War Eagle Extra

Auburn will play Washington in 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game


Auburn will play Washington in the 2018 Chick-fil-A Kickoff game.

The first-ever meeting between the schools is set for Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 at the new $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is currently under construction in Atlanta.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game for a third time,” Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement. “Auburn has a great fan base in Atlanta and we’ve always had a big number of Georgia kids in our program. We appreciate the partnership we’ve had over the years with the great people at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.”

A team from the SEC has represented the conference in every single one of the 11 Chick-fil-A Kickoff games. This will be the first time a Pac-12 team plays in the neutral site matchup.

Auburn split its first two appearances in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game with a 26-19 loss to Clemson in 2012 and 31-24 win over Louisville in 2015.

“Our student-athletes love big games on big stages, and playing a quality opponent like Washington in this new stadium at such a prestigious event will be a great experience,” Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. “Since our goal every year is to get to Atlanta and compete for a championship, I also like the opportunity for our team to play there early in the season. That’s an advantage for us. Atlanta is a great city, and the Auburn Family has a huge presence there. So it’s a great game, venue and location for our student-athletes and our fans.”

Auburn’s future Power 5 opponents now include Clemson (2017), Washington (2018), Oregon (2019 at Arlington, TX) and Penn State (2021).

“With two teams of this caliber, it really is going to be a major bowl game-type atmosphere and an epic celebration of college football,” Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl chairman Percy Vaughn said.

Michael Niziolek: 334-332-8572, @wareagleextra