Clemson, Georgia announce season-opening game in Charlotte for 2021

Two of the premier programs in college football will meet in Week 1 of the 2021 season.

Clemson and Georgia will square off on Sept. 4, 2021, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, the home of the Carolina Panthers. Both schools announced the news on Tuesday.

The game is part of a series hosted by the Charlotte Sports Foundation. The series also includes a game between Appalachian State and East Carolina two days earlier on Thursday, Sept. 2.

To make the matchup come to fruition, Georgia had to buy out San Jose State, its original Week 1 opponent for 2021. For Clemson, Georgia replaces a previously scheduled contest against Wyoming.

Georgia's Isaiah McKenzie (16) plays in first half of an NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 45-21. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Georgia and Clemson last played on Aug. 30, 2014. The two schools now have six future matchups scheduled. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Clemson and Georgia now have six future games scheduled. The schools will face one another in the 2024 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta and also have two home-and-home series scheduled for 2029 and 2030 and 2032 and 2033. The games in 2029 and 2033 will be played at Clemson while the games in 2030 and 2032 will take place in Athens.

“Thank you to Georgia and the Charlotte Sports Foundation for helping make this game a reality,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich said in a statement. “Kicking off the 2021 season with this matchup will be a tremendous showcase for both universities and our fans. UGA is a great football program and we know that Charlotte will provide a first-class experience for everyone involved.”

Added Georgia head coach Kirby Smart: "This is another great opportunity to schedule a national non-conference game with a top-level opponent. Playing a regular-season game in Charlotte will give our fans the opportunity for a completely new experience in a great city and top level stadium. I know our coaches and players will be excited for the challenge to kick off the season in this kind of environment."

Clemson and Georgia have met in football 64 times, with UGA leading the series 42-18-4. The schools most recently had a home-and-home series in 2013 and 2014. Clemson won 38-35 in 2013 while Georgia took the rematch 45-21 in 2014.

Both schools scheduling top competition

Georgia has a bevy of intriguing non-conference home-and-home series on the books. In addition to Clemson, those matchups also include Texas (2028-2029), UCLA (2025-2026), Florida State (2027-2028), Oklahoma (2023 and 2031) and Ohio State (2030-2031). Georgia also has three games in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta: 2020 vs. Virginia, 2022 vs. Oregon and 2024 vs. Clemson.

"The eyes of the nation will be on Charlotte as we start the 2021 season," Georgia AD Greg McGarity said. "It is yet another opportunity to strengthen our schedule and provide an opportunity for our supporters to enjoy another huge matchup. We will now have at least two Power 5 opponents on our schedule through 2033."

Clemson is taking a similar approach to scheduling, adding future games against Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Clemson also plays an annual rivalry game against South Carolina.

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