nov. 30 — at Stanford
Sept. 19 — at Purdue
Oct. 10 — Stanford
Nov. 14 — at Georgia Tech
Nov. 28 — at USC
The Navy game site and date is still to be determined.
In addition to the trip to Georgia Tech, the other ACC games scheduled for this season are Clemson, Duke and Louisville at home, and Pitt and Wake Forest on the road. Dates will be announced at a later time.
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