UMass football to open season at Georgia Southern

The game is set for Oct. 17

Collegian+File+Photo

Collegian File Photo

By Noah Bortle, Sports Editor

The Massachusetts football team now has a game on its 2020 schedule.

After announcing it would play a fall season in September, UMass will officially start its season on Oct. 17 at Georgia Southern (2-1, 1-1 Sun Belt). Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

“Our players have trained hard in the weight room and in practice, and I’m excited they will now have the opportunity to compete at Georgia Southern in nine days,” Minutemen head coach Walt Bell said via press release. “We cannot thank the administrations at the University of Massachusetts and at Georgia Southern University enough for working together to create this chance to play.”

The game is the first domino to fall of what Athletic Director Ryan Bamford anticipates will be between a three and six-game season.

The Minutemen last played at Georgia Southern in 2018, dropping the game 34-13. The year before—the only other FBS meeting between the two sides—UMass came out on top.

Having made the decision to play just over two weeks ago, the Minutemen are coming into the game on a short preseason while the Eagles are three games into the season.

Georgia Southern’s fourth game of the season was postponed after an outbreak of COVID-19 at Appalachian State. With no game until Oct. 24, UMass will fill in to avoid a midseason bye week.

The Georgia Southern game projects to be a glimpse into what the Minutemen’s schedule building could look like in 2020, playing as a substitute when teams inevitably cannot play.

Any further additions to UMass’ 2020 schedule have yet to be announced. Athletics has said games will be “announced as they are confirmed and will be scheduled based on the ability to meet campus and state regulations.”

Noah Bortle can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @noah_bortle.