Road games at Missouri and Bowling Green, along with six games at Roy Stewart Stadium highlight the 2013 Murray State football schedule released Wednesday. It marks the fist time the Racers will play six home games since the 2008 season.
“Our non-conference schedule is going to be very difficult,” said head coach Chris Hatcher. “We are going to be tested with two FBS games, as well as a very tough Missouri State team. We will use the opportunity to get ready for a very difficult conference schedule. Playing at Jacksonville State in the opener is always difficult, but getting to play defending champion Eastern Illinois and Eastern Kentucky at home will be to our advantage.”
The Racers open the season at Missouri on Aug. 31. The game is the second meeting between the two schools, after the teams met in the 2006 season opener. The game is also the first against a team from the SEC since the Racers played Mississippi State in 2005.
The home season begins the next weekend, as the Racers host Campbellsville University on Sept. 7. The game will also serve as Senior Day as MSU will honor its seniors before they take the field for the first time in front of the home fans.
On Sept. 14, MSU will play its second home game in as many weeks as the Racers host Missouri State for Family Weekend. The contest is the back end of a home-and-home series with the Bears, with the Racers pulling out a 28-23 victory last season in Springfield, Mo.
The Racers close out the non-conference schedule on Sept. 21, as they travel to face Bowling Green. It is the second trip to Ohio to play a team from the MAC in the Hatcher era. Hatcher debuted at MSU against Kent State in 2010.
Conference play opens on Sept. 28 as the Racers travel to Jacksonville State. The teams met last season at JSU Stadium with the Gamecocks pulling out a 38-35 victory.
The Racers return home Oct. 5 to host Tennessee Tech. MSU has won four of the last five meetings between the teams, including a 70-35 victory in the conference home opener in 2012.
The game is followed by a short road trip to Southeast Missouri (Oct. 12) before returning to Stewart Stadium on Oct. 19 to face Austin Peay for Homecoming. The Racers have won 12 of the last 13 meetings against the Governors, including outscoring APSU 169-73 in the three meetings in the Hatcher era.
After an open date, the Racers enter a tough closing stretch as they open the month of November with a trip to UT Martin. The first quarter has told the story, in recent years, as the winning team has scored 28 first-quarter points in five of the last six meetings.
The Racers host defending OVC champion Eastern Illinois on Nov. 9. The two teams opened conference play with an overtime thriller a season ago, with the Panthers converting a two-point conversion for the 50-49 victory. MSU had won the previous two meetings in the series.
MSU hits the road for the final time on Nov. 16 as they travel to Tennessee State. The Racers hold a 13-11 advantage in the series, including winning five-straight.
The Racers close out the season at home against Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels have won eight-straight games in the series, including a 55-24 victory last season.
Aug. 31 @ Missouri
Sept. 7 Campbellsville (Senior Day)
Sept. 14 Missouri State (Family Weekend)
Sept. 21 @ Bowling Green
Sept. 28 @ Jacksonville State*
Oct. 5 Tennessee Tech*
Oct. 12 @ Southeast Missouri*
Oct. 19 Austin Peay* (Homecoming)
Oct. 26 OPEN
Nov. 2 @ UT Martin*
Nov. 9 Eastern Illinois*
Nov. 16 @ Tennessee State*
Nov. 23 Eastern Kentucky*
Story courtesy of Sports Information.