MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia and Florida State finalized plans to open the 2020 football season with a Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game matchup in Atlanta, the schools announced Thursday.
The game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 5 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, a retractable-roof facility that replaces the Georgia Dome next season.
West Virginia has faced the Seminoles three times — all in Gator Bowls — during 1982, 2004 and 2010. The Mountaineers canceled a regular-season matchup in 2012 after jumping into the Big 12’s nine-game round-robin.
“The Mountaineers look forward to returning to the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, and playing in Atlanta’s new premier sports venue,” said athletics director Shane Lyons said. “We all know that West Virginia and Florida State have met in bowl games before, but this provides a quality regular-season matchup for both teams on a national stage. The game will be a great chance for the two fan bases to make a road trip to Atlanta and get the 2020 season started.”
Florida State will be in Atlanta next season for a Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama.
“Our fans enjoy our games in Atlanta and we anticipate a great environment,” said Florida State Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox. “Our fans have been talking about next year’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama since the day it was announced, and I think we will see similar enthusiasm for an opener against the Mountaineers.”
Thousands of Mountaineers fans visited Atlanta for the 2013 Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game which Alabama won 33-23.
In addition, Lyons also added three guarantee games against FCS teams in Morgantown: hosting Youngstown State on Sept. 8, 2018, followed by James Madison on Aug. 31, 2019, and also Indiana State on Sept. 11, 2021.
The game against Florida State, in the works for months, fortifies an already-enticing lineup of Power 5 opposition in coming years. The Mountaineers open next season against Virginia Tech in Landover, Md., and start 2018 by facing Tennessee in Charlotte before visiting N.C. State.
In 2019, West Virginia plays its return game at Missouri and hosts N.C State, while 2020’s schedule already includes a relaunch of the Maryland series.
In 2021, WVU begins a two-year series against Virginia Tech, with a four-year home-and-home against Pitt starting in 2022. There’s also the home-and-home against Penn State slated for 2023-2024.