Friday, August 31, 2018

Georgia and Clemson to Renew Rivalry in 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game

UGA Sports Communications

Georgia and Clemson will renew one of college football’s biggest rivalries in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game to open the 2024 season. The game will be played Aug. 31, 2024 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

An exact kick time and television network will be finalized at a later date.

The 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game will mark the 65th time Georgia and Clemson have faced each other, but will be the first meeting between the two programs in 10 years. In the previous matchup, the Dawgs defeated the Tigers 45-21 to open the 2014 season in Athens. Georgia holds a 42-18-4 advantage over Clemson all-time.

“We’re thrilled to be able to renew a storied rivalry between two historic programs that are within such a close proximity to Atlanta,” said Bob Somers, Peach Bowl, Inc. chairman. “Both Georgia and Clemson are two of the most well-represented fan bases in our city, so we’re expecting an electric atmosphere for this one.”

“This will be a phenomenal matchup between two of last season’s College Football Playoff teams,” Peach Bowl, Inc. CEO and President Gary Stokan said. “Both Dabo and Kirby have done a superb job of elevating the Clemson and Georgia football programs and we fully expect this to be another top-ten matchup when the two teams face off in 2024 in the capital of college football.”

Clemson will be making its third appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. The Tigers fell 34-10 to Alabama in the inaugural Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2008, but later defeated Auburn 26-19 in the 2012 game.

“I've said many times that I think the Clemson-Georgia rivalry is one of the best rivalries in college football," Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. "It's one I watched way before I even came to Clemson. I think it's great for both fan bases. It will be one of those games that everybody will enjoy. Obviously it's a tough opener for both teams, but it's fun to be a part of games like that."

“To play a great opponent like the University of Georgia in a first-class venue like Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be an outstanding experience for our football team and fans,” Director of Athletics Dan Radakovich said. “The resumption of our storied rivalry with Georgia has been a high priority for us and will continue to be a high priority moving forward.”

The 2024 Clemson-Georgia matchup will mark Georgia’s fifth appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Georgia previously fell 35-21 to Boise State in 2011 and defeated North Carolina 33-24 in the 2016 contest. The Bulldogs are also scheduled open the 2020 season in Atlanta against Virginia, and then again in 2022 when they face off against Oregon.

It will represent the SEC’s 21st appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, with the conference currently boasting an 11-2 record in the game, including a 9-1 mark over ACC teams.

“Many of the players on both teams know each other and the proximity of the two schools makes it especially competitive,” said UGA head football coach Kirby Smart. “This is another great opportunity for our team and our fans to play an outstanding team in an extraordinary city and venue. We are appreciative of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game staff for their hard work in putting the game together.”

“It is great to be able to renew our rivalry with Clemson in Mercedes Benz Stadium in 2024,” said UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “We know our fans will enjoy another outstanding experience in Atlanta, and will look forward to a great game.”

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.

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