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Notre Dame, Ohio State to play twice

Notre Dame may not schedule Michigan in the foreseeable future, but the Fighting Irish will be facing the Wolverines' biggest rival.

Notre Dame will oppose Ohio State in a two-game series in 2022 and 2023, the schools announced Thursday, two days before the Irish's final scheduled game against Michigan.

The Irish will visit Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 3, 2022, before hosting the Buckeyes in South Bend, Indiana, on Sept. 23, 2023.

"I am excited we are able once again to bring these two programs together on the football field," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a release. "Football games between Notre Dame and Ohio State make great sense from a strength-of-schedule standpoint. In addition, with [Ohio State athletic director] Gene Smith having both played and coached football at Notre Dame -- and with [Ohio State coach] Urban Meyer having served as an assistant football coach at Notre Dame -- there are some obvious, high-profile connections between our two institutions."

The programs have played each other five times previously, the most recent occasion being the Buckeyes' 34-20 win over the Irish in the 2006 Fiesta Bowl. They last met in the regular season as part of a home-and-home series in 1995 and 1996.

Ohio State has won the past three meetings and leads the series 3-2.

"Any time you talk about Notre Dame and Ohio State meeting in a football game, that event automatically is going to have huge national significance," Irish coach Brian Kelly said in the release. "For fans and alumni of the two schools, not to mention college football fans in general, these games will be great attractions."

Notre Dame has won 11 national championships and produced seven Heisman Trophy winners. Ohio State has seven national titles and seven Heisman winners. Between them, the programs have 1,725 victories. 

Smith said he has wanted to schedule Notre Dame "every year" since the teams met in the Fiesta Bowl.

"I've always given [executive associate athletic director Martin Jarmond] the directive that if we can get Notre Dame, let's get Notre Dame." 

Smith also Ohio State is still looking for a 2019 game but will put on hold its scheduling plans for 2020 and beyond as things evolve. Neutral site games remain possible for Ohio State, as Smith said the school constantly fields calls about those contests.

Information from ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg is included in this report.

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