ATLANTA (July 12, 2018) – North Carolina and Auburn are set to face off in the 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 12. An exact kick time and television network will be finalized at a later date.
The Tar Heels-Tigers game will be the third Chick-fil-A Kickoff game played in 2020 as part of a multi-week celebration of college football in Atlanta. West Virginia will play Florida State on Sept. 5 and Georgia will meet Virginia on Monday night, Sept. 7.
This will mark the seventh time North Carolina and Auburn have met on the gridiron, but the first in 19 years. The Tar Heels currently hold a 4-2 all-time advantage over the Tigers, with the last contest resulting in a 16-10 UNC win in the 2001 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.
“We’re looking forward to capping off a multi-week celebration of college football in Atlanta by welcoming back North Carolina and Auburn to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game,” said Bob Somers, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “With three marquee games in seven days, Atlanta truly will be living up to its reputation as the Capital of College Football.”
“These ACC, Big 12 and SEC programs and fans will undoubtedly provide ranked teams, sellout crowds and an unbelievable atmosphere inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium to open the 2020 season,” Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan said.
North Carolina will be looking to secure the program’s first win in the game, having previously lost 30-24 to LSU in 2010 and 33-24 to Georgia in 2016.
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an exciting opportunity for our team to take on an outstanding Auburn program in what is always one of the top events of the college football season,” said North Carolina Head Coach Larry Fedora. “The chance to play on a national stage in a world-class facility like Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta will be a tremendous experience for our fans and everyone associated with our program.”
“We’re thrilled to be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game once again in 2020,” UNC Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham said. “This will give our student-athletes a wonderful opportunity to compete on a national stage in one of the premier events in college football. Atlanta has always been a popular destination for our fans and the move to Mercedes-Benz Stadium should create even more excitement.”
The North-Carolina-Auburn matchup will represent Auburn’s fourth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Auburn previously fell 26-19 to Clemson in 2012 and defeated Louisville 31-24 during the 2015 contest. The Tigers are also scheduled to face off against Washington to open the 2018 season in Atlanta.
“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has established itself as a premier season opener in college football and we look forward to being a part of it again in 2020 against a very good North Carolina program,” said Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn. “It’s always great to play in Atlanta in front of a big crowd of Auburn fans.”
“The notoriety and popularity of Auburn continues to rise, and we are excited to once again be a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game in 2020,” Auburn Director of Athletics Allen Greene said. “This nationally televised game puts Auburn front and center of the college football stage. Gary Stokan and his staff do an outstanding job of putting on a first-class event and we look forward to filling Mercedes-Benz Stadium with orange and blue.”
The ACC and SEC have met 10 times in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, with the SEC currently holding a 9-1 advantage over the ACC in those games.
The teams will battle for The Old Leather Helmet Trophy, one of college football’s newest rivalry-style icons. 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.
The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game averages more than 68,887 fans for each game – higher than 36 bowl games from last year – and an additional 67 million television viewers since 2008. Total team payouts average $5.2 million – higher than 26 bowl games last season – with more than $67 million in payouts over its history.
Past and Future Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game match-ups include:
|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||(3) Florida State vs. (1) Alabama||Alabama 24-7|
|2017||(25) Tennessee vs. Georgia Tech||Tennessee 42-41|
|2018||Washington vs. Auburn|
|2019||Alabama vs. Duke|
|2020||West Virginia vs. Florida State|
|2020||Georgia vs. Virginia|
|2020||North Carolina vs. Auburn|
|2021||Alabama vs. Miami|
|2021||Louisville vs. Ole Miss|
For more information, visit Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.
ABOUT THE CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF GAME
Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is the preeminent bowl-style, neutral-site game featuring two elite football programs and has been nationally televised on the first Saturday of the college football season since its inception. The game has hosted teams with national rankings of No. 1 (twice), 2, 3, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (three times). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 68,887, has been watched on television by more than 67 million viewers, and has distributed $67.5 million in total team payouts. Since its inception in 2008, the Chick-fil-A Kickoff game has featured 10 national coaches of the year, 21 players who were recipients of national awards during their collegiate careers, a total of 58 first-round NFL Draft picks and two teams that have used the game as a springboard to a National Championship that same season. For more information, visit WWW.CHICK-FIL-AKICKOFFGAME.COM.