Cougs to take on Irish in San Antonio in '09

WASHINGTON STATE has added Notre Dame to its 2009 football schedule. In an interesting Halloween twist, the clash will neither be truly a home or road game. The two teams will meet Oct. 31, 2009, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The contest, to be televised by NBC, is the first in a series of neutral-site "home" games for the Fighting Irish over the next few years.

"It's Halloween, we will trick-or-treat them," said head man Bill Doba in a release from Washington State on Friday. "They have great tradition and it is going to be a great experience for our kids to play in the Alamodome. It is an excellent opportunity to play a first class team in a neutral site."

Notre Dame is one of two nonconference games currently scheduled for the 2009 season with the Cougs also squaring off against Hawaii, in addition to the full Pacific-10 Conference slate. The complete 2009 schedule has not been finalized.

Doba said the San Antonio trip would be a great experience for the Cougar Nation as well.

"San Antonio is a great city and this will be a great trip for our alumni and football fans. They will really enjoy San Antonio," he said.

"Washington State University, along with its alumni and fans, are excited to play Notre Dame again and return to San Antonio, the site of our 1994 Alamo Bowl win," said WSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk. "We have been working on this "neutral site" game for quite some time. However, if it is anything like our first game with Notre Dame in South Bend, it will be well worth the wait."

The 2009 tilt against Notre Dame will be played at the 65,000-seat Alamodome. The Cougars have made one previous appearance there, posting a 10-3 victory over Baylor Dec. 31, 1994 in the Alamo Bowl.

The Cougars and Irish will be meeting for just the second time in series history, the first in 2003 when Notre Dame rallied late for a 29-26 overtime win.

"We already had plans to play seven home games per year in Notre Dame Stadium," said Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White. "We considered the prospect of playing eight times in South Bend, but we determined we could make more effective use of that extra game by moving it around the country and playing not only in some areas very important to us in terms of recruiting, but also in some locales in which our fans and alumni might not otherwise see us as part of any future schedules."

For WSU's Cougar Gridiron Classic at Seattle's Qwest Field on Sep. 8, and for 2007 Cougar football season tickets, call 1-800-GO-COUGS or go online at Prices range from $7 to $50 for the Sept. 8 game at Qwest.

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