Dec. 4, 2005
Notre Dame (9-2) meets Ohio State (9-2) in the 35th annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2, 2006, in one of four Bowl Championship Series college football games announced today.
Site of the game is 73,752-seat Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. ABC Sports will nationally televise the game at 5:00 p.m. EST (3:00 p.m. MST in Tempe), and ESPN Radio will also carry the game. Ohio State was an automatic BCS qualifier by virtue of its fourth-place finish in the BCS final standings. Notre Dame’s sixth-place finish in the final BCS standings guaranteed the Irish one of the at-large slots.
The Irish and Buckeyes face off for the fifth time, with the series currently tied at two wins apiece. Notre Dame defeated Ohio State in 1935 in Columbus (18-13) and in’36 at Notre Dame Stadium (7-2) – while the Buckeyes defeated the Irish in 1995 in Columbus (45-26) and in ’96 in Notre Dame Stadium (29-16).
Notre Dame will be making its 27th bowl appearance overall, its fourth overall in the Fiesta Bowl and its second in six seasons in Tempe (not including last year’s 38-21 loss to Oregon State in the Insight Bowl in Phoenix). The Irish previously played in Tempe after the 1988 (defeated West Virginia 34-21 to win the national title), ’94 (lost 41-24 to Colorado) and 2000 (lost 41-9 to Oregon State in their only previous BCS appearance) seasons. Notre Dame is looking for its first bowl win since defeating Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl to cap the 1993 season. The Irish stand 13-13 in postseason play but have lost seven straight bowl games.
Ohio State will be making its 37th bowl appearance overall, its fifth overall in the Fiesta Bowl and its third in four seasons in Tempe. The Buckeyes previously played in Tempe after the 1980 (lost 31-19 to Penn State), 1983 (defeated Pittsburgh 28-23), 2002 (defeated Miami 31-24 in two overtimes to win the national title) and 2003 (defeated Kansas State 35-28) seasons. Ohio State has won its last three bowl games, stands 17-19 overall in postseason play and is 3-0 in previous BCS games (defeated Texas A&M 24-14 in Sugar Bowl following ’98 season, defeated Miami in Fiesta Bowl following ’02 season, defeated Kansas State 35-28 in Fiesta Bowl following ’03 season).
Notre Dame finished sixth in the final BCS standings released today (its highest ever final BCS number) – and fifth according to the Associated Press and Harris Interactive polls, sixth in the USA Today poll. Previous final Irish BCS rankings since the current system began in the 1998 season were 11th in 2000 and ninth in 2002.
Ohio State finished fourth in today’s final BCS poll – and also was fourth according to Associated Press, Harris Interactive and USA Today. Previous Buckeye BCS rankings include fourth in 1998, second in 2002, fifth in 2003 and 25th in 2004.
The game will include a matchup between a Notre Dame offense ranked fourth nationally in passing offense (334.27 yards per game), sixth in scoring offense (38.18 points per game) and 10th in total offense (489.09 yards) versus an Ohio State defense ranked first nationally in rushing defense (74.45 yards per game), fourth in total defense (275.27 yards) and seventh in scoring defense (14.82 points per game).
Game tickets are $85 each, but there will not be any public sale. All 15,000 of Notre Dame’s allotted tickets already have been allocated through a lottery to contributing alumni and for internal University use. A 62,427-piece mailing offering bowl tickets previously went to all Notre Dame season-ticket holders, contributing alumni, Monogram Club members, parents of current undergraduate students, and University faculty and staff.
The Notre Dame athletic department also will have a number of Fiesta Bowl Event tickets available. These include the Block Party (Dec. 31, $20 each) where the Notre Dame Pep Rally will be held, as well as College Football’s Biggest Party (Jan. 2, $20 each). For more information on these events, or to purchase tickets online, please click here or call the Notre Dame Ticket Office at 574-631-7356, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST.
Any ticket questions should be directed to the Notre Dame ticket office at 574-631-7356.