BOONE — A pair of former Football Championship Subdivision rivals will head to Boone for three games over the next eight seasons.
Two games against East Tennessee State and one game against Gardner-Webb have been added to the Mountaineers’ non-conference schedules.
App State will host Gardner -Webb on Sept. 22, 2018. The Mountaineers will play ETSU on Aug. 31, 2019 and Aug. 31, 2024, all at Kidd-Brewer Stadium.
After years of Southern Conference battles between the Mountaineers and ETSU, the Buccaneers shuttered its football program in 2003. However, after a lot of fan and alumni support, the program was reinstated in 2015 and is once again back in the SoCon.
The Mountaineers lead the all-time series with the Bucs, 31-14-1 and have won 16 of the 22 games played in Boone.
Overall, the two programs have played 46 times, dating all the way back to 1928, the first season of Mountaineer football. The two programs were conference rivals from 1979 until 2003.
App State and Gardner-Webb don’t quite have the same longstanding tradition as the App-ETSU rivalry, however the two programs have played seven times, including the first game between the two played in 1929. The Mountaineers have won all seven of those contests, most recently in 2007 when App State thumped Gardner-Webb, 45-7.
With the addition of Gardner-Webb to the 2018 schedule, the non-conference slate of games have been finalized for each of the next three seasons.
This year, the Mountaineers will go to Tennessee on Sept. 3, host Old Dominion on Sept. 10, host Miami on Sept. 17 in the much-anticipated game with the ACC foe and wrap up the non-conference schedule at Akron on Sept. 24.
The 2017 season will start with a game at Georgia on Sept. 2. The Mountaineers will then host Akron (Sept. 16) and Wake Forest (Sept. 23) before the final non-conference matchup at UMASS on Oct. 28.
App State opens the 2018 campaign at Penn State on Sept. 1 and then go to Charlotte on Sept. 8 to battle the 49ers. The Mountaineers host Southern Miss on Sept. 15 and will host Gardner-Webb on Sept. 22.
Looking down the road, the Mountaineers will host Charlotte in 2019, make a return trip to Wake Forest in 2020 and go to Miami in 2021. That year, the Mountaineers will also reboot an old rivalry with Marshall when the Thundering Herd comes to Boone with the return trip to Marshall coming in 2022.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87