(via USF Communications) - USF Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly and head coach Jeff Scott have been indicating for weeks ongoing work to fill the Bulls’ 2020 nonconference schedule. On Thursday, USF announced the biggest addition yet with the signing of a three-game series with perennial power Notre Dame.
The series will begin in the 2020 season with a trip to South Bend and will continue on future dates yet to be determined with the Fighting Irish coming to Raymond James Stadium and the Bulls returning to South Bend. In his first year as head coach, Scott and the Bulls will travel to Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19, with the contest replacing a previously scheduled home game with Nevada that was canceled. Kick time and television arrangements will be announced at a later date.
The addition of the three-game series with Notre Dame gives USF scheduled future nonconference home dates in Raymond James Stadium against Florida (2021), Alabama (2023), Louisville (2024), NC State (2024), Boise State (2025), Miami (2027) and the Irish.
The 2020 trip to Notre Dame Stadium (77,622) will be the Bulls’ second ever and the first since a 23-20 upset of No.16-ranked Notre Dame to open the 2011 season.
“We are very excited for our program and our players to have the opportunity to play Notre Dame in South Bend in front of a national TV audience during the 2020 season,” Kelly said. “It’s not only a terrific addition for this season, but will bring Notre Dame to play in Tampa for the first time and adds the Irish to a terrific slate of future nonconference opponents that includes teams such as Alabama, Florida, Louisville, Miami, NC State, Boise State and BYU.”
Notre Dame enters the 2020 season ranked No. 10 in preseason Associated Press poll after going 11-2 in 2019 and downing Iowa State (33-9) in the Camping World Bowl in Orlando. The Irish finished the 2019 season ranked No. 12 in the final AP poll and have gone 71-37 in 10 seasons under head coach Brian Kelly. If their 2020 preseason ranking holds into the game on the 19th, it will mark the 11th AP top 10 ranked opponent in USF history.
One of the winningest programs in college football history, Notre Dame has tallied 908 wins, 36 bowl games, 11 national championships, seven Heisman Trophy winners and made a College Football Playoff appearance in 2018.
The addition of Notre Dame to the 2020 schedule gives the Bulls a run of three straight opponents from Sept. 19-Oct. 3 that posted 11 wins in 2019. USF will face Notre Dame (11-2), FAU (11-3) and Cincinnati (11-3) in succession, all on the road. The Oct. 3 contest at the Bearcats will mark the start of the conference season. The Bulls now have six 2020 opponents that won 10 or more games in 2019 and five that finished 2019 ranked in the final AP Top 25, with three of those games coming on the road.
USF previously announced the addition of The Citadel to the Bulls’ 2020 schedule on Sat., Sept. 12 in Raymond James Stadium. That game will kick off the USF season, with the Bulls playing three nonconference contests before opening an eight-game conference slate. USF will also travel to FAU on Sat., Sept. 26 and have a total of 11 games on the 2020 schedule
Scott and USF’s new coaching staff will take the field with 16 returning starters and 49 lettermen from the 2019 team.
The American Athletic Conference announced on Aug. 6 the conference’s plan and timeline for football season, calling for each of The American’s teams to play eight conference games on their originally scheduled dates. Nonconference games may be played at the discretion of the individual schools, with the understanding that the opponents will strictly adhere to protocols and standards for testing, pregame, in-game and postgame operations set by The American’s Medical Advisory Group.
Kick times and specific television designations will be announced at a later date.
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