UMass, Mississippi State announce 3-game football series

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) Mississippi State and Massachusetts have agreed to a three-game football series that begins in 2016 with a game at Gillette Stadium, which is the home of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

UMass will make return trips to Mississippi State in 2017 and 2020.

Mississippi State, which announced the UMass series on Monday afternoon, needed to fill a hole in its 2016 schedule after Tulane backed out of a previously scheduled game last month.

Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin said in a statement that ''we appreciate UMass working with us on short notice.''

The Bulldogs will be playing in an NFL stadium for the sixth time in seven seasons.

It will be the first meeting between the two programs in football.

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