MSU, Memphis agree to move season opener to Sept. 1

Mississippi State is getting a jumpstart on the 2011 football season.
Memphis athletics director R.J. Johnson said Friday that he and his MSU counterpart, Scott Stricklin, have agreed to move their season-opening meeting up by two days to Thursday, Sept. 1. The Commercial-Appeal first reported the move.
The change will accommodate Conference USA television partner Fox. Kickoff time has not been set, but it will be a night game. A C-USA spokesman said any official changes won’t be announced for another week or two.
In a statement, Johnson said, “We have been contacted by Fox. Scott Stricklin and I have both talked, and we are both in agreement about moving the game, but it has not been finalized.”
MSU also has a Thursday game on Sept. 15 when LSU visits Starkville.
This is MSU’s first road game against Memphis since 2002, although it has played in the Liberty Bowl venue since then, in the eponymous 2007 bowl game. State leads the series 32-11 and has beaten the Tigers 11 consecutive times, including a 49-7 decision in Starkville last season.
Memphis is coming off a 1-11 campaign, while the Bulldogs went 9-4 and beat Michigan in the Gator Bowl.

Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal