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Michigan, Notre Dame to Play Night Game for Fourth Straight Season

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 07:  Jeremy Gallon #21 of the Michigan Wolverines runs  towards a first quarter touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the game at Michigan Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2014

It's the end of an era for the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry, but with no games scheduled past 2014, at least this modern chapter will close with a newfound tradition.

A night game.

Per an official release from the University of Michigan:

The University of Michigan football team will face Notre Dame in a night game for the fourth consecutive season. Notre Dame and NBC Sports announced Thursday (Feb. 20) the Wolverines and Fighting Irish will play at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Ind. The primetime game will be televised nationally on NBC, and is the last scheduled meeting between the two rivals.

Notre Dame and Michigan have played every season since 2002, but the rivalry will go on hiatus after this season as Notre Dame transitions into partial ACC membership. Already in 2014 the Irish will not face fellow rival Michigan State.

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke made news last spring when he said Notre Dame was "chickening out" of the rivalry, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com, though it's obviously a little more complicated than that.

Michigan has won four of the last five meetings in the series, including last year's 41-30 night-game romp in Ann Arbor, which snapped Notre Dame's 12-game regular season winning streak.

The Irish won last time they played in Notre Dame Stadium, though, capitalizing on six Michigan turnovers to gut out an ugly 13-6 victory. It was one of the many close calls en route to the national title game that season, which Notre Dame of course lost in embarrassing fashion, 42-14, against Alabama.

Notre Dame and Michigan first played in 1887 and have met 41 total times. Since the long hiatus between 1943 and 1978, the programs have met 30 times in 36 seasons.

There have been intervening gaps of two years apiece between meetings in that span, but never a profound hiatus as there was in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Hopefully that continues to be the case.

Michigan leads the all-time series 24-16-1.

 

Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter: @BLeighDAT

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