From Arkansas Tech University
Arkansas Tech University Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Steve Mullins announced his team's 2011 season schedule on Monday.
Among the highlights of the 10-game regular season schedule are five games in Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field and five league games in the newly-formed Great American Conference that Tech, along with the five other Arkansas schools in the Gulf South Conference and three Oklahoma schools that are members of the Lone Star Conference will be joining this coming fall.
"It is always tough to schedule football games, but this year we were able to schedule several games against GSC schools to help out our other sports as we move into our new conference," Mullins said. "It was also important that we were able to get five home games in front of our fans in Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field."
This season, Tech will not play three schools in the state of Arkansas that are part of the GAC (Henderson State, Ouachita Baptist and Harding). It will mark the first time since 1994 that Tech hasn't faced the Reddies on the gridiron and the first time since 1999 that Tech hasn't played Harding in football.
The Wonder Boys, who are the ninth all-time winningest Division II football program with 524 all-time victories, open its 97th season of football on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Arkansas-Monticello. The UAM game, which will kickoff at 6 p.m., will mark the first of five games in the GAC for the Wonder Boys. It will be the first time Tech has opened the season with a conference game since facing Delta State to open Gulf South Conference play in 1995.
Following its season opener at UAM, Tech will remain on the road as they travel to Southwest Baptist for a 6 p.m. non-conference contest on Saturday, Sept. 10 in Bolivar, Mo. Tech concluded last season with a 42-14 home win over the Bearcats. The Wonder Boys haven't started a season with two consecutive road games since the 2003 squad opened the year with games at Midwestern State and at Northeastern State.
"We're not used to opening the season with two consecutive road contests, so that will provide us with some different and unique challenges this season," said Mullins, who is entering his 15th season at the helm of the Wonder Boys this coming fall.
After playing two consecutive road games, Tech will open the home portion of its schedule on Saturday, Sept. 17 as they face Delta State in a 6 p.m. contest at Thone Stadium. DSU, who is the defending NCAA Division II runners-up, is the first of three opponents Tech will play from the GSC in 2011. After the DSU game, the Wonder Boys will host West Alabama for Family Day on Saturday, Sept. 24. Kickoff for the Family Day contest is slated for 6 p.m.
Tech will open the month of October on the road as they travel to Warrensburg, Mo., to face Central Missouri in a 1:30 p.m. contest on Oct. 1. The UCM game was a late addition to this year's schedule after Lambuth, who Tech was scheduled to play on Oct. 1, announced in April that the school was ceasing operations at the end of this school year. In addition to Tech having a schedule opening, UCM was also left with a schedule opening after Nebraska-Omaha dropped football beginning next season as they begin its transition to the NCAA Division I level.
"I'm glad we were able to find a game to replace Lambuth on our schedule," Mullins said. "UCM is an excellent team with a strong history and it will be a good challenge for our team."
Following the UCM game, Tech will return home to host North Alabama on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m., before traveling to Magnolia, Ark., to face Southern Arkansas in a GAC game. Kickoff for the SAU game is slated for 2:30 p.m. Tech will then return home to close out the month as they host Southeastern Oklahoma for Homecoming 2011 on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. and then conclude its regular season home schedule on Saturday, Oct. 29 as they host East Central for Senior Day at 2 p.m.
The Wonder Boys will conclude its regular season schedule on Saturday, Nov. 5 with a 2 p.m. GAC contest at Southwestern Oklahoma in Weatherford before having its open date in its schedule on Saturday, Nov. 12. It will mark the first time Tech has face SWOSU since earning a 24-20 win over the Bulldogs in Weatherford during the 1994 season.
2011 ARKANSAS TECH FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Saturday, Sept. 3 – * at Arkansas-Monticello, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 10 – at Southwest Baptist, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17 – Delta State, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 – West Alabama (Family Day), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1 – at Central Missouri, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 8 – North Alabama, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 – * at Southern Arkansas, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 22 - * Southeastern Oklahoma (Homecoming), 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 - * East Central (Senior Day), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 - * at Southwestern Oklahoma, 2 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 – OPEN
Saturday, Nov. 19 - NCAA D-II Playoffs – 1st round (campus sites)
Saturday, Nov. 26 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – 2nd round (campus sites)
Saturday, Dec. 3 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – quarterfinals (campus sites)
Saturday, Dec. 10 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – semifinals (campus sites)
Saturday, Dec. 17 –D-II National Championship game (Florence, Ala.) (ESPN2)
* - denotes Great American Conference games