Louisville and Ole Miss were officially announced as the participants in the 2021 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, continuing the ACC-SEC rivalry that has been a staple of the Atlanta-based opening weekend game.
It will be the second time for both schools playing in the game, but unless they meet in a bowl between now and 2021, it will be the first time the two programs have played each other in football. Ole Miss beat Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in 2014 and Louisville fell to Auburn in its first appearance in this game in 2015.
Both athletic directors offered their excitement for the announcement in an official release.
“To have the opportunity to play in this game again for the second time is a huge win for our program,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said. “We are honored to be welcomed back by the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, which is a tremendous testament to our loyal fan base, who helped pack the stadium in 2015. Our fans have a great history of traveling and to have the opportunity to play a great program like Ole Miss in this brand-new facility will certainly be a hot ticket for the fans. Gary Stokan and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl group do a tremendous job with this game and we appreciate them selecting Louisville for what has become the premier game to kick off the season.”
“We are thrilled to once again be part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff. We always set the goal to end the regular season in Atlanta, so it’s only fitting that’s where we begin it,” Ross Bjork, Ole Miss athletic director, added. “With our strong alumni base in Georgia, Rebel Nation will arrive in full force to experience this premier matchup in the nation’s finest new stadium. In addition, the Atlanta market is a key recruiting area for our staff, and this trip offers a tremendous opportunity to compete in front of those prospects.”
The ACC and SEC have played each other 10 times in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and currently the SEC holds a 9-1 advantage with Clemson’s 2012 win over Auburn as the only win for the ACC.