JONESBORO, Ark. (6/10/16) – The Arkansas State Athletics Department announced Friday that its 2016 football season-and-home-opening game against Mid-American Conference member Toledo has been rescheduled for Friday, Sept. 2, to accommodate a nationally-televised broadcast of the contest by ESPNU.
Originally scheduled for Sept. 3, the game will now be played one day earlier and is set for an 8:00 p.m. CT kickoff from Centennial Bank Stadium. With the addition of the ESPNU broadcast, the Red Wolves now have six games slated to appear on national TV in 2016.
A-State’s second game of the season at Auburn (Sept. 10) will be televised by the SEC Network, and the Red Wolves’ next outing at Utah State (Sept. 16) will air on the CBS Sports Network. The team’s home game versus Georgia Southern (Oct. 5) can be seen on ESPN2, while its road contests at Georgia State (Nov. 3) and Troy (Nov. 17) will appear on ESPNU.
“Per the Sun Belt’s television contract, ESPN has the right to broadcast our league’s conference games and non-conference home games against willing opponents,” said A-State Director of Athletics Terry Mohajir. “I believe it is an honor and tribute to our students and coaches to be chosen to play during Friday night’s prime time on one of ESPN’s premier channels. Let’s show the nation how Red Wolves fans turn out for these opportunities. This is an exciting way for our fans to kick off their Labor Day weekend and enjoy a great game at Centennial Bank Stadium as part of their holiday plans.”
Arkansas State is set to begin its season at home for the third time over the last four years after opening in Jonesboro just three times during the previous 24 seasons. The Red Wolves have won 10 of their last 11 home openers at Centennial Bank Stadium dating back to the 2005 campaign. They stand 30-12 all-time in home openers at the stadium and are also 16-7 in such games since moving to the FBS in 1992.
A-State and Toledo have played four times previously, but the 2016 game will mark the first competition between the two programs in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves played the Rockets last season at the Glass Bowl and they faced each other in the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl, which was the first meeting since playing in Toledo in 1992. The first game between the two teams, also played in Toledo, was held during the 1990 season.
The Red Wolves finished the 2015 season as the Sun Belt Conference champions with an unblemished 8-0 league record and played in the New Orleans Bowl before completing the year with a 9-4 overall record. The Rockets completed their 2015 campaign with a 10-2 record, including a victory over Temple in the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl.