McNeese to kick off 2017 season in Southland

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(STATS) - McNeese will play five home games and open the season with a conference matchup for the first time since 1975 as part of an 11-game 2017 schedule which was announced Wednesday.

The Cowboys will kick off the new campaign on Aug. 31 at Nicholls in the Southland Conference. Coach Lance Guidry's team will play its home opener at Cowboy Stadium against Florida Tech on Sept. 9 and also host Houston Baptist (Sept. 23), Incarnate Word (Oct. 21), Southeastern Louisiana (Nov. 4) and Northwestern State (Nov. 11).

The Cowboys' other road games are against Alcorn State (Sept. 16) and Southland members Stephen F. Austin (Sept. 30), Abilene Christian (Oct. 7), Central Arkansas (Oct. 28) and Lamar (Nov. 18).

"Of course we'd like to play a Power 5 guarantee game every year, but it did not work out for 2017," said Guidry, who enters his second season. "But all in all, I'm excited about the schedule. I think it's set up good for us."

McNeese finished 6-5 overall and 5-4 in the Southland last season.

2017 McNeese Schedule

Aug. 31, at Nicholls*

Sept. 9, Florida Tech

Sept. 16, at Alcorn State

Sept. 23, Houston Baptist*

Sept. 30, at Stephen F. Austin*

Oct. 7, at Abilene Christian*

Oct. 21, Incarnate Word*

Oct. 28, at Central Arkansas*

Nov. 4, Southeastern Louisiana*

Nov. 11, Northwestern State*

Nov. 18, at Lamar*

* - Southland Conference game