UM, Notre Dame in talks for football game

Terps, Irish would meet in 2011 at FedEx Field

January 28, 2010|By Don Markus and Jeff Barker

Maryland athletic director Debbie Yow confirmed Wednesday night that the school is in negotiations with Notre Dame for a 2011 game at FedEx Field in Landover.

"We are in discussions with them," Yow wrote in an e-mail to The Baltimore Sun. "I really can't say more without compromising the negotiations."

It would mark only the second time the football programs have met. The Terps, then ranked No. 21, lost, 22-0, to the Fighting Irish at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to open the 2002 season - Ralph Friedgen's second in College Park and Tyrone Willingham's first in South Bend, Ind. Friedgen will be going into his 10th season in 2010 while Notre Dame recently hired Brian Kelly away from Cincinnati to replace Charlie Weis.

Yow declined to say how much of the gate Maryland would be guaranteed, but stressed that "we would NOT be moving a home game. We already have seven home games for the year in question. That would not change."

Before Friedgen's arrival, Yow came under fire for moving a home game against Florida State to Orlando to ensure a sellout and get a larger gate.

Notre Dame associate athletic director John Heisler would not confirm the negotiations with Maryland but said, "We are looking into some off-site [neutral] games in 2011 and 2012."

In announcing an Oct. 2, 2010, game between Virginia Tech and Boise State, Washington Redskins chief operating officer Mitch Gershman said, "We are actively pursuing high-profile college football games and other exciting events at FedEx Field."

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder owns FedEx Field, which hosted a game between Virginia Tech and Southern California in 2004. If Maryland and Notre Dame can agree on terms, it will be the first of two college games at FedEx Field in 2011. Army-Navy is scheduled to close the season at the 90,000-seat stadium.

The possibility of playing the Fighting Irish in a nonconference game will certainly be viewed favorably by Maryland fans who have called for Friedgen to schedule more high-profile opponents. The Terps recently agreed in principle to a home game in 2010 against Morgan State.

Maryland will open the 2010 season with a much-anticipated meeting against Navy - a team that has been ranked in the Top 25 in many of the very early unofficial polls - at M&T Bank Stadium.

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