Nov. 22, 2013. The beginning of a home-and-home series with Southern Miss and a home date versus Liberty will round out Appalachian State University football’s slate of opponents in 2014, the three schools announced on Thursday.
Appalachian State will travel to Hattiesburg, Miss. on Sept. 20, 2014 for the first game of a home-and-home series with Conference USA’s Southern Miss. USM will then become the first non-conference NCAA Division I FBS opponent to visit Kidd Brewer Stadium when it makes the return trip to face Appalachian on Sept. 19, 2015.
“It’s great to finalize and announce what will be our first home-and-home series with an FBS opponent,” Appalachian State director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. “Southern Miss is a traditionally strong and nationally recognizable program that we have great respect for. We’re looking forward to traveling to Hattiesburg next fall and are especially excited to welcome the Golden Eagles and their fans to Boone for our first non-conference FBS home game in 2015.”
Liberty will visit Kidd Brewer Stadium on Oct. 11, 2014 to round out Appalachian State’s 12 opponents for its initial FBS campaign. The meeting will be the 10th between the Mountaineers and Flames but the first since 2002. Appalachian owns a 7-2 advantage in nine previous matchups with LU, which has clinched its eighth-straight winning campaign with a 7-4 record through 11 games this season. While currently a member of the NCAA Division I FCS Big South Conference, Liberty has announced its intention to move to FBS as soon as possible.
“Due to the timing of our announcement to move to FBS just 16 months before the 2014 season begins, our efforts to bring a non-conference FBS opponent to Kidd Brewer Stadium in ‘14 proved to be impossible,” Cobb said. “However, we remain committed to delivering six home games for our unrivaled fan base to enjoy and feel that Liberty, which has compiled eight-straight winning seasons and is actively seeking FBS membership, is a great opponent to round out our 2014 schedule. Liberty will not only present a great challenge for our team on the field but is a local opponent that we share a football history with. I think our fans will join us in welcoming the Flames to The Rock next season.”
While the 12 opponents and four non-conference dates are set for Appalachian State’s 2014 schedule, dates for Sun Belt Conference games will not be finalized before March 1, 2014, per the league’s television contracts. In addition to non-conference home games versus Campbell (Sept. 6) and Liberty, Appalachian will host Georgia State, Idaho, Louisiana-Monroe and South Alabama in Sun Belt play. Games at Sun Belt foes Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy join non-conference contests at Michigan (Aug. 30) and Southern Miss to round out the road slate.