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Notre Dame to play Week 1 at Texas A&M in prime time with College GameDay in town

IMG_7504by:Jack Soble05/14/24


Notre Dame at Texas A&M will be one of the nation’s marquee games in Week 1. As far as ESPN and ABC are concerned, it’s the marquee game for college football’s first full Saturday.

The Irish and Aggies will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 31 in College Station, Texas, the teams and networks announced Tuesday morning. The game will be broadcast nationally on ABC, making it the network’s featured Saturday Night Football game of Week 1.

Additionally, College GameDay will make its second stop of the season in College Station when Notre Dame faces Texas A&M for the first time since 2001. Its first stop will be in Dublin, Ireland, where Florida State and Georgia Tech will butt heads in the Aer Lingus Football Classic and where the Irish opened their 2023 season with a 42-3 win over Navy.

Notre Dame has now moved into sixth all-time in total College GameDay appearances with 37, moving just ahead of Georgia with 36.

All-time great former Alabama head coach Nick Saban will break down the Irish in of his first College GameDay appearances, as he’s joining the show after his January retirement.

The premier pre-game show welcomes coaching legend Nick Saban to the cast alongside host Rece Davis, analysts Lee CorsoKirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee, as well as college football insider Pete Thamel, reporters Jen Lada and Jess Sims, and college football betting analyst ‘Stanford Steve’ Coughlin,” ESPN said in a press release. “More details on the show’s presence in the Lone Star State will be announced later this summer.”

Notre Dame played four prime-time, nationally televised games in 2023, which happened to take place in four consecutive weeks. The Irish went 2-2 in those games, losing a last-second heartbreaker against Ohio State at home in Week 5 and falling on the road to Louisville in Week 7. They beat Duke in Durham, N.C. on an improbable, game-winning drive in Week 6 and stunned USC in South Bend in Week 8.

Two of those four games, against Ohio State and Duke, also drew College GameDay to South Bend and Durham, respectively.

Notre Dame at Texas A&M is expected to be a top-25 matchup, with both the Irish and Aggies appearing in most way-too-early polls. Texas A&M is kicking off the Mike Elko era, while Notre Dame is going for it in 2024 with Duke transfer quarterback Riley Leonard as the likely starter.

Elko coached Leonard at Duke, and Leonard knew all too well whom the Irish play in Week 1 when he committed.

“Coach Elko and I obviously have a great relationship, and we’re able to joke around about the fact that we’ll be playing each other,” Leonard said in February. “And then of course, he brought a lot of the Duke coaching staff with him, who I’m obviously super close with as well. So I’m gonna have to get out to the game super early, meet everybody and go crack some jokes with them.

“But yeah, this is gonna be a big one for both of our prides. I’m excited for that.”

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