Georgia to open 2020 season against Virginia in Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

Courtesy: UGA Athletics

ATLANTA  – The Georgia Bulldogs and Virginia Cavaliers will face off in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to cap off college football’s opening weekend in a prime time Monday night matchup.

The game is set for Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 and will be played in the new, Mercedes-Benz Stadium – currently under construction in Atlanta – which will open in 2017 and play host to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, 2019 Super Bowl and 2020 NCAA Final Four.

Georgia holds a 9-7-3 series advantage over Virginia all-time. Two of the more memorable meetings have come in previous Chick-fil-A Peach Bowls. Virginia defeated Georgia 34-27 in 1995 and the Bulldogs returned the favor three years later, defeating the Cavaliers 35-33 in a thrilling 1998 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl finish.

Georgia looks to continue the SEC’s dominance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, marking the 16th time in 17 total matchups that a team from the SEC has appeared. It is the third appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game for Georgia, which holds a 1-1 record in the event. The Bulldogs won the most recent installment, defeating North Carolina in the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. This will be Virginia’s first appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game and the ninth different ACC team to play in the game.

The game will be nationally telecast by ESPN. Kick time is yet to be announced. All tickets will be sold through the university ticket offices.

“These two teams have a history with each other in our bowl game and we look forward to renewing this rivalry for another tightly contested game,” said Percy Vaughn, Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl chairman.

“Two teams with a very competitive history, a prime Monday night time slot, and a pair of talented, up-and-coming coaches make this matchup a marquee event to close out the opening weekend of college football,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO. “This is certainly a memorable way to start the 2020 season in the Capital of College Football.”

The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 67,000 fans for each game – higher than 35 bowl games this season – and its team payout averages $4.7 million, which is higher than 26 bowl games this season. Television viewership is also traditionally strong with more than 47 million viewers tuning in to the series since 2008.

“This game will provide another great opportunity to kick off a season in the sports capital of the South on national television and against an opponent with long-standing tradition,” said Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart.  “Like Georgia, Virginia has been playing football for well over 100 years and I’m sure this will be a popular matchup with both fan bases, as well as football fans in general. We are appreciative of the opportunity and look forward to returning to Atlanta for the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.”

“This will be a great chance to play a Power 5 ACC opponent in a world-class venue,” said Greg McGarity, University of Georgia’s J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics. “We actually have a history with Virginia that goes back to the first meeting in 1897, a game coincidentally played in Atlanta. The game will be a popular event with both Georgia and Virginia fans. We look forward to our return to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta and starting the 2020 season against UVA.”

“Having the chance to open the college football season in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a fantastic opportunity for our program,” said Virginia Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall. “Players love to compete on the largest stage and Atlanta is a great location for our fans to spend the Labor Day weekend. I cannot imagine a better setting to open the season than to face Georgia in what I’m told will be one the nation’s finest stadiums. The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game has a reputation of being an amazing experience for both teams and we are appreciative of this invitation.”

“We look forward to returning to Atlanta to be part of what’s becoming a great college football tradition to kick off the season in 2020,” Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage said. “Gary Stokan and his staff are truly committed to delivering first-class experiences to both the participating teams and their fans. It’s an honor to represent the ACC in this game and our expectation is we will bring an improved team to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2020 to take on a strong SEC opponent in Georgia.”

The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s iconic rivalry-game trophies. Traditionally, winners of The Old Leather Helmet don the helmet on the field after the game, starting with the head coach and then rotating from player to player as the team celebrates its victory.

Past and future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:

Year:     Match-Up:                                                                          Winner:              

2008       (9) Clemson vs. (24) Alabama                                     Alabama 34-10

2009       (5) Alabama vs. (7) Virginia Tech                                Alabama 34-24

2010       (16) LSU vs. (18) North Carolina                                 LSU 30-24

2011       (5) Boise State vs. (19) Georgia                                  Boise State 35-21

2012       (25) NC State vs. Tennessee                                       Tennessee 35-21

2012       (14) Clemson vs. (24) Auburn                                     Clemson 26-19

2013       (1) Alabama vs. Virginia Tech                                      Alabama 35-10

2014       (18) Ole Miss vs. Boise State                                       Ole Miss 35-13

2014       (2) Alabama vs. West Virginia                                     Alabama 33-23

2015       (25) Louisville vs. (6) Auburn                                       Auburn 31-24

2016       (18) Georgia vs. (22) North Carolina                         Georgia 33-24

2017       Alabama vs. Florida State

2017       Georgia Tech vs. Tennessee

2018       Washington vs. Auburn

2019       Alabama vs. Duke

2020       West Virginia vs. Florida State

2020       Georgia vs. Virginia

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