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Jan 27, 2014 8:04 PM by Ted Dawson

Montana State Releases 2014 Football Schedule

Montana State opens its 2014 regular season against the three-time defending Sun Belt champion, and closes it against arch-rival Montana in Missoula. In between the Bobcats visit California three times, renew an ancient Big Sky rivalry, and face a nationally-renowned Big Sky foe in a non-conference game.

In all, MSU's 12-game 2014 slate offers plenty of challenges, says Bobcat coach Rob Ash. "This is a schedule that our fans will love," MSU's eighth-year head coach said. "It's certainly difficult, but features a strong regional flavor and a number of long-time rivals."

The Bobcats open the season on Saturday, August 30, at Arkansas State, two-time defending GoDaddy.com Bowl champions, marking MSU's first trip to Jonesboro since 1961. The Red Wolves return up to 15 starters in 2014, including seven first- or second-team all-league choices. MSU and A-State last met during the Bobcats' run to the 1984 Division I-AA National Championship, a 31-14 quarterfinal round win in then-Reno H. Sales Stadium. MSU also defeated Arkansas State in 1960 and '61.

MSU's 2014 Gold Rush Game occurs on Saturday, September 6, the team's home opener, with Black Hills State of the Rocky Mountain Conference coming to Bobcat Stadium for the first meeting between the schools. That game kicks off a four-game homestand that wraps up with the Homecoming Game against North Dakota on September 27.

September also features back-to-back games against teams that spent time during the 2013 season in the national polls. Central Arkansas of the Southland Conference (Sept. 13) spent much of 2013 ranked in the national polls, and the marks the first meeting between MSU and the Bears. Eastern Washington (Sept. 20) won the Big Sky title, advanced to the FCS Playoffs Semifinals, and upset nationally-ranked Boise State.

Montana State's conference road slate features trips to Sacramento State and UC Davis in consecutive weeks, October 4 and 11, along with the Bobcats' first visit to Cal Poly for a Big Sky tilt (Nov. 1). MSU also hosts Weber State and Portland State, along with Idaho State, who the Cats didn't face in 2013 for the first time since World War II. The 2014 regular season concludes with a visit to Missoula for the annual Cat-Griz game.

MSU's complete schedule...

2014 MONTANA STATE FOOTBALL
8/30 at Arkansas State
9/6 Black Hills State
9/13 Central Arkansas
9/20 Eastern Washington
9/27 *North Dakota
10/4 *at Sacramento State
10/11 *at UC Davis
10/18 *Weber State
10/25 Open
11/1 *at Cal Poly
11/8 *Portland State
11/15 *Idaho State
11/22 *at Montana
Game times TBA

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