November 19, 2010

Dawgs-Broncos set for 2011

In the end, it was just an opportunity that Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said made too much sense to turn down.

As a result, Georgia will open the 2011 football campaign Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome against Boise State in the annual Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic.

"This is one game I know that Georgia has never played in, but one we felt was important from the standpoint of being on the national stage," McGarity said in a teleconference with reporters Friday afternoon. "It was really just too good of a situation to turn down."

Kickoff is set for Saturday, Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by either ESPN or ABC.

"This is the type game that excites me, it will excite our players and I know it will excite our fans," said head coach Mark Richt. "We know it will put Georgia on a national stage in the season opener. It will make for a great off-season of preparation and anticipation to play a great team at a great facility in our home state."

Although exact payouts have not been set, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO Gary Stokan said Georgia will receive approximately $1.7 million with Boise State receiving $1.4 million.

Georgia officials will meet Monday to determine how ticket orders will be processed.

"It was a long time coming, but we wanted to make sure we got our 2011 match-up right. Today, we got it right," said Stokan. "With this game, we have two nationally significant programs, two teams we expect to be highly ranked and a very interesting game. It's a win all the way around."

In order to make the game work, Georgia cancelled its series against Louisville. The Bulldogs and Cardinals were supposed to play Sept. 3 in Sanford Stadium before returning the trip to Louisville in 2012 that was slated for Sept. 15.

Georgia must now find another opponent, which will be a home game, one that will give the Bulldogs seven games in Athens for the 2012 campaign. McGarity said UGA is close to announcing a game in 2012 against an FCS opponent, one which would not require the Bulldogs to return the game.

According to Stokan, Chick-fil-A and ESPN will pay Louisville the $600,000 for cancelling the series. North Carolina will take Georgia's place on Louisville's schedule.

Georgia and Boise State are not exactly strangers.

The two teams met in 2005 when the Bulldogs entertained the Broncos at Sanford Stadium with Georgia taking a 48-13 win.

On Thursday, McGarity told UGASports that Georgia would not be making a return trip to Boise, ranked third nationally and still in the hunt for a trip to the BCS Championship. The Broncos currently enjoy the nation's longest winning streak at 23 games.

When Boise State gets to Atlanta, the Broncos will be replacing 10 total starters (4 offensive, 5 defensive and 1 special teams) but do return record-setting quarterback Kellen Moore, who in just his third collegiate season, is already ranked among the top 10 in several Boise State individual career statistical categories, including total off ense (fourth; 9,552); passing yards (second; 9,610); pass attempts (third; 1,078); pass completions (first; 732); touchdown passes (first; 88).

Boise State to face Georgia

ATHENS (AP) -- Boise State is coming to Atlanta for season-opening games in 2011 and 2014, including next season's opener against Georgia in the Georgia Dome.

Chick-fil-A Bowl president Gary Stokan said Friday the game will be played on Sept. 3, 2011, and be televised by ESPN or ABC.

The Chick-fil-A Bowl committee organizes the annual season kickoff game. The 2011 game will be the first that does not match a Southeastern Conference team against an Atlantic Coast Conference team.

Boise State will be making a long trip to open its season on a neutral field for the second straight year. The Broncos beat Virginia Tech 33-30 in this season's opening game in Landover, Md.

The committee also announced Boise State will face Mississippi in the 2014 opening game at the Georgia Dome. Boise State and Ole Miss were scheduled to play the season opener in 2011 in Oxford, Miss.

Stokan said Ole Miss will receive $2 million and Boise State will receive $1.1 million to play in the Aug. 28, 2014 game.

Ole Miss will receive more money because it is giving up a home game.

To fill its 2011 schedule, Ole Miss will host BYU in the season opener. The Rebels will give BYU a $900,000 payout for the game and will not make a return trip, which was the same arrangement they had with Boise State.

BYU has announced it will leave the Mountain West Conference and become independent in 2011.

Boise State is replacing Louisville on Georgia's 2011 schedule, leaving the Bulldogs with six home games instead of seven. With a 2012 game at Louisville also removed from Georgia's schedule, the Bulldogs will add a seventh home game. Georgia athletic d

irector Greg McGarity said he is close to announcing a replacement for Louisville on the 2012 schedule. He said it will not be a team from a BCS conference.

McGarity said the offer to play Boise State in Atlanta, about 90 miles from Athens, "was too good an opportunity to turn down."

Stokan said the Chick-fil-A Bowl and ESPN are paying Louisville a $600,000 buyout "to make that (Boise State-Georgia) game happen."

"We thought with the opportunity to take a No. 4 BCS-ranked Boise State with the University of Georgia, we've got two powerful nationally known football brands," Stokan said. "It is my belief Georgia will be nationally ranked next year, along with Boise. It is our mission is to put the best game together on the opening weekend of football."

Georgia has slumped to a 5-6 record this season and has a final regular-season game against Georgia Tech on Nov. 27.

Stokan said he is finalizing payouts of approximately $1.7 million to Georgia and $1.4 million for Boise State. He added Boise State will receive about 7,500 tickets for the 2011 game, leaving the rest for Georgia.

Georgia and Boise State have agreed to only the one game.



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