STARKVILLE – Mississippi State wanted a more challenging non-conference schedule in Rick Ray’s third season to reflect a finally full roster.
The Bulldogs released their 13-game non-conference slate on Wednesday. It features eight home outings and another at Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson on Dec. 20 against South Carolina Upstate.
MSU will welcome Western Carolina, Mississippi Valley State, Utah State, Clayton State, Arkansas State, Jacksonville, McNeese State and Florida State to Humphrey Coliseum.
The Bulldogs will travel to Tulane and Oregon State while also participating in the Corpus Christi Challenge against St. Louis and Bradley or TCU. The Mississippi Valley State and Clayton State games are also associated with the Corpus Christi Challenge.
“Our non-conference schedule is an indication of the direction of our program,” Ray said in a statement. “As our team matures and our talent level increases, our schedule reflects the belief in my team to accept bigger and better challenges. I also want to provide a great fan experience by having a team of the caliber of Florida State come in and play in The Hump. This schedule will not only prepare us for the SEC but also prepare us to have success in the SEC.”
State will play Delta State in an exhibition game in Starkville on Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. as part of homecoming weekend.
The Bulldogs will open the 2014-15 season on Nov. 14 against Western Carolina at 5:30 p.m.
Western Carolina, Clayton State and S.C.-Upstate will all be first-time opponents for Mississippi State.
During his first two seasons, Ray has posted a 17-12 non-conference record including an 11-4 mark last season. The Bulldogs are 12-2 at home in non-conference action under Ray.
Nov. 6 Delta State 7 p.m.
Nov. 14Western Carolina 5:30 p.m.
Nov. 17Mississippi Valley State 7 p.m.
Nov. 22Utah State 2 p.m.
Nov. 24Clayton State 7 p.m.
Nov. 28St. Louis (at Corpus Christi, Texas)
Nov. 29Bradley/TCU (at Corpus Christi, Texas)
Dec. 6at Tulane TBA
Dec. 13at Oregon State TBA
Dec. 17Arkansas State 7 p.m.
Dec. 20SC Upstate 3 p.m. (at Jackson)
Dec. 23Jacksonville 7 p.m.
Dec. 30McNeese State 7 p.m.
Jan. 2Florida State 7 p.m.