It’s finally official: ESPN’s College GameDay will be spending Halloween in Philadelphia with the undefeated Temple football team. #21/22 Temple will host #9/9 Notre Dame for a sold out prime time match-up at 8 PM on ABC. The morning show, which will be broadcast from 9 AM to noon on Saturday is expected to attract thousands of fans to the live production from Independence Mall.
ESPN usually announces the GameDay site for the following week on Sunday, however, the announcement was delayed due to difficulties of securing Independence Mall as the location. Since the Mall is federal land, ESPN had to acquire special permits for its use.
The delayed announcement allowed for a lot of building excitement from Owl Nation on social media:
— The Sports Desk (@TU_SportsDesk) October 25, 2015
Is Gameday here in the suburbs of New Jersey to hide from the publicity of Philadelphia? That remains to be seen. pic.twitter.com/4m4qjFFIxE
— Max McGee (@MaxMcGeeTV) October 25, 2015
which all came to fruition when the announcement was finally made around lunch time on Monday.
— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) October 26, 2015
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) October 26, 2015
This game marks a series of firsts for Temple football, as the Owls are 7-0 for the first time in program history. It is also the first time that Notre Dame is traveling to Philadelphia to play Temple and the first time the Owls have been featured on GameDay. The last time the program visited the City of Brotherly Love was 2002 for a Penn vs. Harvard game.
Temple is the 66th different school to host College GameDay and Philadelphia is the 74th city that the program has visited. The show is usually ESPN’s Rece Davis is the host of GameDay and his is usually joined by personalities including Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso, Desmond Howard, David Pollack and Samantha Ponder. GameDay features news and discussion about the major college games around the country.
Temple announced this game as a sellout on October 13, weeks before GameDay decided to make the trek to Philadelphia and ABC picked it up as the primetime game. More than 69,000 fans are expected to be in attendance.
Athletic Director Patt Kraft said “Having ESPN College GameDay come to Philadelphia is tremendous not only for Temple Football, but for the University as a whole as well as the city of Philadelphia. The exposure will shine a light on all of the great things happening at Temple, not just the success of our nationally-ranked football program. People around the country will get to learn why Temple is one of the hottest universities in the nation, and that Philadelphia is one of the greatest cities in the country.”
Temple is coming off a 24-14 road win over conference opponent East Carolina, which solidified Temple’s dominant position in the Eastern division of the American Athletic Conference. Notre Dame is coming off a bye week, but they won their last game 41-31 over the USC on October 17th. The Fighting Irish sit at 6-1 on the season with their only fault being a 24-22 loss to #3/6 Clemson.
The last time Temple battled Notre Dame was in 2013 when the Fighting Irish handed a 28-6 loss to the Owls in South Bend. That was Matt Rhule’s first season coaching the Owls which ended with a 2-10 record. Since then, Rhule has won 14 of his last 20 games. A win on Saturday would bring Rhule to a .500 record for the first time as a head football coach.