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South Alabama Announces 2011 Schedule as FCS Member
MOBILE, Ala. - While the 2010 football season is still months away from beginning, that doesn’t mean that the University of South Alabama doesn’t have its eyes on the program’s long-term future. Another step on the way to full-fledged NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) status for the Jaguars was made Thursday with the announcement of USA’s 2011 schedule.
The slate includes 11 games, with seven of those in Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, as well as the first two NCAA FBS opponents the school will face. The Jags will take on North Carolina State and Kent State on back-to-back weekends - the dates are Sept. 17 and 24 - on the road, with both matchups the first as part of three-game series with the two schools.
Six other NCAA Division I schools are part of the ‘11 schedule as well, with four of those set to visit Mobile. The first two, Lamar and UC Davis, will complete home-and-home contracts - the Jaguars will play the former on Sept. 10 and the latter on Oct. 1. Tennessee-Martin comes to town Oct. 15, while USA will take on Cal Poly in the season finale Nov. 19.
“We feel like this is a great step forward for where we want to go,” Jag head coach Joey Jones observed. “Obviously, playing all of these Division I schools on the schedule in our third year will present a challenge. In the grand scheme of things, it’s about where we are going and preparing for a schedule that will feature pretty much all FBS opponents the following year.
“Each year we want to step up the level of competition on our schedule - our kids and staff want to be challenged. Certainly we will have some bumps along the way playing teams at this level, but it’s where we want to be and where this program is headed.”
The Jaguars will visit Texas-San Antonio and former Miami (Fla.) head coach Larry Coker Oct. 8 in the first meeting of a two-game series, and will return a contest at Georgia State two weeks later. The Panthers, who are led by former Alabama head coach Bill Curry, are coming to Ladd-Peebles Stadium on Oct. 30 this fall.
The 2011 campaign will open with a Thursday, Sept. 1 matchup at home against West Alabama, while the other two contests with Edward Waters (Fla.) (Oct. 29) and Henderson (Ark.) State (Nov. 5) are set to take place in Mobile on consecutive weekends.
It will be the third time in as many seasons that the Jags will have seven home contests on the schedule.
“The 2011 schedule provides an appropriate step as we begin our transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision,” said Jaguar Director of Athletics Dr. Joel Erdmann. “The home portion of the schedule includes several Football Championship Subdivision programs which have experienced success and will be great college football games for our fans to enjoy, and obviously the road games at N.C. State and Kent State will be a challenge and an opportunity to compete with those teams in a great football game day environment.”
USA’s first season as an official FBS member - when it will be eligible to compete for the Sun Belt Conference title and earn a berth to a bowl game - is set for the fall of 2013.
For more information about South Alabama athletics, check back with www.usajaguars.com. Season tickets for all Jaguar athletic events can be purchased by calling (251) 461-1USA (1872).
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South Alabama’s 2010 football schedule:
Sept. 18–Nicholls State
Sept. 25–Edwards Waters at Dothan
Oct. 2–Kentucky Wesleyan
Oct. 9–Missouri S&T
Oct. 16–at Lamar
Oct. 23–at California-Davis
Oct. 30–Georgia State
Nov. 6–Henderson State
South Alabama’s 2011 football schedule:
Sept. 1–West Alabama
Sept. 17–at North Carolina State
Sept. 24–at Kent State
Oct. 8–at Texas-San Antonio
Oct. 22–at Georgia State
Oct. 29–Edward Waters
Nov. 5–Henderson State
Nov. 19–Cal Poly