JSU football: Gamecocks set 11-game schedule for this fall

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Mark Edwards, The Anniston Star, Ala.
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Mar. 17—Jacksonville State has finalized its 2021 fall football schedule, which includes 11 games and is slated to be released publicly today.

Nine games on the schedule already were released previously, but the Gamecocks have also set up contests with Kennesaw State on the road and UT Martin at home.

JSU had announced a home game against North Alabama, a road game at Florida State and a contest in Montgomery against UAB. Also, it was announced in February that JSU will play Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin and Abilene Christian at home, and Lamar, Sam Houston State and Eastern Kentucky on the road as part of the AQ7.

"We are very excited about this schedule and very pleased with how we were able to put it together so quickly," JSU athletics director Greg Seitz said. "Our goal is always to compete for a national championship, and we feel like this schedule will better prepare us for that goal."

JSU has agreed to join the ASUN Conference this summer, but for the purposes of scheduling and the chance for an automatic-qualifying bid to the FCS playoffs, the league has joined with the Western Athletic Conference to form the AQ7 for 2021 only. The ASUN is expected to have a full-fledged football league in 2022.

The AQ7 will include three football-playing schools from the ASUN (Jacksonville State, Eastern Kentucky and Central Arkansas) and four from the WAC Stephen F. Austin, Abilene Christian, Lamar and Sam Houston State) for a 2021 alliance.

All the AQ7 schools are scheduled to play each other, and the winner will receive an FCS playoff berth.

JSU will play its five non-AQ7 games before taking on six AQ7 games. With Florida State and UAB on the schedule, JSU is playing two FBS teams in the same year for the first time since 2012.

"As we look to build the premier FCS Football Conference with the ASUN, we also wanted to enhance our non-conference schedule," Seitz said. "There are more teams that have the possibility of being ranked among the FCS schools that we've had in the past and we are excited about the competitive nature this schedule presents."

Among the events scheduled in conjunction with football games, Band Day will be Sept. 18 when JSU hosts UNA. The UT Martin home game Sept. 25 will be Preview Day. Homecoming will be Oct. 9 when JSU plays Stephen F. Austin. Hall of Fame Day is Oct. 30 when JSU hosts Centrl Arkansas, and Nov. 6 will be the Southerners Reunion when JSU plays Abilene Christian at home.

JSU will kick off the season Sept. 1, which is a Wednesday, against UAB in Montgomery's Cramton Bowl.

JSU's 2021 fall football schedule

Sept. 1, vs. UAB (Montgomery), kickoff TBA

Sept. 11, at Florida State, TBA

Sept. 18, vs. North Alabama, 6 p.m.

Sept. 25, vs. UT Martin, 3 p.m.

Oct. 2, at Kennesaw State, TBA

Oct. 9, vs. Stephen F. Austin*, 3 p.m.

Oct. 16, Open

Oct. 23, at Sam Houston State*, TBA

Oct. 30, vs. Central Arkansas*, 1 p.m.

Nov. 6, vs. Abilene Christian*, 1 p.m.

Nov. 13, at Lamar*, TBA

Nov. 20, at Eastern Kentucky*, TBA

*- AQ7 Game

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.