West Virginia and Florida State Return to Atlanta for 2020 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

January 5, 2017

Top programs set to make second appearance in the nation’s longest-running kickoff game.
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ATLANTA (Jan. 5, 2017) – The West Virginia Mountaineers and the Florida State Seminoles will face off in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to open the 2020 season in a Big 12 vs. ACC showdown.

The game is set for Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020 and will be played in the new, state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz Stadium – currently under construction in Atlanta – which will open in 2017 and play host to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, the 2019 Super Bowl and the 2020 NCAA Final Four.

The 16th installment of the nation’s longest-running kickoff game will be the fourth time the West Virginia Mountaineers and Florida State Seminoles have played to date, and the first time since 2010, with Florida State winning all three contests. The Seminoles will continue the ACC’s long-standing tradition of appearances in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game (12), while West Virginia remains the only Big 12 school featured, making its second appearance. It will also mark the first matchup between ACC and Big 12 schools in the game.

West Virginia fell to Alabama in the 2014 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, while Florida State is set it kick off the 2017 season in Atlanta against Alabama, in what will be the first college football game held in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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 are two elite football programs and this game promises to be a battle of powerhouses,” said Percy Vaughn, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman.

“We cannot be more proud to welcome back West Virginia and Florida State who have signed on for a second Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game appearance,” said Gary Stokan, Peach Bowl, Inc. president and CEO. “These two storied Big 12 and ACC programs have very passionate fan bases that will create an unmatched atmosphere. It’s going to be a memorable start to the season and there is no better place to host this than in Atlanta, 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.

“The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is an outstanding event, and we look forward to playing Florida State in the game to open the 2020 season,” said West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen. “Florida State is one of the top teams in the nation each year, and it will be a challenge for us and a great way to open the season.

“Our players and coaches like playing in neutral site games in pro venues. When we played in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2014, our players, coaches and fans really enjoyed playing against Alabama in a great environment and we expect the same in this game. It will be a great experience for our players to play in Atlanta’s new indoor stadium.”

“The Mountaineers look forward to returning to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and playing in Atlanta’s new premier sports venue,” said West Virginia Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President Shane Lyons. “We all know that West Virginia and Florida State have met in bowl games before, but this provides a quality regular season matchup for both teams on a national stage. The game will be a great chance for the two fan bases to make a road trip to Atlanta and get the 2020 season started.”

“We are pleased to be a part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and to be matched against such an outstanding opponent in West Virginia,” said Florida State Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox.  “Our fans enjoy our games in Atlanta and we anticipate a great environment. It will be a challenging out-of-conference game for both programs, which will figure prominently for each team’s post season aspirations.

“Our fans have been talking about next year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama since the day it was announced, and I think we will see similar enthusiasm for an opener against the Mountaineers.”

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  


  ABOUT THE CHICK-FIL-A KICKOFF GAME Created in 2008 by Peach Bowl, Inc., the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game is a 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, No. 2, 5 (twice), 6, 7, 9, 14, 16, 18 (twice), 19, 22, 24 (twice) and 25 (twice). The Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game boasts an average attendance of 67,645, has been watched on television by 47.4 million viewers, and has distributed $51.9 million in total team payouts. For more information, visit www.Chick-fil-AKickoffGame.com.