Primetime Kickoff for Ole Miss-Florida State Opener
Ole Miss and Florida State are two of the nation's five programs that have earned back-to-back New Year's Six bowl berths. (photo by Joshua McCoy)
Jan. 26, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – The inaugural Orlando Kickoff game between the Ole Miss Rebels and Florida State Seminoles will be played Monday, Sept. 5, 2016, and will be televised by ESPN in its primetime slot.

The Labor Day kickoff at the newly renovated Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium will be 8 p.m. ET/7 CT.

Ole Miss will play its season opener at a neutral site for the second time in three seasons. The Rebels defeated Boise State 35-13 on Aug. 28, 2014 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.

The Rebels and Seminoles are two of the nation’s five programs that have made back-to-back appearances in the first two New Year’s Six bowl games. Ole Miss lost to TCU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl before defeating Oklahoma State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, while Florida State lost the Rose Bowl to Oregon before falling to Houston in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

Both teams are projected to rank among the nation’s top teams next fall. Ole Miss is viewed as highly as No. 5 by and Florida State as highly as No. 2 by in way-too-early 2016 prognostications.

This will be the second time the Rebels and Seminoles square off on the gridiron. Ole Miss earned a 33-0 victory at home in the only other meeting (1961).

The 2016 Orlando Kickoff game is a the first in a multi-year agreement between Florida Citrus Sports (FCSports) and ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN, to host a major neutral-site college football game in the Orlando Citrus Bowl stadium during the opening weekend of the college football season.

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