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State/Tennessee Matchup Is Official

NC State will open the 2012 football season in Atlanta against the Kiffin Family Circus.

"This matchup will continue the tradition of creating the Daytona 500 of college football," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president. "I fully expect that in 2012 both of these rising programs will be ranked in the top 20."

Although less than 300 miles apart, N.C. State and Tennessee have played just twice, the last time in 1939. The teams are 1-1 in those games.

"Atlanta is the perfect spot to host the first meeting between the teams in over 70 years," said Dave Brown, ESPN's vice president for programming. "A matchup of this caliber is another great way ... to usher in the first week of college football."

Tickets will be split evenly between N.C. State and Tennessee, and the game and its surrounding events will be managed by the Chick-fil-A Bowl.