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Cowboys to open home football schedule against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Sept. 7

LAKE CHARLES – McNeese State will open its 2013 home football slate on September 7 against the 2012 Southwestern Athletic Conference and Black College National Champion Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Eagles, the McNeese athletic department announced on Thursday.

This is a one-game agreement as the Cowboys will not return the trip in 2014.

“This is a great game for us to open our home schedule,” said McNeese head coach Matt Viator. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to host the defending SWAC champion in our home stadium. We’re looking forward to a great game.”

The game will follow the Aug. 31 season opener at South Florida and is one of six home games slated for the Cowboys this coming season.

“I am very pleased to announce the matchup between these two FCS programs,” said McNeese athletic director Tommy McClelland. “This will be an exciting game for our student athletes, coaches and fans. UAPB won the SWAC Championship last season and has had a great history in that league. Also, securing a sixth home game was a major focus.”

With the addition, McNeese now has 11 games on its schedule and is working to fill one more date to give it a 12-game season. Other home games for the Cowboys include contests against West Alabama, Weber State, Sam Houston State, Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State. Road games include visits to South Florida, Central Arkansas, Nicholls State, Stephen F. Austin and Lamar. The complete schedule with dates will be released pending approval of the final date to be filled.

Arkansas-Pine Bluff was one of just nine Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams to win 10 or more games in 2012 after it posted a 10-2 record, including an 8-1 mark in SWAC play. The Golden Lions defeated Jackson State 24-21 in overtime to capture the SWAC championship. In addition to its league title, UAPB was voted the Black College National Champion by the American Sports Wire.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the Cowboys and Golden Lions. McNeese is 7-0 all-time against members of the SWAC. Its last home game against a member of the SWAC came in 2002 in a 52-20 win over Grambling in a game that set post-1985 attendance records with 20,300.