Nov. 19, 2010
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville football team will play North Carolina to open the 2011 season and will also face the Tar Heels the following season. Both games will be televised by either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
Louisville will play at North Carolina on September 3, 2011 to open the season and the teams will play at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in 2012 on a date to be determined.
One of the original programs in the Atlantic Coast Conference, North Carolina has won five ACC titles and has appeared in 27 bowl games throughout its illustrious history, including back-to-back appearances in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2008-2009. Louisville owns a 3-2 series advantage over the Tar Heels, winning the last two contests. The Cardinals shut out the Tar Heels 34-0 at Kenan Stadium in 2004 and won 69-14 in 2005 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The series dates back to 1998 when the Cardinals won a 38-34 decision in Chapel Hill.
North Carolina will replace Georgia on the Cardinals' schedule after Georgia indicated they had an opportunity to play in the Chik-fil-A Kickoff game, much to the dismay of the Cardinals. The financial obligations of Georgia canceling the agreement have been met.
"While we certainly would have preferred to keep the series with Georgia, we are pleased to open up the season next year at North Carolina and look forward to hosting them at Papa John's Stadium in 2012," said U of L Vice-President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. "We were thrilled when we secured a series with Georgia five years ago. We were approached to mutually agree to cancel this series, but we declined. Georgia exercised their option to cancel our series so they could participate in the 2011 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Obviously, we wanted to retain the series as we know our fans have been looking forward to playing them since 2005. Even though we are disappointed in this series of events, we appreciate ESPN for their assistance in attaining another quality BCS opponent and for their commitment in televising the games. We look forward to playing North Carolina, we will have discussions with Georgia about a possible future series, and we will continue to explore future dates with other quality opponents."