JONESBORO — Arkansas State’s home football schedule in 2021 will include the Red Wolves’ most-played rival as well as last season’s Sun Belt Conference co-champions.
The Red Wolves’ schedule, which was announced Monday, includes six home games. New head coach Butch Jones will start his first season with two games at Centennial Bank Stadium as ASU opens with back-to-back home contests for the first time since 1987.
ASU will host Central Arkansas in its season opener on Sept. 4 and face Memphis the following Saturday on Sept. 11. The Red Wolves will also open their season at home for the sixth time over the last nine years.
The season opener with UCA will mark the 27th meeting of the Red Wolves and the Bears. ASU defeated UCA 50-27 last year.
Set to face Memphis for the 60th time, the Red Wolves have played the Tigers more than any other opponent in school history. The two squads will meet for the second consecutive year, but the first time in Jonesboro since 2012.
The Red Wolves will travel to Seattle the following week on Sept. 18 for their first matchup against Washington, which is the first of back-to-back road games that will also see them face Tulsa at H.A. Chapman Stadium on Sept. 25.
The game at Washington will be ASU’s first against a Pac-12 member since playing at USC in 2015, while it is set to play Tulsa for the sixth time in school history.
Holding a 14-6 all-time record in Sun Belt openers, the Red Wolves will open league play at Georgia Southern on Oct. 2. ASU will face the Eagles in its first conference game of the season for the fourth time in six years (2021, 2018, 2017, 2016).
Following the three-game road swing, Arkansas State will play its next two games at home on a Thursday night. The five-time Sun Belt champions will host Coastal Carolina, the conference’s 2020 co-champion, in the first of those two contests on Oct. 7.
One of four Sun Belt teams with two midweek games, ASU will have its only open week of the season before catching the league’s other co-champion from last year, Louisiana-Lafayette, on Oct. 21. The two programs will meet in a midweek contest for the seventh time over the last 10 seasons (2012-21).
The Red Wolves return to the road on Oct. 30, when they will play their first game at Hancock Whitney Stadium against South Alabama. Their previous four games against the Jaguars in Mobile were played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where they also played four consecutive GoDaddy Bowl games at the conclusion of the 2011-14 seasons.
November will begin with a Nov. 6 home game against Appalachian State at Centennial Bank Stadium, giving ASU three home conference games featuring one of the Sun Belt outright or co-champions over the last five seasons. The Red Wolves last hosted the Mountaineers in 2018.
Arkansas State will continue Sun Belt play with back-to-back road contests against Louisiana-Monroe and Georgia State on Nov. 13 and 20, respectively. The Red Wolves will close the regular season on Nov. 27 against Texas State at Centennial Bank Stadium.
The television networks for all Sun Belt games, including midweek contests, will be announced at a later date. The 2021 Sun Belt Conference Football Championship Game is set for Dec. 4.