Notre Dame football to play first-ever HBCU foe Tennessee State in 2023

Notre Dame has added a 2023 home game against Tennessee State, which will mark its first ever against a historically Black college and university.

The Fighting Irish will host Tennessee State, currently coached by Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Fame selection Eddie George, on Sept. 2, 2023. Notre Dame will open the season the week before against longtime opponent Navy in Dublin, Ireland.

"None of this would be possible without [Tennessee State president] Dr. [Mikki] Allen and Coach George's vision for what this game can represent to our Universities," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a prepared statement. "I'm thrilled we're able to bring the Tigers and the Irish together for a weekend that will feature programs with over 20 combined national titles, the Aristocrat of Bands and the Band of the Fighting Irish."

Tennessee State also will represent the first-ever FCS opponent to face Notre Dame. UCLA and Notre Dame had been two of the final three FBS teams never to play FCS opponents, but UCLA has scheduled games with two HBCU institutions, including a Sept. 10 home contest against Alabama State. USC remains the only FBS school that has never faced an FCS opponent nor has plans to play one.

George took over at Tennessee State in April 2021 despite no prior college coaching experience. The team went 5-6 in his first season. Notre Dame in December hired Marcus Freeman, the second Black coach in team history.