All you need to know about the Aer Lingus College Football Classic

Thousands of Americans have descended on Dublin to watch the start of the new College Football season.

Fierce rivals Notre Dame from Indiana and Navy from Maryland will square off at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening.


The game will open the new season as a host of games take place on Saturday across the pond in the US.

Last year’s game saw Northwestern take on Nebraska in front of a crowd of over 40,000. Northwestern pulled off a huge upset beating the much fancied Nebraska 31-28.

Over 40,000 Americans have take over the capital in the past few days as both set of supporters gear up for the big game.

Notre Dame’s nickname is the Fighting Irish which was supposedly first coined for the Irish immigrant soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War in what became called the Irish Brigade, including three regiments from New York.


When does the game take place?


The game takes place at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday evening with kick off at 7:30pm. The game will be broadcast by NBC in the US. Details about getting parking for the game can be found here.

Who are the teams?

Notre Dame are based in South Bend, Indiana and their first season playing football was in 1887. They are one of four teams who compete as an independent, meaning they are not part of a NCAA conference.

They have won 11 national championships in their history and seven Notre Dame players have won the Heisman Trophy, which is the award for the most outstanding player in a season.


Navy on the other hand are based in Annapolis, Maryland and are one of the oldest football teams as their first season was in 1879.

They act as the football team for the United States Naval Academy and are one of five service academies along with the likes of the Air Force and Military academy.

Navy have just one national championship to their name with a win in 1926 as well as two Heisman Trophy winners.

How does American football work?

American football is made up of two teams and in college football each team tend to have up to 100 players, unlike the NFL which is limited to 53.

Each team has three separates units: offense, defence and special teams. The offense consists of a quarterback, an offensive line (who protect the quarterback) and skill players (running backs, wide receivers and tight ends).

They are tasked with advancing the ball down to the opposition’s end zone to score a touchdown. The offence can do so by running or passing the ball.

You get six points if you get into the endzone and the kicker is tasked with adding an extra point from 17 yards to make it 7.

The defence’s aim is stop the opposing team as the offence has four downs to advance the ball past ten yards.

If you do not convert on the fourth down you turn the ball over to the other team, so teams tend to punt the ball on fourth down to give the other team worse field position.

The defence can tackle the quarterback (a sack) and cause a turnover if the offence loses the ball and the defence can recover it.

Special teams are used for kick-offs, punts and field goals.

What does the winner get?

Either Notre Dame or Navy will be awarded the Keough-Naughton College Football trophy which was made by Waterford Crystal and the winning coach will also receive the Coaches Award which is a helmet made of Waterford Crystal.

The Keough-Naughton College Football trophy

The Coaches’ award

The series is estimated to be worth close to €400m to the Irish economy, as per Grant Thornton and Fáilte Ireland.

The 2022 game was estimated to have been worth €53.5 million to the Irish economy. The 2023 College Football Classic is expected by an independent report to be worth much more than this to the economy.


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