BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - The 2013 WKU football slate will feature five first-time opponents, a pair of nationally televised games and a game at an NFL stadium for the third consecutive year, as the Sun Belt Conference officially released the 2013 football schedule for all eight league members on Friday.
WKU’s non-conference schedule features Southeastern Conference members Kentucky (August 31) and Tennessee (September 7) in back-to-back weeks, along with home games against Morgan State (September 21) and Navy (September 28), and a road contest at Army (November 9). In conference play WKU will host Louisiana-Lafayette (October 15 or 16), Troy (October 26) and Arkansas State (November 30), while traveling to South Alabama (September 14), ULM (October 3), Georgia State (November 2) and Texas State (November 23).
WKU’s two nationally televised games announced on Friday are both conference games, with a Thursday night game on the road against ULM being picked up by ESPNU, and for the first time ever, either ESPN or ESPN 2 will air a game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium, with the Louisiana-Lafayette game being either a Tuesday night or a Wednesday night game in Bowling Green.
“This is a very exciting schedule with two nationally televised conference games and a non-conference schedule featuring two opponents from both the Southeastern Conference and the United States service academies,” WKU Director of Athletics Todd Stewart said. “This schedule, coupled with the excitement Coach Petrino has created and the experienced staff he has assimilated, have resulted in tremendous anticipation for our 2013 football season. Our home game against Louisiana-Lafayette on either October 15 or 16 will be on either ESPN or ESPN2 and marks the first ever football telecast from Bowling Green on either of those networks. We also have a nationally televised game at Louisiana-Monroe on ESPNU, and I would certainly anticipate additional games including some of our non-conference games being televised. Many eyes across the nation will be watching WKU football this season, and we need a strong showing by the Hilltopper Nation beginning August 31 in Nashville.”
WKU and head coach Bobby Petrino will open the 2013 season at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., against the University of Kentucky on Saturday, August 31. The Hilltoppers and the Wildcats will play at the home of the NFL's Tennessee Titans for the second time in the last four years. LP Field will be one of two NFL venues WKU will play in during the 2013 season, as the Hilltoppers will take on Georgia State at the Georgia Dome on November 2, marking the third NFL stadium the Hilltoppers will have played in over the last two years. WKU played at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in 2012.
After the August 31 game against Kentucky, WKU will take on another member of the Southeastern Conference, as the Hilltoppers will travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to face the University of Tennessee on September 7. The meeting will be the second all-time between the two programs, as they recently met in 2009.
WKU will open its 2013 Sun Belt Conference slate in week three of the season in the first-ever matchup between WKU and South Alabama. The Hilltoppers will make the trip down to Mobile, Ala., for a September 14 game against the Jaguars, marking the team’s earliest conference game since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2009.
The Hilltoppers will play their first of back-to-back home games on September 21 against Morgan State, which will be the first meeting between the two programs. WKU will then host Navy for the second time in the last three years, as the Midshipmen will come to Bowling Green on September 28.
Following nationally televised games against ULM and Louisiana-Lafayette, WKU will host Troy on October 26, before a stretch of three consecutive road games against three first-time opponents. WKU will take on Georgia State on November 2, followed by a matchup with Army on November 9. Following an open week, WKU will travel to Texas State for its final road game of the 2013 season on November 23. The Hilltoppers will close the regular season at home on November 30 against Arkansas State.
2013 WKU FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Aug. 31 Kentucky - Nashville, Tenn.
Sept. 7 at Tennessee - Knoxville, Tenn.
Sept. 14 at South Alabama - Mobile, Ala.
Sept. 21 Morgan State - Bowling Green, Ky.
Sept. 28 Navy - Bowling Green, Ky.
Oct. 3 at ULM - Monroe, La.
Oct. 15 or 16 Louisiana-Lafayette - Bowling Green, Ky.
Oct. 26 Troy - Bowling Green, Ky.
Nov. 2 at Georgia State - Atlanta, Ga.
Nov. 9 at Army - West Point, N.Y.
Nov. 23 at Texas State - San Marcos, Texas
Nov. 30 Arkansas State - Bowling Green, Ky.