Thursday night ESPNU contest versus Appalachian State highlights slate at Paulson Stadium
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern Athletics Department and the Sun Belt Conference announced Thursday the Eagles’ 2016 football schedule, one that includes two Power 5 opponents, two nationally televised games, five contests against teams that played in bowl games last year and seven games in the state of Georgia.
A Thursday night ESPNU game against Appalachian State on Oct. 27 highlights GS’s schedule at Paulson Stadium, along with home contests against Sun Belt foes UL Lafayette, UL Monroe and Troy.
“I can’t wait to lead our team out onto the field on Sept. 3, and I know Eagle Nation will be ready too,” GS head coach Tyson Summers said. “Our fans should be especially enthused about showcasing Paulson Stadium for a Thursday night game once again. Our guys are working hard in our winter conditioning program right now, and I speak for everybody when I say we’re all excited to get on the practice field this spring. We’re all anxious to compete this fall with the tremendous support of great Georgia Southern fans.”
Summers was hired as the Eagles’ head man in December after successful stints as the defensive coordinator at Colorado State and UCF. Following his first game as Georgia Southern’s head coach on Sept. 3 against Savannah State, the Eagles travel to Mobile, Alabama, to face South Alabama on Sept. 10. The Eagles will return home a week later to face UL Monroe before wrapping up September with a road trip to Western Michigan.
October begins with the Wednesday night ESPN2 game at A-State and a non-conference tilt at Georgia Tech on Oct. 15. GS will then head west to take on New Mexico State before a quick turnaround for a Thursday night home game on Oct. 27 against App State. The 40 days between home games (Sept. 17-Oct. 27) will be the longest ever in program history.
GS will play just three games in November, at Ole Miss on Nov. 5, at home against UL Lafayette on Nov. 12 and at Georgia State on Nov. 19. The Eagles will wrap up the regular season on Dec. 3 at home against Troy.
In all, the Eagles will face five teams that played in bowl games last season: Ole Miss (Sugar Bowl champs), Western Michigan (Bahamas Bowl champs), Appalachian State (Camellia Bowl champs), Georgia State (Cure Bowl) and Arkansas State (SBC champ; New Orleans Bowl).
Georgia Southern will have four open Saturdays, including two full bye weeks. The Eagles will have off the two Saturdays (Oct. 1 and Oct. 8) around a Wednesday night game at defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State on Oct. 5, as well as Saturday, Oct. 29, following the Thursday night game against App State. The Eagles will also have an off week the week of Thanksgiving prior to the season finale against Troy on Dec. 3.
The Eagles enter the 2016 season seeking to build on the success of the past two seasons, their first in the FBS. During that time, GS has won 18 games, including 14 in the Sun Belt, and captured the GoDaddy Bowl title last year. The Eagles return six regular starters on offense and six on defense, but return nine starters on offense and seven on defense from those who started in that bowl triumph.
Season ticket holders may renew their tickets for 2016 through March 15 and fans may pre-order new season ticket packages by going to www.GSEagles.com/tickets or by calling 1-800-GSU-WINS during business hours. They can also stop by the Athletics Ticket Office on Lanier Drive. Season tickets are as low as $75/each for family plan sections and require a minimum purchase of two.
GS will not play SBC members Idaho or Texas State this season. This will be the first time the Eagles will face UL Lafayette and Arkansas State since joining the Sun Belt Conference.
Times and broadcast information for all 12 games will be announced at a later date.
2016 Georgia Southern Football Schedule
Sept. 3: Savannah State
Sept. 10: at South Alabama *
Sept. 17: UL Monroe *
Sept. 24: at Western Michigan
Oct. 5: at Arkansas State * (WEDNESDAY) - ESPN2
Oct. 15: at Georgia Tech
Oct. 22: at New Mexico State *
Oct. 27: Appalachian State * (THURSDAY) - ESPNU
Nov. 5: at Ole Miss
Nov. 12: UL Lafayette *
Nov. 19: at Georgia State *
Dec. 3: Troy *
* - denotes conference opponent
(From Georgia Southern Reports)