clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Notre Dame Football: Some Fighting Irish-Louisville History and Hype

Will the Irish play a more cohesive game against Louisville in 2023?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Notre Dame at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I fired up the way back machine once again to take a look at the next once-in-a-blue-moon matchup on the 2023 Notre Dame Fighting Irish schedule. The Irish and the Louisville Cardinals have faced off on the football field only three times. Notre Dame leads the series 2-1.

What’s the Backstory?

The two squads met for the first time in 2014 in South Bend. Shaky field goal attempts, Irish injuries and reactive Louisville defense set Notre Dame up for a loss early on. Louisville led a calm and collected response to two Irish touchdowns in the third quarter, scoring two of their own to seal the lead. A missed 32-yard field goal attempt by Notre Dame’s Kyle Brindza with less than a minute left to play dashed the possibility of the Irish moving things into overtime. Louisville drove to lock it in 31-28, Cardinals. The game marked Notre Dame’s third loss in a row and the sixth game in a row in which the Irish gave up 30 points or more.

Notre Dame and Louisville faced off for the second time in 2019. The Cardinals led with an aggressive offense, eventually coming out ahead 14-7. Notre Dame’s Tony Jones Jr. scored and caught up. Fumbles from both teams left room for the Irish to pick up momentum and run with it. Irish quarterback Ian Book ran for an 11-yard touchdown as halftime approached. Book later connected with Irish tight end Tommy Tremble on a 26-yard pass for a touchdown to bring the score to 28-14, Irish. Notre Dame later topped it off with a 1-yard run and the extra point from Irish kicker Jonathan Doerer to end it 35-17, Notre Dame.

The teams last left each other in 2020. Despite some wobbly offense, the Irish pushed through to outdo the Cardinals 12-7. While Book notched a third quarter touchdown to claim the lead and running back Kyren Williams rushed for 127 yards, the Cardinals sacked Book four times and the Irish struggled in the red zone for most of the game. Doerer put the Irish on the board with two field goals for a 6-0 lead after his team started to slow down. The Cardinals scored their first points of the game about halfway through the third quarter and surpassed the Irish 7-6. The Irish rallied, and Book’s TD ensured the Irish had the last word. Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said, “I know it’s 12-7, and it’s not going to go down as an instant classic, but boy, we did a lot of really good things today... We scored goals instead of touchdowns. That’s probably the takeaway here — that we got to get better in the red zone.”

Follow me on Twitter.