NEWBERRY, S.C. - Newberry College and head football coach Todd Knight are pleased to release the 2009 football schedule. Newberry is set to play a 10-game schedule, with four games played at Setzler Field and six games played on the road. Options still exist to play an 11th game at home on September 12.
"I think we have an ambitious schedule, but I think our kids are excited about it," Knight said. "The expectation level in our program has been very high the past few years, and we haven't backed down our schedule because of that.
"We start off the season in Titletown USA and then turn around and go play an FCS team in their house the next week. I look forward to our kids rising to this challenge," Knight added.
Newberry will open the Todd Knight era on the road on Aug. 29 against 2008 Division II Playoff participant Valdosta State University. The matchup at Bazemore-Hyder Stadium in Valdosta, Ga., will be the second meeting between the two schools. The Blazers - then ranked No. 1 in the nation - won last year's game in Newberry by a slim 14-9 margin.
The second game of the year will feature a brand new opponent for the scarlet and gray, as Newberry will travel to Clarksville, Tenn., to take on the Governors of Austin Peay State University on Sept. 5.
Austin Peay, a member of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), finished the 2008 season with a 2-9 overall record and a 2-6 record in the Ohio Valley Conference. The game will be Newberry's first-ever matchup against a school from the OVC and first against a scholarship FCS team since the upset win over Coastal Carolina in 2004.
After the current open date on Sept. 12, Newberry will play its home opener on Sept. 19 against the Bulldogs of Cumberland University from Lebanon, Tenn. This marks Newberry's latest home opener since 2002. The game will also be the third meeting between the two schools, but the first since 1938. The two schools have split the previous two meetings.
The Bulldogs finished 2008 in a three-way tie for first place in the Mid-South Conference's West Division with a 6-5 overall record and 4-1 conference record. Cumberland is receiving votes in the NAIA Spring Coaches' Poll released earlier this month.
The always tough South Atlantic Conference schedule begins in Jefferson City, Tenn., on Sept. 26 against the Eagles of Carson-Newman College. This will be the 44th meeting between the two schools, with the Eagles holding a 26-17 lead in the all-time series.
C-N was one of the teams in a three-way tie for the SAC title in 2008 with Newberry and Tusculum, and qualified for the 2008 NCAA Division II Playoffs. Newberry won the 2008 matchup, 27-21, in overtime at Setzler Field.
Newberry stays on the road for its second SAC contest, playing Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., on Oct. 3. This will be the 73rd meeting between the two schools, with Catawba holding a 37-32-3 advantage in the series.
Catawba finished the season in a three-way tie for fourth place with Mars Hill and Wingate, with all three schools going 4-3 in SAC play. Newberry beat Catawba by a 33-14 margin on Homecoming last season.
Homecoming for Newberry will take place on Oct. 10, when the scarlet and gray host the Lions of Mars Hill College. The two schools meet for the 40th time in 2009, with the Lions holding a 24-15 lead in the series.
MHC was one of the more surprising teams in the SAC last year, taking a 27-6 decision from Newberry in Mars Hill. Newberry hosted the Lions for Homecoming in 2007, coming away with a 48-24 victory.
On Oct. 17, Newberry heads to North Carolina once again to take on the Bulldogs of Wingate University. It will be the 20th meeting in the series, with WU leading 10-9. Newberry has won the last four meetings between the two sides.
Newberry hosted Wingate last season, picking up a 32-21 win. Newberry won the last meeting at Irwin Belk Stadium by a 31-23 margin in 2007.
Tusculum College comes to town on Oct. 24 in a rematch of two schools that tied for the 2008 SAC title. This will be the 12th meeting in the series, with the Pioneers holding a 7-4 lead.
TC took a 45-33 win in Greeneville, Tenn., in 2008, but Newberry had won the previous three meetings. Late dramatics gave Newberry the win in the last meeting at Setzler Field, as Ryan Lukshis connected on a field goal with two seconds remaining to give Newberry a 17-14 win in 2007.
The annual battle for the Bishops Trophy will take place on Oct. 31 in Hickory, N.C., when Newberry takes on the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University. The longest-running current series for Newberry football will have its 76th meeting this year. The Bears have a 39-28-7 lead in the series.
Newberry has won the last three Bishops Trophy contests, including last year's 38-14 win at home. NC won the last meeting in Hickory by a 24-0 scoreline.
The regular season closes at Setzler Field on Nov. 7 against the Tornados of Brevard College. Newberry has won all three meetings between the two schools since BC reinstated its program in 2006. This will be Brevard's second season as full members of the SAC.
Newberry College 2009 Football Schedule
Click here for printable schedule (pdf format)
Date Opponent Time
Aug 29 at Valdosta State 7 p.m.
Sep 5 at Austin Peay 6 p.m. CDT
Sep 12 OPEN
Sep 19 CUMBERLAND (Tenn.) 7 p.m.
Sep 26 at Carson-Newman * 1 p.m.
Oct 3 at Catawba * 1:30 p.m.
Oct 10 MARS HILL * 7 p.m.
Oct 17 at Wingate * 1:30 p.m.
Oct 24 TUSCULUM * 7 p.m.
Oct 31 at Lenoir-Rhyne * 2 p.m.
Nov 7 BREVARD * 7 p.m.