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Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information


Courtesy: Monmouth Sports Information
Release: January 05, 2017
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WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J.-   Monmouth University football will open the 2017 season at home to christen the new Monmouth Stadium against Lafayette as part of an 11-game schedule, Head Coach Kevin Callahan announced on Thursday afternoon.
The Blue & White will open the season on September 2, 2017 at home against Lafayette in what will be the first game of the Monmouth Stadium era. The 4,200+ seat stadium is expected to be completed on time for the opener. The schedule will feature four other home contests and six regular season road games including a full Big South slate.
“We are excited about the 2017 schedule, which includes the inaugural game at Monmouth Stadium,” said Callahan. “It will be a special day for the entire Monmouth University community. Our non-conference schedule is demanding, and includes games against familiar opponents in Lehigh, Albany and Holy Cross, as well as a pair of first time opponents in Hampton and Bucknell. The Big South continues to strengthen its position as one of the top FCS conferences and we will need to consistently play at a high level to compete for a league title.”
While the Hawks will not play an opponent from the Football Bowl Subdivision in ‘17, the Hawks have scheduled Eastern Michigan in 2018, Western Michigan in 2019 and Central Michigan in 2020. MU faced the Chippewas in its first-ever FBS game in 2015 but has not faced either of the other two Mid-American teams.
“We are extremely excited to have three quality Mid-American conference teams on our schedule beginning in 2018,” said Callahan.
The game against Lafayette will mark just the second meeting between the two and the first time in West Long Branch. Coming off a 2-9 season, the Leopards will be under the direction of new coach John Garrett. The following week, Lafayette’s bitter rival Lehigh comes to town, looking to avenge back-to-back losses to Monmouth. Last year, the Hawks dispatched Lehigh 23-21 at Goodman Stadium but the Mountain Hawks went on to win their nine of their final 10 games, including a Patriot League title and NCAA playoff berth.
The Hawks hit the road for four consecutive games beginning with a new chapter against an old rival in Albany. The Hawks and Great Danes played 15 times from 1998 to 2012 when both were members of the Northeast Conference. Albany, since moved to the Colonial Athletic Association, has won six straight in the series. Monmouth will then face back-to-back games against first-time opponents in Hampton on September 23 and Bucknell in September 30. 
Monmouth wraps up the road trip with a game against Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The teams, which last met in the 2015 season opener, are deadlocked at 1-1 all-time with each team earning wins on the road. With six non-conference games wrapped up, MU’s bye week follows on October 14. The date marks the first time since 2014 that the break won’t come in the last three weeks of the season. 
MU will host Liberty on October 21, 2017 to open Big South play. The last time the Flames visited West Long Branch, Monmouth placekicker Matt White booted the game-winning field goal in overtime to clinch the Hawks’ first win over a ranked opponent. The road doesn’t get any easier for Monmouth who will head down to face two-time defending conference champion Charleston Southern at Buccaneer Field on the last weekend of October.
Monmouth will play three games in November for the first time in three seasons, with two coming at Monmouth Stadium. Presbyterian and Gardner-Webb visit on back-to-back weeks, with Monmouth owning a perfect 3-0 record against the Blue Hose and Runnin’ Bulldogs all-time at home. The 2017 regular season wraps up at Fifth Third Bank Stadium against the Kennesaw State Owls on November 18.
Ticket information will be available soon, check for more information as it becomes available. All kickoff times are still yet to be announced and dates are subject to change due to television scheduling.  
2017 Monmouth Football Schedule
Date Opponent (Conference) Place 2016 Record Series Record
9/2 Lafayette (Patriot League) West Long Branch, NJ 2-9 1-0, Lafayette
9/9 Lehigh (Patriot League) West Long Branch, NJ  9-3 5-2, Lehigh 
9/16 Albany (Colonial)  Albany, NY  7-4 11-4, Albany 
9/23 Hampton (MEAC)  Hampton, VA  5-6 First Meeting 
9/30 Bucknell (Patriot League)  Lewisburg, PA  4-7 First Meeting 
10/7 Holy Cross (Patriot League)  Worcester, MA  4-7 1-1, Tied 
10/14 OPEN DATE      
10/21 Liberty (Big South)  West Long Branch, NJ  6-5 3-1, Liberty 
10/28 Charleston Southern (BSC)  Charleston, SC  7-4 3-0, Charleston S. 
11/4 Presbyterian (BSC)  West Long Branch, NJ  2-9 2-1, Presbyterian 
11/11 Gardner-Webb (BSC)  West Long Branch, NJ  5-6 2-1, Monmouth 
11/18 Kennesaw State (BSC)  Kennesaw, GA  8-3 2-0 Kennesaw 
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