There are only two days when it is acceptable for Ohio State football fans to shed their scarlet and gray and trade it in for Irish green. Today is one of those days. No one will ever confuse Ohio State fans for Notre Dame fans, except for maybe on March 17, when rivers, beer, and outfits turn green. It’s the one day when even the most diehard of Ohio State fans will pull that one green t-shirt out of their wardrobe to hit the town or walk on campus with.
Saint Patty’s Day is the one day when all of us who respond with “I-O” when someone yells “O-H” could indeed double as Notre Dame fanatics based on our looks. But don’t worry, this is the one and only day that happens. As for Notre Dame, we haven’t forgotten our second dance in as many years. Looming on the 2023 calendar is a trip to America’s Irish capitol itself, South Bend, Indiana.
The Buckeyes will square off against former Buckeye Marcus Freeman and his Fighting Irish on September 23, which will be Ohio State’s fourth game of the season and second road game on the schedule. It will be the second time this year that Ohio State will make the trek west to our neighboring state of Indiana. The Hoosiers host the Ohio State football team to open the season on September 2.
Last season’s game against the Irish opened the 2022 season, and although it wasn’t a pretty game offensively. C.J. Stroud and his talented young receiving group were able to overcome an early game injury to star wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba in a come-from-behind 21-10 win. That was Ryan Day’s first victory over the Irish, something that all recent Ohio State Head Coaches have been successful at doing.
Urban Meyer defeated Notre Dame in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl 44-to-28. Before Meyer, Jim Tressel was the first to beat the Golden Domers in a Bowl Game, doing so in 2006 by a score of 34-20 back in 2006.
Before that, John Cooper was the only modern-day coach to face Notre Dame during the regular season, doing so much like Day is doing in back-to-back seasons in a home-and-home series. Cooper topped Lou Holtz’s Irish first in Columbus in 1995 by a score of 45-to-26. The following season in South Bend, Cooper and the Buckeyes did it again, this time by a score of 29-16.
Ryan Day will be the first Buckeye head coach to lead his team into South Bend, Indiana since Cooper did so in 1996. But that September 23, 2023 date is a long way off. So, it’s okay to place your scarlet and gray aside for one day of the year and put on that Irish green. Today’s that day.
Oh, and the only other acceptable day to so is when those same Golden Domers play against our mutual hated rival, That Team Up North. That day, we are all Irish as well.