Virginia Athletics announced Sunday that the Virginia football team has accepted an invitation to play in the 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl. The Cavaliers (9-4, 6-2 ACC) will face Florida (10-2, 6-2 SEC) Dec. 30 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
“We are excited to welcome the University of Virginia to the 86th Capital One Orange Bowl and a great matchup with Florida,” Orange Bowl President and Chair Jose Romano said. “Congratulation[s] to Coach [Bronco] Mendenhall and the entire Virginia football [team] on an outstanding season.”
The Orange Bowl is one of the New Year’s Six bowls — the top six bowl games in college football. Per contractual agreements, the Orange Bowl features the highest-ranked available ACC team and the highest-ranked available team out of the SEC, the Big Ten and Notre Dame.
With Clemson heading to the College Football Playoff, Virginia was the best ACC candidate after securing the Coastal Division title. SEC East runner-up Florida was chosen to be the Cavaliers’ opponent, marking the first time the two teams will meet since 1959.
“Virginia is one of four ACC teams to have ever played in our game, and we are looking forward to providing them with the world-class bowl experience that the Capital One Orange Bowl is known for,” Romano said.
The Dec. 30 matchup between the Cavaliers and the Gators will kick off at 8 p.m. and be televised nationally on ESPN.