Rematch of College Football Powers Set for 2020

For the first time in the history of the AdvoCare Classic, the 2020 contest will feature a rematch of a previous year’s matchup. On September 5, 2020, two of college football’s most prestigious programs, the Alabama Crimson Tide and USC Trojans, return to AT&T Stadium for a rematch of their 2016 season-opening contest. That game saw the No. 1 Crimson Tide, college football’s reigning national champion, down the 20th-ranked Trojans 52-6.

The game will mark the fourth appearance in the AdvoCare Classic for Alabama. The Crimson Tide first played in the event in 2012 when it knocked off the Michigan Wolverines. Since then Alabama also downed Wisconsin 35-17 in 2015 prior to the 2016 contest against USC. In each of its three previous appearances, the Crimson Tide have been ranked in the Top 3 nationally.

The Trojans’ only appearance in the AdvoCare Classic came in 2016, though it wasn’t the first Pac-12 team to participate. Oregon State was the first Pac-12 team to play in the AdvoCare Classic in 2010, while Oregon faced LSU in the series in 2011. The Ducks will also be featured in the 2019 game against Auburn, with Oregon looking to claim the Pac-12’s first victory in series history.

LSU-Miami Set For Sunday Night Kickoff

The 2018 AdvoCare Classic pitting the LSU Tigers against the Miami Hurricanes will mark the first time the event has been slated for a Sunday night primetime kickoff. The SEC-ACC battle on September 2 will at AT&T Stadium will get underway at 6:30 pm CT and will wrap up the college football kickoff weekend coverage on ABC.

ABC has set kickoff weekend viewership records the past two years, as more than 11 million viewers watched Notre Dame take on Texas in 2016 and more than 12 million watched Florida State play Alabama in 2017.

The LSU Tigers return to AT&T Stadium and the AdvoCare Classic for their third appearance in the series. The game will mark the first appearance by Miami, though the Tigers and Hurricanes are no stratgers to each other. LSU and Miami last faced each other in the 2005 Chick-fil-A Bowl, with LSU collecting a resounding 40-3 victory. The Tigers also lead the all-time series 9-3. Miami’s last win against LSU came in Tiger Stadium in 1988 when the Hurricanes drubbed the Tigers 44-3, tying the largest margin of victory in the series.

LSU is 2-0 in its previous AdvoCare Classic appearances, defeating Oregon 40-27 to open the 2011 season and beating TCU 37-27 in 2012. The SEC is 5-1 in the AdvoCare Classic, losing inn2017 for the first time in series history when the No. 11 Michigan Wolverines knocked off the No. 17 Florida Gators 33-17. The ACC has had just one lone representative in the event. That occurred in 2014 when the No. 1 and reigining national champion Florida State Seminoles downed the Oklahoma State Cowboys 37-31.

2018 College Football Kickoff Weekend: Miami vs. LSU Moves to Sunday, Sept. 2; Airs on ABC in Prime Time

  • Hurricanes-Tigers Play in Third Annual ABC Sunday Night Labor Day Weekend Presentation
  • First Regular Season Matchup Since 1988; Only Third Overall Meeting in Nearly 50 Years

Miami and LSU, originally scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, will now be played on Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC as part of ESPN’s networks five-day college football kickoff weekend showcase. The game, which will be played in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will mark the third consecutive year ABC has aired a prime time game on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.

The 2018 opener for the Hurricanes and Tigers will mark the first regular season meeting between the two schools since 1988 and just the third overall meeting since 1969. The Tigers beat Miami in the 2005 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the last meeting between the ACC and SEC schools. Overall, the teams have played 12 times, dating back to 1946, and the Tigers own a 9-3 advantage in those matchups.

ABC’s Kickoff Weekend Sunday Night Presentation has Been Record Setting
Notre Dame and Texas played in ABC’s first college football kickoff weekend Sunday night presentation in 2016, with the two-overtime thriller generating a total live audience of 11,093,000 viewers – at the time, a kickoff weekend viewership record across all networks. This season, West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech — from Landover, Maryland — played in the second annual ABC special presentation, generating a total live audience of 4,737,000 viewers, the third most-watched college football game on broadcast TV during the season’s kickoff weekend.

AdvoCare Classic Celebrates 10th Anniversary
The 2018 AdvoCare Classic will mark the 10th anniversary of the annual kickoff weekend game. The Tigers have played in the game twice, beating Oregon 40-27 in 2011 and TCU 37-27 in 2016. Next year’s game will be the first-time Miami has participated and the team’s first game at AT&T Stadium.

 

By  – ESPN Media Zone

Michigan hands Florida its first season-opening loss since 1989

ARLINGTON, Texas — The message for all those young Michigan players was clear in the letter from a 13-year combat veteran that coach Jim Harbaugh read to them the night before the first game.

“Just to hear that letter and say, OK, there’s 18- and 19-year-old guys going over there defending our freedom, why can’t we step out onto the field … and play a simple game of football?” quarterback Wilton Speight said after the 11th-ranked Wolverines beat No. 17 Florida 33-17 on Saturday.

While Speight is a senior, the Wolverines had to replace 18 of 22 starters from last season and there are youngsters on the roster.

Quinn Nordin, in his first college game, became the first Michigan kicker to make two 50-yard field goals in the same game, freshman Tarik Black had a 46-yard touchdown catch and the overhauled Michigan defense didn’t allow a touchdown while handing Florida its first season-opening loss in nearly three decades.

Anthony Riddle, who is from Jackson, Michigan, shared in the letter some of the experiences of training and combat that he and his fellow young Marines went through. Riddle wrote that he was responding to naysayers who believed Michigan football was going into this season too young and too inexperienced.

“The message, it’s irrelevant what the age is,” Harbaugh said. “It’s a group in a unit or on a team that come together and do their job. … It was better than anything I could have told the team.”

Michigan trailed 17-13 at halftime before scoring three times in the first 6 minutes of the second half. The Gators had won 27 consecutive season openers, the nation’s longest such streak, since a home loss to Mississippi in 1989.

“It’s gonna hurt, and if it doesn’t, then something is wrong,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “We have a lot more to play. I like this team, I like the guys on this team. I think we have a chance to grow and I believe we will.”

After Karan Higdon’s 3-yard TD run capped a half-opening 75-yard, 10-yard drive, Ambry Thomas forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. That set up a 30-yard field goal by Quinn, who then made a 50-yarder after Michigan recovered another fumble.

“This win was a good start for the season for us, build our confidence, allow us to see what we’re capable of,” sophomore linebacker Devin Bush said.

Florida’s only touchdowns came when Duke Dawson and CJ Henderson returned interceptions for touchdowns. Those came on consecutive throws by Speight in the second quarter.

“I thought Wilton did a good job getting calmed down,” Harbaugh said. “Showed a lot of resilience, our team today, and I’m very proud of that.”

 

SLEEPY TIME

Nordin made four field goals, including a 55-yarder in the first half. He missed two attempts wide right in the fourth quarter, one of those from 52 yards. The nation’s No. 1 kicker in the 2016 recruiting class, Nordin had initially committed to Penn State but signed with the Wolverines after a home visit that included a sleepover by Harbaugh.

“It was the craziest thing,” Nordin said of his debut, not the sleepover. “I just went out there and did what I was supposed to do.”

 

THE TAKEAWAY:

MICHIGAN: While the defense has been greatly overhauled — remember, there were eight Michigan defenders drafted off last year’s unit — the Wolverines limited Florida to 192 total yards (only 11 yards rushing). They even scored a late touchdown on a sack that resulted in a fumble recovered in the end zone. Aside from the interceptions on consecutive throws, Speight was 11-of-23 passing for 181 yards with the TD to Black.

FLORIDA: It was really hard to judge the Gators with their leading returning receiver Antonio Callaway and top returning rusher Jordan Scarlett among 10 players suspended for the opener. Redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks, in his first start for the Gators, completed 5 of 9 passes for 75 yards and lost a fumble early in the second half. Notre Dame transfer Malik Zaire came on after that, and was 9 of 17 for 106 yards.

“We needed to shake up the batting order a little bit,” McElwain said. “I thought Malik would come in and give us a change of pace at that point when we were still in the ballgame.”

 

UP NEXT

MICHIGAN: The Wolverines play their home opener next Saturday in a first-ever meeting against Cincinnati.

FLORIDA: The Gators have their final tuneup before SEC play, hosting Northern Colorado for their home opener next Saturday.

AdvoCare Classic Announces Matchups Through 2019 Season

The AdvoCare Classic has announced three additional premier matchups that will carry the series through the end of the decade.

The series continues a tradition of pitting two of college football’s top powers against each other at AT&T Stadium, located in Arlington, TX. The series began in 2009 when Oklahoma, ranked No. 3 in the country and led by reigning Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, suffered a 14-13 upset loss to No. 20 BYU. For the next decade the AdvoCare Classic produced compelling matchups, exciting finishes, and premier games to kick off the college football season, and the future matchups in store seem likely to continue that trend.

The 2017 contest will feature the Florida Gators making their first-ever appearance in AT&T Stadium. The Gators will matchup against the Michigan Wolverines in a major cross-sectional showdown. The game, which will be played on Saturday, September 2, will be the first meeting in the regular season between the teams, but their fourth meeting overall. Traditionally the teams have battled in bowl games, with Michigan owning the upper hand. Michigan collected wins against the Gators in the 2003 Outback Bowl (38-30), the 2008 Capital One Bowl (41-35), and just recently in the 2016 Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (41-7).

In 2018 the LSU Tigers return to AT&T Stadium and the AdvoCare Classic for their third appearance in the series. Their foe will be the Miami Hurricanes of the ACC on Saturday, September 1. LSU and Miami last faced each other in the 2005 Chick-fil-A Bowl, with LSU collecting a resounding 40-3 victory. The Tigers also lead the all-time series 9-3. Miami’s last win against the Tigers came in Tiger Stadium in 1988 when the Hurricanes drubbed the Tigers 44-3, tying the largest margin of victory in the series. LSU is 2-0 in its previous AdvoCare Classic appearances, defeating Oregon 40-27 to open the 2011 season and beating TCU 37-27 in 2012. Miami has not yet appeared in the AdvoCare Classic.

The 2019 contest continues the theme of pairing a newcomer with an AdvoCare Classic series veteran. On August 31, 2019, the Auburn Tigers and Oregon Ducks tangle in a rematch of the 2011 BCS Championship Game, the final game of the BCS era. The teams will meet for only the second time in history. Auburn defeated Oregon 22-19 on a field goal as time expired in the 2011 title game. Oregon’s lone previous appearance in the series came in 2011 when they fell to another set of SEC Tigers, the LSU Tigers, 40-27.

Since 2009, the AdvoCare Classic has hosted three teams that played in the national championship game the previous season. That will happen again in 2016 when the reigning national champion Alabama Crimson Tide host the USC Trojans. Additionally, the AdvoCare Classic has served as a launching pad for teams advancing to the national championship game, with the AdvoCare Classic participant winning two of those national championship contests, most recently in 2015 (Alabama Crimson Tide).