(STATS) - Tennessee Tech is hoping a challenging non-conference schedule this season will set up a banner campaign in the Ohio Valley Conference title.
The Golden Eagles are coming off a 5-3, third-place finish in the OVC in coach Marcus Satterfield's first season. They finished 5-6 overall.
Tech will open the season by hosting Missouri Valley Football Conference member Western Illinois on Aug. 31 at Tucker Stadium. It then travels to emerging Big South program Kennesaw State (Sept. 9) and FBS member Ball State (Sept. 16).
Within their OVC schedule, the Golden Eagles will host three-time defending champion Jacksonville State (Sept. 30), Tennessee State (Oct. 28), Austin Peay (Nov. 4) and UT Martin (Nov. 18). Their road conference games are against Eastern Kentucky (Sept. 23), Eastern Illinois (Oct. 7), Southeast Missouri (Oct. 14) and Murray State (Nov. 11).
"I love the way our schedule is built with a very challenging opening month," Satterfield said. "We intend for the quality of opponents early on to help prepare us for the grind of playing eight straight conference games to end the season."
2017 Tennessee Tech Schedule
Aug. 31, Western Illinois
Sept. 9, at Kennesaw State
Sept. 16, at Ball State
Sept. 23, at Eastern Kentucky*
Sept. 30, Jacksonville State*
Oct. 7, at Eastern Illinois*
Oct. 14, at Southeast Missouri*
Oct. 28, Tennessee State
Nov. 4, Austin Peay
Nov. 11, at Murray State*
Nov. 18, UT Martin*
* - OVC game