Arkansas Tech unveils 2012 football schedule

RUSSELLVILLE, Arkansas (Arkansas Tech) – Arkansas Tech University Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Steve Mullins announced his team's 2012 season schedule on Tuesday.

Among the highlights of the 11-game regular season schedule are seven home games on the new artificial turf that is being installed this summer in Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field and a slate of eight Great American Conference games.

"Due to the nature of our schedule a year ago, we thought it was important for us to play as many games at home as we could and we're fortunate that it worked out," Mullins said. "We will be able to play seven games this year on our new turf field at Thone Stadium. Our players are really excited about it.

"The new turf is the last piece of the puzzle in all of the renovations that have been done to Thone Stadium the past four years."

The Wonder Boys, who are the 10th all-time winningest Division II football program with 526 all-time victories, opens its 98th season of football on Saturday, Sept. 1 at home against Bacone College. The season opener will kick off at 6 p.m. and will be the first of three consecutive home contests for Tech to open the 2012 campaign. The three consecutive home games to open the season is the first for the program since 1949.

Following its season opener with Bacone, Tech will host Missouri S&T on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. Missouri S&T was formally known as the University of Missouri-Rolla. It is the first time Tech has faced the Miners since the 1934 season when Tech earned a 6-0 win in Rolla.

Tech will conclude its three-game season opening homestand on Saturday, Sept. 15 as they open GAC play against Henderson State. The game, which will kickoff at 6 p.m., will be played as part of Family Day festivities on the Tech campus. It will mark the 81st meeting all-time in the series between the two schools and the first since 2010 as the two teams did not play each other last year. Tech leads the all-time series with the Reddies, 44-36.

"It will be nice to once again play a complete conference schedule after playing a limited league schedule last season," said Mullins, who is entering his 16th season at the helm of the Wonder Boys this fall.

Following the three game homestand to open the 2012 campaign, Tech will embark on its first of four road games this season on Sept. 22 at Ouachita Baptist. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. against OBU in Arkadelphia, and it will mark the 76th meeting in the series all-time and first between the two schools at OBU since Tech earned a 55-35 win during the 2006 season.

The Wonder Boys will close out the first month of the 2012 season at home on Saturday, Sept. 29 as they host Northwestern Oklahoma State in a 6 p.m. non-conference game. NWOSU is slated to become the 11th member of the GAC once they are approved for NCAA Division II membership. Those two schools haven't met on the gridiron since the 1994 season when Tech collected a 31-10 win in Russellville.

Tech will open the month of October at home as they welcome Southeastern Oklahoma State for its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, Oct. 6. It marks the second consecutive season that the Savage Storm have been Tech's homecoming opponent. The Wonder Boys earned a 28-16 homecoming win last season.

Following the SOSU game, Tech will return to the road for the second time this season as they travel to Weatherford, Okla., for a 2 p.m. GAC game on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Southwestern Oklahoma State. After the SWOSU game, Tech will return home to host Arkansas-Monticello on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., before closing out the month on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Harding. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. in Searcy for the Harding game.

Tech will open the month of November at home as they host East Central in a GAC contest on Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff for the Senior Day game is set for 2 p.m. in Thone Stadium. The Wonder Boys will close out the 2012 regular season with a 2 p.m. game on Nov. 10 at Southern Arkansas. It will mark the second straight season that Tech has played in Magnolia.  

Saturday, Sept. 1 – Bacone College, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 6 – Missouri S&T, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 15 – * Henderson State (Family Day), 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 22 - * at Ouachita Baptist, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 29 – Northwestern Oklahoma State, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 6 - * Southeastern Oklahoma State (Homecoming), 6 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 13 - * at Southwestern Oklahoma State, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 20 - * Arkansas-Monticello, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 27 - * at Harding, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 3 - * East Central (Senior Day), 2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 10 - * at Southern Arkansas, 2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 17 - NCAA D-II Playoffs – 1st round (campus sites)

Saturday, Nov. 24 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – 2nd round (campus sites)

Saturday, Dec. 1 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – quarterfinals (campus sites)

Saturday, Dec. 8 – NCAA D-II Playoffs – semifinals (campus sites)

Saturday, Dec. 15 –D-II National Championship game (Florence, Ala.)

Home games are in BOLD and are played in Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field
* - denotes Great American Conference games

All times are Central and are subject to change