Perhaps it was the general feeling of getting back to watching football on Sunday, or maybe it was the fact that two storied programs duked it out over a holiday weekend. Either way, Sunday night’s contest between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Texas Longhorns drew 10.899 million viewers, reportedly the largest for a Week 1 college football game.
Texas-ND game drew 10.899 million viewers on ABC, which ESPN believes is largest TV audience for an CFB opening weekend game on record.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 5, 2016
A game that featured two schools rich in history didn’t disappoint, either. If each week closes out the way the Longhorns and Irish did, the 2016 college football season is going to be one full of excitement and drama. Texas came out victorious, 50-47, but it took two overtimes for head coach Charlie Strong to breathe one big sigh of relief.
The game got off to some quick fireworks with both teams exchanging scores within the first six minutes of action. Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer found Equanimeous St. Brown for a 13-yard touchdown to open up the scoring; that was quickly followed up by a 19-yard touchdown from Longhorns’ quarterback Shane Buechele to Armanti Foreman.
There was never really a dull in the action on Sunday. Peak drama ensued once Texas went up 37-35 with a couple of minutes left. But with the point after looming, the kick was subsequently blocked and returned by Notre Dame to knot the game up at 37. Fast forward to the second overtime and the Longhorns stamped the envelope on a Week 1 nail-biter. Tyrone Swoopes scored the game-winner for Texas, who took down the No. 10 team in the country in Austin.