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Notre Dame Football: How the Fighting Irish Have Fared vs. ACC Teams

Notre Dame Football: How the Fighting Irish Have Fared vs. ACC Teams

Notre Dame Football: How the Fighting Irish Have Fared vs. ACC Teams

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will do something it has never done during its football program's 130-plus years... play a season in a conference. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic's restrictions on college football, the Irish will play as part of the ACC for 2020.

Unlike some other conferences, Notre Dame has played every school in the ACC more than once. As we head into the Irish's football season, here is a look at they have fared against them historically.

ACC Atlantic

Boston College

(Notre Dame leads series 16-9)

The two Catholic schools first met in 1975 and played twice in the '80s, with one of those games being a 19-18 Notre Dame win in the 1983 Liberty Bowl. They have since played 22 times in the last 28 years, with the most memorable contest being a 41-39 Boston College win in 1993 that ended the top-ranked Irish's national championship hopes.


(Clemson leads series 3-1)

Down 17-7 in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame quarterback Joe Montana led a comeback that resulted in a 21-17 win when the two programs first played in 1977. Clemson has won the three games since then, the most recent being a 30-3 trouncing in the 2019 College Football Playoff.

Florida State

(Florida State leads series 6-3)

The highwater mark of this series came in 1993 when No. 1 Florida State played No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend. The Irish won 31-24 in one of the greatest college football games ever played but lost to Boston College the next week, putting the Seminoles back in the national championship race. They have played five regular season and two bowl games since then, with Notre Dame winning the last contest 42-13 in 2018.


(Series tied at 1-1)

The two programs have met only twice, with Louisville winning the first meeting 31-28 in 2014 and Notre Dame winning 35-17 in 2019.

NC State

(NC State leads series 2-1)

Wolfpack quarterback Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes in a 28-6 win when the teams first met in the 2003 Gator Bowl. The Irish won the last meeting 35-14 in 2017.


(Notre Dame leads series 6-3)

The schools first played in 1914, but the most memorable contests occurred in 1961 and '63. In 1961, Notre Dame was down 15-14 and missed a last-second field goal but got a second shot thanks to a controversial roughing the kicker call. The next attempt was good, and the Irish won 17-15. Syracuse got revenge in 1963, winning 14-7 in the last Thanksgiving Day game ever played at Yankee Stadium.

Wake Forest

(Notre Dame leads series 5-0)

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The Irish won the first meeting 24-17 in 2011 and won the next four by an average of nearly 25 points.

ACC Coastal


(Notre Dame leads series 4-2)

The week before Notre Dame played its epic 10-10 tie with Michigan State in 1966, the Irish throttled Duke 64-0 in South Bend. That is, by far, the biggest beatdown in this series. The teams last met in 2019, with Notre Dame winning 38-7 in Durham.

Georgia Tech

(Notre Dame leads series 28-6-1)

The Irish and Ramblin' Wreck first met in 1922 and played frequently after Georgia Tech left the SEC and played as an independent from 1964-82. Rudy Ruettiger's sack that was immortalized in the movie, Rudy, came against Georgia Tech quarterback Rudy Allen in 1975.


(Notre Dame leads series 17-8-1)

These two programs have played 26 times since 1955, but three games really tell the story of this series. In 1985, the Hurricanes beat the Irish 58-7 on national television in the final game of the season. Lou Holtz was brought in to coach the team in 1986 and had turned Notre Dame into a contender by 1988. That season, the Irish upset the defending national champion 31-30 in the famous “Catholics vs. Convicts” game. In 1989, Notre Dame was the defending champ and carried a 23-game win streak into its final regular-season game against Miami. This time, the Hurricanes won 27-10 en route to their second national title in three years.

North Carolina

(Notre Dame leads series 18-2)

The Irish beat the Tar Heels 42-6 in 1949 at Yankee Stadium on their way to winning the national championship when the programs met the first time. Since then, UNC has only toppled Notre Dame twice, in 1960 and 2008.


(Notre Dame leads series 49-21-1)

Pitt, like Notre Dame, was an independent from 1890-1990 and the schools' rivalry has continued even after the Panthers joined the Big East and the ACC. They first met in 1909 and have played 70 times since then.


(Notre Dame leads series 3-0)

The programs first met in the 1989 Kickoff Classic, but the most memorable game in this series came in 2015. Down 27-26 with seconds left, Notre Dame backup quarterback DeShone Kizer hit Will Fuller V with a 39-yard touchdown pass to win the game and stun the Scott Stadium crowd.

Virginia Tech

(Notre Dame leads series 2-1)

The Hokies were one of the last big-time programs to play the Irish, as the schools did not meet until 2016. Notre Dame won the last meeting 21-20 in 2019 with a touchdown with less than 30 seconds to go.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.

(Top photo courtesy of