Two new opponents were added to the Massachusetts football team’s future schedules Thursday, as announced by UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford in a press release.
The Minutemen will face South Florida and Maine twice each from 2017-2019, starting with a trip to Tampa, Florida on Oct. 14, 2017. This will be UMass’ first ever matchup with the Bulls.
The following year on Oct. 6, South Florida will visit Amherst for a rematch at McGuirk Stadium.
“I am very pleased to announce more exciting football scheduling details to our supporters in the Commonwealth and beyond,” Bamford said in a statement. “Our home-and-home series with South Florida is exactly the type of agreement that we are looking to secure as we build our brand as an FBS independent. USF is a quality American Athletic Conference opponent in a region from which we recruit and have a considerable alumni/ae base.”
The Minutemen’s two-game series with the Black Bears will kick off Nov. 11, 2017 with a rematch scheduled for Aug. 31, 2019. The locations for the two games were not specified but will be played in “UMass territory” according to the press release.
UMass holds a 41-17-1 series advantage over Maine – going back to their CAA rivalry when UMass was still an FCS program – but the Minutemen lost its most recent head-to-head matchup in 2013, 24-14.
Bamford said scheduling home matchups with FCS opponents is an annual goal that will benefit UMass’ fan base.
“Our goal to play an FCS opponent every year makes sense for our future as we try to secure a minimum of six home games each season,” Bamford said. “Scheduling a regional opponent like Maine — a former FCS rival — is good for New England college football and our fan base.”
In addition to the four new matchups, the University announced two future schedule changes for games with Indiana and Brigham Young. The Minutemen’s previously set 2017 matchup with the Hoosiers will now be played in Indiana on Sept. 9, 2023. Meanwhile, UMass’ 2016 game with the Cougars was moved from Sept. 30 to Nov. 19.
Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.