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Montana State announces future non-conference football schedules heavy on Division I opponents

Montana State Bobcats football
Posted at 12:45 PM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 14:45:21-04

(Editor's note: Montana State University media release)

BOZEMAN – Montana State has filled most of its non-conference football schedules through the 2025 season with a mix of familiar foes and first-time opponents, Director of Athletics Leon Costello announced Friday.

While MSU’s non-league schedules through the 2025 season mix tradition with novelty, all 16 of those games – starting this fall – feature one common component.

“By focusing on Division I opponents, our future schedules will prepare us for Big Sky Conference play and the FCS playoffs,” Costello said of the program’s schedules which feature exclusively Division I foes. “Bobcat fans will see some great opponents in Bobcat Stadium and in the region when we travel. I am excited to renew some old rivalries and to have the opportunity start some new ones.”

Three former Bobcat postseason rivals show up on upcoming schedules. The Cats host McNeese State, its opponent in the 2002 playoffs, to open the 2022 season, renew a home-and-home series against 2014 playoff foe South Dakota State, and visit 1946 Harbor Bowl opponent New Mexico to open 2024. The Bobcats also visit Oregon State in 2022, and Oregon in 2025.

MSU’s upcoming schedules also include a trio of intermittent FCS rivals. The Bobcats play Dixie State at home in 2023 and in St. George, Utah, in 2024. Those will be Montana State’s first games against Western Athletic Conference opponents in the league’s FCS reboot, and will be the first matchup between those schools since DSU’s transition to Division I. The Bobcats also face Stephen F. Austin in a home-and-home series (at home in 2024, at Nacogdoches in 2025), and host Drake in 2025. The Cats also host the Bulldogs in this fall’s Gold Rush game on September 11.

A pair of first-time opponents also show up on future Bobcat schedules. MSU hosts Morehead (Kentucky) State in 2022 and Stetson University (DeLand, Florida) in 2023.

Montana State’s future non-league football opponents represent a wide array of conferences. Stetson and Morehead State, along with Drake and 2021 opponent San Diego, play in the Pioneer Football League. By the time the games occur Dixie State and Stephen F. Austin will represent the WAC, McNeese State plays in the Southland Conference, South Dakota State belongs to the Missouri Valley Football Conference, New Mexico and 2021 foe Wyoming hail from the Mountain West, and Oregon and Oregon State represent the Pac 12.

Costello indicated that one non-league game remains for 2024, and that the Big Sky schedule has not yet been set beyond the 2021 season.

2021 MONTANA STATE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 4 at Wyoming
Sept. 11 Drake (Gold Rush)
Sept. 18 San Diego (Military Appreciation)
Sept. 25 *at Portland State
Oct. 2 *Northern Colorado (Parents/Family Fall Weekend)
Oct. 9 *Cal Poly (Homecoming)
Oct. 16 *at Weber State
Oct. 23 *Idaho State (Pack the Place in Pink)
Oct. 30 Open
Nov. 6 *at Eastern Washington
Nov. 13 *Idaho (Ag Appreciation Weekend)
Nov. 20 *at Montana

2022 MONTANA STATE NON-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 3 McNeese State
Sept. 10 Morehead State
Sept. 17 at Oregon State

2023 MONTANA STATE NON-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Sept. 2 Dixie State
Sept. 9 at South Dakota State
Sept. 16 Stetson

2024 MONTANA STATE NON-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Aug. 24 at New Mexico
Aug. 31 at Dixie State
Sept. 7
Sept. 14 Stephen F. Austin

2025 MONTANA STATE NON-CONFERENCE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

Aug. 30 at Oregon
Sept. 6 South Dakota State
Sept. 13 at Stephen F. Austin
Sept. 20 Drake