JONESBORO, Ark. (2/27/18) – The Sun Belt Conference announced the league's 2018 composite football schedule Tuesday, and Arkansas State will have a pair of nationally-televised midweek home games to go along with its previous announced non-conference slate that includes a road contest against 2017 national champion Alabama.
Following their four non-conference outings, the Red Wolves will open their conference schedule Sept. 29 at Georgia Southern before playing back-to-back home games against Appalachian State and Georgia State that will be televised on ESPN2 and ESPNU, respectively. The Red Wolves will face the Mountaineers on Tuesday, Oct. 9, and the Panthers on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Winners in 23 of its last 28 Sun Belt road games, Arkansas State will face Georgia Southern in Statesboro for the second consecutive season. The two teams have met three times prior with the Red Wolves holding a 2-1 advantage in the all-time series. A-State last played Appalachian State in 2015 when it picked up a 40-27 win in Boone, N.C., and it will resume its series with Georgia State after the two programs didn't play in 2017.
Sun Belt Conference champions five of the last seven seasons, A-State's remaining five league contests will all be played on a Saturday. The Red Wolves will travel to Lafayette, La., to play Louisiana Oct. 27 before returning to Jonesboro for its Homecoming game against South Alabama on Nov. 3.
A-State has played the Ragin' Cajuns in 46 previous games, the second most all-time versus any opponent, and it will carry a 14-1 record over its last 15 Homecoming contests into its outing against the Jaguars.
Arkansas State will play two of its final three games on the road, starting with a Nov. 10 matchup at Coastal Carolina. The Red Wolves will hold their Senior Day activities Nov. 17 when they play Louisiana-Monroe in their regular-season home finale. They will close out the regular season on Nov. 24 at Texas State.
While Arkansas State claimed a 51-17 win over the Chanticleers last year in the first meeting between the two teams, it has won its last eight games against the Warhawks in a series that includes 39 games dating back to 1959. The Red Wolves and Texas State have played every year since the Bobcats joined the league in 2013, and A-State holds a 4-1 record in those meetings.
The inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship game will be played Saturday, Dec. 1, on the home field of the team with the best league record.
A-State, one of three programs in the Group of 5 to play in at least seven consecutive bowl games, will open its 2018 campaign at home against Southeast Missouri State on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Red Wolves will then play a pair of road games at Alabama and Tulsa on Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, respectively, before closing out its non-conference schedule Sept. 22 at home against UNLV.
While A-State played just three season openers at home its first 21 seasons as an FBS member, the 2018 campaign will mark the fourth time over the last six years it will start the season in Jonesboro. The Red Wolves will play a defending national champion for the first time since 2003 when it faced LSU in the second game of the season.
The Tulsa game is the first meeting in a home-and-home series, with the return game to Jonesboro set for the 2020 campaign. Additionally, this year's UNLV game is also the first meeting in a home-and-home series as the Red Wolves play in Las Vegas next year.
Arkansas State has strung together 13 consecutive years (2005-17) with a winning record at Centennial Bank Stadium. A-State is now 59-14 (.808 winning percentage) since the 2005 season when playing in Jonesboro.