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Montana State Bobcats forced to make late change to 2024 football schedule

North Dakota State at Montana State
Posted at 11:26 AM, May 29, 2024

BOZEMAN — Montana State has made a late change to its 2024 football schedule after Stephen F. Austin suddenly canceled a home-and-home series with the Bobcats.

MSU's game against Stephen F. Austin game this season was scheduled to be played Sept. 14 at Bobcat Stadium. SFA also canceled its scheduled matchup with the Cats in Nacogdoches, Texas, on Sept. 13, 2025.

Montana State has since filled the vacancy oin its 2024 schedule with a home game against Mercyhurst University on Sept. 21. A kickoff time has yet to be announced. The Bobcats will now have a bye on Sept. 14.

Mercyhurst is located in Erie, Pennsylvania. Previously an NCAA Division II institution (except for ice hockey), the Lakers are transitioning to Division I in the Northeast Conference beginning in the 2024-25 season. The football program will compete in the FCS.

Montana State’s only contest against a current NEC team was a 47-24 win against Wagner in 2018, and the Cats beat Bryant, then an NEC school, 27-24 in 2016.

Montana State athletic director Leon Costello released a statement Wednesday explaining the Bobcats' late schedule change. It reads:

"On Friday, May 24, I received notification from Stephen F. Austin State University Athletic Director Michael McBroom that SFASU would be canceling the football series with MSU, including a home game this year (Sept. 14) and the road game in 2025 (Sept. 13). This development is disappointing and disturbing given the 2024 Bobcat Football season kicks off in less than three months.

"Since receiving this notification, my priority has been to replace the game for this year, knowing the options were extremely limited given the timing. Fortunately, we were able to sign a contract with Mercyhurst University, an FCS school from the Northeast Conference, for a game on Sept. 21, 2024.

"I understand the effects of this change are wide-ranging and not ideal for our fans who have already made plans to attend a home game on a different date. However, adding this game gives us the opportunity to maintain a six-game home schedule with a full 12-game schedule for the 2024 season. That is important for many reasons, particularly FCS playoff considerations.

"Bobcat fans are the best in the FCS, and I share your extreme disappointment in dealing with this late change to our 2024 schedule. While our options to replace the game were very limited, we are grateful to everyone at Mercyhurst and their willingness to work with us and we look forward to hosting them in September."