HATTIESBURG -— Southern Miss goes after its fifth consecutive winning season and first Conference USA title since 2011 with the announcement of its 2019 football schedule Thursday afternoon.
The Golden Eagles open their 103rd football campaign at home for the fourth time over the last five years, Aug. 31, with in-state foe Alcorn State at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Southern Miss then takes to the road to face three consecutive tough non-conference tilts with Mississippi State (Sept. 7), Troy (Sept. 14) and national runner-up Alabama (Sept. 21), before returning to The Rock to open C-USA play, Sept. 28, versus UTEP.
“With a pair of Southeastern Conference opponents scheduled, including in-state rival Mississippi State, the 2019 football slate will challenge us in the non-conference segment to prepare us to compete for a C-USA championship,” said Southern Miss interim Director of Athletics Jeff Mitchell. “While we are playing only five home games next fall, the two SEC road contests provide a substantial financial benefit for both our football program and our athletics department. We will resume scheduling six home games in subsequent years, and we are looking forward to an exciting 2019 football season.”
The addition of the Mississippi State contest this season enabled the two schools to also schedule a home-and-home series for the 2023 and 2025 seasons.
The upcoming schedule moves into October with the Golden Eagles welcoming North Texas to Hattiesburg, Oct. 12, following its first bye week of the season. Southern Miss then travels to Louisiana Tech (Oct. 19) and Rice (Oct. 26) for back-to-back contests, before enjoying their second bye week on Nov. 2.
Coach Jay Hopson’s squad then entertains UAB (Nov. 9) to start the final month of the campaign, before traveling to UTSA (Nov. 16). Southern Miss finishes its home league slate as they welcome WKU to town for the first time, Nov. 23.
Southern Miss then completes the regular season, Nov. 30, at Florida Atlantic.
The 14-team alignment for the 2019 season will again feature each team playing eight conference games, along with four non-league contests.
The 2019 alignment features seven teams in the East Division and seven teams in the West Division. Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion and WKU comprise the East Division, while Louisiana Tech, North Texas, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP and UTSA make up the West Division.
Each school plays every team in its division once for six games, while playing two cross-over opponents from the opposite division. Each team will reverse the location of its 2019 opponents next season for both inter-division and intra-division foes. The conference is in the third year of a rotation between cross-division opponents that will rotate every two years until 2024, when each school has played every opponent in the opposite division once home and away.
All games are subject to date changes and some dates are expected to move in the coming weeks in order accommodate national television.
A schedule of televised games will be released at a later date. Conference USA’s 15th annual Championship Game, pitting the champions of the East and West Divisions, is scheduled for Saturday, December 7.
More information about the 2019 Southern Miss football season, including season ticket renewals and new season ticket packages, will be available soon.
Aug. 31 Alcorn State
Sept. 7 at Mississippi State
Sept. 14 at Troy
Sept. 21 at Alabama
Sept. 28 UTEP*
Oct. 12 North Texas*
Oct. 19 at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 26 at Rice*
Nov. 9 UAB*
Nov. 16 at UTSA*
Nov. 23 Western Kentucky
Nov. 30 at Florida Atlantic*
* Conference USA game