(STATS) - There won't be many FCS teams coming out of the nonconference portion of their 2016 schedule feeling more challenged than South Carolina State.
The Bulldogs begin their season by playing three straight FBS opponents: American Athletic Conference member UCF on Sept. 3, Conference USA member Louisiana Tech on Sept. 10 and national runner-up Clemson of the ACC on Sept. 17.
They also play four of their first six Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference games on the road, so only two of the Bulldogs' first nine games - Oct. 8 versus Bethune-Cookman and Oct. 22 against Delaware State - will be at Dawson Stadium.
Coach Buddy Pough's squad also hosts Norfolk State on Nov. 12 and Savannah State on Nov. 19 to wrap up the regular season.
South Carolina State went 7-4 and 6-2 in the MEAC last season. The Bulldogs' returnees in 2016 will include quarterback Caleb York and first-team all-conference linebacker Darius Leonard.
2016 South Carolina State Schedule
Sept. 3, at UCF
Sept. 10, at Louisiana Tech
Sept. 17, at Clemson
Sept. 24, at Florida A&M*
Oct. 8, Bethune-Cookman*
Oct. 15, at Howard*
Oct. 22, Delaware State* (Homecoming)
Oct. 29, at Hampton*
Nov. 5, at North Carolina A&T*
Nov. 12, Norfolk State*
Nov. 19, Savannah State*
* - MEAC game