It’s not typical for two of the most storied programs in the history of college football to find themselves pitted against each other for their season opener, but that’s exactly what we’re getting with the Texas Longhorns heading to South Bend Saturday night to battle the No. 11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
As one might expect, there’s no shortage of worthwhile storylines heading into this week one matchup: the Irish and Longhorns rank second and third, respectively, in all-time wins, with Notre Dame holding the narrow 882 to 881 advantage over the Horns.
Notre Dame features an electric, but unproven quarterback in Malik Zaire, while the quarterback battle in Austin lasted nearly the entire offseason and resulted in Tyrone Swoopes now headlining a new-look spread offense tailored to fit his skills and those of redshirt freshman back up Jerrod Heard. And while many believe the Irish may ultimately compete for a College Football Playoff appearance, the expectations for the Longhorns stem around their hopes to sneak into a top-three Big 12 finish.
Of course, a Longhorns upset tomorrow would drastically alter the immediate narrative for both programs, but the history between these two certainly favors Notre Dame. In their 10 previous head-to-head matchups, the Irish hold a convincing 8-2 lead, although the two schools haven’t met since 1995 and 1996, with Notre Dame winning both outings, as well as the previous two before that. The last time Texas walked away victorious in this series was in 1970, when recent amputee and former safety Freddie Steinmark stood on the Cotton Bowl sidelines and watched as the Horns locked up a national championship.
The Longhorns have won their last 15 season openers, but Saturday night’s game will prove to be much more than the common season-opening warm up game.
How to watch, listen and stream
TV: Saturday, Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Radio: Texas – Longhorn IMG Radio Network, KTXX-FM 104.9 (Austin), Notre Dame – 960 WSBT-AM (South Bend), National – SiriusXM Channel 129
Weather: High of 80 degrees / Low of 69 degrees, Precipitation 20%
Bovada Betting Odds: Notre Dame -10