It's hard to say Virginia and Notre Dame have a storied rivalry when Saturday's game in South Bend, Indiana is only their third all-time matchup.

It's more like a sporadic rivalry, with the Irish winning the previous games, starting with the 1989 Kickoff Classic in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The Irish were coming off a 12-0 season in 1988, which accounted for Notre Dame's invitation. UVa had gone 7-4 but had ended the season with five straight wins after a 2-4 start.

Thirty years later, what stands out is the match-up of Hall of Fame coaches, George Welsh for the Cavaliers and Lou Holtz for the the Irish.

Welsh, who died last January, was named to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and Holtz, who is still living, was inducted in 2009.

The 1989 Kickoff Classic did not go well for the Cavaliers, who trailed 33-0 at the half before falling 36-13.

The Cavaliers had better success in Week 2, defeating No. 12 Penn State 14-6 on the Nittany Lions' home turf.

Attendance was announced at 77,323 for the Kickoff Classic and the crowd included such celebrities as the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose son, Yusef, was a linebacker for the Cavaliers.

Quarterback Tony Rice and receivers Ricky Watters and Raghib "Rocket" Ismail were the stars of Notre Dame's 1989 team. Virginia won eight of its next nine games, including a 32-25 victory over Virginia Tech in Game 11.

That was when Maryland was in the ACC and annually met UVa in the final game of the regular season. The visiting Cavaliers hammered the Terps 48-21.

After the Kickoff Classic, Virginia and Notre Dame didn't play again for 26 years, with the Irish winning 34-27 on a touchdown pass and two-point conversion in the final minute in 2015.

Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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