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Notre Dame Football

Notre Dame Will Face Oklahoma State in Fiesta Bowl

December 5, 2021
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No. 5 Notre Dame (11-1) is headed back to the Fiesta Bowl and it will be against No. 9 Oklahoma State (11-2). 

ESPN will host the first meeting between the two programs and it will kick off at 1:00pm ET.

"Notre Dame and Oklahoma State was a matchup we hoped would become reality. We're excited to host the first-ever meeting between the schools, perhaps sparking a new rivalry," said Patrick Barkley, Chairman of the Fiesta Bowl Board of Directors. "The Fiesta Bowl is again hosting two of the best teams in the nation on New Year's Day and a game that the nation will be tuned into. We're known for our world-class hospitality, and we'll deliver that to these fans we know well." 

Notre Dame has not won a New Year’s Six Bowl (or BCS) since the 1993 Cotton Bowl and new head coach Marcus Freeman is up for the task. 

"It's a great opportunity to win 12 games and right some of the wrongs of the past - we haven't have been so successful in these New Year's Day bowls,” said Freeman on ESPN. "It will be a motivated team and a motivated coaching staff. We're excited for the opportunity." 

Freeman finally had time on Sunday to meet with his captains and team as preparations start for the Fiesta Bowl. 

“You just try to take it one moment at a time,” Freeman stated. “Today was the first day since I was introduced that I really got to spend some time with our players as individuals. 

"That's where my comfort level is. There's stuff you have to do as the head coach, but most importantly, it's to make sure you protect your guys and you're around your players and do everything in your power to get these guys ready to have a successful Fiesta Bowl." 

As Notre Dame starts to prepare to face Oklahoma State, Freeman’s next step will be to start to build stronger bonds with the offensive side of the ball. 

"I just had a couple of these conversations with our offensive captains,” Freeman said. “It's going to take time and they will have to have a little blind faith in me as their leader. I told them there is going to be an adjustment, but what you have to understand is you can talk to the defensive players and understand the things I'm going to tell you and ask you to do are from the heart. I have your best interest in mind. 

"I understand this won't happen quickly, but over time, I know they'll learn to trust me and to leave it all out there." 

Oklahoma State will return to the Fiesta Bowl for the first time since 2012 when the Cowboys defeated Stanford 41-38. Notre Dame fall to Ohio State 44-28 in its last Fiesta Bowl appearance in 2016. 

 
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