The Georgia Bulldogs and the North Carolina Tar Heels will meet in the 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, it was announced today.
Georgia and UNC will face off at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday, Sept. 3. An ESPN network will likely televise the game.
The two schools have met a total of 30 times and the Bulldogs lead the overall series 16-12-2. In their last meeting in the 1971 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Georgia defeated North Carolina 7-3.
Both Georgia and North Carolina have played in previous Chick-fil-A Kickoff games. Georgia lost to Boise State 35-21 in 2011, while UNC fell to LSU 30-24 in 2010.
The addition of North Carolina tentatively completes the 2016 non-conference football schedule for the Bulldogs. Georgia also hosts Nicholls State (Sept. 10), UL Lafayette (Nov. 19), and Georgia Tech (Nov. 26).
North Carolina has one other non-conference game announced for the 2016 season: at Illinois on Sept. 10.
Below is more info from the official release:
“This will undoubtedly be one of the best games of the 2016 opening weekend and a long-overdue renewal of an old ACC vs. SEC rivalry,” said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of Peach Bowl, Inc. “Both programs have a rich tradition, devoted fan base, top-notch players and elite coaches – all elements of a blockbuster-type game that we can’t wait to host.”
“It’s great to have the opportunity to be back in Atlanta for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” said UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “It will also be a special time to rekindle a long-ago rivalry with North Carolina, a team we have not played since the Gator Bowl game in December, 1971. Georgia and North Carolina have played 30 times especially through the fifties and sixties and I’m sure it will be a very popular game among fans of both institutions.”
“I know our team, coaches, and fans will be looking forward to playing a quality opponent like North Carolina in Atlanta,” said UGA head coach Mark Richt. “It will be a national stage for a season opener and generate a lot of excitement for fans not only of both schools but college football fans around the country.”
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a wonderful event and an excellent opportunity for our student-athletes to compete on a national stage,” said Bubba Cunningham, UNC athletics director. “It is one of the premier events in college football and Atlanta has always been a popular destination for our fans. It should be an outstanding environment in the Georgia Dome.”
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a tremendous opportunity for our team to kick off the college football season on national television against an outstanding Georgia program,” UNC Head Coach Larry Fedora said. “This is also an exciting opportunity for our fans to travel to Atlanta and watch us play in an electric environment.”
The 2015 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will feature #25 Louisville against #12 Auburn to open the 2015 college football season Sept. 5.