Gators season opener against Miami officially moved up

Football seasons at Miami and Florida will start earlier than ever this year.	 Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Football seasons at Miami and Florida will start earlier than ever this year. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

Two teams with national title aspirations - the Florida Gators and Miami Hurricanes - will meet in Orlando to start the 2019 season, and they're getting a prime time showing, too.

The game was originally scheduled for August 31 before ESPN approached both schools about moving the contest up by a week. They then applied for a waiver from the NCAA to move the date of the game.

"ESPN approached both UM and Florida with the unique idea to broadcast this matchup as the culmination of a daylong celebration of college football's 150th anniversary season", Miami Director of Athletics Blake James said. Instead of kicking off as planned on Saturday, Aug. 31, the teams will play the first game of the 150th season of college football on Saturday, Aug. 24 with a kickoff at 7 p.m. ET.

The game, which will be held at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, was originally scheduled for August 31. ESPN asked several weeks ago if the date could moved up as part of its kickoff to what will be a season-long celebration of the 150th year of college football, and the NCAA - with the approval of both schools - chose to accommodate the request. Talks among both schools, ESPN, Florida Citrus Sports and the College Football 150th Anniversary Organization proceeded over the last several months, culminating with the NCAA decision Thursday. "I'd also like to thank the fans from both schools for their understanding of the date change".

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The game will be played in Orlando, Florida, as originally scheduled. Miami leads the all-time series 29-26 and won the last meeting in 2013 at home.

So Diaz's debut as coach of the Hurricanes will come a week earlier than first thought. "We will work diligently with any of those affected to help ensure that they can still attend the Camping World Kickoff and have a great experience". He replaced Mark Richt, who retired during the offseason.

Due to the popularity of the game, a public sale is not expected.

UF season ticket holders have until March 14 to request tickets to the game because of the schedule change.

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