Mississippi State made it official Monday announcing an agreement for a two-for-one contract with Massachusetts in football.
The Bulldogs will play the Minutemen on Sept. 24, 2016 at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots. UMass will follow with return trips to Starkville on Sept. 23, 2017 and Oct. 17, 2020.
MSU was forced to find another opponent for 2016 when Tulane backed out of a contract for 2016 and owes the Bulldogs’ athletic department $350,000.
“We appreciate UMass working with us on short notice,” said MSU Director of Athletics Scott Stricklin. “Bulldog fans will get the opportunity to travel to a great part of the country, while watching us play in an NFL stadium for the sixth time in seven years.
“This series allows MSU to fill an immediate gap in our 2016 schedule, while securing home games in 2017 and 2020 so the Bulldogs can play seven home games those seasons.”
State and the Minutemen have never met in football. It will be the Bulldogs 10th game inside a current NFL stadium and first visit to the Northeast since defeating Syracuse in 1986.
The addition of Umass completes Mississippi State’s schedule for 2016. The Bulldogs will play South Alabama and Samford at home that season while also making a non-conference road trek to BYU.