DENTON, Texas (3/13/08) - The University of North Texas released its 2008 football schedule today, Athletic Director Rick Villarreal announced. North Texas will play a 12-game schedule with five non-conference opponents, including the defending national champion LSU Tigers. Three of North Texas’ 2008 opponents appeared in bowl games following the 2007 season.
In addition to LSU, North Texas will play non-conference games against Kansas State, Tulsa, Rice and Western Kentucky. Three of North Texas’ four road non-conference games are located within a 500-mile radius of Denton, which continues an on-going effort to schedule regionally-attractive opponents.
"It is exciting to be playing a non-conference schedule against great teams that can raise the stock of our program," said head coach Todd Dodge. "The fact that we are playing four non-conference opponents that are regionally positioned also makes it great for our fans."
The second year of the Dodge era will begin Aug. 30 on the road against Kansas State which finished 5-7 last year. This year’s game will be the first in a series that brings Kansas State back to Denton in 2010. This will be the fifth time that Kansas State has played North Texas with the Wildcats holding a 3-1 series lead.
Old foes will meet again when the Mean Green hosts Tulsa in its home opener Sept. 6. The former Missouri Valley Conference rivals have played each other 21 times since 1957 with Tulsa leading the series 15-6. Historically, North Texas and Tulsa have played very tight games with nearly half of the contests (10) being decided by a touchdown or less.
North Texas will face the tall task of battling reigning BCS champion LSU in Baton Rouge, La. in a non-conference game Sept. 13. The Tigers won the national championship last season by defeating Ohio State 38-24 in the BCS title game.
North Texas and Rice will renew a regional rivalry when the Mean Green travels to Houston for a Sept. 27 game. It is only the second time in the 95-year history of North Texas football that the two teams have met, with the only other meeting coming 20 years ago when North Texas defeated Rice 33-17 in Houston in 1988. The two-game contract with Rice will have the Owls coming to Denton in 2010.
The Mean Green’s usual slate of Sun Belt Conference play will begin at home against Florida International Oct. 4. North Texas will play three home games in the month of October, with Sun Belt foes Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy also scheduled to come to Denton. North Texas will be away from home for a month with games at Western Kentucky, Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee surrounding an off weekend in early November. The final game on the schedule is a home game against Arkansas State on Nov. 29.
North Texas’ homecoming game is scheduled for Oct. 25 against Troy which finished the 2007 season with a 6-1 mark in Sun Belt play.
2008 North Texas Football Schedule
Aug. 30 at Kansas State
Sept. 6 Tulsa
Sept. 13 at LSU
Sept. 20 OPEN
Sept. 27 at Rice
Oct. 4 Florida International*
Oct. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette*(Family Weekend)
Oct. 18 at Louisiana-Monroe*
Oct. 25 Troy* (Homecoming)
Nov. 1 at Western Kentucky
Nov. 8 at Florida Atlantic*
Nov. 15 OPEN
Nov. 22 at Middle Tennessee*
Nov. 29 Arkansas State*
* Sun Belt Conference Game