The Orange received exciting news Monday, when the Atlantic Coast Conference announced the Notre Dame kick off will be at 8 p.m. on ABC next Saturday at MetLife Stadium.
Syracuse has played a handful of Friday night games over the past few seasons and a few 3:30 p.m. Saturday kickoffs against marquee opponents. However, the nightime slot against a top 10 team in Notre Dame is the real deal for an Orange program looking to return to national relevance. The announcement marks the third night game on the Orange schedule thus far.
SU opened its 2014 campaign with a 27-26 double-overtime win against Villanova and will host Louisville on Friday, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m.
MetLife Stadium has become a home away from home for the Orange over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, the location has not yielded good results. Syracuse is 0-2 recently at the Meadowlands with losses to USC and Penn State. They also have scheduled a 2016 matchup with the Fighting Irish in East Rutherford.
Annual games against national powerhouses at the Meadowlands, as well as advertisements in Times Square and bowl games at Yankee Stadium have helped bring the Orange national spotlight.
The move into the ACC was the cherry on top to a recovery after the Greg Robinson era. However, the exposure expanded further than just the Big Apple. With growing pipelines in Florida and the Midwest – and the move to the ACC attracting coastal recruits – Syracuse has put itself in a great position.
The bottom line is: if Syracuse can win consistently to warrant national attention, the program will continue to grow. A win against the ninth-ranked team, one with the brand recognition of Notre Dame, will definitely turn some heads. Notre Dame is shorthanded at some key positions after four starters were suspended (including infamous Syracuse recruit Ishaq Williams) just before the start of the season in an academic scandal that is still under investigation.
However, the Fighting Irish seem unfazed by the distraction early this season, defeating Rice, Michigan, and Purdue all in convincing fashion. They also have ample time to prepare for the Orange with a bye this weekend.
SU’s attention will be focused on Maryland this week, but the magnitude of playing Notre Dame in a primetime slot on national television will surely be in everybody’s heads.
Posted: Zephan Mayell