UF vs. Michigan in 2017 Kickoff Classic

By Matt Kingston, Sports producer, mkingsto@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 19 2013 03:32:56 PM EST

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -

Florida and Michigan will open the 2017 season in the Cowboys Classic in Arlington, Texas.
   
The prime-time game is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2.
   
It will be Florida's first regular-season, non-conference game outside the Sunshine State since the Gators lost at Syracuse in 1991.
   
"You don't get these opportunities very often," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "Our schedule has been pretty consistent through the years. We were presented this opportunity and just thought it was something that our fans would embrace, our program would embrace. It would give us great national visibility. Obviously, a very difficult ballgame against a storied program - that excites us."
   
Michigan will be the away team; Florida the home team. Game officials and replay crew will come from the Big 12 Conference.
   
Each school will receive 25,000 tickets for the neutral-site game at AT&T Stadium, home to the NFL's Dallas Cowboys.
   
"We are excited to make a return trip to Dallas for the Cowboys Classic against Florida," Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. "This is a great way to reach our fan base in the south and to continue to expand our recruiting efforts in the state of Texas. Our goal is to have as many Michigan fans at the game as possible."
   
This will be the third meeting between Michigan and Florida. Both previous matchups came in bowl games. Michigan won both: a 38-30 victory in the 2003 Outback Bowl and a 41-35 victory in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
   
"This is a great opportunity to expose the University of Florida nationally, playing one of the greatest programs in the history of college football," Foley said. "I think a tremendous trip for our fans. We just haven't done much of this, certainly as long as I've been athletic director. I think there are a lot of positives that come out of it."

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