Utes to play Notre Dame in 2010

The U football team continued its aggressive pursuit of strengthening its schedule in an agreement with one the most storied college football team in the country.

The Utes have agreed to travel to South Bend, Ind., to take on the Notre Dame Fightin’ Irish for the 2010 football season. The game is set to take place Nov. 13, 2010.

“Notre Dame is one of the most storied programs in all of college football and a team with a great fan base,” said Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham.

Notre Dame football is under contract with NBC to televise every Fightin’ Irish game through the 2010 season, which gives Utah a golden opportunity to increase its national exposure.

“When you play the Fighting Irish you are assured of a huge national audience, which is always welcome for recruiting purposes,” Whittingham said. “In addition, playing in Notre Dame Stadium will be an experience our players will never forget.”

The announcement comes nearly a month before Utah kicks off the 2008 season against one of Notre Dame’s biggest rivals and one of Utah’s most exciting scheduling opportunities in recent years-Michigan. Like Michigan, Utah agreed to play Notre Dame without the promise of Notre Dame ever returning to play in Salt Lake City in the future.

“Our preference is always to play teams home and away, but when something like this presents itself, we want to take advantage of it,” said Utah athletic director Chris Hill. “What a great opportunity this offers for not only our team, but for our fans.”

Utah’s oldest rival, Utah State, aided in the process as the Aggies decided to postpone their ongoing scheduling agreement in order to allow the Utes to free up scheduling space.

“We are appreciative that Utah State has agreed to temporarily suspend our annual series so that we could make room in our 2010 schedule for another road game,” Hill said.

Utah will also play at Iowa State and host San Jose State in 2010, as well as its normal gauntlet of Mountain West Conference opponents. Utah is also scheduled to host BYU that season.This will be Utah’s first meeting against Notre Dame. It is the third time in recent history that Utah has scheduled an opponent that will not return to Utah for a home game. In 2002 Michigan was scheduled as a road game only. It will be the same with the Wolverines in August.

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