Jonesboro (ASU) – The Arkansas State Department of Athletics announced Thursday the addition of a home game against FCS member Central Arkansas to its 2011 schedule, completing its non-conference slate for next season.
A-State will face UCA in its fourth game of the season, catching the Bears at ASU Stadium on Sept. 24. ASU's first four outings will be played against non-conference opponents, including longtime rival Memphis on Sept. 10 in the Red Wolves' home opener.
ASU will open the season at Illinois on Sept. 3 and also play Virginia Tech in Blacksburg a week before its game against UCA. With the addition of UCA, A-State will have six home games on its schedule for the first time since 2007 when it completed the year 5-1 at ASU Stadium. The Sun Belt Conference office will set the dates early next year for ASU's eight league games, which will include home contests against North Texas, Troy, Florida International and Louisiana-Lafayette.
"We are excited about the addition of UCA to our 2011 schedule, which will give us six home games next year," said ASU head coach Steve Roberts. "With a home game against Memphis next year as well, this gives us two great regional match ups for our fans in addition to four conference home games."
The Red Wolves and UCA have played 23 games since 1916, but will meet next year for the first time since 1997 and just the third time since 1947. While UCA holds a 12-9-2 lead in the all-time series, ASU won both games played in the modern era. A-State picked up a narrow 36-35 win in 1997 and defeated UCA 17-7 in 1996, both victories coming in Jonesboro.
Both the 1997 and 1996 games drew two of the largest crowds in ASU Stadium history. The crowd of 29,465 for the 1997 contest is the second largest in ASU Stadium history, behind only the 30,427 in attendance for the 2004 ASU-Memphis game. The crowd of 25,112 for the 1996 ASU-UCA game is the sixth largest in school history.
"This was a great opportunity to fill the last remaining open date on our 2011 schedule with not only a regional opponent, but an in-state opponent," said ASU Director of Athletics Dr. Dean Lee. "Obviously, we think the game will be a great attraction within the state, and, as always, we expect a tremendous game-day atmosphere surrounding ASU Stadium."