JSU announced its complete 2013 schedule Thursday after finally securing a desired 12th game in the season-opening spot.
The Gamecocks and Hornets will play in Montgomery Aug. 31. Tickets for the game will be sold out of the JSU ticket office, JSU athletics director Warren Koegel said.
Scheduling became an issue for the Gamecocks when Auburn couldn’t fulfill its contracted 2013 date because of conflicts with the Southeastern Conference schedule. JSU got the $500,000 guarantee as stated in the contract, but was left to seek a game.
Koegel said he spoke to a lot of schools in hopes of finding a game that fit the Gamecocks’ needs and called Alabama State the “very best choice for us at this time.”
Putting ASU in the opening slot allows the Gamecocks to keep their mid-October open date created by the Auburn vacancy and not have to play 12 weeks in a row.
The schools talked about making it a home-and-home contract, but nothing was available on either schedule in the immediate future. Terms of the game contract were not immediately available.
The game is close to home for Clark since he spent several years as head coach at Prattville High School before becoming defensive coordinator at South Alabama.
The Star previously reported non-conference home games with FCS non-scholarship Jacksonville University (Sept. 7) and Division II North Alabama (Sept. 14) and a road game at Georgia State (Sept. 21) that reportedly will fetch $300,000.
The rest of the Gamecocks’ schedule features Ohio Valley Conference games – Murray State (Sept. 28), at UT Martin (Oct. 5), Tennessee State (Oct. 12), at Tennessee Tech (Oct. 26), at Austin Peay (Nov. 2), Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 9), at Eastern Illinois (Nov. 16) and Southeast Missouri (Nov. 23).
“It’s a little daunting to open up and on the road,” Clark said. “But it will be a good test for us to see where we are, going into a hostile environment right off the jump.”
The Alabama State matchup was hostile the last time the teams played. ASU coaches accused the Gamecocks of planting a spy in their preseason practices, prompting among other things a cancellation of a planned return game to Jacksonville.
Koegel said that issue was never brought up in the discussions of this year’s game.
“This is about us playing right now,” Koegel said.
Sports Writer Al Muskewitz: 256-235-3577. On Twitter @almusky_star.
2013 JSU football schedule
Date & opponent, location, time
- Aug. 31 at Alabama State, Montgomery, TBA
- Sept. 7, Jacksonville (Fla.) Univ., Jacksonville, 6 p.m.
- Sept. 14, North Alabama, Jacksonville, 3 p.m. (Band Day)
- Sept. 21, at Georgia State, Atlanta, TBA
- Sept. 28, *Murray State, Jacksonville, 3 p.m. (Fall Preview Day)
- Oct. 5, *at UT Martin, Martin, Tenn., TBA
- Oct. 12, *Tennessee State, Jacksonville, 3 p.m., (Homecoming/Family Day)
- Oct. 26, *at Tennessee Tech, Cookeville, Tenn., TBA
- Nov. 2, *at Austin Peay, Clarksville, Tenn., TBA
- Nov. 9, *Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville, 3 p.m. (Marching Southerners Reunion)
- Nov. 16, *at Eastern Illinois, Charleston, Ill., TBA
- Nov. 23, *Southeast Missouri State, Jacksonville, 3 p.m.
* = Ohio Valley Conference game